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Author Topic: How to run an Anarchy  (Read 15837 times)
TKE406
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June 23, 2011, 01:49:02 AM
 #21

The situation OP is describing is unsustainable. It would simply initiate the war of all-against-all. I am no Hobbesian, but the scenario OP drew for us completely ignores science - i.e. the science of human beings. For every community, there is a mentality. A community is a living organism, and is hence susceptible to all fortunes and misfortunes that an individual encounters.

"To run an Anarchy" would be do lose this augmented reality we live in, and plunge a community (you're probably thinking global like a typical dreamer) into the raw reality experienced subconsciously. It is experienced subconsciously, but the progression of the entire ecosystem will be as if one organism is living out its life. This would be the closest thing to an "objective experience" - to summarize the history of an organism.

You have memories, and from them you learn. We as humans have our species-wide collective memory portrayed to us through what has been saved throughout history (many books didn't survive - of these texts we will never know, this reflects the imperfection of our species and in the individual - biased recall/memory). Just as you go from infant to adult to dead, so do entire species.

Don't you get it? There is no difference between the function YOU serve for the species, and the function a brain cell serves for YOUR BEING?
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smellyBobby
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June 23, 2011, 01:53:53 AM
 #22

I have a question!!!!

I'm beginning to like anarchy. There will be no rules, no one will be able to tell me what to do. I especially hate it when the police officer tells me I'm driving my car to fast, what does he know? But I was soughta thinking, which is pretty hard for me, and I thought; we are going to eliminate the government as we know it and instead there are going to be no rules. But who is going to stop those silly people that are going to want to create a new government within our lawless society? I know it seems stupid right. I'm sure there are people a lot more intelligent than me who will be able to answer this. Because we can't have a big big revolution only to see our new society revert back to the "old" ways of government.

I would have thought that people would realize the best time in human history was during the dark-ages. Before this we had to deal with Roman's and they did nothing for humanity, look at all those ugly buildings they built. But once they rid the world of the Romans humanity was able truly flourish. We could demolish all of the Roman culture, and return to the one true human society ANARCHY. Then of-course humanity stuffed up again as soon as they moved back into the renaissance. We had governments again, with rules and laws, argh YUK! People could paint, and build even more buildings, how stupid!

And look at the silly Egyptians, if we need to understand when this all went wrong, it was them, they started all of this nonsense. They shouldn't have had pharaohs and their own version of government. You know why? Because they built those god-damn pyramids, how stupid!!! And they also started a written language and they built infrastructure to irrigate their crops, no wonder we are all fat and now we have to pay taxes to learn a language, so stupid.

I agree, the only way to solve the problems we have now is take humanity back to the time before the Egyptians existed, we can not allow humanity to take this path again. We must stop anyone within our new anarchist society for perpetuating the same mistakes. We must have a way of stopping any governments from forming in our anarchist society.

Oh, and I have another observation. You said:

Quote from: myrkul
Now, here I will differ from some anarchists, in that I do not support the use of retaliatory force, either.

I definitely agree with this, those other anarchists are so silly. Sometimes my girlfriend will spike my drink, tie my up and have intercourse with me, despite shouting I don't want to when I regain consciousness. But your saying that I should not do the same to her in retaliation? I'm not to sure about this. What about if I was the one who drugged her? I can I tell her that she is not allowed to retaliatory force on me?

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June 23, 2011, 02:10:38 AM
 #23

No one said that there are no rules.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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June 23, 2011, 02:14:30 AM
 #24

Ohh so now there are rules? What are the rules? And how do we make sure everyone obeys these rules?

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June 23, 2011, 02:16:09 AM
 #25

Now, here I will differ from some anarchists, in that I do not support the use of retaliatory force, either. I see no need to inflict harm upon others who have harmed you in the past. What is done is done, and there is no turning back the clock. All that can be done is restitution.

Do you support prison abolition?

I find the idea of putting someone in a cage, at the expense of the person whom they damaged, to be abhorrent. So, Yes, I do support the abolition of prisons.

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June 23, 2011, 02:18:20 AM
 #26

No one said that there are no rules.

Please, MoonShadow, don't feed the trolls. Especially this one.

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lemonginger
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June 23, 2011, 02:20:59 AM
 #27

Now, here I will differ from some anarchists, in that I do not support the use of retaliatory force, either. I see no need to inflict harm upon others who have harmed you in the past. What is done is done, and there is no turning back the clock. All that can be done is restitution.

Do you support prison abolition?

I find the idea of putting someone in a cage, at the expense of the person whom they damaged, to be abhorrent. So, Yes, I do support the abolition of prisons.

