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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 am a localist

At the risk of getting down voted just for attempting to honor the request of my anarchist associate here at DP, I don't see how anarchism can preserve freedom from societies (or groups within societies) who will be better organized to plunder and conquer. Not just by military means either. Anarchism does not have any mechanism by which it can adequately prevent the increasing centralization of power. It can't defend itself from from those who respect even less freedom of action than it has, more on that when I link the the free rider problem.

The last voluntaryist I talked to eventually said that he imagined it would evolve to where a few great men would provide protection and have many others that would basically volunteer to be his slaves. I don't see that as an attractive outcome, and that was from a guy trying to sell it to me! Maybe I just linked up with the wrong sales associate!

The free rider problem is a part of the problem, described in more detail here

My issue with it goes back even to the premise on which it is founded, that of "self-ownership." I know it sounds silly at first, but after thinking it through, the concept of self-ownership does not make sense to me. Here is why...

Basically if there is no God then rights are an artificial construct and we are not transcendentally morally bound to accept them. In s materialistic reality, the whole idea of "ownership" becomes silly- we don't make choices, the molecules bouncing around in our head just make us think we do. If its all time, space, matter and energy then even our freewill (and by implication our ability to "own" anything) is an illusion.

Don't get me wrong, the state sure doesn't own us. It is just that if a Creator exists then there is a moral code outside the state and outside the individual and both are morally obligated to try to seek out and follow that code, even if our pea-brains and weak nature can't do it all the time. So the idea that each new individual gets a blank sheet of paper to make their own morality on is not right, and the idea that the state gets that blank sheet of paper to impose one is also not right. The blank sheets of paper are for both to doodle on in an effort to conform with the mystic sheet which IS filled out correctly.

I also notice that they want to lump people as either "individualist" or "communtarian." Well, I can't help but notice that when it comes to the smallest most local unit of government, my family, I am quite communitarian. I get more individualist the farther one goes from that and by the time one gets to national government I am pretty much 100% individualist as regards to domestic affairs. I don't even want them to know who I am!

This view, which considers centralization of power the primary problem, is Localism. IN localism there is no one "right" place to draw the line on what the rules ought to be. Each locality sets its own, and the market sorts it out from there.

Click on my name if you want to know where to find the E-book "Localism, A Philosophy of Government"

Localism is for people who can still sleep at night even though somebody they don't know in a city they have never been is doing things differently. ("Localism, A Philosophy of Government" on Amazon for Kindle or Barnes and Noble ebook websites)


I didn't spend a great deal of time with your post or read the book, however, it doesn't seem to me there is any great conflict.

I don't understand why you think free men voluntarily agreeing to defend themselves against tyranny can't defend themselves cooperatively.

It does sound like you had a bad salesman. I never heard of someone who thinks we need a few great men and lots of "voluntary" slaves. I think that's a contradiction. What we do need is some minimal level of maturity for everyone involved---or at least the vast majority. And when I say "everyone involved" I don't mean everyone on earth, but just the people who consciously are part of the voluntarist society. The founders never had in mind to control everyone on earth, but some of them imagined they could get enough people to create a society of self-government (i.e., anarchy) in the midst of a world of aggression and bad ideas.

Finally, I think "self-ownership" is a non-issue. What is really meant is that no other people nor group of people own you. And I'll bet you agree with that. You already said you don't think the government owns you. Well, that's about it. "Self-ownership" has just been adopted because it's catchy, positive, and convenient. But it's not really that precise. For those who agree with that it's very attractive. Those who conclude that God owns them by right of creation simply need to get around the terminology. Yes, the atheists really think they own themselves, but that is irrelevant really.

The salesman is a great guy

and completely honest, and if all men were like him we might could pull it off. Trouble is, not all are like him, ergo we need laws for the lawless.

