Chapter Overview: 1

Free Enterprise Government

Let’s imagine that the state has gone out of business. Without the state you might ask how there could be fire protection, police protection, national defense, health care for all, mail service, streets, roads and highways, mass urban transit, schools and education, money, courts to resolve private disputes, etc. All of those services and functions are either being provided already by free, private enterprise, or could be provided by means of social arrangements already in existence.

Fire Protection

Ben Franklin Fire Co

In 1736, Benjamin Franklin organized the Union Fire Company in Philadelphia. To pay for the fire protection, he also created the first fire insurance company in 1751.

Rural Metro Yellow Truck Cropped

Rural/Metro Fire Truck

More recently, we highlight Rural/Metro Corporation of Scottsdale, Arizona which has been providing fire protection services since 1948. Fire insurance rates for Rural/Metro’s Scottsdale customers were one-fourth the national average for cities of similar size. To find out why, continue onto the full chapter at the end of this overview.

Police Protection

Police crime scenePolice are supposed to protect citizens from crime. However, nowhere in America is there any assurance that the police can apprehend and convict criminals, much less prevent crime. Over half of violent crimes and over 80% of property crimes are not solved by the police. The photograph to the left shows the scene of a murder in Chicago’s south side.

In the most crime-ridden neighborhoods of America, people describe how fear, and the conviction that serious crimes are not solved, makes them reluctant to confront homicide, unwilling to cooperate with authorities or act as witnesses, and disinclined to place their faith in the police.



Police Protection Homicide GraphThe state’s “war on drugs” has created a profitable and lucrative activity for drug gangs in both America and Mexico, just as prohibition of alcoholic beverages created a profitable business for organized crime in America in the 1920s and early 1930s. The graph to the right illustrates the homicide rate in the United States from 1900 to 1998. Note that each of the most violent episodes in the 20th century coincide with the prohibition on alcohol and the escalation of the modern-day war on drugs.


The job of police is law enforcement. It is not their job to protect people and property, although that may occur incidentally during law enforcement.

Private security has become a large and growing industry in the U.S. because private security does what public police generally have not done, namely making regular checks on buildings and property for residents or businesses, and watching to prevent crime.

According to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle of August 8, 2010, three out of four people working to protect persons and property in the U.S. are in private employment, including over two million security officers and security guards, compared to the nearly 700,000 sworn law enforcement officers in the U.S.

Postal Service

Postal Service Lysander Spooner

Lysander Spooner (1808-1887)

Postal Service American-Letter-Mail-StampIn the 1840s, Lysander Spooner established a private, profit-seeking company, The American Letter Mail Company, to deliver mail. His rates were lower and his delivery service better than the post office. It wasn’t long before the US government took note of the successful operation. The United States Postal Service soon got Congress to pass laws that effectively put Spooner’s company out of business, protecting its monopoly.

Above is a stamp from Lysander’s American Letter Mail Company from the year 1844.

In 1979 the Postal Service authorized the delivery of extremely urgent letters outside the USPS; this has given rise to letter delivery service by companies such as Federal Express (FedEx) and United Parcel Service (UPS). These letters must cost at least the greater of $3 or twice what First Class (or Priority) mail service would cost.

Postal Service Fedex Truck

The rise of technology – from faxes to email to e-commerce – and the success of UPS, FedEx and other competitors provide alternatives to the USPS.

The USPS is a huge operation; its annual revenues of more than $65 billion would rank it number 11 among the Fortune 500 companies if it were a private company. It is the USPS’s monopoly status that gives it a significant advantage over its private market competition.

Postal Service USPS HQ


Political states have tried for over 2,000 years to assert a monopoly on the issuance of money because control of money gives a state power over the wealth of citizens that is as great as the power of taxation. Through seigniorage and inflation states have confiscated the wealth of citizens stealthily.

Money state printing money

The graph below shows that if a shopper were magically transported from the year 1900 to 2010, the $100 bill that he or she had in his wallet in 1900 would now be worth only $3.48!

Money Purchasing Power of U_S_ Dollar

The political state need not be the sole issuer of money, and at times in history has not even been the principal issuer of money in a number of countries, especially in the case of a weak political state. In China from the 7th century and in Europe from the 14th century, private banks issued paper money in the form of bank notes as a receipt for precious metals or valuable goods and commodities on deposit with the bank.

Money private bank notes

Private bank notes issued by banks in the states of Connecticut and Maryland in the 19th century.


