A means of protection is some contract or guarantee of security for body or property. It is usually achieved, in a modern state society, by agreeing to some social contract including a monopoly on violence, e.g. placing police and military powers under the control of an authority obeying some predictable theory of civics that guarantees such protection.
This term is particularly relevant to anarchism and minarchy, where no monopoly on violence may exist, or where it may not have powers to intervene in all situations, e.g. it may protect body but take no position as to 'property'.
A means of protection is particularly important when considering a means of production, infrastructural capital, or natural resources as a social asset. Without such means, anyone can confiscate and use the asset.
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