How would we handle criminal negligence, negligent homicide, negligent driving a

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How would we handle criminal negligence, negligent homicide, negligent driving a

  • Wesley Bruce

    How does a libertarian society deal with both criminal negligence, negligent homicide, negligent driving and negligence in general?
    This is the point where most disputes lie within libertarianism because NAP non aggression principle assumes intentional aggression. Most of the biggest problems are not because A agresses on B but because A is either ignorant of the risks or disbelieves past warnings. Ignorant is a word people often use without thinking. It does not mean the same thing as stupid, a child or just wrong. It means, particularly in the biblical phase willingly ignorant, taking a risk that may affect others badly.
    Where these effects are direct its easy, sue the idiot, where they are distant, time or place, its much harder. How do you know who to sue?
    Should Bill have the right to drive dangerously on the road, given the starting premise that its a private road, and by his actions risk harming others and imposing a significant enforcement cost, etc, on the roads owners? At the very least raised insurance premiums, tolls and other pricing, etc.
    This is the root of all moral debates. Should Jenny have sex willy nilly spreading VD about the place and thus costing others via the hospital and medical costs and insurances.
    Its also at the heart of the vaccine debate.
    Are non vaccinating parents negligent or are vaccination parents risking a 0.1% chance of an Autistic kid?

    How does a libertarian society judge the case where there are two opposite and mutually exclusive choices. Both probably imperfect. Where you can’t sell both risk/ no risk  choices as a separate product in the market; which is the standard libertarian free market solution.

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  • Wesley Bruce

    lol. Title got chopped off. How negligent of me.
    How would we handle criminal negligence, negligent homicide, negligent driving and negligence in general in an anarchic system?
    There is the full title. Now how do I fix a typo in a title? No one ever remembers to spell check titles!

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    Youliy Ninov

    I suggest: by issuing a law (a private one) and suing the one breaking it. In general the situation must be very similar to the one today.

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      Wesley Bruce

      I suggest: by issuing a law (a private one) and suing the one breaking it. In general the situation must be very similar to the one today.

      This is the classic community bylaws and strata title system. Quite common outside the USA but for some reason strata title is not common in the US, under that name. The catch is that it rapidly becomes a battle of tiny political interests with most tenants and community members forgetting to attend the meeting until its too late. Decisions are made by default because quorum requirements are not met.
      In most places such as malls you will find tiny signs telling you that there are bylaws for the mall and the reserve the right to enforce them. You may find your local malls bylaws on a website somewhere but its not uncommon for even the malls staff and managers to be unable to find them.
      Most towns in Australia and the USA were private entities in the 18th century with bylaws. That’s the other problem with such micro law systems. As the town grows/ grew the bylaws became normal laws and generally there is a effort to make them uniform statewide to prevent confusion and reduce litigation.

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    Properal

    This is the point where most disputes lie within libertarianism because NAP non aggression principle assumes intentional aggression.

    Aggression in the context of the NAP is defined by a property trespass, not intention.

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    Marsha Familaro Enright

    Properal, is that exactly always the case? If someone inadvertently trespasses, but causes damage, they are still at fault and can be required to provide restitution but would the restitution be as severe as for someone who purposefully and knowing damaged the property? Intent is an essential element of morality and law. That’s why we have different levels for homicide: manslaughter, first degree murder, second degree murder.

    The issue of negligence is along these lines.

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      Properal

      I think you are right, intention might be used to classify the type of aggression, and deciding what is the proper remedy for an aggression.

       

      I don’t think it should define what is an aggression and what is not.

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    Dave Burns

    Accidents are still torts, when damage or harm has resulted.
    OTOH, where/how do we draw the line between reasonable/acceptable risks and threats, or I don’t know what to call it? Driving your car involves risk to others, presumably an acceptable level of risk, and even if you have a near miss, no one is entitled to restitution. Shooting a gun at someone is not acceptable, even if you intend to miss (unless its by consent). Is it still attempted murder if they actually have no intention of killing you and do no actual harm? Any difference between accidental discharge and the obnoxious behaviour I described?

