First of all, Geoff, I am not arguing that anarchy or "people's courts" are good or bad. In fact my argument depends on the legitimacy of "people's courts". Read what I wrote:
As long as men pursue things in common there will be disputes and disagreements...[An offende party] at least may seek to have the dispute resolved in his favor. For this he seeks an outside party whom Person Y and Person X will both agree to obey, and they have the outside party judge the matter.
Often, to expedite justice or fairness (so that the common purpose can be better pursued), societies (be they fraternities, cults, families, businesses, etc.) will set up a process or processes to resolve these differences through the judgment of an authority. However, in order to ensure that justice and fairness will be done in the society, the authority making the judgment will need some compulsory power in case (1) one of the persons involved refuses to participate, or (2) people involved refuse to comply to the judgment. In fraternities and business, for example, an authority might have someone fired for not participating or complying.
I clearly argue the ligitimacy of private arbitration, but I also point out obvious weaknesses in private arbitration, weaknesses you have not addressed and weaknesses that make it reasonable to establish a civil authority in a society with coersive powers to brimg matters to judgment and see judgments exucuted.
Now, you wrote: Found an excellent article that shows there is no contradiction between anarchy and Scripture.
I haven't looked at it, but I am not arguing that anarchy is against the Bible.
In this section I am arguing your position that 1 Sam 8 "Says as much" as "taxation, 'eminent domain' property seizures, and conscription are immoral means and ends of...governments."
It doesn't. Samuel says such and such will happen if they establish a King. He implies that these are things the Isrealites should not want. He implies that establishing a King would create a society worse than the one they alreacy had.
However, Samuel was speaking to the people of a tribal-oriented theocracy. Tribal-oriented theocracy was the system they had. You instead are arguing for a libertarian society.
Samuel was a prophet. He does not specify whether these bad consequences of a kingship necessarily happen, or will only conditionally happen (remember Job and "Nineva will be destroyed" - prophet words are not always absolute). Furthermore, even if these things will happen, he does not specify whether they will happen by nature or they will happen as a particular punishment from God (remember, God punished the Pharoah not by nature but by unnatural plagues for his hardness of heart). Furthermore, even if these things will happen by nature, is it because of the nature of all governments, because of the nature of monarchy, or because of the nature of monarchy in that particular setting?
Samuel said that if the Isrealites change their society, creating a monarchy (which is a particular form of civil government), then such and such bad things happen. You say it is clear that such and such bad things happen in any civil government. This does not follow. You can't say that because *person Q said in a particular instance that if a particular R does S, creating a particular T (which is a particular type of U), then it will lead to in this instance to Z,* then Z is a quality of U. Z is at best a quality of this particular T.
Furthermore, on the point of taxation (which is the only one of the "bad powers" that I have tried to justify so far - and even there I have only tried to justify taxation for a particular end (i.e. providing a ligitimate and established civil authority (the possible existance of which I have only positted, not demonstrated) with a recompense for services rendered)), I have said merely said that it is reasonable to establish (if its establishment is possible) a civil authority to judge disputes - an authority with the power of coersion to bring suits to judgment when one party wants them judged and the other party does not, and the power of coersion to see judgments executed - and that a system of taxation is a reasonable means to raise money to pay the judge for his services. Let me make myself very clear:
*I have not said that the system of taxation needs to be or ought to be coersive taxation*
You seem to argue that because I posited a system of taxation, I am arguing for a system of coersive based taxation. I have not said anything of a coercive taxation system. For purposes of this argument I am considering "any system in which people have an obligation to pay a civil authority for his support" a "system of taxation". (Note that I have not even said that all people must have this obligation.) Now it is my understanding that in the time of the Isrealite Judges, the people had an obligation to pay for the support of their priests (the system of tithes). It is my understanding that these priests exerciced not only the power of the priesthood, but also civil power (such as the power to judge disputes). It is my understanding that the priests had certain punishments they could levy on those who impeded judgment in matters that someone brought to them, and they had the power to punish people if they did not execute the judgments. If this is the case, then the people were obligated to pay for the support of a person charged with exercizing civil authority. If this is the case then 1 Sam 8 does not apply to my argument hereto ennunciated (an argument in favor of taxation), because the "evil power (of taxation)" that you say Samuel associates with the new, wicked government, is not necessarily the taxation sytem that my argument has proposed. In fact, if I am correct, then the sort of taxation that I have defended thus far was a taxation system in established for the Isrealites by Divine command! (see Lev. 27:30, Deut 14:22, Num 18:21).
A couple more notes:
"I don't see why I should have to pay for services I might never use."
I will discuss this in my next post.
"As it is, who today can afford to effectively get his lawsuit heard?"
I am not defending the system as it is today.
"And in criminal cases, I think the fact that a government judge, prosecutor and public defender are all being paid by the same employer and are required to prosecute/judge (some)unjust laws made by the government has a real potential to "color their judgment" in its own right."
I have said nothing of criminal cases thus far, and again I am not necessarily defending the system as it is today.
"Andy, as a believer in the free market, I don't see how you can say that a greater accountability for actions and higher efficiency is possible in a tax-dollar funded monopoly on arbitration services, as opposed to market services."
I have not argued that the establishment of a civil authority is the best/most accountable/most efficient solution. I have argued that it was a reasonable solution because a private system of arbitration has no obvious solution for two situations: the situation in which one party refuses to resolve a dispute because he has the advantage as long as the dispute is unresolves, and the situation in which the party who recieves the bad side of the judgment refuses to execute the judgment. A civil authority (if it is possible to establish one) has an obvious solution: the criminal charge of contempt of court. (I might also point out that in the contemporary circumstances, the reason why private arbitration such a good option is not only because it is more cost efficient and such and such, but also because the parties still have the option if things go bad to take the matter before the civil authority. In otherwords, it is good presently in part because civil judgment is never a precluded option, as you would have it in your society. I would try to settle the matter first myself, but if I wasn't able to and they had actually wronged me, you can bet that civil authority is where I turn to see justice done).
"Not only that, but the premise that "everyone benefits either directly or indirectly from the justice system/police, so it is reasonable to tax people to support it" is indefensible."
I have not posited nor defended such a premise. I have not said that everyone benefits from a justice system with coercive powers. I have only said that if a legitimate one can be established, then anyone might find themselves in a circumstance in which they need to appear before the judge. I argued that a system in which the parties before him are directly responsible for his material well being, they mey be situations in which bad judges allow that to color his judgment. Thus, a system to pay the judge independent of the parties is reasonable, and (since anyone might sometime come before a judge) a system of taxation was reasonable.
"I could be providing a valuable service to the community, by cleaning up garbage from the roadsides, or shoveling driveways for free, but I couldn't force anyone to pay me for my services."
I have not posited or defended any alledged power to force people to pay for services rendered. Once again, I have not said that the taxation system need be or ought to be coersive. (The Isrealites had a non-coersive obligation to pay for their civil authority).
"Why? They didn't ASK for me to do it!"
I will respond more to this argument in my next post.