27 votes

Would you be better off under anarchism?

The only reason to institute a government is to protect liberty. People create governments to protect themselves and their property. In doing so, the people assume that the government will be cheaper to operate than what would have otherwise been stolen from them by other sources of theft.

Seeing as how the US central government is looting the people for around 50 cents on the dollar, do you think it's worth the price? Or, do you think you would be better off under anarchism? Simply, do you think thieves would steal more from you (in the absence of government) than what the government currently takes?

Further, if you believe government is necessary, what are your suggestions for successfully limiting the powers of such an institution? We've seen that constitutions - at least in their most modern forms - don't really work that well over the long haul. Are constitutions perfectible? Can government power ever really be limited for the duration?

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simple question ...

Can anyone please explain how there can be justice between a civilian and the state?

conflict of interest

The state is the final arbiter in all conflicts involving itself and a civilian.

Awesome film defining anarchy



Ideas have consequences.

I think people support government because they think it has good consequences. And i think it can be quite complex to analyse all the effects of instituting a government. Thus if people realized that they think government produces bad consequences, then they would no longer support the concept.

Thanks for sharing...

Good video.

Competitive definitions

I can offer a competitive definition of anarchism.

During the time period between 1776 and 1788 there were 13 State governments limited by Constitutions in each State.

Each state was a Republic.

Those Republics then created a Voluntary Union under The Articles of Confederation as documented by The Declaration of Independence as the source of principles governing this effort at Voluntary Association.

The British Monopolists (Legal Criminals) didn't like the idea.

What was in operation at the time, despite The British problem which was solved, was a Free Market of Government that worked like a shopping center of Republics.

Governors sold government to potential buyers called Tax Payers.

Tax Payers shopped around and invested into better or best governments, moving freely from a more despotic government to a less despotic government.

In place, in operation, was, then, the force of a Free Market, as the buyers demanded the governments that they wanted, and therefore the governors had to supply what was in demand, or another governor would supply what was in demand, and that force forces the quality of government up, and the cost of government down, as individual Tax Payers voted with their feet, and the total sum of all the votes is, in fact, that FORCE of competition.

That is how it worked, as documented in clear examples such as the events that became known as Shays's Rebellion, and as many of those against Monarchy, or Consolidation, or Nationalism, explained in so many words during that time period.

Anarchism, or Voluntary Association, or Free Market, or Open Source, government did work, was defined in that time period in that way, and so anyone claiming that anarchism is defined in another way, does so competitively, side by side, your individual definition against that one as that one did exist in that way.

All those people living in that time defined anarchism that way, between 1776 and 1788, under The Articles of Confederation, there was, here in America, Free Market government, defined by them, in that way.

So your definition of what might be anarchism, according to your imagination, is weighted on the Liberty Scale held by Lady Liberty, against that which did, in fact, exist in this land.

Free Market government is not a conspiracy theory.

Voluntary Association is not a utopian dream.

You who are suffering from Absolute Abject Belief in Falsehood Without Question aught to read what the Legal Criminals offer to you, before you swallow hook line and sinker.


To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;


And whereas, it is in my judgment necessary under the circumstances of the case to take measures for calling forth the militia in order to suppress the combinations aforesaid, and to cause the laws to be duly executed; and I have accordingly determined so to do, feeling the deepest regret for the occasion, but withal the most solemn conviction that the essential interests of the Union demand it, that the very existence of government and the fundamental principles of social order are materially involved in the issue, and that the patriotism and firmness of all good citizens are seriously called upon, as occasions may require, to aid in the effectual suppression of so fatal a spirit;


Section 4.
The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.


Adam Kokesh has it right if the idea is to return to a working Republic, to regain Constitutionally limited State governments that may, or may not, invest in a Voluntary Union.

You, if you have been fooled, aught to wise up.


I tend to look at your argument mathematically,

As the number of "states" approaches infinity, the choice of government approaches a free market. For, if this were true, if there was a virtually unlimited number of choices of government, then the area occupied (ruled) by a given government would be infinitesimal. Therefore, the logical (practical) conclusion of this treatment would be that each person governed themselves, whereas if the number of "states" approaches one (since in a world with government, at least one must exist) then, some portion of the people will find themselves under tyranny, where I define tyranny as being subject to the rule of a force with which you disagree.