    Is that the distinction we’re trying to explore?

    I’m not sure what counts as criminal negligence.

    Negligent homicide – I’m imagining someone rings my doorbell and the house collapses on him. Yeah, I owe restitution. Hope someone got it on video.

    Negligent driving – does it have to cause damage, or is there a way to deal with someone who takes a serious risk but wins the gamble? Can the car become like the bullet in my shooting example, where some sort of restitution is due even without harm?

    A strict propertarian answer  is that negligent persons could be expelled and banned from my property, but owe restitution only for actual damages. I hope someone has a better answer.

    Does this become less of a problem in a minarchist scenario? Seems to me, the basic principles should still be the same. Is there some minarchist/anarchist building inspector that should come and condemn my house? I don’t think so.

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    Dave Burns

    Where these effects are direct its easy, sue the idiot, where they are distant, time or place, its much harder. How do you know who to sue?

    I’m not thinking of examples, could you provide some? I shoot up in the air and the bullet hits you on the other side of town? But this is not easily solvable under any system, is it?

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      Wesley Bruce

      I shoot up in the air and the bullet hits you on the other side of town? But this is not easily solvable under any system, is it?

      Actually this is an easy one, some bullets are tagged chemically and a basic ballistics can trace to the area where the shots were fired. There would be probable cause to check everyone’s bullets. In a libertarian society the first point of lawsuit is the first you can trace, the bullet manufacturer.  They, to protect themselves, may initiate bullet tracking. Only states can hand out prosecution immunity to bullet manufacturers.

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      Wesley Bruce

      I shoot up in the air and the bullet hits you on the other side of town?

      This happens a lot in the middle easy and somehow the Americans always get blamed.

       

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      Wesley Bruce

      Where these effects are direct its easy, sue the idiot, where they are distant, time or place, its much harder. How do you know who to sue?

      I’m not thinking of examples, could you provide some? I shoot up in the air and the bullet hits you on the other side of town? But this is not easily solvable under any system, is it?

      Pollution is the obvious example: River pollution is the obvious case where a tort arises that cross property lines with a great difficulty of tracing the source and proving that pollutant from property A effected property B, particularly if there is no prier testing for the pollutant before A’s action or if there is more than one party that may be A. Pollution insurance was the free market solution of the late 18th century but governments killed that with exemptions.

      Air pollution is harder, noise pollution harder too because its subjective and visual pollution is very complex. One mans art work may be another mans offensive blot on the landscape.

      In the case of dangerous driving it may not be the dangerous drivers car that hits you but the car that swerves to avoid him. It’s also rather hard to get damages from a dangerous driver that gets both himself and others killed. Prevention is better than cure and all road rules are about prevention where cure is impossible after the fact. Robot cars will limit dangerous driving and shift the question onto maintenance etc. Many road rules will disappear when the robots takeover our roads. But some will still drive vintage, veteran and classic cars that are non robots.
      Also when Christian conservatives talk about prostitution and other sex we are generally talking about VD with spreads like a toxin in the population with the disease spreading to an unknowing partner that has no idea that the other partner or spouse is using prostitutes. Is not disclosing that you have had sex with someone else fraud? Perhaps it should be.

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        Dave Burns

        River pollution is the obvious case

        Isn’t this easier than the stray bullets you shrugged off? I’m not an expert on how to trace chemicals back to their source, so maybe not. I guess there’s a difference between a systematic problem, consistent over time, and an intermittent or randomized one. Aren’t systematic problems more serious? I’m thinking of things like a factory dumping sludge every day, or a laundry product that is used by a large proportion of households, versus a one-time accidental spill. What is the scenario, rogue chemical dumpers trucking sludge to various places in the dark of night? I’m not trying to be sarcastic, I really find this puzzling. We can trace bullets but not poison?

