-13 votes

Do the poor and mentally ill have any rights in an anarcho cap society?

We know that they will ideally have contract rights and property rights (that they can't afford to enforce) somehow, but...

Specifically, do they have the rights enshrined in our Bill of Rights?

The right to due process of law.
The right to legal counsel even if they cannot afford it.
The right to be held innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The right to jury trials.
The right to be secure in their persons, papers, and effects, even when accused of a crime unless there is probable cause?
The right to confront their accusers.
The right against self incrimination.
The right to not be cruelly and unusually punished.

What method is there for absolutely securing these rights procedurally where these people cannot afford to subscribe to agencies of law/defense etc? How can we make sure these rights are absolute and not conditional on the magnanimity of profit-driven entities with a disincentive to encourage free riding?

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You don't have the rights 'enshrined' in the Bill of RIghts.

Oh Bmore, it's been a while. Rather than argue as we've done in the past, why don't I just run down the Bill of Rights and the manner in which the government violates those instead? If your assertion is that people, in the case of this post certain groups of people, have 'rights' today that they might not in a free society it might be helpful to understand that foundation of your position is flawed.

Ammendment the 1st. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances"

First off, religion. Rastafarianism calls for the spiritual use of cannabis. The US Government has decided that cannabis is illegal. This constitutes interference with the adherents of Rastafarianism's religious freedom. How about freedom of speech? Well, so long as you're in a designated free speech zone you're OK usually. That is unless some cop is having a bad day. Freedom of the press? How many rules, regulations, and laws do you suppose someone needs to comply with if they wish to start up a TV station to be 'the press'? How about a radio station? Peaceable assembly? Not in certain places without a permit, mister. A 'right' to petition the government for redress of grievances? Sure, unless you have certain views in which case you have no such right apparently. So to recap, every single 'right' 'enshrined' in the 1st Amendment is invalidated by numerous laws. Right now. Today. BECAUSE of government.

Amendment the 2nd. "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

How about I want to buy a single shot derringer in .17 cal, certainly I can do that without having my right to do so being infringed upon in any way, right? Nope. The government has numerous laws denying me the right to do business with those whom I'd see fit to do business with in this regard, don't they? So, you don't have this right that you think you have. Today. BECAUSE of government.

Ammendment the 3rd. "No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law."

I question how many Americans would be able to repel US soldiers intent on coming on in, regardless of what the 3rd says.

Ammendment the 4th. "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,[a] against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

I'm not sure how anyone can believe that they have any rights as defined in the 4th Amendment. Is it 'reasonable' to lock down a metropolitan area, require residents to cease their daily activities freely and stay home, and impose martial law to search house to house looking for the threat du jour? Do any of the blanket warrants issued by any one of a number of secret tribunals and judges that authorize the collection of hundreds of millions of phone calls & emails adhere to the requirements of the 4th Amendment? The only honest answer is no to both my questions above. There's plenty more examples of how the government violates the 4th as well.

Amendment the 5th. "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

Guantanamo. Or pick any one of a number of assassinations or any other 'extra-judicial' killings that the government has carried out. Or shall I dig up examples where people have been jailed for invoking the 5th and not providing testimony which could and always is used against themselves? There are no rights protected by the 5th Amendment.

Amendment the 6th. "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence."

Speedy and public trial, huh? Like all the prisoners in Guantanamo enjoy, right? Or I could cite a bunch of cases that the accused have waited for years in jail to have heard. Or I could cite a bunch of cases where the accused wasn't afforded a public trial. Shall I go on about how when the accuser is 'the state' there is no way for the accused to face their accuser? Of course not, because to do so would only further reveal that the 'rights' you claim to have because of government are in fact actually denied to you by government.

Amendment the 7th. "In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law."

Uh huh. Countless non-criminal trials where the value in controversy is excess of $20 and the accused are not afforded jury trials occur every day here in the US. It's called traffic court. Go ahead, tell the judge in a traffic court you want a jury trial. Be prepared to spend some time being held in contempt, depending upon the locale and the judge. So, no, you don't have this 'right' either.

Amendment the 8th. "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."

Ohh! Guantanamo again! Or does water boarding, stripping naked and parading around with dog collars & leashes (for starters) not qualify as 'cruel & unusual punishment'? Don't think that the rules should apply to 'those people'? How about the fact that a One Billion dollar bail was set by an Ohio judge for a lady accused of the dastardly crime of...running two brothels? That's more than a bit excessive. You don't have any rights protected by the 8th Amendment, and it is only the government that can (and does) violate these rights.

Amendment the 9th. "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

Really? '..shall not be construed to deny and disparage others retained by 'the people.'? Every time the US Supreme court has, and they have done this continually, decided that the government can expand & extend their self declared authority to 'attenuate' or 'limit' the rights of the people in some way they negate the protections that are outlined here in the 9th Amendment.

