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Bob Murphy: The Case for Private Defense

  • Mises Weekends

Tags Legal SystemThe Police StateWar and Foreign PolicyPrivate Property

12/12/2014Jeff DeistRobert P. Murphy

Recent events surrounding Ferguson, Missouri and the choking death of Eric Garner have brought police misconduct to the forefront. Libertarians rightfully point out that police (unlike private actors) are largely immune from criminal prosecution, civil liability, or even losing their jobs. And because police forces obviously are not subject to market discipline, the incentives are all wrong: the worse crime gets, the more their budgets grow. But the mainstream media fail to understand that police are merely the visible business end of the state: it’s the state itself that’s out of control, and abusive police are but one symptom of this larger problem.

Since neither Left nor Right have a serious answer to police malfeasance, we asked the inimitable Bob Murphy to join us and make sense of how private defense agencies might work in an anarcho-capitalist society.

What do Rothbard and Hoppe have to say about this? How would an insurance model compare to the state’s growth model? And how do we overcome common objections by those who insist that government must have a monopoly over the use of force?


Contact Jeff Deist

Jeff Deist is president of the Mises Institute. He previously worked as chief of staff to Congressman Ron Paul, and as an attorney for private equity clients. Contact: email; Twitter.

Contact Robert P. Murphy

Robert P. Murphy is a Senior Fellow with the Mises Institute. He is the author of many books. His latest is Contra Krugman: Smashing the Errors of America's Most Famous KeynesianHis other works include Chaos Theory, Lessons for the Young Economist, and Choice: Cooperation, Enterprise, and Human Action (Independent Institute, 2015) which is a modern distillation of the essentials of Mises's thought for the layperson. Murphy is cohost, with Tom Woods, of the popular podcast Contra Krugman, which is a weekly refutation of Paul Krugman's New York Times column. He is also host of The Bob Murphy Show.

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