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Author Topic: Do We Need Government?  (Read 6406 times)
chickenado
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November 27, 2011, 08:41:53 PM
 #41

Quote from: mobodick link=topic=52302.msg632071#msg632071
Corporations are in it for the win.
At least a government is mostly in it for you.

It's the other way around.

And obviously I'm not talking about those corporations who are in bed with government (pretty much all large ones in the US).

I don't deny that a lot of individuals working for government are well-intentioned and earnestly "in it for you". But who is government as a superorganism in it for and who are private businesses as superorganisms in it for? To answer this question, you need to look at the incentives and not at the intentions.

Government (as a superorganism) gets rewarded for expanding its powers, by violent means, if necessary, and punished for surrendering its powers.  Regardless of the utility to the citizen.

Private business gets rewarded for providing value and punished for failing to provide value.  
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November 27, 2011, 11:58:15 PM
 #42

Quote from: mobodick link=topic=52302.msg632071#msg632071
Corporations are in it for the win.
At least a government is mostly in it for you.

It's the other way around.

And obviously I'm not talking about those corporations who are in bed with government (pretty much all large ones in the US).

I don't deny that a lot individuals working for government are well-intentioned and earnestly "in it for you". But who is government as a superorganism in it for and who are private businesses as superorganisms in it for? To answer this question, you need to look at the incentives and not at the intentions.

Government (as a superorganism) gets rewarded for expanding its powers, by violent means, if necessary, and punished for surrendering its powers.  Regardless of the utility to the citizen.

Private business gets rewarded for providing value and punished for failing to provide value.  

Surely that is the argument for government?  "Superorganisms" as you call them, will exist no matter what.  Those that run for election to government at least aspire to a decent society.

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November 29, 2011, 06:51:53 AM
 #43

Quote from: mobodick link=topic=52302.msg632071#msg632071
Corporations are in it for the win.
At least a government is mostly in it for you.

It's the other way around.

And obviously I'm not talking about those corporations who are in bed with government (pretty much all large ones in the US).

I don't deny that a lot of individuals working for government are well-intentioned and earnestly "in it for you". But who is government as a superorganism in it for and who are private businesses as superorganisms in it for? To answer this question, you need to look at the incentives and not at the intentions.

Government (as a superorganism) gets rewarded for expanding its powers, by violent means, if necessary, and punished for surrendering its powers.  Regardless of the utility to the citizen.

Private business gets rewarded for providing value and punished for failing to provide value.  

When an organisation gets big enough it will invariably become self-referential and selfish.
It is no more different for a government then it is for a corporation.
A difference is that governments can be steered by society. Corporations much less so and usually through governmental power.
Both need to be steered so that they do not consume society.
What you need to look at is all the things that corporations fail at.
The list is pretty big and contains stuff like safety regulations, work hour regulations, minimum wage, cheap drinking water, cheap electricity, etc.
A corporation is not democratic, that's another thing. You have 0 (zero) influence unless they need free consumer input to make their product even more yummie (but also 3x as cancerous).
We need a central regulating body that we can at least somehow steer.
Giving this power up to the corporations would start a global corporate war over your ass.
Which is, of course, what is going on right now, but the playing field is being kept small so the fallout will not impact the whole of society.
Anarchy is a teenage dream for a world with much less population density.
Our world needs an overarching power to overrule the corporations because they do not care one dime about anything but themselfs.
If you think governments are bad, wait for the dogs to be set loose and enjoy the end of society as we know it.
Or, in other words, if we cannot democratize corporations then they should not get certain powers in society as people will not be able to control them in any way. It would be a pretty stupid idea not in the interest of humans at all.
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November 29, 2011, 12:39:20 PM
 #44

The list is pretty big and contains stuff like safety regulations, work hour regulations, minimum wage, cheap drinking water, cheap electricity, etc.

Are you serious?

Safety regulations make the workplace less safe and create unemployment.    
Work hour regulations create unemployment.
Minimum wage hurts the unemployed and creates even more unemployment.
Caps on water prices create water shortages and underinvestment in vital infrastructure.
Artificially cheap electricity leads to wastefulness.


