Written by John Hasnas, Associate Professor, Georgetown University, J.D., Ph.D, LL.M
Continued from The Obviousness of Anarchy: Courts
Regardless of whether a state is needed to supply law and courts, supporters of government are adamant that police must be supplied exclusively by government. It may be true that the market can adequately supply most goods and services, but police services are unique in that they inherently involve the use of coercion. Obviously, no civilized society can permit competition in the use of violence. Civil society is formed precisely to escape from that situation. Unless government brings the use of violence under its monopolistic control, peaceful coexistence is impossible, and life is indeed as “nasty, brutish, and short”  as Hobbes contended.
Before I respond to this by suggesting that you look around, reflect for a moment on the silliness of this argument. For if civil society cannot exist without a government monopoly over the use of coercion, then civil society does not exist. Societies do not spring into existence complete with government police forces. Once a group of people has figured out how to reduce the level of interpersonal violence sufficiently to allow them to live together, entities that are recognizable as governments often develop and take over the policing function. Even a marauding band that imposes government on others through conquest must have first reduced internal strife sufficiently to allow it to organize itself for effective military operations. Both historically and logically, it is always peaceful coexistence first, government services second. If civil society is impossible without government police, then there are no civil societies.