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Minarchism vs Anarchism - Stefan Molyneux vs Peter Schiff

Peter does a better job of debating Stefan on limited government than anyone else I have heard yet...


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Isn't it the case that...

"Violence is violence" is too simplistic and ambiguous. No, violence initiated is not violence meeting the initiation of violence.

It seems to me one must specify the "initiation of violence."

Of course, were the initiation of violence not the basis of society (which is really the fundamental philosophical question), there would presumably be much less violence in general. But we'd have to try it to see.

Related: The notion of free men voluntarily cooperating together to defend themselves, their families, and their land is very different from the formation of a centrally controlled army based on unquestioning obedience (and possibly conscription).

The question of a foreign threat is largely the question of which one of these is more powerful, since the latter (it seems) always turns into an instrument of aggression and a threat to liberty.

I still think that all contradiction could be set aside if the anarchists could see their way to a notion of government without the initiation of force, and of course the proponents of "limited" government could see their way to the same notion of "limited."

i tend to agree...

the more i listen to Stefan, the more I have come to believe that no matter how many times we may be able to press the 'reset button' and return to constitutionally limited government... it will always be followed by expansion of that same government into a monstrosity which needs to be reset again....

i was just really surprised Peter did so well, because everyone else I have heard debate Stefan gets their ass handed to them... and he even complimented Peter on his argument...

Think for yourself......Question authority...

I think it is because Peter is more correct than Stefan

His understanding of human nature is better.

By what right

do men exercise power over each other?

~ Auberon Herbert, voluntaryist, individualist, and libertarian vigilante.

"The problem is not those in power, the problem is right between your ears." ~Larken Rose


By right of might.

Which is clearly bloody, ugly and unjust. That's why anarchists usually win moral arguments. But the pervasive superstitious belief that some men may rightfully rule others if they call themselves "government" and call their commands "laws," keeps most of humanity enslaved.

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition by Larken Rose

human nature

If you argue that human nature is not perfect and therefore it is neccessary to have some people rule over other people, then how do you respond to the following?

If some people are legally allowed to rule over others, then the imperfect nature of the rulers will create misery for everyone.

Using the term, ruling is misleading

Humans organize into stratified groups in which some people exercise authority over others. Marxists want to deny such natural stratification but it always has and always will exist. Humans also seek order. Leadership is a means to promoting order. If I lead you I am not necessarily "ruling" you am I? Authoritative relationships are not the same as authoritarian relationships.

In good governance, as Schiff stated, we hire people or anoint them in some manner depending on our culture, to provide for convenience, order, and security. If they explot that authority we sanction them, remove some of their power, or get rid of them. The problem government faces is not that it exists at all but that is always grows and the insiders erect barriers to checking their power.

I agree with the first part,

I agree with the first part, that if you lead me, you are not ruling over me, provided that I am consenting to your leadership.

But what happens if I remove my consent and you use violence and threats to get your way?

The problem is that once you give people a monopoly on law, they will consistently interpret the law in ways that give them more power and diminish your rights.

Then when you tell them that you no longer consent, they call you a terrorist.

Can I recommend this article by Rothbard.

The die was cast when the Constitution replaced the Articles of


"Lysander Spooner once said that he believed "that by false interpretations, and naked usurpations, the government has been made in practice a very widely, and almost wholly, different thing from what the Constitution itself purports to authorize." At the same time, he could not exonerate the Constitution, for it "has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist."