Alternate Forms of Stable Government: Contractual Society

Clayton Wheatley

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A Stable Form of Alternate Government

Should another entity choose what is better for another man? Our Current political system seems to think so. Imagine a way of living in which one controls the economy with supply and demand being the base for essentially every aspect in one’s life. This is what a contractual society is, a society based purely on voluntary action, entirely unhampered by violence or threats of violence. Using this idea of a Contractual society, certain aspects of the current political system will be retained, but allow increased individual sovereignty and promote a market free of regulation.

Anarcho-capitalists agree that the most profitable society would be one based on the voluntary trade of private property and services as well as respecting the necessity of charity and communal arrangements. What must remain un-interrupted in this ideology is that whatever is acquired is done so without help or hindrance from an external source. Monopolies tend to be corrupt and inefficient, so in this new society the policy on them will remain the same, but will only stay this way if it is the agreement of the people, who as a whole vote with the payment given to a particular corporation or corporations. If the people continue to pay into this monopolistic being it will continue to survive and remain the majority, but this must mean it is in the best interest for the people because they are not influenced to provide payment. Close to anarcho-capitalism are the ideals of individual-ownership and original appropriation. These include but are not limited to being the proper owner of one’s physical body and allowed to make decisions based on what they see best for their own personal property. This ownership of “originally appropriated” implies the right to use and manipulate places and goods owned by an individual anyway that seems fit provided that the physical integrity of places and goods claimed by another individual remain unaltered by you, the external source. Once any amount of time or work is invested into a plot of land or on a specific object, it can only be exchanged by a mutual agreement. What makes this form of government stand out is it does not reject the idea of individual or joint ownership; in fact it is actually encouraged. What one needs or does not need is entirely up to the person.

Though anarcho-capitalists assert the right to hold and maintain private property, some point out that communal property can exist. Just as property becomes owned by mixing labor with it or making use of the area on a more permanent basis, a whole community can come to own something in common by doing just that, meaning that no individual may appropriate it as his own. Situations in which this could arise are for things like roads, parks, rivers, and portions of oceans. If allowing everyone to take a small role in helping maintain the area and it’s a resource mutually beneficial to the group that is what it becomes a group effort. Nevertheless, when property is owned by multiple persons, the level of accountability each individual holds tends to deteriorate unlike in personal ownership, where the maintenance is only up to the one, original owner. Privatization, decentralization, and individualization are often anarcho-capitalist goals, but in a few select cases they not only are considered difficult to uphold, but are impossible. Ocean routes for example are a certain property that would be seen as unavailable for private ownership.

Individual sovereignty is the idea of property in one’s own person, shown as the natural right of a person to have basic freedoms, and have the final say in one’s own body and life. According to G. Cohen, the concept of self-ownership is that “Each person enjoys, over himself and his powers, full and exclusive rights of control and use, and therefore owes no service or product to anyone else that he has not contracted to supply.” One may describe someone with this type of freedom as those which have supreme authority and sovereignty over their own choices. This is a tenant to classical liberalism and essential to any ideologies which encompass one making decisions for themselves and leading their own lives. This is the root of anarcho-capitalist property rights, and where they differ from other forms of anarchism such as anarcho-communism where the means of production are controlled by the community as a whole and the product produced is placed into a collectivized pool and distributed on a system determined by necessity.

This particular anarcho-capitalist society stresses the value of individual integrity and living a life based on your own terms; this includes dealing with one’s own mistakes once they are made and no one else being involved unless they are bound by a contract mutually agreed upon by both original parties. The free market further increases individual freedoms within this society because it allows for a person to decide which services are maintained and provided within his personal way of life. Basically if something like defense is considered too much of a goal one has the power to lower payment on it and in some cases, if necessary, en it entirely. This either lowers how much is available because of the lack in demand, or stops a completely unnecessary service because no one is stimulating its personal economy. Supply and demand will be the basis for what does and does not survive within this society. The old west is actually an accurate portrayal of this idea. United states in the time of 1830 to 1900 was similar to this political idea in that private agencies provided the necessary ground to provide a somewhat orderly society but mainly allowed property to be protected and disagreements able to be resolved. The common that is that the Old West was in a state of chaos with little respect for property rights is false. Since squatters had no right to new lands under federal law, third party organizations formed to take the place of the government regulation. The defense companies each created their own written contract laying out the laws that provided the means for defining and protecting property rights in the land. They enforced procedures for registration of land claims, as well as for protection of those claims against others, and for ruling on internal disputes that arose.