Ok, good so do I. I was just making sure your position was consistent Wink
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June 23, 2011, 02:27:42 AM
 #28

I find the idea of putting someone in a cage, at the expense of the person whom they damaged, to be abhorrent. So, Yes, I do support the abolition of prisons.

I completely agree, I think we do away with the justice system altogether. Instead of prison we would have guns, and anyone that violates some-else s liberty would be shot. Problem solved ! Not only that we would save so much money. Why doesn't anyone want this? Silly people.

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smellyBobby
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June 23, 2011, 04:55:06 AM
 #29

So given that government today is really bad how will the anarchist society prevent governments from forming in the future?

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vector76
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June 23, 2011, 05:11:36 AM
 #30

Theft and fraud would seem to be very profitable if the perpetrators were immune from violence and threats of violence.

Are there courts?  And if so how is the court's decision enforced?

If there are no courts, how is it decided what is 'rightful' force (non-initiating, e.g. self defense) and what is not?
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June 23, 2011, 05:30:15 AM
 #31

Theft and fraud would seem to be very profitable if the perpetrators were immune from violence and threats of violence.

Are there courts?  And if so how is the court's decision enforced?

If there are no courts, how is it decided what is 'rightful' force (non-initiating, e.g. self defense) and what is not?

Theft and fraud would probably be handled in the manner I explained earlier, by insurance agencies reimbursing the victim, and then seeking restitution from the perpetrator.

There would be no courts, since courts are State concepts. Instead, Arbitration and Mediation, two practices already in use to avoid going to court, would be used. Arbitration is the closest to a 'traditional' court.

Most 'enforcement' in AnCap society is economic. With force not a legitimate option, a person who refuses arbitration or refuses to abide by the result of the arbitration (unlikely, since he agreed to that result) would find himself outside of society. No one would trade with him, no one would work with him, and no one would offer him a job.

Worse, no arbitration firm or mediation group would contract with him, so he would be 'out in the cold' when it comes to dispute resolution... the original meaning of outlaw. Since learning this information would be part of growing up in the society, everyone would know it, so very few would refuse arbitration or fail to keep their end of the bargain.

Obviously, this is an extreme case. First time 'offenders' might still be able to find people to work with them, albeit at higher rates, with stricter contract requirements, more supervision, or payment required up front. Basically, Life, for the known - for lack of a better word - 'cheater', sucks.

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June 23, 2011, 07:17:34 AM
 #32

Non-violent crime is a less clear-cut area. It's hard to shoot a hacker to prevent him from stealing your bank balance, and once he has it, it's pretty hard to find him. In this instance, and other monetary-only loss situations, is where insurance steps in. The insurance agency recompenses you for your loss, and then it is in their best interest to track down and claim restitution from the thief. They have better access to the resources required to do so, anyway.

Another option is to hire a security firm. They will defend you or your property for you, and usually accept liability for your losses in the event they fail. Like the insurance agency, the security firm then has it in their best interest to find the thief and claim restitution.

A third option, but by no means the final, is to defend yourself. With no firearms laws, Every criminal will know that the house he is breaking into may be defended by an armed homeowner. I am sure there are options I have missed, and the Market will provide, but this should be enough to answer your questions.

What stops the powerful insurance companies from engaging in organized crime? If they have the power to seek retribution over most parties then what is stopping them from using coercion to extract other payments? If they don't have that power then no one will hire them.

I don't think this community will have very nice Justice Dragons.

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June 23, 2011, 10:50:53 AM
 #33

Just making sure I understood these points correctly. So the enforcement of justice in an anarchy is supposed to work in two different ways and rests on some assumptions:

a) "economic" enforcement (criminals don't get jobs).
resting on the assumptions:
a1) people will uniformly and consistently deny to trade with, and offer jobs to, hard criminals. Sounds reasonable to me, apart from the problem of global knowledge (if someone is a murderer in Zhengzhou and then moves to Vienna, how do I now not to trade with him?)
a2) denying trade and jobs will actually be bad enough to deter criminals. Reasonable for single persons. I am not sure about organized crime (sorry about bringing this up again, but it's the biggest issue I'm seeing here). If I'm a member of a Somalian pirate society, I don't really care if anyone trades with me or offers me jobs. I'll just steal what I need, or kidnap someone and blackmail their family to give it to me.

