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Anti-Anarchist Thread

This is a request, a favor, that I am asking of the community.

There are a number of minarchists, constitutionalists, etc. here, most of which are thoughtful and respectful when this topic comes up. Some, less so. But, regardless of what camp you fall into, I would like to ask you a favor.

This is not an effort to push my own belief system, nor is it an effort to start an argument for argument's sake.

I am making this request sincerely, and because I am really quite interested. I will not be arguing with any posters in this thread.

If I ask questions, it is sincere curiosity and NOT an attempt to trap you into an unsustainable argument. I would ask that you keep this in mind, and understand I am NOT attempting to be argumentative.

My request is simple. Can you tell me why you support a minarchist form of government? Why you are opposed to anarchism? And what benefits you believe government provides, and at what levels it should be capped, etc?

These are sincere questions, and the inflammatory headline is merely to get your attention.

My request for the anarchists, please do not attempt to convince or explain our point of view, as generally most are already aware and have chosen not to listen for whatever reason, but please instead ask sincere questions of the minarchists if a point of curiosity develops for you.

Or if you would like to describe the most common arguments you encounter against anarchism, I would love to hear those as well, as long as you do not create a caricature of their argument.

I would like to thank you in advance for participating.

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I'm anarchist except for a court system

I've read Bob Murphy's Chaos Theory, and I was not convinced by his examples of insurance companies protecting property rights in a stateless society. It was incredibly interesting, and at some points gave me the chills (in a good way), but to me it just seems like another entity will arise that functions as a state, whether we call it the state or not.

I support competition among States with their court system, which in a way is the same concept as Murphy's insurance companies, so I'm not sure if a truly stateless society is even possible. I do think though that the court system should be voluntary and not paid for in taxation.

When I explain anarchy to people, I explain it as a limit in calculus...

We should always be approaching a stateless society, and working all the time to make the State smaller and less powerful, but as we approach it we will probably never get there. It might be impossible.

wolfe's picture

You get it... :)

We anarchists function as an ideal, a principle, something to strive for. Whether it achievable is irrelevant.

We keep 'em honest... :)

The Philosophy Of Liberty -

Totally wrong. In law, one

Totally wrong. In law, one tries to win a case on the NARROWEST grounds because it is the most palatable to the deciding authority. For example, the NAACP argued that Jim Crow laws were unconstitutional while distinguishing anti-miscegenation laws because they knew that the courts would ban Jim Crow but not want to deal with the political upheaval that would result from banning miscegenation. Arguing for it all at once would have been COUNTERPRODUCTIVE to their efforts because it would have frightened the courts and given ammo to "slippery slope" dissenters. These changes in society are done in increments, and for good reason. There are no mass awakenings or revivals, changes happen over time.

So are the radicals that tell people on the margin who really like Ron Paul but are trying to come to grips with how people could survive without social security that in fact they are immoral statists and that the government should be abolished COMPLETELY helping gain supporters or driving people away? Do you see why minarchists question anarchists motives when they ignore this very obvious truth, that Tom Woods himself told me he agrees with?

Ventura 2012

I agree with you on this point

I agree with you on this. So did Rothbard --

The abolitionist is a "button pusher" who would blister his thumb pushing a button that would abolish the State immediately, if such a button existed. But the abolitionist also knows that alas, such a button does not exist, and that he will take a bit of the loaf if necessary.

wolfe's picture

Without us, reminding you why the NAP is important...

And what liberty really means, then we would slip back an inch for every one gained.

Real change doesn't come from someone liking Ron Paul. Real change comes from someone educating themselves because they liked Ron Paul.

Nor do I advocate a sweeping change. I have given a million concrete examples of anarchist principles working in both a state based, and a post-state system, in incremental ways.

In addition, no, I do not see why a minarchist would distrust someone being honest about their philosophy. Maybe it's because it is so rare in the political world.

