I. It is important to note how little this argument even seeks, on its own terms, to demonstrate: if it succeeds, it shows the need, at most, for a “night-watchman” or “night-guard” state.
II. It has limited implications for the size of the state. Again, assuming the argument were correct, there would obviously be some such limitations: the population governed by Leviathan would have to be sufficiently large that
- the people with whom one were most likely to have disputes would also fall within Leviathan’s jurisdiction
- relevant economies of scale could come into play
- Leviathan was sufficiently well funded to enable it to repel invasions by other states
IV. Nothing about the basic functions of Leviathan precludes free departure from any of these MNGSs (presuming agreements across borders ensure that courts’ judgments could still be enforced against people who fleeing to avoid the enforcement of such judgments).
V. There would be no Hobbesian reason for general limitations on anyone's entry into any of these MNGSs, with the exception of someone with a history of violence that suggested that the MNGS would have more trouble keeping the peace were she to enter (and, even here, entry need not be precluded for a potentially violent person willing to post an appropriate bond).
VI. There would, again, be no strong Hobbesian reason for any MNGS to compel payment for its services by any resident. It could simply decline to provide direct protection via its police and judicial services for anyone who declined to contribute appropriately to support for these services. Of course, some people would reap positive externalities in this case, but it seems unlikely that most would because most would want personal access to police and judicial services.
VII. Finally, it is not clear that there would be a strong Hobbesian reason for an MNGS to be geographically localized: an MNGS could be a social network that provided police and judicial service to its members, who might be as geographically separated as proved economically efficient. It doesn’t seem as if having a territory is necessary for an MNGS to keep the peace: what matters is that it be clear which MNGS is responsible for resolving a particular dispute, something that can clearly be determined by the right sorts of agreements.
VIII. So we can imagine what seems to be a smooth conceptual transition from (1) the kind of large-scale state Hobbes himself doubtless had in mind to (2) an MNGS featuring unfettered emigration and largely unfettered immgration to (3) such an MNGS without compulsory funding to (4) such an MNGS without territory.
IX. It seems, then, that endorsing the Hobbesian argument for the state is consistent with endorsing market anarchy. Or, put another way, a voluntary protective agency could qualify as a Hobbesian Leviathan.
X. Clearly, this isn’t a conclusion the Hobbesian is likely to want to endorse. At what point along the continuum do you think she is likely to maintain that the MNGS would no longer be able to do the work Leviathan is supposed to do? And how would you respond?