Money stock exchangePeople, especially residents of very large countries such as the United States, are so used to their own country’s state issued paper money that most think that such money is “the” money and there is no other. That is not true. Residents of a number of small countries are used to the idea that they can store their wealth in foreign currencies and precious metals. Today, through the mechanism of the stock market Americans and residents of other countries can store wealth in a variety of monies and money substitutes including any of the leading currencies of the world and in valuable commodities such as precious metals and petroleum.

Proprietary Local Government

Epcot Walt Disney

Walt Disney (1901-1966)

Walt Disney was struck by the contrast between the clean and attractive environment within the Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California and the disorderliness, congestion, pollution, crime and grime of even so modern and prosperous an urban area as greater Los Angeles.

Mr. Disney bought land in Northern Florida and began a project he called, “The Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (EPCOT).”

Epcot construction

Construction of Epcot Center



Epcot Center today

He envisioned a perfect city with dependable public transportation and an environment enriched in education and expanding technology. “EPCOT . . . will take its cue from the new ideas and new technologies that are now emerging from the creative centers of American industry,” he said. “It will be a community of tomorrow that will never be completed, but will always be introducing and testing and demonstrating new materials and systems. And EPCOT will always be a showcase to the world for the ingenuity and imagination of American free enterprise.” Walt Disney World comprises 10,524 square miles, 319 times the size of Manhattan and about 223 times the size of the city of San Francisco.


Epcot monorail

Monorail at Epcot Center

Within EPCOT Center the Walt Disney Company provides all services typically provided elsewhere by political “government,” such as streets and highways, mass transit via monorail, waste disposal, security and public safety.



We are now approaching the time for true self-government by people, through organizations of their own design and choosing, organizations that arise out of consent of all concerned rather than by imposition of authority from above, governmental organizations that can be replaced without violence or struggle, just as one would choose freely to patronize or to cease patronizing any other form of service.

The work of Andrew J. Galambos, which inspires this essay, points the way to using the intellectual model and principles of science to create a new science which can enable human society to abandon coercion as the model for human interaction, and to embrace a model of cooperation and voluntary self government.

To see how private enterprise can replace the political state in the areas of proprietary justice, national defense, healthcare, education and more, simply proceed to the full text version of this chapter.

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7 Responses to Free Enterprise Government

  1. The pictures are appropriate for reinforcing the mental images of the presented subjects in chapter one, “Replacements for the Political State.” The presented concepts are refreshing and encouraging to those responsible people who are desirous of preserving and enjoying personal freedom and security.

  2. Bob Smiley says:

    I love this, Fred. Good addition.

    Well chosen pictures too.


  3. Sandy Cook says:

    Fred, The pictures are a great idea. Thanks

  4. Jean Wall says:

    Love the photos you’ve injected into the text. Related images are always good in the context of what can often be “difficult” reading.

  5. Edward Suffecool says:

    A very well written article and many possibilities of success if it could be initiated, We have a complete volunteer fire department in my home area that performs very well, although it is funded by property taxes at this time. There is no pay for the people who man the equipment. One small example of how many many other services could be performed. This article is a very interesting take on dissolving the state.

    • fgmarks says:

      Piracy was a concern of Laura Dekker. She planned her route to avoid known pirate danger areas. The post was written at a time when the information about Laura was the motion picture Maidentrip released in 2013 and available in commercial video in mid-2014.
      Laura kept a diary, in the form of a blog, as she sailed. She published her diary in Dutch in 2013 and in English in 2014, in paperback, under the title One Girl One Dream. At present the English language version of the book is available only in New Zealand and Australia. Late in 2014, after publication of the blog post about Laura Dekker on CTLR, The author of this post obtained an English language copy OF One Girl One Dream from Abbey’s Bookshop in Sydney, Australia.

      In the book Laura describes her plans to avoid pirates during circumnavigation of earth. One possible route was to return via the Red Sea and Suez Canal to her starting point at Gibraltar or further on to St. Martin in the Netherlands Antilles. For two reasons Laura did not take that route. First, she did not want to go back to the Netherlands. See below for explanation. Second, to sail the Red Sea/Suez route ran the risk of sailing through a pirate infested area off the horn of Africa.

      Laura did not want to return to the Netherlands. She no longer considered it her home because of the way she was hounded by Dutch authorities who opposed her trip. She explained:

      “In the Netherlands it is compulsory for children to attend school until they are 16. If kids want to take a day off, they have to ask permission weeks in advance and then it is usually turned down. If they take the day off anyway, their parents get a heavy fine and, if they refuse to pay, then one of them may face prosecution. As I was planning to stop going to school, we had to see an official from the Department of Education. She didn’t understand what we were talking about and had never heard of the Wereldsclhool.