Amendment the 10th. "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

TSA. NSA. CIA. FDA. FCC. Executive orders. Social Security. And a long, long, long, and growing list of others. None of these were authorized by the US Constitution or Bill of Rights.

So...back to your question. Do certain groups of people have more rights than others in an an-cap society? Only if YOU treat them that way. Would you? Or would you treat everyone with the same level of respect & dignity that you would like to be treated with yourself?


Any successful Society would still require the basic function of law and order. The difference in an Anarcho Capitalist Society’s Law and order is that the police and judges would be funded locally and held to a more simple and common law. Any common law derived from American Law would undoubtedly protect every individual’s right to Life, Liberty and Property and include the Bill of Rights. (excluding some of the bad amendments) One of the key elements of a libertarian / Anarco Capitalist philosophy of Law and Order is that the only justified use of force by the “ Government “ would be to protect an individual or individuals from force by somebody else. The Government would have no authority to apply coercive force so that you pay taxes or many other the things the Government currently scares us into doing.

So in short, Yes in an Anarcho Capitalist Society it wouldn’t matter how poor or mentally deranged you were, so long as you weren’t causing harm to anybody else you are protected and free.

deacon's picture

What are your

beliefs about your post?
Where do people stand within any society,when they do not know they have rights,if they have them?

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence

My belief is that the tyrrany

My belief is that the tyrrany of the dollar majority will remove these rights in an anarchy, because they are inefficient.

Ventura 2012

deacon's picture


In your eyes and beliefs,nothing would change,it would run the same way
as it does under the fed and state gov's,except for maybe,the majority controlling all through voting?,And the minority(gov's) controlling all?
Seems to me,the ones who hate having a big or small gov would have a bit more compassion for the lesser in society,and would actively protect them
I don't believe any anarchist great or small,would turn into a-holes,just by the removal of or the downsizing of the gov

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence

Sure they would. Why? Because

Sure they would. Why? Because to an anarchist, state-subsidized juries, judges, and public defenders are "socialism."

We need only observe the market working now to undermine the right to due process on the civil side. Arbitration is taking the place of government courts in many cases because is more cost effective than government courts bound by due process. Of course, in this system a person agrees to basically pay less money up front in exchange for waiving their right to relief in courts. The problem is when you apply this incentive structure to criminal law, we can see that the market values due process very little. One need only ask their neighbors about it or see the reaction towards criminal defense lawyers in society. But we have those lawyers because 200 years ago smart people made it difficult to get rid of them and the masses still havent managed to achieve it fully.

Ventura 2012

Now, like the rest of us they have the right to remain silent


Free includes debt-free!



The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good things is my religion. Thomas Paine, Godfather of the American Revolution

Cyril's picture

I would kindly ask someone defines poor and mentally ill

I would kindly ask someone defines poor and mentally ill - unambiguously and not arbitrarily - to begin with. Also, where is to be found the legitimacy of going along the lines of all encompassing group-focused reasoning, beyond a much simpler-to-grasp (I believe) understanding of : the same natural, and individual rights for each and everyone?

I am "poor", when relatively compared to Mr. Bill Gates. I am among "the wealthy", when compared to a number of others. Also, as I am no Mensa, I suppose one could always amuse themselves by comparing my I.Q. to their average (i.e., the Mensa's) and decide that by such measure, the case could be made that I am retarded, somehow.

Where, why, and how - exactly - should this change anything, either by new entitlements, or conversely, thru denials - to the same rule of law we prior have to agree to live under, treated equally (by law, and only by law, that is)?

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Lets start with poor: unable

Lets start with poor: unable to afford to hire legal representation or to pay for the court agency subscription.

I agree that you should still be afforded due process of law even if you cant afford to pay the court fees.

Ventura 2012

Cyril's picture

I have nothing against such exceptional provisions

I have nothing against such exceptional provisions, as long as it's for the impartial rendering of justice, on either side of the defendants or plaintiffs' interests in preserving their rights.

I have everything against treating anyone or any group in special ways, based on what they think, believe, come from, or own - or do not, allegedly or not - and it has nothing to do with rendering justice, either.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius



Ventura 2012

Absolutely secure?

They would have the same method as you and I, the ones they choose to exercise and defend are the ones they will have.

How to provide rights and services

How would Right X be provided in a free society?

In a peaceful way, without the initiation of violence against the innocent.

How would Right X be provided in a non-free/minarchist society?

In a non-peaceful way, with the initiation of violence against the innocent.

You didn't answer the question really...

