A short pause, before we continue...

So far in TOLFA we've seen on the basis of an undeniable premise (axiom) what is the essential nature of us human beings (Segment 1) and that the essential nature of all governments (Seg 2) is wholly hostile towards it. In contrast we saw that a free-market society would provide for that human nature a perfect fit (Seg 3) and in which ethical behavior would derive from a rational, self-interest basis (Seg 4) rather than from myth, superstition and priestly authority (Seg 5.) This understanding of which way is up overturns everything we see and hear in school, college and broadcast.

That sequence of reasoning, especially in Segments 1, 2 and 3, is vitally important. Those conclusions were not reached because they "seem nice" or because some trusted person has told them. Nor were they reached as "interesting views" like those of some quaint sect being considered by a self-appointed critic; they are not "views" at all, but rock-solid, unavoidable conclusions that are impossible to refute. You now know, dear Student, of a certainty that government is utterly hostile to human nature and that free markets alone are compatible with it; and you know those things because the logic that led you to them is tight and the premises, unassailable.

Certainly, there is more to understand about human freedom, many questions to ask and answer, and that is what the remainder of TOLFA is for. But right now, you have - or should have - become a "market anarchist" because you've seen there is no alternative consistent with intellectual integrity and essential humanity.

So, before we continue, please consider a question: are you therefore absolutely convinced that there is no rational alternative to a free-market society? Yes No

It's now fair to consider how this undeniable theory works out in practice - and to show that a free society is highly desirable as well as uniquely rational. So in the next 8 segments we'll consider 8 major functions of any society, which today are dominated - and devastated - by government; and we'll see how and why a free market would deliver results dramatically better.

It's important to understand that those predictions are in no way written in stone! One beauty of freedom is that it's spontaneous; one can not predict therefore how solutions will be found. But they are offered anyway to show that there is at least one good solution. In actuality, the ones produced by the market a few years hence will probably be better yet. And first: Justice.

Justice is perhaps the most vital of all services needed in any society, for which it is safe to assume there would always be a demand. What do you think it's for?

1. What "Justice" Is

The American jurist Benjamin Cardozo defined it as follows: "Justice, to which law in its making should conform, is a concept by far more subtle and indefinite than any that is wielded by mere obedience to a rule. We appeal to it as both a test and an ideal. It may mean different things to different minds and at different times. Yet when all is said and done, justice remains, to some extent - an aspiration ... a mood of exaltation ... a feeling for what is fine or high."

What do you understand "justice" to be?

I agree with Mr Cardozo
A way to right wrongs
A way to make sure law and order are maintained
A way to make it look as if government is doing right

Reasoning from our basic premise, the axiomatic right to own and operate one's own life exclusively, it follows that if everyone observes that there will never be any occasion to use force, ie to oblige someone else to act against his wishes. But suppose that happens anyway; A violates the self-ownership right of B. What then?

Clearly, having the right to life means that B has the right to defend that life and all its attributes, and so is entitled to use defensive force to prevent the aggression - or, if it's already over, to restore his situation to where it was before the attack began. And if he needs help, he's just as clearly entitled to hire it.

That kind of help is what we can call a "justice system." As you just noticed, the purpose of a justice system is to right wrongs.

Further, there are bound to be accidents; inadvertent violations of rights. If the parties affected can not resolve the matter, again a system will be needed to arbitrate.

Today's so-called justice system has little or no relationship with the righting of wrongs; it is a monstrous distortion of that ideal. Even a casual observer must notice:

- so let's now compare actual to ideal more closely.

Such a system must include the following components:

  1. Detection - in case the identity of the alleged rights-violator is not known
  2. Apprehension - to bring him to a court of justice regardless of his wishes
  3. Trial - to ensure both parties freely present their cases to an impartial arbiter
  4. Disposition - a judgment, defining what will constitute a resolution
  5. Monitoring - a way to ensure that judgment is carried out

2. How Justice Functions

Here's the contrast, between today's government monopoly and the kind of justice system that would probably evolve in a free-market society.