b) "company" enforcement (security firms, insurance companies)
assumptions:
b1) these companies possess enough power to fight criminal groups. Plausible imho, its a big market.
b2) these companies will 1) always act justly, and 2) never abuse their power. This could be problematic. Now I do get that it's a free market, and that corrupt companies could go bankrupt. I'm saying "could" deliberately. The problem is with monopoly, and with very big companies. Take, for example, Microsoft. Before Linux they basically had monopoly on the PC OS market, and let's be honest, they sucked. Blue Screens, errors, malfunctions, etc. and bad support. If there were no laws and no customer protection etc., they probably would have been even worse, and no one could have done anything about it. Similar situation with telecom companies - e.g. mobile phone network providers - in some European countries. Everyone knows that they overcharge by more than 100%, but since in some countries they are all owned by the same big company, no one can do anything about it (people can't just decide not to use mobile phones anymore. and there is no competition to speak of since the network is owned by that company, and building a new network from scratch is astronomically expensive).
b3) I (or we) can choose the ruleset I (or we) want to abide by (and get my security firm to enforce it). I'm not sure. What if there just isn't any company enforcing rules that I can 100% agree with? Or what if there is, but it is less powerful than my neighbors company, which in effect would make me abide by the laws of my neighbor instead of my own?

Freedom means I have a lot of choice. However, the amount of choice always depends on power. Whoever has the most power has the most choice and can also limit the choices of others.
The following fact would make me very uncomfortable in my current understanding of an anarchist system: my freedom would be limited in a way I cannot control, a) by the consensus of the people around me (e.g. "this guy is gay, lets not do business with him" - I'm not, just an example of how this could be unjust imho); and b) by powerful companies whose decisions I have no way to influence.

And isn't the whole point of anarchy total freedom, or at least a high degree of freedom?

P.S.: @myrkul: I do believe the percentage of psychopaths and sadists to be very far below 50% - but I also believe more than 50% of the people to be egoists in the sense that they care more about their pleasure and their wealth than they care about other people or about justice. Sadly, this is something that has been researched and proven time and time again; and it is, apart from criminals, one of the factor causing injustice in societies.
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June 23, 2011, 03:01:11 PM
 #34

Theft and fraud would seem to be very profitable if the perpetrators were immune from violence and threats of violence.

Are there courts?  And if so how is the court's decision enforced?

If there are no courts, how is it decided what is 'rightful' force (non-initiating, e.g. self defense) and what is not?

Theft and fraud would probably be handled in the manner I explained earlier, by insurance agencies reimbursing the victim, and then seeking restitution from the perpetrator.

There would be no courts, since courts are State concepts. Instead, Arbitration and Mediation, two practices already in use to avoid going to court, would be used. Arbitration is the closest to a 'traditional' court.

Most 'enforcement' in AnCap society is economic. With force not a legitimate option, a person who refuses arbitration or refuses to abide by the result of the arbitration (unlikely, since he agreed to that result) would find himself outside of society. No one would trade with him, no one would work with him, and no one would offer him a job.

Worse, no arbitration firm or mediation group would contract with him, so he would be 'out in the cold' when it comes to dispute resolution... the original meaning of outlaw. Since learning this information would be part of growing up in the society, everyone would know it, so very few would refuse arbitration or fail to keep their end of the bargain.

Obviously, this is an extreme case. First time 'offenders' might still be able to find people to work with them, albeit at higher rates, with stricter contract requirements, more supervision, or payment required up front. Basically, Life, for the known - for lack of a better word - 'cheater', sucks.

I'm unconvinced that voluntary agreement mechanisms can resolve innocent or malicious disputes.  The perpetrator can simply refuse restitution.  Mediation is beneficial to the parties because it avoids the expense of full-blown litigation.  Either party can refuse mediation and inflict the full cost of litigation on both of them, but they find it mutually beneficial to avoid that expense.  Arbitration is mandatory out-of-court settlement that is ordered by a court or by a contract, which the parties cannot refuse.  Both mechanisms operate due to the threat of law.

What I hear you saying is that essentially the only recourse against "criminals" is ostracism.  This might not be enough to motivate mediation.

In a small town type environment where everyone knows everyone else, a bad actor will find reduced trust to be a problem.  In a big city where people are constantly dealing with unknown people, people can presume that other parties are good because of the knowledge that there is recourse in law if they are not.  Without such a system people would have to do a "credit check" prior to extending any trust.  This may or may not be a bad thing.  The credit rating system might be vulnerable to abuse but let's say it could work.

That still leaves the problem of theft, which does not require interaction with another person.  All property will have to be physically difficult to steal.  The world is moving in this direction because enforcement is difficult.

Some claim that theft is violence against another person's property, and so the thief is an initiator of violence.  They are therefore not protected by the non-initiation of violence.  I have not heard you make this argument and I don't know if you agree.