The question is: How would Right X be provided to 'everyone' in a free society? (to everyone, because rights are inalienable, whether you can and will pay for it in the free market, or whether you are unable to or are just a freeloader refusing to buy the rights protection service)

So what you ignored to answer is that in a free society the unalienable rights of those unable to pay and of those unwilling to pay will not be protected. Period! They are at the mercy of charity of others. While that may work well for food, shelter, and other goods and services, it doesn't cut it for life, liberty, and property. Methinks!

Ron Paul Revolution is spreading around the world: Freedom and Prosperity TV: libertarian network of alternative media in Western Balkans

"They are at the mercy of charity of others..."

We are all at the mercy and charity of our families, friends, and concerned strangers, as well as of God. I find that scenario much more comforting than being at the mercy of a psychopathic government, which has never in its history guaranteed to everyone "due process of law, etc.", except via meaningless words.

well not necessarily. one can

well not necessarily. one can gain protection of rights through many different channels. do they own/rent a home? well then their insurance or owners insurance may require that their be some clause that a protection service be applied to the lease/mortgage.roads are privatized as well in an antarctic society and the proprietor of the roads might include "police" to protect his streets from violence and the cost is passed on through toll tags or whatever. but also consider the violators may have dro protection and would be subject to fines if he violates the terms he agreed upon when he signed his dro contract. the dro would be on the hook when the victim sues or seeks restitution, so they have a vested interest in providing "public" security through a coalition of other dro's in order to keep their customers from violating others' rights which in turn subjects them to profit loss by paying out claims to victims. the beauty of the free market is that there isnt singular answers but a wide open plain for innovation.

St.Amant, LA...Libertarian Party of Ascension Parish


What you seem to be ignoring are the following:

1. There is no such thing as limited government or minarchy. (What would limit the power, once the idea of "rulers" is admitted? Answer: Absolutely nothing, unless you just believe the rulers will happen to be good people---a very eutopian idea.)

2. Unalienable rights are not protected to any greater extent by government. Government is not there to protect any rights, but only to violate them. Just look around you. Therefore, if rights of any sort are protected, they will be protected by individuals who do so without governmental authority, i.e., under free (anarchic) principle.

what limits power

in any situation? opposing power. not any admitting the idea of rulers, whatever that means. you can deny the idea of rulers while getting the crap kicked out of you by a bigger gang, it's not gonna help you.

That's correct.

And the idea of "rulers" eliminates any opposing power by creating the illusion that violence against others is legitimate if it's done by members of one particular gang. So the vast majority gets the crap kicked out of them, and eventually they have a chance to exit their torment...like the Jews had under the Nazi authorities. Only the ruling caste benefits. THAT is not going to help me for sure. No thanks.

So lots of different gangs

emerge who don't respect anyone's opinions, and the people who "don't believe in rulers" have to form a gang to defeat these little gangs. Since they have to form a bigger gang in order to beat the little gangs, it needs rules, structure, hierarchy, constitution, as well as the ability to engage in tactics necessary to defeat lawless gangs.

Thus, government.


Those things are not necessary. Yes, those things (hierarchy, i.e., rulers, and a constitution, i.e., a claim of legitimacy for the immoral idea of government ---all the others are no problem for anarchists) are usually embraced. Which indicates that you do not have an anarchist society. What you have is the cylcic breakdown of society based on the error of government, replaced by the same idiocy. That is the point. It doesn't have to be that way, if enough people finally understand the problem.

It's just like not knowing that washing your hands kills the germs that cause disease. As long as nobody understands the basic problem, you get the same result. When enough people understand that organization, rules, structure, tactics and all the rest do not require giving over to the psychopaths in society the prerogative to make slaves of and abuse everyone else with impunity, then you'll see an anarchist society and truly the defeat of lawless gangs. Until then, you just get one lawless gang replaced by the next one. That is what we have seen so far, if you set the rhetoric aside.

All productive and protective and good elements in society come from the principle of anarchy (voluntarism). But people will still have this problem with the disease of government, until they learn to wash their hands of it.

In the mean time, every time the cycle repeats and the idea of government results in utter chaos and a breakdown of society, the imbeciles will scream "it's anarchy." But it's not. It's the natural course of the world in the absence of an adequate number of anarchists. And you can't have anarchy without anarchists.

Do you agree that little gangs

need to be defeated, ceteris paribus (all things being equal), by larger gangs?


I don't agree. In the context you describe of hostile gangs, the larger gang needs to be defeated/destroyed. At least it needs to be destroyed first (all things being equal).

Meant to say will be


Meant to say will be


Meant to say will be




Resistance can be

done by a larger group with little organization. The commitment to the diligence necessary to do so is the hardest logistic to come by, but it doesn't require a Constitution.

Defend Liberty!

I wasn't talking about

just defensive resistance. I mean if you have a predatory gang that should be destroyed, the bigger gang will win all things being equal.