The choice of 50 states is arbitrary, but is closer to infinity than 1.

I enjoy your thinking,

but I don't buy the terms of your first sentence. A market's "free"ness is not measured by degree of abundance in its offering.

I was trying to embrace the idea

of pseudo-perfect competition when it came to the choice of government (not perfect due to the fact that the products - different forms of government - are by their nature different). I probably could've worded it better. I borrowed terminology from the comment that I was replying to where Josf said:

"I can offer a competitive definition of anarchism.

During the time period between 1776 and 1788 there were 13 State governments limited by Constitutions in each State.

Each state was a Republic.

Those Republics then created a Voluntary Union under The Articles of Confederation as documented by The Declaration of Independence as the source of principles governing this effort at Voluntary Association.

The British Monopolists (Legal Criminals) didn't like the idea.

What was in operation at the time, despite The British problem which was solved, was a Free Market of Government that worked like a shopping center of Republics.

I was trying to argue that the existence of pseudo-perfect competition (maybe there's a more precise term) makes the market "freer" in the sense that consumers have a virtually unlimited number of different choices to fulfill a desire. Again, there may be a better way to say what I am trying to convey (which rhymes nicely).

Instead of living in the past

and explaining why those implementations should or shouldn't be labeled anarchistic successes... perhaps you could sneak down and address the game changing scenario I laid out below. Without that being addressed in the discussion, there can't be a fair debate.

parallel point>> Have you seen the 3rd Zeitgeist movie?

Straw man

I do not argue.

If you offer an argument then I reject it.

If you claim that I am arguing, I reject that too.

History records what has happened.

The present is happening.

The future can happen as people will it to happen, within their, our, power to do so.

If you must argue with someone, then you must know by now that you need to find someone who will argue with you, for whatever reason you agree upon between you and whoever finds reason to argue.

I don't.

As to your viewpoint, I can look at it, and comment on it, in a competitive way.


"As the number of "states" approaches infinity, the choice of government approaches a free market."

You define government as you define government. Daniel Shays's or I, or Ron Paul, or Thomas Paine, or Adam Kokesh, all have their ways of defining government. If your definition of government is an involuntary association then it is not in any way a free market, it is an involuntary association, and no amount of involuntary associations numbering any absurdity whatsoever will change the fact that it is un-free, involuntary, and criminal by that definition.

Your argument, with whoever you are going to find to argue with, appears to require some goal posts so as not to have you argue your way into moving the goal posts as you see fit.

I do not agree with that type of involuntary association, you can have it that way, at your pleasure, I WILL have none of it.

You can take your false math problems and find some other sucker to buy into such nonsense.


How is your government solution voluntary?

If a government solution is arrived at by a fraction of the to be governed population, then it is not voluntary on the accounts of all the people to be governed.

You say, "They may go to another place where the governance is different." You suggest that this leads to voluntary governance.

Voluntary governance, by definition, must be voluntary by all of the governed. If not, voluntarism does not exist, only partial voluntarism.

If universal voluntarism does not exist, then tyranny exists to some degree.

Find someone else to buy your nonsense. Any form of government will never be universally voluntary. QED

Goal posts moving again?

If an accurate record of an actual event becomes known as having happened, then how is that made into my government?

"How is your government solution voluntary?"

If instead of acknowledgment of the facts YOU twist my words to be an opinion I have, then YOU move the goal posts again, it is YOUR routine.

YOU aught to stop spreading falsehoods.

"If a government solution is arrived at by a fraction of the to be governed population, then it is not voluntary on the accounts of all the people to be governed."

If YOU speak of something specific, something planted like a goal post, then someone else can look at YOUR goal post from another angle. If someone else offers a measure of YOUR goal post and you ignore that offering, and if then you start digging another place to place YOUR goal post, then such games YOU make are frivolous wastes of time to me.

If the topic concerns something called government then those who view government can offer their measure of it.

If YOUR measure of it is exactly the same thing as CRIME, as the CRIMINALS resort to deception, threats, and violence upon the innocent, then my measure of YOUR definition of government is that YOUR definition of government is by your definition the same thing as CRIME.