I am not sure if the guy who started the thread wants us to get into it here, I would just say that if you do decide to read the links, you might understand the objection better. One of those is a DP article and perhaps you could tell me there what I am missing. It has nothing to do with maturity, it has to do with rational self-interest when consuming public goods, a well known and documented economic phenomenon.

With the self ownership question, I'd like to start a thread here on it, but I'd like it to be for rational discussion, not railing and anger I have seen too often here. I think the point is that if the conditions described in the link are true then there is no self-ownership in the sense of only you get to decide what the limits of your behavior are, short of force or sometimes fraud.

If no God then no objective basis for one morality over another (such as self-ownership being morally superior to "great" men owning "lesser" ones. If we belong to God, then He gets to write those rules and may or may not enlist Government as His "minister" to impose punishment. Obviously just because God says something is wrong does not mean that He is OK with the state punishing for it- some sins He may prefer to punish for Himself, taking it out of the hands of the law. but it does open the door for going beyond the "there is only one thing the government can use force on me for, and its if I initiate force on someone else."

Localism is for people who can still sleep at night even though somebody they don't know in a city they have never been is doing things differently. ("Localism, A Philosophy of Government" on Amazon for Kindle or Barnes and Noble ebook websites)

wolfe's picture

Thank you.

And thank you for the links.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -

Ron Paul is an anarchist/voluntarist

Q: You've described yourself as a voluntarist, can you tell us what that means?

Ron Paul: Voluntary means no coercion. You can use force only when someone uses force against you. Voluntaryism is the best way to go.

Ron Paul: I want to repeal the whole government

Q: What do you say to people who advocate for self-government rather than a return to the constitution?

Ron Paul: I think that's really what my goal is.

Ron Paul is a voluntaryist:

Video 1, does he even know

Video 1, does he even know what "voluntaryist" means? Its an internet word invented by Stefan Molyneux, not the real word "anarchist". They should ask him if he's an anarcho-capitalist. Anyway, take this comment in the context of literally tens of thousands of comments referencing a "return to the Constitution."

Video 2, obviously a throw-away comment.

Video 3, obviously blown out of proportion.

Video 4 irrelevant, not probative of the issue because any minarchist would agree with those quotes.

There you go. You guys are desperate. Why don't you go try to convince neocons to become libertarian or something? Make yourself useful. The only people that care about "minarchist vs anarchist" are you people, everyone else lives in the real world where its a total hell on earth oppressive dictatorship vs free thinkers.

Ventura 2012

It's not a few sound bites

It's not a few sound bites that make him a voluntaryist, it's his actual views that do.

No state, no taxes, all services provided by competing private businesses and the idea that initiation of force is not needed. Ron Paul agrees with the philosophy of voluntaryism... Sorry to break it to ya, buddy :)

Bizarre comment

Bizarre comment

Ventura 2012

Those videos are the first real "proof" that he may be in fact

an Anarchist. Thank you for providing them.. I've watched, I thought, every video and audio recording out there but had not seen the "motorhome diaries".

Patriot Cell #345,168
I don't respond to emails or pm's.
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution, inevitable.

I used to post a speach he gave over seas

I think it was in Austria maybe can't remember. czech republic

Great speach.

Anyway it was funny cause he wasn't in the country and he had to explain to folks from another land how he gets elected running on pure freedom.

Anyway he almost made it sound like an Obama cling to your guns and bible thing. OK it wasn't even that close to bad, but I thought it was great! it was something like people think the constitution is great so that is what I use to explain to them what liberty is. If I didn't have that I don't think I would get very far because people don't really understand freedom, but they still believe in the myth of the constitution.

I am sure I got it all wrong and the minarchists always told me after they supposedly watched the speech that I totally was misinterpreting what he said. Lol

For the minarchists

If we're talking on a scale of 1-10, where 10 is a massive government and 0 is anarchy, why do you stop at 1? If our current government has 1000 responsibilities, you'll admit 997 of them are unnecessary, but not the last three? It just feels like a very arbitrary stopping point. All the reasons those 997 things are bad apply to the other 3 just the same.

