Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hired "representatives"

I touched on this a little in the previous post, but most people in Libertopia hire someone, either an individual or a company, who works as their representative. To handle day-to-day business that could affect their reputation rating.

This representative goes by many different names ("reps", "watchers", "negotiators", etc.), none of which is important.

These "reps" will make arrangements for arbitration if needed, but will usually actually negotiate you out of it.

Obviously, if you are really a jerk who can't stay out of trouble, they will either charge you a very large price for the trouble you cause, or they will refuse to represent you anymore. Representing a known troublemaker could damage their reputation, after all.


Monday, December 12, 2011


So, how exactly does this "arbitration" thing work here in Libertopia?

Suppose you have a dispute with a neighbor. You can't reach an agreement on your own- each of you thinks he is right and refuses to budge. Do you start beating the neighbor with a rake? Well, hopefully not.

The common solution is to seek arbitration.

Now, there is no "only way" this is done, but there are some fairly consistent trends, and this is what I'll describe to you now.

Either you choose a mutually-satisfactory arbitrator, or you allow your respective representatives (you do have one, right?) to get together to hire one for the case. There are many who offer arbitration services full-time, and even more people who have gained a reputation for fairness and wisdom who are sought out even though it is not their "real job". Any fees are paid up front.

If a person simply refuses to enter arbitration, or will not agree to any arbitrator that is suggested, they have already "lost". I'll discuss the "loser" later.

The arbitrator will hear both sides, and do any investigation he deems necessary (either personally or through investigators employed for that specific purpose).

Rights, and respect for liberty are the top considerations. Contracts and other agreements fall only slightly below those- and it will be considered whether those agreements violate natural rights in any way. That isn't always a deal-breaker, though.

The decision is then rendered, and the parties will have already agreed to abide by the decision as a part of signing on for the arbitration.

Now, there is no "enforcement" of a decision. So how do you make the "loser" follow through? You don't. However, failing to abide by the decision is a huge strike against an individual's reputation, and reputation is very important in Libertopia.

The "winner" who is left holding the bag is perfectly free to spread the word about the failure of the "loser" to live up to his obligation. Most people will choose to avoid entering into deals with people who are known to not be trustworthy. Or, they will charge more due to perceived risk.

And if you think it is getting hard to hide from your past in the early days of the internet, wait til you get here! Sure, it can be done, but it is complicated and inconvenient enough that it will still usually remove the uncooperative fellow from your life so that at least he won't be bothering you anymore. And even if he runs far away, his past will probably still come back to haunt him since a man without an established reputation will find it hard to do business with anyone (without, once again, paying a premium).

Is this perfect? No. Fallible human beings are involved. Is it the best system yet devised? I certainly think so, and so do a lot of others apparently, since it is all completely voluntary and very few choose to opt out.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Child Abuse resolution in Libertopia

My suggestion that readers ask about specific concerns has brought forth fruit.

Christopher asks: "How does the free society of the future deal with the very complex problem of parents who willfully do harm to their children?"

Good question. One such possible case, with tragic results, has been discussed before. But, what about "in general"?

First of all, a few explanations.

  • Society doesn't deal with anything in Libertopia (or anywhere else); individuals do.

  • And, lastly, "their children" is only an expression of relationship when other humans are being referred to; never ownership.

Yes, child abuse still happens in Libertopia. So does murder and theft. The difference is that there is no "legal" haven for the abusers anymore. Anyone can step in.

If a child is being abused there are plenty of people who will advocate or intercede for that child if he doesn't feel confident to take matters into his own hands.

However, if, in spite of being informed that he does not have an obligation to submit to any abuse, the child still wants to remain in the abusive relationship, no one has the right to save him. That doesn't mean it doesn't happen (especially when imprisonment/isolation prevents informing him of his choices), just that when it does happen, arbitration is a possibility. Remember, sometimes you just do what you feel you must, whether you have a right to do it or not, and accept the consequences of your actions.

In arbitration all the details of the situation are probably going to come out. If the parent feels confident that he can prove his innocence, then he will probably go ahead and insist on arbitration. If not, he may quietly stand down.

Also, remember that just about everyone here relies on a good reputation, and on good character underwriters* and insurers*, for just about everything. From arbitration insurance to business dealings. Refuse arbitration, or refuse to abide by its outcome, and you may be dropped like a hot coal by those you were previously involved with.

Remember that if you see someone being attacked in public in Libertopia, it would be a very strange thing indeed for no one to step in and rescue the person being attacked; to defuse the situation no matter what. Libertopians are almost universally armed and ready to come to the defense of anyone.

Hidden abuse is a little different, but someone will have a strong suspicion if it is happening, and there isn't much reason to look the other way. As long as certain steps are taken to make sure you don't go too far in your accusation, arbitration usually goes fairly easy on people who made honest mistakes when accusing someone of abuse, and restitution is normally not too high- plus concerned people often chip in to help. Plus, since there is no State to take away children on the basis of an unfounded accusation, parents who are exonerated usually don't feel too much resentment, since they would also have the best interests of the child at heart. (I've known of one case where an accused child abuser become a model parent after the accusation was dismissed- I suppose simply to avoid the appearance of problems in the future.)

I'm sure mistakes are probably made on occasion. But in just about everything, the child has the final say in where she wants to be, if he or she can speak or show a preference. As human beings, that is their right, even if you or I would disagree. It is the right of association.

I hope that answers your questions, Christopher.

(*I will have to go into all of this in more detail sometime.)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Checking in...

I know it's been a while since I sent one of these dispatches from your liberated future.

That doesn't mean Libertopia imploded; it means nothing noteworthy has happened recently.

If you want, you can always post a comment asking how such-and-such works out in Libertopia. Perhaps I just never considered that particular issue important.

Until next time, exercise your liberty so it doesn't get all flabby and gross.