Quote
A corporation is not democratic, that's another thing. You have 0 (zero) influence unless they need free consumer input to make their product even more yummie (but also 3x as cancerous).

Actually, it's more democratic.  When I'm pissed off with Sony I can stop buying Sony products and Sony will feel it immediately. When I'm pissed off with Obama I have to wait 4 years to exert my "influence", and that is if I am lucky enough to be a US citizen.

And don't say that I am "forced" to buy certain things from Sony because the same can be said for government.
 

Quote
Anarchy is a teenage dream for a world with much less population density.

Democracy is a teenage dream.  For a fictional world in which everybody puts society above self.  It's time for the world to grow up, or else it's in for a rude awakening.

Note that I am not talking about perfect anarchy.

A practical approximation to perfect anarchy is however both attainable and desirable.
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November 29, 2011, 04:57:02 PM
 #45

The list is pretty big and contains stuff like safety regulations, work hour regulations, minimum wage, cheap drinking water, cheap electricity, etc.

Are you serious?

Safety regulations make the workplace less safe and create unemployment.    
Work hour regulations create unemployment.
Minimum wage hurts the unemployed and creates even more unemployment.
Caps on water prices create water shortages and underinvestment in vital infrastructure.
Artificially cheap electricity leads to wastefulness.


...snip...

And if you believe all that, I have more for you:
Doctors are poisoning you.
Hospitals make you sick.
White paint makes things appear black.
Seat belts kill.
Smoking is good for you.
Making stupid assertions is what the Internet is for.

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November 29, 2011, 05:32:10 PM
 #46

So as the security firm drives off and the beating resumes, the woman will have the satisfaction of knowing that human beings are good and that she can move to a shelter.  You think that hats so much preferable to the present situation where the oppressive state arrests the man, do you?

Lady sues security firm for multi-million dollar settlement, they go bankrupt and other security firms take note and change their policies.

Now if it possible that a security firm could write the contract which gives them the ability to drive away from a crime in progress however it is also possible for civil rights groups to decry said company, generate a lot of bad press, advocate boycotts, etc.  When that negative PR affects the bottom line they will write policies more in line w/ what society expects.  Those policies will ensure the company has a financial (if not ethical) responsibility to intervene when a crime is in progress.


Today some cops beat their wives and get away w/ it because their law enforcement buddies look the other way.  Your belief that someone advocating an alternative indicates they support assault is hyperbole. No system will protect 100% of the people 100% of the time.  The goal would be to protect as many of the people, most of the time.

The question is can private security provide comparable protection to what law enforcement provides today.  Obviously your mind is simply closed to even the possibility.
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November 29, 2011, 07:02:16 PM
 #47

So as the security firm drives off and the beating resumes, the woman will have the satisfaction of knowing that human beings are good and that she can move to a shelter.  You think that hats so much preferable to the present situation where the oppressive state arrests the man, do you?

Lady sues security firm for multi-million dollar settlement, they go bankrupt and other security firms take note and change their policies.
...snip...

So she has no contract with the security firm, her husband does, and she gets to sue them for breach of contract?

You really need to think that through.  Its strange enough that you want to get rid of the state.  But replacing it with a world where people can sue in private courts bankrupting security firms that are obeying the terms of their contracts...what possible benefit do you see?

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November 29, 2011, 07:34:15 PM
 #48

So as the security firm drives off and the beating resumes, the woman will have the satisfaction of knowing that human beings are good and that she can move to a shelter.  You think that hats so much preferable to the present situation where the oppressive state arrests the man, do you?

Lady sues security firm for multi-million dollar settlement, they go bankrupt and other security firms take note and change their policies.
...snip...

So she has no contract with the security firm, her husband does, and she gets to sue them for breach of contract?

You really need to think that through.  Its strange enough that you want to get rid of the state.  But replacing it with a world where people can sue in private courts bankrupting security firms that are obeying the terms of their contracts...what possible benefit do you see?

Read the rest of the post, you know that part you intentionally snipped.