I'm not trying to argue or anything, I'm all for cooperation. In 500 years when we've dialed the government back to a state of minarchy, I'd be happy to argue over who's right or wrong then, but for now, I'm all for working together. Just curious.

Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito

that's a good point, but

that's a good point, but that's not how it works at least in my view.

the Government is used simply to protect an individuals rights from many individuals. to establish a justice system (say that killing someone, stealing or assaulting are illegal(common law court)) and give the Government no power within it's bounds besides those things. and perhaps protecting the border, providing for a means to unite a military.

or to give citizens a place to settle disputes. (civil court)

that's what i think,at least.

I see what you're saying

but there's a big contradiction to deal with: the body you are expecting to uphold your rights is incapable of existing without violations those same rights. You expect the government to enforce property rights, yet by its very nature the government MUST violate them in order to exist. I'm not in total disagreement with you though. I would love to live in a world of minarchist/constitutionalist/limited government, but the problem remains. Governments rightfully possess no rights beyond those of individuals, since governments are merely groups of individuals.

We can easily see how the private economy can handle the post, transportation, utilities, etc, but when it comes to the idea of the law, it's harder to visualize. But the two glaring faults are: 1.) the state is the arbitrator in its own disputes, and 2.) it violates the very rights it is charged with upholding.

Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito

i totally agree. in my mind

i totally agree. in my mind (note that this is in my mind lol.) the Government will have an area in which they can exercise what ever they want. that will be their land. public land. they will have no legislative power outside of that area and across the border.

That's like asking why do you

That's like asking why do you stop skiing at a Double Black Diamond, why don't you just ski off a cliff?

Ventura 2012

It's not like that at all.


Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito

From a minarchist perspective

From a minarchist perspective it surely is like that. But then again, you weren't really interested in our perspective and your question was rhetorical...

Ventura 2012

It wasn't rhetorical

I was honestly curious. And I don't think a society without a monopolistic band of goons in charge is analogous to an instantaneous and certain death.

Does it feel weird to be the government's cheerleader?

Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito

No nead for smear comments

No nead for smear comments just because you fail at abstract thinking, try again.

Ventura 2012

"In 500 years when we've dialed the government back to a state

of minarchy, I'd be happy to argue over who's right or wrong then, but for now, I'm all for working together."

I'm in agreement. Anarchists I consider for the majority as my "allies".

I have a question for you. How about we pick one issue, one that you believe is the hardest that "we" struggle on and then if you don't mind, give an Anarchist solution for. I'm not looking for the perfect answer, just one that fixes the majority of the issues in that subject.

Patriot Cell #345,168
I don't respond to emails or pm's.
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution, inevitable.

I not sure I understand your question

"How about we pick one issue, one you believe is the hardest that 'we' struggle on and then if you don't mind, give an anarchist solution for."

I apologize if I answer this wrong, but I'll take a stab at what you're asking.

If by "we" you were referring to minarchists, the struggle I see is refusing to apply the philosophy you believe in consistently in all cases. It's like if I asked you "what's 2 apples plus 2 apples?" And you say 4 apples, and I ask "what's 2 oranges plus 2 oranges?" And you say 4 oranges, and I ask "what's 2 pears plus 2 pears?" And you say 17. You can give great arguments as to why it's wrong for government to operate in sectors x, y, and z, but for some reason you believe that the government should operate in some other sector, despite the fact that the very same arguments used before apply in this case as well.

Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito

wolfe's picture

Off topic...

But easy.

Domestic Police State:

Eliminate all drug and other victimless crime laws. Without an excuse to extract revenue and perform illegal search and seizures, you will see this dry up.

Eliminate limited liability, personhood and other government force based boons. Without government interference, you will see the size of businesses fall to manageable levels and behave in a more responsible fashion. You will see a general increase in the number of business, competition and therefore quality of goods and services.