Keep the people stupid. Keep the people from thinking and you will never see minarchism or anarchism, either one.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -

I dont think you understand

I dont think you understand the sheeple very well. I'm not saying dont THINK I'm saying do it appropriately and responsibly. Can you imagine if Ron Paul has said in the first debate in 2008 that he was an anarchist? Would this site even exist? This is a political movement. This idea is as old as Plato's cave, you dont just rip someone out of the cave and into the light you have to ease them into it, even from your own perspective.

Ventura 2012

wolfe's picture


In one of Ron Paul's speeches from 2007, he specifically thanked and welcomed anarchists... To cheers from the crowd. No one left.

Easing into it and ignoring it are two different things. The solution is also not to leave them in the cave.

I think you underestimate the number of anarchists Ron Paul created, whether intentional or not.

Furthermore, you underestimate how many anarchists were in play in order to cause the trending to Ron Paul initially leading up to 2008. We taught liberty, still do. Every event I attended contained more people of my belief system than yours. We toned it down for bait...

But guess what? Those people who were -taught-, still believe in liberty, while those convinced to only vote for Ron Paul now support whatever Republican is being held up at the moment.

The key difference between our beliefs is that you think a vote matters, but can't prove it. I do not believe a vote matters, I believe education matters, and can prove it.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -

Not even the same thing! But

Not even the same thing! But overall that's very true, I believe that political action and voting matter, and I don't think running for office and voting are a waste of time like Lew Rockwell does.

Ventura 2012

wolfe's picture

This I believe is the crux of any disagreements...

You have with some of us.

What do you mean not the same thing? You are afraid of us discussing it scaring people away, but RP himself wasn't afraid to openly and on video thank us and it certainly didn't hurt his image.

Because we can agree that effectively, we work toward the same end (at least for now).

We generally agree on all of the basic premises.

The core difference is a disagreement about how to achieve it, not even the end goals really. Because if we had minarchism, it would be obvious whether anarchism was a valid system or not and we could choose to move toward it or abandon it as a principle and start back down the path to statism and away from minarchism.

I believe when I convince a soldier to come home and give up the war, because of liberty, I have permanently won at least one person. I have decreased the war effort by one. That win cannot be undone. If you convince 49% to vote against the war, those votes are useless the next day.

Mine is slower, harder, but longer lasting.

In any event, it's a worldview thing, and I somehow doubt either one of us will magically decide the other's approach works better... lol.. :)

The Philosophy Of Liberty -

Welcoming anarchists is not

Welcoming anarchists is not the same thing as claiming to be an anarchist lol. On the other hand, other personal views far less unpalatable than anarchy like the civil rights act position did hurt Ron and Rand. You're right, my "world view" i.e. view of the world is that they would reject an anarchist politician(oxymoron), yours is "who cares?"

Ventura 2012

wolfe's picture

Where did I claim that he ever said he was anarchist?

You are confusing me other posts at this point.

I believe his belief system is anarchistic. I believe he always defers to the NAP. So I believe at his core, he is or damn close to it. But I have never said he claimed to be an anarchist.

I was illustrating that there shouldn't be fear of us scarring people away.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -


I SAID IT IN MY HYPOTHETICAL THAT YOU WERE RESPONDING TO, lol. I know you're scattered among a bunch of threads at once, it can get confusing.

" Can you imagine if Ron Paul has said in the first debate in 2008 that he was an anarchist?"

"In one of Ron Paul's speeches from 2007, he specifically thanked and welcomed anarchists... To cheers from the crowd. No one left."

Ventura 2012

wolfe's picture

lol... Yes, it can...

And yes it does.

And unfortunately sometimes, statements from different sources do blur between each other.

Especially when all the threads I am participating in at the moment are effectively on the same subject.

In this case, I must have overlooked your hypothetical and was only responding to the fear of us comment.