Component Today Free-Market Justice
Purpose To enforce government laws To restore individuals' damaged rights
Scope Anyone suspected of breaking a law - with victim or without Only those accused of harming a victim
Funding By taxpayers, under threat of force By plaintiffs, then by the losers
Detection Except for P.I.s whom only the rich can afford, detection is monopolized by government police forces all of whose members are motivated by the wish to play safe and be good bureaucrats. There being no competition, effectiveness is pathetic: in NY City, only three quarters of all murders, even, are solved by an arrest - in a good year. Detective agencies would be retained by plaintiffs on a contingency basis with the profit motive uppermost. Inter-agency agreements would facilitate information sharing and contracts might well provide for full payment only upon the subsequent trial outcome - ensuring as far as feasible that the right perp is brought to court.
Apprehension Accused perps are locked up and treated like scum, without recourse; police and prosecutors may lie brazenly to extract a "confession", rights are regarded as a nuisance, evidence is routinely planted. Those arrested would retain their full self-ownership rights and if treated with anything but the utmost respect would be free to sue for mistreatment - and expect to win big damages if successful - regardless of the outcome of the primary trial.
Trial Trials occur only in courts monopolized by government, which employs and therefore heavily influences the judge, the prosecutor, the defense attorney (!) the marshals and even the janitor. Juries are selected under government supervision, and the prosecutor spends as much stolen money as he sees fit to select one likely to favor his case. The judge controls what counsel may say, and what evidence may be seen by the jury. The entire proceeding is a farce, especially in cases where government has an interest in the outcome. Even when it does not (eg the Simpson case) that outcome quite often acquits the guilty and convicts the innocent. Trials would be held only in courts operating competitively for profit, trading on their reputation for integrity and fairness as their prime asset. Procedures (rules of evidence, jury or not, etc) would be set by agreement between court and adversaries, with a jury trial being the default. No court would accept a case in whose outcome it had an interest - so as to preserve intact its priceless reputation for integrity. No case would reach a court except on the complaint of an actual victim, ie a person whose rights have allegedly been harmed; "victimless crimes" would therefore never appear.
Disposition The victim, if any, is dismissed - perhaps with a word of thanks for his testimony but never with any compensation. The convicted defendant is imprisoned. All taxpayers pay for his accommodation, under threat of force. He is never rehabilitated. The lawyers do nicely, and the gullible public is told by a brainless media that "justice has been done." If the defendant is found responsible he will be ordered to compensate his victim, so as to restore him to his or her former state as far as is feasible. He will also be required to pay for the costs of his detection, apprehension and trial. There are no taxpayers, nor any attempt to burden them with any costs. Every party therefore wins - except the aggressor, who loses in strict proportion to the damage he initiated.
Monitoring Convicts are kept in government cages, so destroying what may be left of their potential for productive living. Taxpayers are robbed of about $60 billion a year to pay for it, and a substantial staff of guards is employed in the soul-destroying work of keeping them imprisoned. Provided the compensation ordered is delivered on time, no particular restraint would be needed except in a few rare cases (serial rape or murder, for example) and so prisons as we know them would not exist. Electronic tracking (ankle bracelets) might be used, but only for the primary purpose of ensuring that restitution is made to the victim. Aggressors would therefore stay productive and have maximum incentive to pay off debts to victims and get on with normal life.
Reversal "Higher" government courts review and sometimes reverse erroneous decisions; but since all such judges are also government employees this provides little protection when government was a party to the case. The US Supreme Court is not even obliged to hear appeals and in fact dismisses 95% of those presented without being heard. If reversals are ordered, there is still no compensation provided to the person wrongly convicted, even after years in a government cage. Evidence uncovered by the "Innocence Project" and others, including that of DNA, indicates that in a shockingly large minority of cases innocent people get convicted. At every stage in the process, all involved know they are personally responsible for errors and so will tend to make many fewer. Each will be liable to the victim, if they cause an accused but innocent person to suffer.

From the table above it should be abundantly clear that the government "justice" monopoly has little to do with real justice at all; it is a monstrous offense to any decent person's sense of what is right and wrong, and any free-market alternative like the one outlined would be vastly superior.

It must however be added that the government monopoly probably has a sinister purpose: to attempt to give a moral validity to some of the most outrageous acts of government. Example: courts frequently convict those who break its tax laws. Tax is (as we'll see in the Segment on that subject) no more than legalized theft, so to convict someone of resisting the theft is an outright reversal of true justice. Worse: there are cases on record where such non-taxpayers were convicted even when no tax law could be identified, which they might have broken. In such a case as that - for example, in the 2005 Schiff case - the "court" was being used as an instrument of legislation, in flagrant breach of supposed Constitutional powers.

Sometimes it's said that if government must be shrunk, it must retain the Justice function at least. We've now seen the contrary; that if any function must be removed from its grasp before all others, Justice is the one. It is far, far too important a subject to leave to such a gang of thugs.

3. "Protection" Insurance

An objection may have come to mind when studying the table above: that's all very well for the well-to-do, but how can an Ordinary Joe afford to hire investigators and lawyers and court services? Fair question.

The free market would respond to that need, probably in the form of insurance services. The risk of being damaged by an aggressor in a free society would be low - especially by a deliberate act of aggression. Therefore, the event would be suitable for insurance. The householder would pay a small premium, and the insurer would provide a range of services in the event he was robbed or harmed in some such way.

Those services might even include a kind of blanket settlement. The insurer would consider the claim and decide Yes, it's a fair one, and we will now compensate the client, take his deposition as evidence, then go find and sue the perp ourselves and keep such restitution as the court orders him to pay. Naturally, they would arrange the figures so as to leave themselves a profit, and they would run the small risk of being unable to collect - if, for example, the aggressor had caused damage far beyond his ability ever to pay off.

The point is not to say that such an arrangement would for sure be the norm, but that - being a free market - the market would produce one or more solutions to such reasonable needs. Free-market justice would in such ways serve the needs of all members of the free society.

4. Segment Review

Only when a proper justice system is compared side by side and point by point with today's sorry excuse for one, as in the table above, does it become clear how urgently the change to a free society is needed. This Segment 6 has shown a dramatic set of facts, and the basic axiom about humans (self-ownership) upon which TOLFA rests is consistent only with the type of system that a free market would produce.

Please answer these Questions for yourself, before proceeding; and if any give pause, talk it over with your Mentor - and do spend time in "Further Reading", especially the articles with free on line access. The unusual book on Iceland relates how in the 10th Century the fresh society there (having sailed from what is now Norway) spontaneously developed an effective justice system without any laws or government.

Q1    Q2    Q3    Q4    Q5    Q6    Q7    Q8    Q9   

Study Plan

For further reading:
Society in Jail
Neither Tax Nor Punishment
On the Need for a Final Arbiter
The Private-Justice Alternative
Law-Enforcement Socialism by Anthony Gregory
"The Law" by Frédéric Bastiat
"Viking Age Iceland" by Jesse Byock
"The Enterprise of Law" by Bruce Benson
"Adventures in Legal Land" by Marc Stevens