Help, Help, I’m Being Repressed

One of the most common questions when the subject of DRO’s comes up is what prevents a DRO from becoming another government. The simple answer is that other, competing, DRO’s would. Further, no DRO who couldn’t provide their customers with adequate guarantee that they aren’t secretly amassing weapons and preparing to become a government would never have enough customers to even begin business. Thirdly the high cost of violence, both in terms of finding people who are willing and able to use it, and in the cost of paying enough of them to begin the process of taxation is a huge barrier to overcome. Even if all this fails the DRO system itself would turn on such corrupt DRO’s and drive them out of the government business. All in all converting a DRO into a government would be a difficult and expensive proposition, not likely to succeed in the best of conditions.

The first, and probably largest of the barriers to a DRO becoming a government is the huge volume of competition in the DRO market. In order to become a government a DRO would first have to have near monopoly over a given area. To achieve this they would have to drive out all competition fairly. To do that they would have to work VERY hard to offer the very best service and support to a degree that everybody wants to use them over any other possibility. Never in the history of the working of a free market has any one organization achieved that kind of market dominance without the support of a government in place. I find it impossible to believe that if government was removed, and with it the barriers to compete, that suddenly a company could achieve this kind of result when no company could achieve it when the government raised artificial barriers.

The next step to dispelling the myth that a DRO could grow into a coercive government is to remember that a DRO is fundamentally a business. Businesses have customers who have to be satisfied. If the customers fear that a DRO could grow into a coercive government they would not do business with that DRO. Thus any DRO that wishes to do business must, in order to gain customers, assure those customers that the DRO itself won’t grow into a government. This could be done by means of regular inspections of all DRO properties by a 3rd party, looking for black helicopters, secret armies and what have you. A thorough examination of a DRO’s accounting records could be made available upon request of any potential or actual customer, or simply posted to the companies website for the public to review. Customer protection companies could be started by those with concerns who would examine DRO’s for governmental tendencies and provide the reports for sale. I’m sure more options would be provided by the DRO’s in an effort to gain customers. Any DRO which was shown to be forming a government would quickly loose all its customer base and soon be bankrupt.

Violence is expensive. Most people, in their day to day lives don’t encounter it at all. Fewer still are trained to deliver it effectively. The natural course of the market when facing a scarce resource is to raise the price. If a DRO wanted to create a violent force to extract money from people as taxes they would have to hire the violent people to do it with. This is a hugely expensive proposition as a large number of people would be needed to enforce taxation. furthermore as the DRO hires more and more violent individuals the supply of violent individuals goes down, driving the price up, thus making the whole problem worse. This is not to mention the liability issues of having a large group of violent individuals in your employ before you are ready to spring your government on the population at large.

The last big hurdle to a DRO becoming a general government is the DRO system itself. If DRO A aggresses against it’s own customers only it is going to loose a lot of customers fast. If they aggress against the customers of DRO B then DRO B is going to file charges against DRO A and use the full economic power of the DRO system to isolate the DRO and its employees from the rest of society.The DRO would be likely to find itself without power, water, Internet and other outside services. It’s employees would be unable to buy food because the grocery doesn’t want to deal with such violent people. The owners of roads would hire guards to remove the DRO’s employees from their roads. The DRO would be hounded into the wilderness unless it underwent arbitration and made restitution for the damage it caused. In the end the DRO would be unable to conduct regular business, much less expand into the realm of governance.

I hope I have dispelled the idea that a DRO could become a government itself. Competing DRO’s would be a huge obstacle to overcome. Customers would desert in droves any DRO which was showing governmental tendencies. The high cost of violence makes such a course financially difficult. Finally the DRO system itself would destroy and DRO that tried. As a last note, if people whom fear anarchy are worried that one group could grow to control all political power, perhaps they should look at getting rid of the group that has it already before worrying about theoretical groups in the future.

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Published in: on September 4, 2009 at 10:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

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