Gotta give me a pass on that... :)

The Philosophy Of Liberty -

Haha I give you a pass, I

Haha I give you a pass, I almost didn't want to interrupt your 1v1 with rpres in the other thread because I knew it would just cause confusion but I couldn't help myself. A few weeks ago I went OFF on a non-anarchist(Haysoose) because I was in the heat of battle and didn't even realize who I was talking to lol.

Ventura 2012



Ventura 2012

Anarchism was debanked long ago. Our folks are dishonest or dumb

SIMPLE EXAMPLE: A fraudulent company had defrauded a customer (say, Mr. Smith) and left the state without a trace. After 6 months, an insurance company that covers detective work (Mr. Smith holds policy at) informs Mr. Smith that detectives had spent the upper limit of the insurance policy with no success. Mr. Smith has no money to hire private investigators to check if his insurance company or the detectives actually did their job or just pocketed money. In any case, he has no hope that the same wont happen again and again.

NOW, instead of the fradulent company, imagine a group of gangsters who had kidnapped Mr. Smith's daughter in order to harvest her kidneys for black market.

Your argument crumbles. What

Your argument crumbles. What are going to do when the government is gone... sit around and research nothing? Of course not, we will use the same rebellious fire we all have towards monsanto, walmart etc... we will literally be focusing our guns on the corporations that control the government now and avoid any damage. I mean come on lmao please... are we just gunna sit and not push for truth lmao

its called opportunity cost. If we didnt spend all day on here bitching about government. We could be sitting around bitching and changing minds about corporations.

We do this for free.

Your argument crumbles. What

Your argument crumbles. What are going to do when the government is gone... sit around and research nothing? Of course not, we will use the same rebellious fire we all have towards monsanto, walmart etc... we will literally be focusing our guns on the corporations that control the government now and avoid any damage. I mean come on lmao please... are we just gunna sit and not push for truth lmao

its called opportunity cost. If we didnt spend all day on here bitching about government. We could be sitting around bitching and changing minds about corporations.

The minarchist apparently

The minarchist apparently believe we lose all morals once we have no state. However, there would be many more non profit organizations and charity works in a free society. Is it a perfect system? no, but it is far better than what we have now

290 million people have been killed by their own governments

in the last century, and your best argument against anarchy is hypothetical insurance fraud?

Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito


I agree Henry. As many examples that can be thought of to disrupt discussion it seems that this is the only purpose in denying Anarchists any leeway in their arguments.

In opposition to anarchism

I get it, the modern democratic state is violence by committee. Government is just an acceptable form of organized crime... Here are some ?'s i have about anarchism:

1) In anarchy, what secures a truly voluntary society from being threatened/taken over by neighboring societies that still have a government?

2) What kind of problems do anarchists foresee or anticipate in a purely voluntary society?

3) Is there a better way to achieve anarchy in America without first abolishing the federal government and radically decentralizing the union through secession/separation?

broad picture

1. Anarchy does not preclude a large degree of voluntary cooperation. What secures a voluntary society from being taken over by neighboring societies is free men agreeing to defend their society and making it too much trouble for any neighboring society to make the attempt.

This does require those participating to be responsible and bear the burden of self defense both individually and collectively, but I see no reason that such a voluntary alliance couldn't stand up against a slave army.

2. Problems? The first, I think, is simply finding enough like-minded mature people to get along and do what is necessary to create the society.

We need to figure out what needs to be voluntarily agreed on and then find people who have come to the same point where they voluntarily agree on those things.

You need enough (doctors and farmers primarily) to create a voluntary society in isolation---under the radar. The biggest initial problem is internal. Might be insurmountable---depends on personnel. But you have to have a critical mass of people who can create an independent economy and have enough agreement to get along. You have to determine the fundamental things people have to agree on, and what to do with people who change their minds later. But it's clear that internal conflict is the biggest problem/obstacle.

The second you've already mentioned. Self defense. There are two obvious strategies to mitigate against this problem in the short term. They are related. The first is simply to not be noticed. Drop out of the system and create an independent economy which is adequate in size for survival and defense but does not draw attention. Those who tend to come under fire are those who make waves or are already targets---open tax protesters, people trying to make waves in the courts, driving without licenses, etc. You've got to avoid those things which make a target of yourself.

