7.2.2  Economic Self-Protection

(This is a current extract from the Patterns of Power Repository.  An archived copy of this page is held at http://www.patternsofpower.org/edition02/722.htm)

Markets involve peer-to-peer negotiation, but they are not examples of Self-Protection in the terminology of this book because they comply with the relevant economic regulations; the Economic Dimension of governance accommodates them as part of its structure. 

A policy of buying at one’s own risk – ‘caveat emptor’ – is, though, a practical agreement to use Self-Protection for the governance of some trading.  A common example is in selling second-hand goods, where an attempt to introduce a system of guaranteed rights for the buyer would, in many cases, make the transaction process more costly than the value of the items being sold – to the disadvantage of both buyer and seller.

There are also some types of international transaction which fall outside the reach of existing economic governance; some types of transnational fraud for example, particularly on the Internet, are impossible to prosecute – so people have to protect themselves by exercising vigilance.

© PatternsofPower.org, 2014