Here it is
Quote
Now if it possible that a security firm could write the contract which gives them the ability to drive away from a crime in progress however it is also possible for civil rights groups to decry said company, generate a lot of bad press, advocate boycotts, etc.  When that negative PR affects the bottom line they will write policies more in line w/ what society expects.  Those policies will ensure the company has a financial (if not ethical) responsibility to intervene when a crime is in progress.


The same society which requires (via public pressure) Police to stop a crime in progress would hold security companies to the same standard.  It is implausible that a society which mandates Police stop crimes in progress (in their jurisdiction) would somehow allow security companies to not live up to the same standard.  If society felt that wasn't a requirement ... they wouldn't hold Police to that standard now.   Replacing public official w/ private contractor doesn't material change the needs of society.

Society "needs" Police to stop crimes in progress thus pushes for laws/regulations/policies that mandate Police to stop crimes in progress.
Society has the same "need" if private security replaced public Police and thus pushes for contractual requirements that mandate these private companies stop crimes in progress.

I mean think about it for a second.  Why would society suddenly feel this "need" doesn't exist just because the actor changes (public Police officers vs privately employed security officer)?  They wouldn't.


So ultimately either
a) security company contract would require them to stop any crime at the protected property and failing to do so would open them up to lawsuits.
or
b) security company which rights contracts not in line w/ the expectation of society would go out of business from the public pressure, negative PR, and customers choosing alternatives that better respresent their needs/desires.

The same people (the citizens of the society) who enforce their will via statute would enforce their will via free markets.

If you are going to respond try not creating a strawman and respond to the argument as stated ... otherwise don't respond.  Right?  It wasted your time.  It wasted my time.  We can debate the merits of the ACTUAL argument not ones made up by you.
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November 29, 2011, 08:44:19 PM
 #49

deathandtaxes, what you are doing is ignoring the thread title.  The security companies would have contracts only with those who could afford to pay them and their would be no independent courts.  Your mistake is to assume that you can have no government and still have a system of justice.

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November 29, 2011, 08:52:22 PM
 #50

deathandtaxes, what you are doing is ignoring the thread title.  The security companies would have contracts only with those who could afford to pay them and their would be no independent courts.  Your mistake is to assume that you can have no government and still have a system of justice.

Of course there would still be courts.  Complaints between security company and victims would be handled by PRIVATE courts.  Security company which chooses to be bound by no court would have no recourse if it was defrauded, robbed, or attacked.   There would still be courts and the public would still place same demands on private entities that they currently do on public entities.  Even if a security company decided to take the risk of having legal framework to resolve dispute (might makes right) the public could simply reject that company. 

It is unlikely any such company would gain sufficient marketshare with polices that out out of step with the views of the consumers who support the company.  The ownership of the entity wouldn't magically change public perception of right or wrong.  If the public believes today that it is wrong for Public Police to drive away from a crime in progress it is dubious to suddenly think if the Police were private the populace would see that any differently.

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November 29, 2011, 09:23:59 PM
 #51

deathandtaxes, what you are doing is ignoring the thread title.  The security companies would have contracts only with those who could afford to pay them and their would be no independent courts.  Your mistake is to assume that you can have no government and still have a system of justice.

Of course there would still be courts.  Complaints between security company and victims would be handled by PRIVATE courts.  Security company which chooses to be bound by no court would have no recourse if it was defrauded, robbed, or attacked.   There would still be courts and the public would still place same demands on private entities that they currently do on public entities.  Even if a security company decided to take the risk of having legal framework to resolve dispute (might makes right) the public could simply reject that company. 

It is unlikely any such company would gain sufficient marketshare with polices that out out of step with the views of the consumers who support the company.  The ownership of the entity wouldn't magically change public perception of right or wrong.  If the public believes today that it is wrong for Public Police to drive away from a crime in progress it is dubious to suddenly think if the Police were private the populace would see that any differently.



If someone owns the court and the security company, then they make their own law.  There may be other courts with other security companies but to stay in business, they will need to enforce their judgements and if there is a disagreement between courts, it will result in a zero sum game.  One will prevail.  Over time this means you will eventually end up with 1 court system and 1 security force owned privately and making its own laws for the society.