Look at Schaeffer Cox. He was amazing. He had brilliant ideas. But he went around with a cell phone camera irritating the psychopaths, and they put him in a cage, and then they broke his mind. You can't do that. Instead you need to have control of the local police, and then you either convert them or become them. (And by that, of course, I mean you take over local policing with a voluntarist system---whether you want to call it "policing" at that point is irrelevant.

The second is to keep the level of known/publicized resources desired by the neighboring society to a minimum. You want to have a productive society, but it's not clear that you want it to be too openly productive lest you draw attention.

3. Not only is there a better way, I think that what you suggest (as a first step) is not a viable way at all. You have to take over a county. That is the first step, and given the prerequisite of mature people who can get along, it is *not* very hard. Attract others and take over several counties. One would need enormous portions of more than half the states under control before even thinking about abolishing the federal government. They will wipe us out otherwise.

Also, the colonists tried this against the British tyranny, and within a decade they had the same tyranny imposed on them again. If you're going to fight a war, you need to make sure you can win it and come out with something on the other side. It's not clear that anyone has been able to do that yet. We're certainly not in a position to do it.

We currently have enough freedom to do these things I've suggested here and now, we simply lack the courage and personnel.

On your third point

You support anarchy but do not support secession from the most expansive, most intrusive government in all of human history?

Let me clarify my original question. The federal government could be abolished THROUGH an act of secession. The FEDS would only exist for those states still caught up in the lie that 'republicanism' and 'largesse' are mutually inclusive.

You assume that the steps toward anarchy will start at the county level. Will the counties not withdraw their consent from the state and federal government and declare the people of the county as sovereign? Is this not a form of secession?

Although I agree with you that the Constitution unnecessarily expanded the government, I'm happy to say that the first American revolutionaries resisted the tyranny that existed at the time.

I do not believe in national solutions. I'm a decentralist and I accept peaceful secession as a totally legitimate method to resolve the problems of empire and perpetual war.

One more thing. This argument that it would be fruitless for a state to secede because it is INEVITABLE that sometime in the future such a government would be captured by the designing elites and they would create another large government is misguided. Wasn't it inevitable that Ron Paul would lose in 2012? Did this eventuality stop you from supporting him, because he wasn't going to be the nominee? Why should we allow what some may consider as 'inevitable' to dictate what we do with our freedom?

I mean, I could turn this around on your support for anarchy and tell you, "well, this isn't a good idea, because history has born out the conclusion that the lust to dominate is inherent in mankind, and so INEVITABLY your anarchy will turn into totalitarianism, so tough luck kiddo, try something else..." Of course I don't because it's not right for me to invalidate your beliefs in such a dismissive manner.


I didn't mean to say that I don't support succession at every level at any time. I'm just saying that right now, at the moment, succession at the state level is not viable. Even if you could muster the sentiment for it in a state, the vast majority are of a mental state to embrace tyranny as bad as what we have *and* you'd still have the remaining federalist union to deal with. It's just not a practical plan at the moment for anarchists. In short, I support it in principle, but in practice it's not a good idea at the moment.

Of course, the counties will be succeeding. Declarations are to be avoided, but in practice they will withdraw consent. I don't assume this will happen. It is simply the best geographic and political structure in which an anarchist society has a chance to take root at the moment. And it would be pretty easy under the right circumstances. Doesn't mean it's going to happen---means it should happen.

I'm not sure that I see your last couple paragraphs are addressing anything I've written, so I'll leave it to whoever you are addressing to respond.