        With some pollutants, it is more a case of knowing what their actual effects are rather than where they came from, isn’t it? Harm has occurred, was it caused by this or by something else? Is this an atrocity or a statistical anomaly? It could be that one case is much more salient than the other, and so my intuition is completely wrong, but I’d say harm with a mysterious cause is a bigger problem than harm with an unambiguous cause but a mysterious source.

        This problem seems orthogonal to libertarianism, in any case – a free society has neither advantages nor disadvantages with regard to solving it. Or that’s my intuition. If I thought tyranny could solve this better than a free society, would that convince me to support tyranny? (Why does “tyranny” have two “n”s?) I don’t think so.

        Air pollution is harder

        This does seem harder, but again, the more serious the problem is, the more likely it seems to be traceable. I am trying to imagine something so subtle it can’t be traced, yet a very serious threat. I’m not saying they don’t exist, just my imagination has failed to grab one.

        This is the root of all moral debates.

        Really?

        This is the point where most disputes lie within libertarianism because NAP non aggression principle assumes intentional aggression.

        Does it have to be intentional? I don’t think so, just involuntary. Perhaps “aggression” doesn’t sound like the right word for an accident, but certainly there is need for restitution. Technically, if one party has not given consent to a transaction, I consider it a violation of the NAP. Not that the NAP is always so clear or somehow perfectly captures the ideal relationship between legal/illegal, moral/immoral, violent/nonviolent, or even voluntary/involuntary.

        How does a libertarian society judge the case where there are two opposite and mutually exclusive choices. Both probably imperfect.

        If both use only voluntary action, then I’d just go with consequentialism. Must libertarians have a single best answer for every question? Or maybe we don’t even know which is best judging by consequences. Is there some way to crowdsource it, let people who are actually affected decide which regime they wish to participate in? Polycentric law? After all, there are plenty of other circumstances where we let the market decide and hope that experimentation and innovation will enable social learning that is beyond the capabilities of lone geniuses or committees of experts. I admit, it does seem like a bit more of a challenge arranging for people to be able to choose among such options in a reasonable way.

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        Properal

        Prevention is better than cure and all road rules are about prevention where cure is impossible after the fact.

        Maybe for things that high impact and high risk, but are hard to prove, guilt can be assumed until proven innocent.  For example Maybe the owner of a factory that is likely to pollute is assumed to be required to pay a tort until they prove their innocence.  This puts the cost of inspection back on those risking the pollution.

        The rules on dangerous drivers might be determined by road owners.  But what about dangerous pilots? Can airways be owned?  How much risk is too much risk to impose on others before the we may use force against the risk taker?

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        • Dave Burns

          guilt can be assumed until proven innocent.

          Wouldn’t it be easy to game this system? Con man goes around suing every company he can find, for smallish amounts. Proving innocence costs more than paying off the con man.

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        • Properal

          @Dave Burns, Yes it might be gamed, but maybe it can be limited to large impact risks only like nuclear power plants or potentially large polluters.  It would incentivize companies to hire third party inspectors that certify they have not leaked or will not likely leak hazardous material or that they meet acceptable levels of emissions, to protect themselves from frivolous law suits.

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        • Dave Burns

          Thanks @properal, now I understand your proposal better.

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        • Wesley Bruce

          Yes it might be gamed, but maybe it can be limited to large impact risks only like nuclear power plants or potentially large polluters. It would incentivize companies to hire third party inspectors that certify they have not leaked or will not likely leak hazardous material or that they meet acceptable levels of emissions, to protect themselves from frivolous law suits.

          Properal This system already exists for most nuclear plants, there is a certifying NGO, but the the green movements sues regardless not considering the thing to be neutral. Its a common problem with free market regulation tools, they are always treated as biased by those that choose to sue and some judges. Remember in a fully libertarian system the judges are for hire.

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        • Properal

          I would be suspicious of an NGO that had no skin in the game also.  In an AnCap society I would expect inspectors to be picked by insurance companies that risk payouts when there is a accident.  You mentioned Pollution insurance.   I was trying to solve the problem that potential polluters might decide not to buy insurance. This might force them to buy insurance.

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