Why mercenaries are bad
A discussion that was had.
00:11:52 < A> Assume that right now, we have anarchy 00:11:59 < A> You have a desire to protect your shit 00:12:04 < A> but you also want to do other things, right? 00:12:20 < A> You can't just be sitting around all day guarding your stuff, that's not a productive way to go about things 00:12:24 < A> So you and a few buddies get together and agree to look out for one another 00:12:38 < A> This neighborhood watch becomes larger and larger 00:13:16 < A> At the same time, members of your neighborhood watch begin to formlate a set of social norms which are pleasing to most or all members 00:13:22 < A> This is the State in its primitive form 00:13:39 < A> So your protective association and someone else's protective association begins to clash for whatever reason 00:13:59 < A> Perhaps you want their stuff, perhaps they want your stuff--- doesn't really matter. 00:14:13 < A> War breaks out, someone ends up winning, you assimilate the members of their protective association into your own 00:14:18 < A> If this pattern continues there will be a natural monopoly 00:14:25 < A> Violence is a natural monopoly 00:14:45 < A> Whoever comes out on top at the end of the struggle is, well, The State 00:14:49 < A> Which is why mercenaries are frowned upon 00:14:58 < A> They upset the natural monopoly of violence that the State has upon its territory 00:15:08 < f> So suppressing other ("unofficial") armed groups is basically necessary to maintain peace and order? 00:15:19 < A> Hypothetically, yes 00:15:29 < f> Mm, okay, so let's say we move beyond that: 00:16:11 < f> One concern about mercs is that they could cause internal conflict. What about the shady area around PMCs doing military-ish work, still nominally fighting for the home side, in a war abroad? 00:16:29 < f> Hell, or even as a non-state-sanctioned defensive force, locally 00:17:39 < A> See, that's the issue 00:17:53 < A> The State's incentive to fight wars is very different from the PMC's incentive to fight wars 00:18:07 < A> Any sort of PMC is a military threat 00:18:17 < A> This is why we can't have PMCs owning ICBMs, et cetera 00:18:24 < f> Yep, I'm thinking much the same, but the argument I got in return was "well why not make them abide by the same laws and standards?" 00:18:39 < A> When you don't have a monopoly on violence 00:18:41 < f> This of course is never-minding the fact that you'd rather have those mans in your official armed forces 00:18:49 < A> You can't really coercively force compliance 00:18:57 < A> That's the biggest issue with PMCs 00:18:57 < f> mmn? 00:19:04 < A> If they get too powerful, they become quasi-state entities 00:19:41 < f> can you elaborate on that "can't really coercively force compliance" thing? You mean they can get too big for the state to control or keep in check, either by policy or force? 00:19:46 < A> Yes 00:19:53 < A> Plus, the PMC can take state-like features 00:20:32 < A> If we assume that the first duty of the state is the protection of its citizens' property and liberty, et cetera 00:20:39 < f> You mean apart from becoming powerful enough to simply secede if they wanted to? 00:20:44 < A> Then theoretically, a PMC can fulfill that function 00:20:57 < A> Therefore, it has the capacity to take on quasi-state like roles in limited areas of influence 00:21:32 < A> The reason why we don't have one single STATE in the world is because there is not adequate military force to maintain such a state 00:21:45 < A> No one has the capacity to care for all of mankind's property rights and protect them adequately 00:22:10 < f> not efficiently at the moment we don't, but we have enough to do it in limited zones, that doesn't seem too different to a practical implementation 00:23:02 < f> If we had a sci-fi-esque United Earth Government, I imagine we'd have a single policy, applied in many small areas