If you live in a security complex, you may be a closet anarchist

This commentary by Lew Rockwell, excerpted from the The Free Market, relates to our view put forward in the post “PPPs: An excuse to build unwanted things,” and in particular, to the comments following it.

“Moreover, the real triumph of [the Walt] Disney [Company] had nothing to do with its movies. This corporation, founded by a hard-core believer in free markets, and a cultural reactionary to boot, has demonstrated new frontiers of private-property creativity. It has erected entire communities of perfect order and freedom organized on the principles of free enterprise.

Disney World is 45 square miles, an area the size of San Francisco. The rides are the least interesting part. Disney World contains upwards of 300 retail stores, plus nature preserves, streams and lakes, nature trails, recreation areas, yacht clubs, resorts, beach clubs, golf courses, office space, and campsites. There are 12,000 rooms available for rent, and total employment is 35,000, most of them young people who behave themselves because they have to.

Infrastructure like roads and bridges are entirely private, as are police services, fire protection, sewage, and trash disposal. Despite having no taxes or mandates, and being entirely free from outside zoning, this massive park is arguably the best “governed” place on earth. There is no crime, no vandalism, and no sexual profiteering. There are no gangs, no slums, no homeless bums, no panhandlers, and no loiterers. Because it is private, every inch is cared for.

If you’re looking to restore the old days of charming architecture and safe, clean streets, look to the Disney created town of Celebration, Florida. Again, it is entirely private. Ten minutes south of the Magic Kingdom, it is a bustling place that will soon be home to 20,000 people. New houses are grabbed up instantly, as are spots in the new private school. There’s no cultural rot here. How interesting that it’s become the target of left-wing attacks for “artificiality.”

The economics literature is always fretting about “public goods” that markets supposedly can’t produce, including police protection and infrastructure. Nonsense, said Disney, and proceeded to demonstrate how orderly a micro-society can be when there’s no government to push property owners around.

Indeed, Disney World points the way towards solving most of our social and cultural troubles: put more property in private hands. It has even shown us how the immigration problem can be handled. Disney World attracts 30 million visitors per year without disruption.

As economist Fred Foldvary points out, Disney shows that the less government intervenes, the more private enterprise can satisfy human wants; supposed “public goods” are no exception.”

We are in favour of strictly defined and defended property rights, which allow private citizens to invest, produce and profit as they see fit, without harming the property of others.

We don’t believe airports, roads, highways, parks, and fuel pipelines need to be supplied and controlled by the government.  The fact that government controls infrastructure in the modern democratic nation-state, is antecedent of the growing state in the past century.

It does not need to be so, however, and the following logic should serve to explain why.

The fact that in South Africa we are seeing communities of people move into private neighbourhoods with the intention of opting out of public services and infrastructure delivery, shows they do not want public services and infrastructure.  It proves that free individuals do not want the state near their homes and personal lives.  Based on this evidence, it becomes hard to argue that these people would want the government to now supply railway lines, ports, airports, etc.  It is much more likely that these people would want listed corporations to generate funding from the free market, from people making willing and voluntary contributions/investments/donations, rather than forceful taxation from everyone, if the choice was available, of course.

The fact that people will be criminally prosecuted by the state as tax fraudsters if they do not fund unwanted public expenditures by withholding taxes, prevents the market from allocating resources.  Furthermore, and more relevant to the discussion, that people are forced to fund public spending does not prove that we need the state to provide infrastructure.  It shows that these people value staying out of state prisons more than they value opposing or avoiding public spending.  Furthermore, PPPs were not required to facilitate and channel the investment in private neighbourhood infrastructure. In fact, this happened despite these people’s continued contribution to public infrastructure projects as well.  All that was needed for this infrastructure investment was an urgent enough demand on the part of consumers, and a burning self-interest.

The iAnarchismrony is that an anarcho-capitalistic private contract society exists exactly in these gated private communities.  They have sprung up to avoid the state in the first place.  And what is more, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of these all over our country.  These societies tend to be more peaceful, have lower crime rates, provide optimum services, and provide well maintained roads to people who are willing to pay for it.

Instead of wonder how public service delivery can be improved by PPPs and the like, rather listen to what the market is saying, which is: “Government, please get out of our lives so we can all live in anarchy.”

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