Thought experiment: What would happen … in an anarcho-capitalist community with four major PDAs. These PDAs agree totally about homesteading and transfer of property (voluntary exchanges), but disagree about, as Robert Nozick put it,
A principle of rectification of injustice – how to deal with holdings that are unjustly acquired or transferred, whether and how much victims can be compensated, how to deal with long past transgressions or injustices ... and so on.
The four Private Defense Agencies and their respective rectification policies regarding stolen goods are as follows.
|PDA||Theft Rectification Policy||Use of force||Mascot|
|AnarClan||No rectification for stolen property at all. This is left to the customer. AnarClan's services cover preventative measures and defense from immediate attacks, but not rectification.||Only in defense from ongoing aggression, with response proportional to the aggression.
Shamus Immediacy Requirement
|Bonded Security Co.||Full restitution for stolen property guaranteed, i.e. insurance paid upon theft. Compensation from the criminal is incentivized.||In response to aggression, to an unlimited degree (no proportionality), with no time limit.
Contra Proportionality Condition
|Capital Protection Inc.||Full restitution not guaranteed, restitution to the customer depends on whether the perpetrator has the goods or is able to pay compensation.||In response to aggression, proportional, and only against actual aggressors, not holders of stolen goods, with no time limit.
Jeff's Transactional Condition
|Dedicated Defense Services||Full restitution for stolen property guaranteed, i.e. insurance paid upon theft. Rectification for stolen property is likely, since the PDA wants to recoup costs.||In response to aggression, proportional, with no fixed time limit.
Standard Rothbardian Non-Aggression
AnarClan has more basic services than the others. Customers would probably also want to have traditional home insurance to cover losses from theft. One might expect this service to do pretty well in a newly freed area, since it is so much like old-time statist monopoly police service, i.e. registering your loss but not doing anything about it.
Bonded Security has the harshest policy - unlimited retaliation against criminals - but this is double edged. Many customers would not want to subscribe to a service than kills people for stealing a loaf of bread. Also, many would be reluctant to join a PDA where, if they were falsely accused, they could suffer calamitous penalties.
Capital Protection respects proportionality, so is not as likely to offend the morality of potential customers. Since compensation to victims of theft is less likely than for Rothbardian services, due to the limitations on recovery of stolen goods, customers would probably want supplemental home insurance.
Dedicated Defense respects proportionality, and has the best chance of recovering property of all the alternatives except (perhaps) non-proportional services like Bonded Security. Like Bonded Security, home anti-theft insurance would generally be included in the package.
I think that, in the long run, Capital Protection and Dedicated Defense will gain more market share than the other two. AnarClan would be used mainly by Do-It-Yourselfers and gunmen and martial arts fanatics, or alternatively, clannish groups such as church congregations and race segregationist groups. Bonded Security would be offensive to most people due to lack of proportionality, and would also have extra expenses due to conflicts with the other PDAs.
A related page is NAP-Based Rectification Policies.