If the criminals that run YOUR definition of government claim to have license, badges, authority, and POWER over their subjects, then according to those criminals, as far as I can see, those criminals are worse than the criminals who do not claim to have license, badges, authority, and if there is a POWER struggle between the criminals with badges, and the criminals without badges, such a struggle is merely fictional, as they, those criminals, and their victims, have created, and are maintaining, a FREE MARKET of SLAVES, and their POWER struggle involves agreements among them to divide up the number of slaves among them.

Criminals with badges may send their slaves to Afghanistan to keep the flow of opium flowing to the criminals without badges in the cities where those forms of opium are distributed among the slaves to keep the slaves enslaved.

If that is what you are calling government, planted as a goal post for you to then discuss YOUR definition of government, then you can share that definition of government with anyone else who may agree with YOUR definition of government.

That definition of government is not government to me, by my measure, offered to you, as that definition of government is what it is, even if I have found a way to avoid it, or even if I have not yet found a way to avoid it, it is what it is, and it has nothing to do with my POWER to define it.

YOU can define exactly what you mean by government in your way of perceiving government. If YOUR definition of government looks exactly like crime, then that is YOUR definition of government.

Voluntary associations are what they are because the volunteers do not lie, threaten, or aggressively injure innocent people for fun and profit, and that is the MONOPOLY POWER of government at work, where that POWER of government is called, in one word, LIBERTY.

The exclusive monopoly of force in LIBERTY is strictly defensive in every sense of the word, without having liars distort the actual facts in any case whatsoever.

If YOU continue to claim that the historical facts offered to you as evidence of a working Free Market Government working defensively, by those who defined it that way, between 1776 and 1788, as being my government solution, as if the actual history was not actual history, and as if it is a fabrication of my active imagination, then YOU continue to falsify, YOU continue to move the goal post that YOU have created with your forum topic.

"Voluntary governance, by definition, must be voluntary by all of the governed. If not, voluntarism does not exist, only partial voluntarism."

Here is the often repeated all or nothing claim. In actual fact there are people who willfully commit crimes even in places and times on Earth whereby crime is very risky, the pay rate is very low, and the potential victims are very powerful and very capable of defending themselves against harm.

There is no way, on Earth, in reality, whereby all human beings will always behave themselves, and no human beings will ever think about, and then act out, lies, threats, and aggressive violence upon the innocent, so such dreams of utopia are complete fabrications of an active imagination, or worse, they are willful distortions of reality so as to move the goal post once again.

If the study of how Voluntary Association worked, as it worked, during the time period of 1776 to 1788 is discarded by YOU, then the study can move to the time period after the introduction of Magna Carte with Trial by Jury based upon Sortition.

Here is an extensive study of how Voluntary Government worked to reduce the incidence of crime: to make crime pay less well.


That is another example, and there are many more examples, of how Voluntary Associations can be governing methods of making crime unaffordable; which is the opposite of making crime legal.

If that is discarded too, and if YOU continue to claim that these historical records are my fabrications of my active imagination, then YOU make those choices.

"If universal voluntarism does not exist, then tyranny exists to some degree."

YOUR words are in a word stupid.

You may be very smart. YOUR words are stupid.

There is no such thing as universal voluntarism if by that fabrication of YOUR imagination is the same thing as Utopia, and therefore your claim of something not existing is like saying the following stupid words:

Here is something that does not exist, and so I am going to report that this thing that does not exist does not exist.

Then you go on to claim that there is this other thing that you now call tyranny and you claim that tyranny exists "to some degree" and that stupid claim is only slightly more meaningful compared to the stupid arrangement of words done earlier in the same sentence.

This sentence:

"If universal voluntarism does not exist, then tyranny exists to some degree."

Utopia does not exist, sure, who said it does?

Tyranny is what, exactly, according to you, as now you are in some way reporting something that has escaped notice?

You are now informing someone about something that someone does not know?

Wow, Joe says, or Paul says, or Henry says, wow, if only I would have known, and now I know, that "tyranny exists to some degree"!

I prefer to call tyrants criminals.

So I can understand your words to mean something to me.

Here are your words again:

"If universal voluntarism does not exist, then tyranny exists to some degree."

