One of the most irritating objections to anarchy that I have to face on a daily basis is that the state prevents crime. Hopefully, it is now abundantly clear to the thickest of statists that it does no such thing.
The thing that prevents most of us from committing crimes is that we don't want to. Most of us do just want to get along and live a peaceful life. Those that don't are almost certainly already criminals, who may or may not yet have been caught.
The fear of detection is not really a factor in preventing crime. It just means more planning to the committed criminal and is not a concern of anyone committing a spur-of-the-moment crime. But even if this fear is a factor, why does that imply that we need a state?
Detecting can, and often is, done by private investigators. Bobbies on the beat (remember them?) could easily be replaced by privately contracted people.
The business of slapping people on the wrist and dishing out entirely inappropriate punishments could also be done by a call centre in India, with as much effect on criminals.
But seriously, although it's the area where most people really struggle with not having a state, the truth of the matter is that most people implicitly accept the idea of having multiple impartial arbiters for various requirements. You don't go to a Magistrate's Court to settle a football match.
You don't go to the Supreme Court to arbitrate a small claim on a shop. You don't go to to the FA to get a decree absolute. Equally, when you sign certain contracts, you agree the jurisdiction that will be applied.
So when you download stuff from Apple's iTunes Store, you're agreeing to a whole bunch of conditions under the laws of the United States, even though you may not be there and may never have been there.
And even within the UK legal system, there are specialist courts for specialist legal areas. So the idea of a market for courts is by no means unfeasible. A market for courts already exists.
The big struggle that people have is that they feel like having them privately funded will expose them to greater risk of corruption. I disagree, because in a society with no state to hide behind, judges would be completely personally liable for the consequences of any corruption or malfeasance.
So I would expect judges to be much more careful in their dealings because the consequences of any shady dealings would not only mean that they could wind up in gaol if caught, but they would also be financially responsible for any losses incurred by affected parties.
But really, in societies before government, there are always a shaman or a chief or elders or some group that people subjected themselves to.
In an anarchic society, you might have a visible disclaimer in your shop saying "Any crimes committed in this shop will be under the jurisdiction of Fred's Supa-cheep Court", or on the company website you might find the disclaimer "Any crime committed against this company will be under the jurisdiction of Chris's Corporate Court".
This would make it clear which court you would be tried at. Or, in much the same way as juries are haggled over by defence and prosecution attorneys in the States, perhaps the initial haggling would include which court was going to decide the case.
In either event, it's not beyond the wit of man to imagine such a system.
Similarly, it's not beyond the wit of man to realise that the state has done nothing to prevent this current outbreak of crime and is more responsible for its happening than anyone else.
The state does not prevent crime. The state is not needed to detect or punish crime. The state does not make us all just get along.
Fuck the state.
Post script: if you think the police are a better, safer option than private security with unlimited liability, watch this:
Tip of the clown wig to @Matt_Muir on twitter.