Most people would call that a dictatorship.


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November 29, 2011, 10:12:33 PM
 #52

If someone owns the court and the security company, then they make their own law.  There may be other courts with other security companies but to stay in business, they will need to enforce their judgements and if there is a disagreement between courts, it will result in a zero sum game.  One will prevail.  Over time this means you will eventually end up with 1 court system and 1 security force owned privately and making its own laws for the society.

Most people would call that a dictatorship.

Having a monopoly on force is what a dictatorship is. If you can compete for justice and liberty (courts, law enforcement, prisons, arbitration, etc.) the likelihood any one person or persons can mete out punishment unilaterally and uncontested, is lessened. It's likely those groups would never get big enough to form a dictatorship. If you endow unlimited power to the select few, use an arbitrary unaccountable and unassailable vote, or violate contract rights, and you almost always get abused.

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November 29, 2011, 10:44:55 PM
 #53

If someone owns the court and the security company, then they make their own law.  There may be other courts with other security companies but to stay in business, they will need to enforce their judgements and if there is a disagreement between courts, it will result in a zero sum game.  One will prevail.  Over time this means you will eventually end up with 1 court system and 1 security force owned privately and making its own laws for the society.

Most people would call that a dictatorship.

Having a monopoly on force is what a dictatorship is. If you can compete for justice and liberty (courts, law enforcement, prisons, arbitration, etc.) the likelihood any one person or persons can mete out punishment unilaterally and uncontested, is lessened. It's likely those groups would never get big enough to form a dictatorship. You endow unlimited power to the select few, use an arbitrary unaccountable and unassailable vote, or violate contract rights, and you almost always get abused.

In the real world, if you are competing against men with guns, you need bigger guns.  The guy who has eliminated all rivals will have the biggest guns and may be backed by a foreign state.  Any new company will be slaughtered easily.  So your proposal results in democratic government with all its faults being replaced by dictatorship.  

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

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November 30, 2011, 01:05:39 AM
 #54

If someone owns the court and the security company, then they make their own law.  There may be other courts with other security companies but to stay in business, they will need to enforce their judgements and if there is a disagreement between courts, it will result in a zero sum game.  One will prevail.  Over time this means you will eventually end up with 1 court system and 1 security force owned privately and making its own laws for the society.

Most people would call that a dictatorship.

Having a monopoly on force is what a dictatorship is. If you can compete for justice and liberty (courts, law enforcement, prisons, arbitration, etc.) the likelihood any one person or persons can mete out punishment unilaterally and uncontested, is lessened. It's likely those groups would never get big enough to form a dictatorship. You endow unlimited power to the select few, use an arbitrary unaccountable and unassailable vote, or violate contract rights, and you almost always get abused.

In the real world, if you are competing against men with guns, you need bigger guns.  The guy who has eliminated all rivals will have the biggest guns and may be backed by a foreign state.  Any new company will be slaughtered easily.  So your proposal results in democratic government with all its faults being replaced by dictatorship. 

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

That assumes a binary situation.  By your logic the US has already taken over the entire world right and crushed all the sovereign powers who individually have less firepower than the US.  Err wait the US hasn't taken over the world?

If there are 10 security entities and the most powerful has 5 units of firepower but the other 9 entities have 1 to 4 units of firepower but combined have 30 then the largest entity isn't going to be able to win by force.  Also belligerence by the largest entity will  lead to a loss of consumers and thus revenue and thus ability to retain 5 units of firepower.
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November 30, 2011, 09:01:47 AM
 #55

...snip...

In the real world, if you are competing against men with guns, you need bigger guns.  The guy who has eliminated all rivals will have the biggest guns and may be backed by a foreign state.  Any new company will be slaughtered easily.  So your proposal results in democratic government with all its faults being replaced by dictatorship. 

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

That assumes a binary situation.  By your logic the US has already taken over the entire world right and crushed all the sovereign powers who individually have less firepower than the US.  Err wait the US hasn't taken over the world?