      The Wereldschool is a company providing teaching programs for Dutch-speaking children between 3 and 16 years old who are going abroad with their parents for an extended period of time. Pupils enroll in teaching programs specifically for their school level (primary school or three secondary school levels) or a specific course such as IB Dutch and language courses. Approximately 1,400 pupils per year enroll, spread over more than 128 countries.

      The school provides full distance learning to children going/living abroad or coming back to the Netherlands and corresponds to the Dutch curriculum so that re-integration in Dutch schools after returning to the country is possible. [ref] See Wereldschool (World School in English) at

      Because while still only thirteen years of age Laura had announced her plan to sail solo around the world, this became a sensation in the Dutch media.

      Laura continues in her book, “When Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkende announced publicly on TV that I couldn’t skip school to sail because it was compulsory for everyone in the Netherlands to attend school, Child Protection began to meddle in our affairs. Dad and I were called to appear in court, and we needed to engage a lawyer. . . The Child Protection official asked the judges to have me put into a closed institution immediately and to terminate my dad’s parental rights. Fortunately . . . in the end, the judges dad I was allowed to stay with Dad, but ordered me to remain under the supervision of the authorities.” One Girl One Dream, pages 16-17. Dutch authorities confiscated the boat she had purchased for her voyage.

      Laura slipped away from observation, took a train to Paris, and from Paris flew to St. Martin. There she contacted a yacht broker to assist her in buying another suitable boat. He recognized her because the Dutch authorities had put out a global notice for her arrest. Using an assumed name she presented herself as 17-year old Jessie Muller. Muller was her mother’s maiden name.

      The yacht broker recognized her, and showed Laura the notice about her from Dutch authorities on his computer. He and his family took her to lunch, and then called the local police, because he believed he must. Two policemen came to pick her. The next day she was put onto a flight to the Netherlands under police escort.

      She had lost a whole year and had to plan to start her voyage in the summer of her 14th year, shortly before her 15th birthday on September 20, 2010. During the spring and summer of 2010 she and her father found and reconditioned another boat, the 38-foot ketch in which she made her eventual voyage.

      Together they left the Netherlands on August 4, 2010, bound for Gibraltar. At August 4, 2010 was 47 days before Laura’s 15th birthday. They sailed about 1,000 nautical miles from the Netherlands to Gibraltar in fifteen days. Laura’s father then returned to the Netherlands and Laura started her solo voyage from Gibraltar o August 21, 2010, thirty days before her 15th birthday. To avoid the hurricane season in the Atlantic, Laura sailed south along the coast of Africa, stopping at the Canary Islands and the Cape Verde Islands. On December 2, 2010 Laura sailed west toward the Caribbean, safely after the end of the Atlantic hurricane season.

      She sailed solo across the Atlantic ocean 2223 nautical miles to Saint Martin. In her mind Saint Martin was the real starting point of her circumnavigation. She made a leisurely tour of the Caribbean, stopping for extended stays at several islands before entering the Panama Canal.

      Her departure date from Saint Martin was December 20, 2010, exactly three months after her 15th birthday. She completed her circumnavigation at St. Martin on December 21, 2011, a year and a day after leaving St. Martin. Then she sailed west again, through the Panama Canal en route to her chosen new homeland, New Zealand.

      In her voyage Laura sailed through hemispheres and all three major oceans, the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Indian.

      At times in the absence of wind she used a small diesel-powered auxiliary motor, but most of the voyage was under wind power alone.

      As for pirates, the only time she thinks she may have seen any were two separate instances of fishing boats traveling without lights and following her shortly after leaving the Straits of Torres, a passage between the north of Australia and New Guinea. The Straits of Torres is more dangerous for heavy cargo ship traffic, ocean and weather conditions than for pirates. Laura mentions that the Australian Coast Guard is quite thorough and vigorous in its patrolling of ocean approaches to Australia. She says the appearance of an Australian Coast Guard helicopter at one point resulted in a suspicious fishing boat turning tail and sailing away from Laura’s boat.

      In both the motion picture and her book Laura mentions specifically that she is aware of areas where there is pirate activity and planned to sail far away from those areas, the only exception being her decision to go through the Straits of Torres rather than take a much longer route to Australia.

      The decision to go as direct to Australia as possible was prompted by deterioration in her boat’s sails and various mechanical difficulties that needed attention as soon as practicable.

  6. William Paonessa says:

    I like your use of graphics to highlight your dialogue. I am an advocate for disbanding the ridiculous size and inadequacy of the federal government. We pay 500 Million dollars a day in all government salaries. We could transfer the primary responsibilities to states where the business of schools, health care, welfare and many social services can be manage responsibly and tailored to the needs of each state. Big government has become total corrupted.
    Regards, Bill

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