Samuel E. Konkin, 3rd
That Bread Is Mine, Too (2)
In Part 1 of this article, Your Friendly Neighborhood Anarcho-columnist noted the inordinate difficulty that libertarian gurus have had in defining that which is due the victim of a crime. Without a simple and sure understanding of justice, one is lost in deciding complex questions like: “What are oppressed people due after a revolution?”
YFNA pointed out that the fundamental libertarian axiom leads immediately to the corollary that a person is entitled to the following: his lost property or equivalent market value, cost of apprehension of the Violence Initiator (VI) by his protection agent, and the market interest on the value lost for the time it was out of his hands. Full restitution, but no more. Any further imposition on the VI is violence initiated against his property.
One thing which confirms the propriety of this position is its market practicality. It is simple to define in any specific case what is due a victim by simply consulting the market.
Here’s another serendipity. The longer the VI eludes your trusty protection agent, the higher is the cost of apprehension, and the higher his restitution. But even if the Insurance and Protection Company does nothing until they are tipped off, he is still racking up interest for the involuntary loan. So he has a strong market incentive to turn himself in and cut his losses.
Furthermore, if the VI resists by naked violence an assault by p.a.’s (“You’ll never take me alive, marketeer!”), his restitution rises enormously. Now he owes restitution to injured p.a.’s as well.
Probably the stickiest question of justice a has to face is: What of death? Murder most foul, or even manslaughter. What value is a human life?
Well, another human life is all YFNA can come up with, being somewhat mortal himself. But, more importantly, why not let the victim decide it?
In your insurance policy, state what you want. The execution of your murderer because you believe in deterrence? OK. But what about the father who rather have the VI support his family? (This, by the way, is a basic position of many tribal codes of justice.) And what of the idealist who wants a foundation financed to continue the work he was living for?
After all, we believe in subjective value theory, don’t we? To be consistent, then, we must allow each potential victim (i.e., you) to decide his own value—or whatever lesser quantity he will be forced to settle for.
The answers to the questions YFNA posed at the beginning of this essay are now clear. When the State collapses, the Statists will be brought to justice by those sufficiently motivated to do so. Claims will be handled by the arbitration and protection agencies. They will be decided on the simple premise of libertarian justice: full restitution. The Higher Circles will have such an enormous debt that they will be stripped of their holdings, which will be sold for restitution. Then they will be confined to restitution work camps for the rest of their days, unless the market decides on an incentive system to increase their output by offering them eventual freedom. Lesser Statists will have less claims against them and lose less accordingly.
Pacifists naturally need enter no claim if they wish their oppressors to get off. Native inhabitants who can present a reasonable claim for land stolen from their ancestors can regain their property. Peasants who had their land confiscated by the State can regain it—a truly meaningful and just “land reform program.”
As usual, libertarianism has the answers for those who apply their God-given or Rand-inspired reason to the questions. And if they ask for their money back, they will get it to the penny—er, gold milligram, that is.
Everyone can get what’s coming to her—but only the libertarian way. If someone tries to sell you another way, look out for his free lunch and hold on to your wallet.
(Coming: The Coming Profit in the Libertarian Movement)
Southern Libertarian Review
Volume 2 Number 3