If there are 10 security entities and the most powerful has 5 units of firepower but the other 9 entities have 1 to 4 units of firepower but combined have 30 then the largest entity isn't going to be able to win by force.  Also belligerence by the largest entity will  lead to a loss of consumers and thus revenue and thus ability to retain 5 units of firepower.

I understand where you are coming from with the idea of 10 or so court systems but you leave out the important fact that people expect the courts to do what is right and they expect that the court will enforce its decision.  Otherwise, they will not pay to use that court.

10 court systems means 10 sets of laws.  Where I live, some of them will be Islamic, some Sikh, some Jewish, most will be Common Law.  Within the Common Law ones, some will support primogeniture and some won't.

Cases will arise where the laws are different in each system.  For example, an Islamic court will discount my witness testimony because I am not a Muslim.  A Common Law court will accept it as equal to any other honest man's.  If they reach different conclusions, then only the one that can enforce its judgement will survive commercially.  So your 10 is down to 9.

Other examples of conflicts are inheritance where a daughter wants to inherit and some courts allow it but some say they follow primogeniture.  Debt cases where some courts allow interest to be collected but Jewish courts do not.  Again, each dispute will result in 1 system winning and the other losing.  The loser will cease trading as no-one will pay a court that can't enforce its judgements and its police may well be dead.

Eventually, you will end up with 1 court system owned by one group of people and they make the law for everyone.

That is dictatorship.  Surely you can see that the present system is preferable?

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November 30, 2011, 09:13:32 AM
 #56

And if you believe all that, I have more for you:

Doctors are poisoning you.
Hospitals make you sick.
White paint makes things appear black.
Seat belts kill.
Smoking is good for you.
Making stupid assertions is what the Internet is for.

Don't take my word for it.  Take just one of those stupid assertions, "Minimum wage causes unemployment",
and do a little reading on the topic.

This is actually a well studied question:

http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=allintitle%3A++unemployment+%22minimum+wage%22&btnG=Search&as_sdt=0%2C5&as_ylo=&as_vis=0

You will find that many respectable economists, among them several Nobel laureates, agree with this assertion and can back it up with evidence.  And the vast majority is at least undecided in this issue.  But I guess they are all stupid. 

How many medical scientists, on the other hand, claim that "smoking is good for you"?


Hawker, I have the impression that you get your beliefs from group loyalty rather than independent thought. This is fine, but calling opposing beliefs "stupid" really isn't helpful.   If you think I am wrong, give me compelling arguments, and if I find them compelling enough, I might even change my mind.

finally, a short quote:


It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a 'dismal science.' But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.
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November 30, 2011, 10:30:38 AM
 #57

And if you believe all that, I have more for you:

Doctors are poisoning you.
Hospitals make you sick.
White paint makes things appear black.
Seat belts kill.
Smoking is good for you.
Making stupid assertions is what the Internet is for.

Don't take my word for it.  Take just one of those stupid assertions, "Minimum wage causes unemployment",
and do a little reading on the topic.

This is actually a well studied question:

http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=allintitle%3A++unemployment+%22minimum+wage%22&btnG=Search&as_sdt=0%2C5&as_ylo=&as_vis=0

You will find that many respectable economists, among them several Nobel laureates, agree with this assertion and can back it up with evidence.  And the vast majority is at least undecided in this issue.  But I guess they are all stupid. 

How many medical scientists, on the other hand, claim that "smoking is good for you"?


Hawker, I have the impression that you get your beliefs from group loyalty rather than independent thought. This is fine, but calling opposing beliefs "stupid" really isn't helpful.   If you think I am wrong, give me compelling arguments, and if I find them compelling enough, I might even change my mind.

finally, a short quote:


It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a 'dismal science.' But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.


"Safety regulations make the workplace less safe and create unemployment." - I kind of stopped reading at that point.  The notion that mandatory fire escapes in factories and mandatory lifeboats on ships make them less safe is stupid.  Sorry but there is no other word for it.

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November 30, 2011, 01:34:00 PM
 #58

Eventually, you will end up with 1 court system owned by one group of people and they make the law for everyone.  That is dictatorship.  Surely you can see that the present system is preferable?