Foreign War Adventurism:
Eliminate legal tender laws. Legal tender laws coupled with our need to back the dollar by oil creates the need for the dollar to be propped up by foreign wars.

Long Lines At The Airport:
Ha! Couldn't help but throw in one humorous one. Eliminate the TSA.

Shall I keep going? Most modern problems are caused by state interference attempting to fix other problems. Therefore, most issues can be resolved by simply removing the state from the problem at hand.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -

"Eliminate all drug and other victimless crime laws."

So speeding would be okay till they wrecked and it became a crime with a victim?

I'll address the rest when I get time but I asked for the worst one. Which one of those is the worst in your mind?

Patriot Cell #345,168
I don't respond to emails or pm's.
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution, inevitable.

wolfe's picture

You believe incorrectly that speeding laws prevent speeding?

Or do I misunderstand your question? I wasn't sure if it was an actual question or the beginning of taking the opposing side?

Speeding laws do not prevent speeding. They enable the police state.

If laws actually altered human behavior, then "enforcement" of the laws would become unnecessary.

And even if it resulted in a few more accidents (which there is no evidence to support that), it certainly would reduce the police state. Which is more important to you? Your car, or your freedom?

But I didn't want this thread to become a debate on anarcho/minarcho mindsets. I just couldn't resist when you asked the question.

And I believe all three are equal in importance. And I also believe that if we achieved even one of them, it would open the doors to achieving the rest.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -

How about we set a ground rule here..

You don't make wrong assumptions in the form of questions and then begin to explain away how incorrect they are before you find out what it is I meant.

That's absurd.. of course they don't STOP anything, they may deter but not stop. That's not what I was getting at.. I asked how would an Anarchist DEAL with speeding and or reckless behavior that puts other people at risk? Let's keep it localized though and deal with speeding first.

Patriot Cell #345,168
I don't respond to emails or pm's.
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution, inevitable.

the issue of speeding: there

the issue of speeding:

there is no issue. a person is responsible for their own actions. someone who doesn't speed now probably won't drive to much faster than around what the speed limits are anyway. those that do, as long as they maintain control don't have a problem. if i can control my car at 150 MPH and i don't hurt someone, what's the problem?

the idea is that MOST people are responsible enough to not do anything stupid and that's pretty true. the punishment comes when a person is hurt/killed. if that happens then the government can step in, or the persons family can have their comeuppance. depending on whether your'e a minachist or anarchist. speeding doesn't harm anyone. most fatal crashes happen at between 35 and 50 (i'll try to find my source for that and present it when i find it, i'm in school now so i can't do a lot of research.) so speeding isn't the problem.

wolfe's picture


Because my intent was not to debate the points of anarchism or minarchism with this thread. There are many other threads to do that, and it drifts enough from the original intent already.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -

Well I sure hope your views on Anarchism

aren't as shortsighted and disingenuous as asking for peoples views and then expecting no debating to go on. :)

I suspect though that you don't have the needed answers which is troubling because you can't expect to promote something in any substantial way unless you can propose practical and applicable ways for those ideas to happen.

Patriot Cell #345,168
I don't respond to emails or pm's.
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution, inevitable.

wolfe's picture

I am not going to personally debate in this thread.

If you want to open a thread for us to debate, I will do so. And have done so many times. And I have yet to lose the logic and morality arguments in regard to anarchism.

But, that was not my goal with this thread. If you read the OP, I am very clear as to what I was asking for. If others debate here, then that isn't within my control.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -

You asked questions looking for answers.. I asked questions

looking for answers yet you say you don't' want to debate. Next time don't ask questions. Seems simple enough..

"And I have yet to lose the logic and morality arguments in regard to anarchism."

I don't know of many people who aren't self-diluting about something like that.

Moral maybe.. logic I would question.

Patriot Cell #345,168
I don't respond to emails or pm's.
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution, inevitable.