The Statist’s Dilemma
“If there were no government to force everybody to pay (proportionally) for services like security or firefighting, then these services would not be provided at all, or much more inefficiently.”
The state, as a de-facto monopoly of force and order, can impose certain sets of measures that individuals, acting rationally (and with their self interest in mind) would fail to produce by themselves. So the story goes – rational individuals are in an eternal Prisoner’s Dilemma, which can only be solved by the state.
Theoretically, a private security agency acting within a given area would be less efficient than a state-run institution because they can’t charge all beneficiaries of their services. Thus, these services would be more expensive than otherwise because there are less people paying.
But because someone may benefit, not by his own actions but by the actions of others, is it fair to put a gun to his head?