This is your unsupported claim.  There is no reason that competing courts couldn't reach agreements in some areas.  In other areas free market principals can work.

If you feel a "Muslim court" wouldn't properly represent your interests then you can choose to not do business w/ an entity which is represented by such a court.

Many businesses would need to accept the outcome of multiple courts in order to expand beyond local scope.  That scenario already exists in limited scope today w/ "choice of law" provisions where a debtor (in some state) can choose either the statutes of their state or the statutes of the creditors state (obviously choosing the one most beneficial).

If you want to give company X your business you can make it a condition of the contract be that disputes are handled in the court you select.  The company will have to weigh the altered legal framework against losing business.  If the company declines you can either accept "their court" or do business with a company who's legal framework is more favorable.

Personally I doubt this will ever happen but you statement of fact that "only one will survive" is unsupported.

Why is there not one world government?  The US has sufficient military power to destroy at least any non-nuclear nation that fails to accept its will.  Why hasn't the US taken over the world.  By your claim that outcome is inevitable. 
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November 30, 2011, 01:53:24 PM
 #59

Eventually, you will end up with 1 court system owned by one group of people and they make the law for everyone.  That is dictatorship.  Surely you can see that the present system is preferable?

This is your unsupported claim.  There is no reason that competing courts couldn't reach agreements in some areas.  In other areas free market principals can work.

If you feel a "Muslim court" wouldn't properly represent your interests then you can choose to not do business w/ an entity which is represented by such a court.
...snip...


I might not but the person suing me might.  Likewise I might not use a court that supported primogeniture but my sibling who would inherit the farm might.  And there is no way that the courts can compromise.  Either they enforce the law or they cease trading...who would ever pay a court or police force that "compromised" on your property rights.  You may as well give the rights away yourself.

So logically my point remains - each situation where there is a difference in the laws will result in 1 of the court systems being eliminated from the market.  Eventually you end up with 1 lawmaker who owns the courts and the police.  And as I said, that is dictatorship.

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November 30, 2011, 02:03:22 PM
 #60

So illogically my point remains - each situation where there is a difference in the laws will result in 1 of the court systems being eliminated from the market.  Eventually you end up with 1 lawmaker who owns the courts and the police.  And as I said, that is dictatorship.

FYP.  You can stop making the same unsupported claim over and over and over.

We have many countries w/ different courts RIGHT NOW!  There are conflicting legal decisions every day.  There are US companies which suffer as a result of differing legal frameworks in other countries where their suppliers, customers, factories exist.  They haven't all been taken over by a single superpower.  Period.

You keep making the claim that conflict = 1 survives except human nature has shown that is not true.  There is conflict everyday and yet distinct legal entities continue to exist.

For example:
TODAY if you do business w/ someone represented by a "foreign court" then your ability to seek damages is limited by that "foreign court".  That is a risk you know and accept prior to engaging in business.  If you don't want to take that risk then don't do business w/ "foreigners".  Pretty simple.

Now replace "foreign" with "alternative private court".  The same dynamic applies.  If you want to be "safe" and ensure rulings always are predictable w/o jurisdictional issues then only do business with entities that have accepted security/legal contracts with the same court as yours.  Somewhat more complex it is likely that courts WILL AGREE on many issues.  So for example if court X and court Y agree on property rights then doing business w/ an entity represented by court y isn't a risk if you are in court x.  How court x & court y different on the legal standing of Gay marriage is likely immaterial to the level of risk you are taking by dealing w/ a different court.

If you aren't compensated for a loss when you accepted that risk by dealing w/ an entity represented by an  "alternate private court" your court/security company isn't going to go to war for you to make things right.  Very similarly if you lose a court case in a foreign court due to differing law from US courts, the US military isn't going to mobilize to crush the "inferior court/nation" and make things right.

So you keep making this unsupported jump from
conflicting rulings -> INSTA-WAR -> only one survives.

There is no evidence for it.  Saying it over and over doesn't add any credibility to the statement.
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