Here is the meaning I get from your words:

Utopia does not exist, of course not, who would claim such a thing?

That is unrelated to the fact that criminals perpetrate crime, and some of them have figured out how to fool their victims into thinking that crimes can be made legal.

"Find someone else to buy your nonsense. Any form of government will never be universally voluntary. QED"

I'm getting older, and less able to take crap from people who willfully lie, distort, twist, and injure people for fun and profit.

YOU published the topic. YOU now have dug yourself a hole, so YOU can decide what to stuff in the hole you dug.

I do not share your false viewpoints, they are false, there is no way I would even consider you to be a part of any voluntary association since your often resort to willful deception confesses your often resort to willful deceptions, even as you may claim otherwise.


That may help, against the current flow of disinformation.


once again point taken

and we are on the same side but the anarcho-idiots(defined by me as everytime we talk about less government they claim we are all just a bunch of crazed anarchist)just will not listen to reason. So the point of the question is to have them lay down there markers on how much government is enough......they won't do it....because they are not interested in advancing the discussion.....they are interested in telling us how smart they are and how stupid we are for wanting smaller government ......so help me and be part of the solution and stop being part of the problem.

Yes, you'll notice its all

Yes, you'll notice its all about them at the end of the day. Just a snarkfest.

Ventura 2012

So does that mean you

are between 3 & 4?

Vital question?

If this question is addressed to me then I am at a loss as to what this question asks of me.

I think that the Topic question is a vital question, and as such the answer aught to be accurate instead of misleading.


Every time this topic comes up

It devolves into people just pointing out there stance and nothing is ever said to advance the discussion. Here is an attempt to advance the discussion. A scale……you can call it a government scale….or I like a Scale of Liberty. So how much government is enough? I am offering definitions…..the way I define them…..if you would like to alter definitions …… go ahead. But please stay with the philosophies of governance here. This is not a “we are a democracy/ republic” discussion……those are forms of government….this is a discussion of the philosophies of government.

Me personally I prefer somewhere between 3 & 4……that is enough government for me.

How much government do you prefer?

1. Anarchy …define as absence of government completely…..roving bands of misfits.

2. Minimalism …..This would be localism to me…….everything is decided by local control….no outside interference at all.

3. Statehood. …….All decisions made on local control……but we join together by counties for the greater good of our state and settle disputes. ( more concentrated form of federalism).

4. Federalism…… a union of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central (federal) government. In a federation, the self-governing status of the component states, as well as the division of power between them and the central government, are typically constitutionally entrenched and may not be altered by a unilateral decision of the states.

5. Nationalism…………… is unitary state is a state governed as one single unit in which the central government is supreme and any administrative divisions (subnational units) exercise only powers that their central government chooses to delegate. The great majority of states in the world have a unitary system of government.

6. Hegemony is an indirect form of government and dominance in which the hegemon (leader state) rules geopolitically subordinate states by the implied means of power the threat of force, rather than by direct military force.

7. Imperial….. an empire is a geographically extensive group of states and peoples (ethnic groups) united and ruled either by a monarch (emperor, empress) or an oligarchy. Mercantilism is a system which employed economic fallacy to build up a structure of Imperial state power as well as special subsidy and monopolistic privilege to individual or group favored by the state.

8. Totalitarianism (or totalitarian rule) is a political system in which the state holds total authority over the society and seeks to control all aspects of public and private life whenever necessary

Where do you think we are now......I say 7

Strawman conference

You defined the only worthy option there as "roving bands of misfits."

Please watch the film posted above and repent your evil ways.


Why did you add bias to the choices?

Anarchy - Roving bands of misfits

Where is your evidence?

Government - Centralized band of misfits with a monopoly on force

Misfits Who Don't Know How to Govern Themselves, Perhaps?

Anarchy represents independence from a higher authority. It is the one mathematical equation of societal conduct that has the factor of "force" removed from it. Compelling someone or some group to act a certain way does not exist. It is the ultimate freedom of choice for everyone.

We often read stories about mayhem in different parts of the world and the claim that "anarchists" are the cause of the violence. These culprits are not anarchists but zealots for their political cause. Again, there is no compulsion in an anarchist society.