There still remains the question of who decides what is violence and what is not.  If I use violence to prevent an act of violence, I would claim that I did not initiate because the threat existed.  But because the prevented act did not occur, who is to decide whether it would have?  What if an "accident" causes harm to someone and it is not obvious whether it was truly accidental or a cloaked deliberate act of violence?  How do people decide?  Is it mob rule where people vote with their pitchforks?  No law means there is no due process.
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June 23, 2011, 04:30:05 PM
 #35

You make some excellent points, and seem to have a firm grasp on the potential weaknesses in in an Anarchy.

Let me preface my response with the fact that the very nature of the society precludes my answer being the only one, the Market will almost certainly come up with better ones.

Just making sure I understood these points correctly. So the enforcement of justice in an anarchy is supposed to work in two different ways and rests on some assumptions:

a) "economic" enforcement (criminals don't get jobs).
resting on the assumptions:
a1) people will uniformly and consistently deny to trade with, and offer jobs to, hard criminals. Sounds reasonable to me, apart from the problem of global knowledge (if someone is a murderer in Zhengzhou and then moves to Vienna, how do I now not to trade with him?)
a2) denying trade and jobs will actually be bad enough to deter criminals. Reasonable for single persons. I am not sure about organized crime (sorry about bringing this up again, but it's the biggest issue I'm seeing here). If I'm a member of a Somalian pirate society, I don't really care if anyone trades with me or offers me jobs. I'll just steal what I need, or kidnap someone and blackmail their family to give it to me.

1) There are those who would look at this as a good thing, giving people a chance to start fresh. There is, however, a limited number of places to run off to, and in the internet age, information has a tendency to catch up with you.
2) 'Organized' crime would indeed be the biggest problem plaguing a global Anarchy. I don't think anyone has ever claimed that removing the State would stop bad people from acting out against others. It would however, make life rather difficult for that pirate organization. Anyone who knows who they're dealing with wouldn't trade with them, not when there are other people available to trade with, who are MUCH less likely to just kill them and take their goods, So they would likely have to support themselves via piracy, Which would make a trip to the 'grocery store' rather perilous, and they would not be able to support a large group in this manner (Combat losses, if nothing else, would keep it small), to say nothing of the danger of simply living in such a society. It would undoubtedly be hierarchical, of the worst kind, that run by the strongest or the meanest. Even at the top, people would be gunning for you.

b) "company" enforcement (security firms, insurance companies)
assumptions:
b1) these companies possess enough power to fight criminal groups. Plausible imho, its a big market.
b2) these companies will 1) always act justly, and 2) never abuse their power. This could be problematic. Now I do get that it's a free market, and that corrupt companies could go bankrupt. I'm saying "could" deliberately. The problem is with monopoly, and with very big companies. Take, for example, Microsoft. Before Linux they basically had monopoly on the PC OS market, and let's be honest, they sucked. Blue Screens, errors, malfunctions, etc. and bad support. If there were no laws and no customer protection etc., they probably would have been even worse, and no one could have done anything about it. Similar situation with telecom companies - e.g. mobile phone network providers - in some European countries. Everyone knows that they overcharge by more than 100%, but since in some countries they are all owned by the same big company, no one can do anything about it (people can't just decide not to use mobile phones anymore. and there is no competition to speak of since the network is owned by that company, and building a new network from scratch is astronomically expensive).
b3) I (or we) can choose the ruleset I (or we) want to abide by (and get my security firm to enforce it). I'm not sure. What if there just isn't any company enforcing rules that I can 100% agree with? Or what if there is, but it is less powerful than my neighbors company, which in effect would make me abide by the laws of my neighbor instead of my own?

1) Not just plausible, but required for the formation of the Anarchy. At least one private defense organization would need to be big enough to stand up to a major criminal organization in order for the initial removal of the State from an area. (for a rather rousing read which explains what I'm talking about, I recommend Alongside Night, by L. Neil Schulman, It's free at the link)
2) The controls on a company such as this are much the same as on a person, except that as a defense agency, they would essentially have instant world recognition, couldn't just up and move, and would have market competitors that could, combined, easily wipe them off the map. They can't just set up a monopoly.
3) In a free market, you're very likely to find a defense agency to suit your needs, but you're more than welcome to defend yourself, if you're so niche that a company can't be profitable providing service to you. However, no matter how strong your neighbors company is, they can't make you obey their rules, because you're not on your neighbor's property, you're on yours.
 