A pressing matter within the conversations of possible outcomes which could arise is “whether anarcho-capitalist society is justified on the morality of an action based on the action’s obedience to a rule of one’s conduct are the ultimate basis for any judgments about the rightness of the conduct, or both.” Natural-law anarcho-capitalism claims that a universal system of rights can be derived from natural law. Some do not like the idea of relying on these natural rights, but instead choose to rely on economic justifications for a free-market capitalist society. Kosanke sees such a debate as irrelevant since, “in the absence of the state, sovereign individuals will make their own decisions about morality, and will be held accountable via contractual law.” Communities of sovereign persons expel negative influences the same way that unbeneficial business practices are taken out because of the mutual want in the marketplace as a whole. For him, the only thing that needs to be debated is the nature of the contractual mechanism that abolished the state or prevents it from coming into existence where new communities form.

Crime can encompass many different things. It could be something as simple as jaywalking, or littering. These crimes while not really moral, are not really immoral either they are just unfavorable actions. On the other hand you have much more serious problems facing everyone involved in a society. Things like homicide, kidnapping, robbery, etc are much more severe. These crimes involve a victim; some third party who did not wish to be involved was forced to become a part of this. The victim is not in the wrong for they didn’t wish for these things to be done to them, thus you have a stiff punishment. Now, there is a third type of crime, crimes that don’t involve anyone other than an individual making his own decision, yet the punishment for these result in the same penalty as the more serious crimes mentioned earlier. The type of actions that result in this are called victimless crimes, crimes that involve no one else other than he who had the idea to commit this ‘crime’. Richard Frase defines what victimless crimes are, “The practical arguments against victimless crimes appear to derive from three attributes of these offenses: (1) most involve no complaining parties other than police officers; (2) many involve the exchange of prohibited goods or services that are strongly desired by the participants; and (3) all seek to prevent individual or social harms that are widely believed to be less serious and/or less likely to occur than the harms involved in crimes with victims.” For example drugs, prostitution, gambling, and even something little like not wearing a seatbelt are all victimless crimes. For drugs you have an individual who takes the steps to purchase this substance. He and the participating party make a mutual agreement for an exchange and who is to say that isn’t allowed? Prostitution, again, both of the parties involved have profited in their eyes. Who is the victim if both parties have profited? In an anarcho society victimless crimes wouldn’t exist. If no one is wronged and no one is unwillingly involved there is no problem.

A contractual society will provide these certain aspects of the current political system but allow increased individual sovereignty and promote a market free of regulation. The positive use of charity and a distrust of monopolies will remain, while individual sovereignty will be upheld and increased in daily life. This ‘individual sovereignty’ is further increased by the idea of a free market and stimulating what you believe is in you best interests. This means if it is in no one’s market and stimulating what you believe is in your best interests. This means if it is in no one’s benefit it will lose funding and thusly cease to exist upholding the idea of making decisions concerning your life. If these ideas are incorporated into current government policies it would prove better for the people and worse for the overall rule the current administration holds as a whole over us.

Works cited

Hogeye, Bill T. “Anarcho-capitalist FAQ.” Anarcho-capitalistFAQ. Bill Hogeye, 6 Dec. 2011. Web. 11 Dec. 2013. .

Taylor, Jared M. “The Property and Freedom Society.” The Property and Freedom Society RSS. WordPress Admin, Jan.-Feb. 2012. Web. 12 Dev. 2013 .

Vallentyne, Peter. “Libertarianism.” Standford University. Standford University, 05 Sept. 2002. Web. 12 Dec. 2013. .