Anarchy does not mean that a person can freely harm another or take their property without permission. There are repercussions for criminal acts. Under our current society, the State punishes criminal acts against others. Under Anarchy, the victim negotiates restitution with the perpetrator in a communal court.

From a practical sense it requires people to be engaged in the process of self-governance either by direct involvement or by hiring representatives as is done today. The difference is there is no overarching government with plenary power over the people.

point taken

but how about you state where you stand......it was just a question

Lets see...

Would I be better off if the majority of people didn't believe that some other special people had the so called authority to declare what they were going to take from me? Would I be better off if most people wouldn't cheer for those special people when they came to collect from me when I attempted to defend myself and my property? Would I be better off if those special people didn't treat me like cattle, to be exploited for their maximum gain? Would I be better off if those special people weren't using money taken from me to go harm people all over the globe allegedly in my name and allegedly for my benefit?

I can't imagine a world where sociopaths and psychopaths aren't looked upon as anything other than our saviors and guardians, can you?

This conversation misses a very important point

Everyone here seems to be focused on how to control the evils in society without any centrally authorized police-type system. I say that statement, in an of itself, is misleading.

The missing info was perhaps set up by the op in mentioning that we are currently robbed of around 50% of our returns on our labor. I contend that this makes people assume at most a doubling in wealth (meaning disposable income in most minds) would be the benefit with that weighed against a private security regimen cost for each person/family. Doing this math, the individual comes out roughly similar to where they stand today.

However, the more likely numbers are that we are being robbed of more than 99% of our labor's prosperity. Also, that number relates to our gross income, not disposable. In other words, we should compare around 5 times the income (resulting in 50 times the disposable income!) vs. extra personal security to see which side we like. Compounded on this is the result that even a part-time burger flipping job can now easily support any family without resorting to a life of crime.

So the question becomes: "What would an anarchist society of such vast individual wealth look like and how would it work?"

Evidently, no one cares

to investigate root problems. Let's just stay on the surface because it's easier, right?

I doesn't seem that you have provided a root problem but..

rather an argument that makes anarchism even that much more attractive.

The problem I refer to is banker theft

The problem at the root of this discussion and most all of our other problems is "we are being robbed of more than 99% of our labor's prosperity".

With that problem corrected, I contend that the anarchism/government question would be drastically different. People wouldn't focus on how to stop theft because there would be far less motives for people to steal. If people could earn a fair living just flipping burgers and they could also earn a wealthy living by pouring concrete, most existing crimes of greed would become not worth the risk.

On this site, hopefully, we all know who is robbing us at every link in the chain. I say, all we have to do is offer up better competition to their banking services and to their minions (the mega-corporations') goods and services and then run their stocks into a death spiral. By offering better alternatives, we not only keep the economy going but we foster improvements along the way.

This gets into the how of fixing it, but I think you wanted to focus on whether anarchy beats the other 'isms' in terms of how best to run a society. All I am saying here is that this debate is a drastically different one if we consider how wealthy people would be without a banking cartel taking 99% of our earnings.

I agree that banking cartels are the biggest thieves...

However, banking cartels cannot exist without the use of government force. They've tried and failed in the past. So, under anarchism, the worry of banking cartels would be irrelevant.

One of the most damning aspects of having government is the existence of regulatory capture. I believe it is unavoidable.

You would probably enjoy Rothbard's The Case Against the Fed. It's available at Mises.org in both text and audio.

But you're missing the bigger point.

My question was "What would anarchy look like ..." if that banker robbery wasn't present? In other words, when a burger job pays $40k/yr for part time and prices have fallen to half and personal taxes are unnecessary and welfare can't compete with charities... When that day comes, which it will if we eliminate bank games, then what will people use as a justification to say they would rather have capitalism vs. anarchism?

My opinion is that every single reason for government will go out the window. I only see international military as a union of the states' purpose and even that goes away if other countries went localized.

So, what I'm saying is this discussion is a catch-22 in a good way. Eliminate the bankers and we end up with prosperity and anarchy that really works. Switch our form of government to anarchy and we end up eliminating the banks and gain prosperity. Can you see how it's an intertwined aspect of this discussion?

I see your point, and...

That is why Ron Paul has tried to get people to wake up to the fact that economic and social freedom are not separate things.