Freedom means I have a lot of choice. However, the amount of choice always depends on power. Whoever has the most power has the most choice and can also limit the choices of others.
The following fact would make me very uncomfortable in my current understanding of an anarchist system: my freedom would be limited in a way I cannot control, a) by the consensus of the people around me (e.g. "this guy is gay, lets not do business with him" - I'm not, just an example of how this could be unjust imho); and b) by powerful companies whose decisions I have no way to influence.

And isn't the whole point of anarchy total freedom, or at least a high degree of freedom?

Someone with a lot of power can not limit someone else's freedom without aggressive force. Also, remember that if someone is excluded, they are automatically part of a new market which someone will be willing to serve. For every homophobic store owner, there will be three who are gay-friendly. I'm not sure how the powerful companies would limit your freedom, but I can tell you that you do have an excellent way to influence their decisions: your money. They want it, so they will listen to you so that you will give it to them.

P.S.: @myrkul: I do believe the percentage of psychopaths and sadists to be very far below 50% - but I also believe more than 50% of the people to be egoists in the sense that they care more about their pleasure and their wealth than they care about other people or about justice. Sadly, this is something that has been researched and proven time and time again; and it is, apart from criminals, one of the factor causing injustice in societies.

Smarter people than I have pointed out that greed, in the context of the Free Market, is harnessed to the Public Good, because the easiest way to get money is to serve the public.

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June 23, 2011, 05:07:10 PM
 #36

There still remains the question of who decides what is violence and what is not.  If I use violence to prevent an act of violence, I would claim that I did not initiate because the threat existed.  But because the prevented act did not occur, who is to decide whether it would have?  What if an "accident" causes harm to someone and it is not obvious whether it was truly accidental or a cloaked deliberate act of violence?  How do people decide?  Is it mob rule where people vote with their pitchforks?  No law means there is no due process.

I do consider theft to be violence against one's property and if caught in the act, enforceable by violence.

In the case of prevented violence, I would hope that you have some witnesses, But if not, you will end up in arbitration most likely, and a long, complicated case will likely ensue, but it's better than being dead.

As to the accident, intent is irrelevant. Damage was caused, so damages are owed.

The answer to your entire post can be summed up thus:

Personal responsibility is hard.

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June 23, 2011, 05:56:37 PM
 #37

As to the accident, intent is irrelevant. Damage was caused, so damages are owed.
Can't the murderer just refuse to comply if he decides that ostracism is better than the penalty?  Likewise if a thief is caught after the fact, he can refuse the penalty and continue stealing.

The answer to your entire post can be summed up thus:

Personal responsibility is hard.
This is a non-answer.  These are not problems of personal responsibility.  People will have disputes regardless, and deciding which interpretation prevails is an epistemological problem that can't just be wished out of existence.  You can fantasize about a world where the existing problems are not problems.  That's what communists do.
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June 23, 2011, 06:22:17 PM
 #38

As to the accident, intent is irrelevant. Damage was caused, so damages are owed.
Can't the murderer just refuse to comply if he decides that ostracism is better than the penalty?  Likewise if a thief is caught after the fact, he can refuse the penalty and continue stealing.

Of course they could. I don't contend that Anarchy would solve the problem of people being irresponsible, just that it is a better system than charging the damaged party (by force!) to pay for the food and housing (and arguably, education on being a better criminal) of the person who damaged them. There is incentive to work with the arbitration, because life will be easier that way.

The answer to your entire post can be summed up thus:

Personal responsibility is hard.
This is a non-answer.  These are not problems of personal responsibility.  People will have disputes regardless, and deciding which interpretation prevails is an epistemological problem that can't just be wished out of existence.  You can fantasize about a world where the existing problems are not problems.  That's what communists do.

True. I'm not saying the problems will disappear. I am suggesting better, more efficient ways of handling those problems. This essentially amounts to: Monopoly is bad, including Monopoly that calls itself Government.

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LokeRundt
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June 23, 2011, 09:08:54 PM
 #39

Where supply is dictated by demand (instead of the other way around), innovation, creativity, and overall quality/performance increase.

Monopolies are protected from actual free market forces, and they can externalize the costs of their inefficiencies onto the taxpayer

Hippy Anarchy
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June 23, 2011, 09:34:17 PM
 #40

Monopolies are protected from actual free market forces, and they can externalize the costs of their inefficiencies onto the taxpayer

Externalizing costs aren't limited to monopolies. Currently regulations keep companies in some kind of line and keep them from externalizing too much of their costs. Without those regulations, and a controlling body to enforce them, how would you keep said companies from doing that?
Granted the overseeing isn't perfect today, but I have a feeling that it could be much worse. Better too obviously.

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