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Can the Free Market Provide National Defense?

Tom Woods hosts a debate (Ep. 1062 of the Tom Woods Show) between economist Bob Murphy (Ph.D., NYU – arguing for) and podcaster Todd Lewis (arguing against) who square off in the central debate of anarcho-capitalism: is government truly necessary for national defense, or could the free market (through Private Defense Agencies or “PDAs) provide this service?

Great points are made on both sides, however, we believe what is being argued here is only half the picture.

Much like personal defense, when one abdicates personal responsibility/security to a third party causes you to abdicate control, placing yourself behind in the decision-making process, limiting potential solutions to problems, increasing cost, and introducing moral hazards.

While PDAs are a necessary part of dealing with decentralized/asymmetric warfare (4th Generation Warfare), they are only a part of the answer.

What’s the other half of the picture and a better answer?

Distributed security.

Where individuals and communities can come together and provide security solutions as needed, and disband when it’s not.

Think of the Swiss system on steroids with a greater free market twist (like PDAs) and you will see the underpinnings of the solution.

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