I have a question for the

I have a question for the anarchists...Let's say all government positions were abolished and there was complete anarchy. Wouldn't people start giving other people responsibilities, perhaps through an election? There are things that just need to be taken care of that any one person can't do all of...like who's gonna guard the nukes? Does everyone just take turns? I could think of numerous things like this, but I think you get the point. Once someone has the authority to do something, that authority must be upheld or protected somehow. Throughout history this is always the beginning of an ever expansive government entity. Once you give that authority it grows like a monster. We've seen over and over again powerful people getting to powerful, then it all crashes. The power is taken away, but the whole process starts over again once someone gets authority. So how do you avoid this?

i think whatever government

i think whatever government jobs that people are doing now, they would continue doing but it would be voluntary since no taxes. whoevers guarding the nukes would continue doing it until he got tired of it and then a friend would take over. or we would all find a way to get rid of them... no one would really have authority over some one else. people would just have different jobs.

f___ all forms of govt.

I like to think of it this way

Our present state of affairs is similar to a man who is an alcoholic. Alcohol is poison, and drinking poison is bad, and he never should have started, but here we are, but if he quits abruptly, he will die.

That's a nice parallel to where we're at now with government; we have issues like nukes and 50 million dependent on welfare (which never should have started, but here we are), and if the government disbanded overnight, society could literally die.

Just as an alcoholic must wean off of alcohol, we must wean ourselves off of government. The private sector must be allowed to take over the roles that have been usurped by the state, and this will only happen once the attitude of the public changes.

"Once you give that authority it grows like a monster. We've seen over and over again powerful people getting to powerful, then it all crashes. The power is taken away, but the whole process starts over again once someone gets authority. So how do you avoid this?"

You've spotted the danger in "limited government". It inevitably grows, because once you've accepted some government, adding a little more is very easy However, even the most violent and repressive government relies on public consent. As soon as it becomes unacceptable to the public for coercion to be used in any amount, by criminals with or without badges, that's when anarchy will work. It doesn't require everyone to agree with the NAP, it doesn't require pure and virtuous people, and it isn't safe from regression/corruption, but a society where life and property aren't systematically violated and people are free to interact peacefully is a society worth striving for.

Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito

I agree with your last

I agree with your last statement for sure. I think my issue is that I simply do not have trust in humanity at this point in our evolution. The anarchy we think of is utopia, not chaos. Its a beautiful thing to work towards, but it takes an intellect both emotionally and cognitive that I don't think we have reached as a species yet. I think we are close, and I believe the powers that be know we are close. This is why they mess with our brains so much. They try to prevent us from reaching that higher state of awakening. Once that happens they lose control.

I'm with you

I don't trust humanity yet, and maybe it will never happen. But I know it's possible, and what's more important--it's the right thing. And that alone makes it worth pursuing.

No ancap person I'm aware of sees it as a utopia. They won't promise 'a chicken will fly into your mouth and the rivers will run with lemonade' as the communists did. There will still be violence, drug use, and prostitution, but the difference is that it won't be inherent, sanctioned, and systematic as it is with the state. We can all agree that at least on most things, the situation is better when the government stays out of it and free markets and peaceful cooperation are allowed to flourish. Of course I believe that system to be better, or else I wouldn't be advocating for it. But I'm allowed to strive for improvement without being a utopian.

The other thing about ancap is that pieces of it have been tried successfully around the world in the past and present, so it's analogous to building a new machine where all the separate components already exist. Facets x, y, an z have been tried or are currently being implemented around the world. Sometimes a society just did x, sometimes just y, and one time another society did x and y, while another did y an z, etc. There are no laws of physics or math or economics or human behavior that prohibit doing x, y, and z. But there's no doubt it's a long shot. Some human beings really, really enjoy robbing and murdering eachother, and they always seem to end up tricking people into giving them power. But a certain percentage of people must learn to refuse to sanction violence. Not everyone needs to understand Austrian economics for ancap to flourish, just as only 1/3 of Americans supported the revolution, and probably only a fraction of them understood it. A handful will always be against an idea, a handful will be for it, and the big lump in the middle of the bell curve just wants to eat Mac n cheese and watch honey booboo.

Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito