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When you create a state, you create inevitable violence

The nature of the State is violence. It cannot do its' job without introducing violence, and it inevitably runs amuck with genocidal violence.

Anarchists are NOT inevitably violent because their relationships do not require violence. That does not mean there will be no violence, just that it is not a structural part of anarchy.

I've heard something similar

I've heard something similar before... I think it went a little like this.

The nature of the Gun is violence. It cannot do its' job without introducing violence, and it inevitably runs amuck with genocidal violence.

Police men are NOT inevitably violent because their relationships do not require violence. That does not mean there will be no violence, just that it is not a structural part of policing.

I think you've fallen into a similar fallacy blaming the tool (government) instead of the actual cause (violent people).

I see your point

But I don't think of the State or Government as a Thing so much as a collection of people with certain granted powers. Is it a a manner of speaking. But unlike a gun, it is self-directed and not controllable by the the 'owner.'

The State cannot exist except by violence. The gun is an inanimate object incapable of causing violence on its' own.

You keep hammering in on that

You keep hammering in on that point, that the state creates inevitable violence. That is a completely unsubstantiated point. Violence is inevitable, period, with or without the state. The state is a tool, it can be used to further the violence or to prevent it. Overwhelmingly it has been used for the former but it has most certainly been used for the latter as well (overwhelmingly, guns have been used as part of crime, whether government-sanctioned or not, but they're just a tool).

The government is exactly like the gun. It is also an inanimate object incapable of causing violence without the help of men. It is as controllable by the "owner" as much as any protective organization would be, whether you call it a government or a private security company. But you're right, just like you can't control the person holding the gun, you can't control the people in a government, because they are people. That's just a physical fact of existence, and a total irrelevant straw man in the case of whether or not we should have organized protection from violence.

Who has killed more?

In the 20th Century, who has killed more people? Street thugs, or governments?

Now tell me about all the good they do.

I disagree that there is any similarity between an inanimate object and a government. We have no common ground on this point.

What does that comparison

What does that comparison have to do with the price of tea in China? Your arguments seem designed to debate someone who thinks that government is being done correctly. I don't.

If you have truly thought my analogy through and still disagree with the similarities, perhaps you could articulate why instead of asking an arbitrary question and then stating that you disagree. The government is a tool as is any organization. I don't understand what your argument is, that the government is itself an additional mystical entity, above and beyond the people operating it, with a will of its own and control over the people in it?

You keep refering to Government as a tool we use

It is closer to the truth that governments use us. We are the ones controlled, taxed, drafted, regulated, etc., because government is made up of people who lie, bluster, manipulate, or use force to get what they want. They put a patina of 'democracy' in place to make it appear that We The People elect our government, but when the deck is stacked by the incumbents in favor of incumbency, then there is no meaningful control of the government by the People. The People don't use government...the government uses the People.

Worse yet, most of the people who constitute the government are not elected, yet their decisions have the force of law without the possibility of being unelected. We are their subjects. They are our rulers.

That is why I say government is not a tool. It is organized force, generally wielded by people who enjoy running other people's lives. Those of us who do not have designs on our neighbor's property, or time, or lives, or children generally are not attracted to the trappings of power. We just want to live and let live.

Ironically, it is We who enable governments to do what they do by handing to government officials the power to run our lives. They could do nothing to us if a large number of people did not sanction their actions. Withdraw support of government and it cannot pay for its' programs, or staff its' offices, or prosecute its' wars. Government officials know this, so they go out of their way to lie and spin and make themselves look as though they are indispensable.

Example: "If there were no government, the Chinese would invade." If there was no government, no one would help the poor." If there was no government, there would be no monetary system." All of it bullshit, but all of it believed by a majority of the People.

It is said that without governments, bad people would run amok and there would be killings, robberies, rapes. Well, I dispute that, as there are many examples of people who do not have access to government police and courts and yet they generally treat each other with fairness and respect. That is not to say there will be NO rapes, robberies, or murders. Bad people will do bad things. Without the apparatus of government, however, these criminals can only do damage one-at-a-time. If you establish a central authority with exclusive powers, the criminals can take advantage of the concentration of power and wreak mass injustice.

Anarchy does not mean disorder. Nor does it mean lack of commonly accepted mores or rules. What keeps Detroit from going the way of Mad Max? It is custom, mores, moral authority, and the desire for peaceful and fulfilling human interaction. Lord knows it's not because the police are doing a good job!

When I flippantly asked you to compare the number of people killed by criminals and the number of people killed by governments, I was trying to make the point that concentrated power is the danger. Bad people will always be among us. Let's not give them the levers of power, in the form of government, to be our oppressors.

Rob you are saying

Rob you are saying governments kill people, as if to contrast it to people without governments.

No such people exist.

The human propensity for violence creates governments to begin with, and those governments go about doing horrible things.

Presenting the false alternative of people who lack government or have no propensity toward violence does not advance the goal of reducing harm.

The amount of warfare and death per capita in the conditions of primitive, tribal warfare was even higher than the death tolls at the height of 20th century wars, with all its mass murdering technology.

The basic, natural human unit, before the state, before political theory, was the kind of savage tribe that exterminated other tribes regularly and ritually. The tribes that exterminated the Neanderthals and all the other members of the genus Homo.

Tribal warfare takes a much higher population toll, and the captives aren't POWs, they aren't even slaves. They're tortured, slaughtered or eaten ritually.

You may have a solution or you may not, but you cannot point to the state as the origin of violence or even as worsening the conditions of violence, and cannot point to a stateless primitive society with a lower death toll from violence.

You may be able to point to isolated, specialized tribal communities (eskimos, say) that lived outside conditions that resulted in regular violence. There are also isolated, spiritual communities that use fine tuned social mechanisms like shaming and ostracism (the Amish) to regulate a community without recourse to force. But these are exceptional conditions, not average or representative conditions.

5 gold stars

5 gold stars

here, lemme fix that for

here, lemme fix that for ya.

The nature of Man is violence.*

The State doesn't come down from the heavens as something foreign from Man. It is created by man to control the violence that is part of his nature. Whether there is some better way of doing so or not, it will inevitably involve violence as a last resort to control violence. And the one violence will be called "legal" and "legitimate," because it is empowered to suppress all other, non-permitted violence.

The State does not originate or create violence. Violence existed before states. Would you at least admit that much?

Violence can combine to create greater, organized violence. So organized society has to respond with organized suppression of violence. That inherently creates a dangerous power invested with the legal right to act violently.

This isn't avoided in a private law, 100% contractual society. Even there, a power needs to be invested with the legal right to use violence, to successfully suppress the largest organization of illegal violence reasonably expected to attack peaceful society.

That power, whether vested by "private law" or public law, is still potentially dangerous by nature, and has to be controlled somehow.

Violence comes first, organized apparatus for suppressing violence follows therefrom. How best to set up organized legal violence is the question of "government" or "governance" or however you like it.

Violence exists in the hearts of human beings. That's why there are nations with militarizes and stockpiles of nuclear arms. Not because the Devil, or the State, or some mother bogeyman introduced it from the outside. But because it is part of the fundamental, ineradicable nature of the human animal.


Violence is part of the range of possible human actions. No one disputes that. Fortunately, the vast majority of individuals do not resort to violence, as demonstrated by the relative peacefulness of our modern communities, of primitive native societies, of even the most contentious places on earth. Even in the worst situations, like civil wars and monetary collapses, the vast majority of people tend toward compassion, not violence.

The creation of a State is not primarily about suppressing violence, it is about empowering the violent. It is a fiction that States are created by peaceful people to protect their liberties. The State is created by the violent for the good of the violent. Psychologists have noted that there is precious little difference between a criminal in jail and a politician in office. Both are sociopaths. It's just that one has figured out how to use institutional violence to enrich or empower himself or his clan. The other would like to, but hasn't figured it out.

As long as the People believe the State is their protector, they will be subject to the institutionalized violence of sociopaths. The primary duty of a politician is to convince the People that they NEED him to protect them, even if they really do not. Not unlike gangs and protection rackets.

If, however, the People come to see the State as their primary oppressor, there is hope for disassembling the sociopaths' apparatus of violence and reinstituting a more voluntary society.

Can it be disassembled all the way down to Anarchy? Yes and no. Yes, it is in the realm of possibilities...No, it is improbable. It all depends on the ability of the People to put violence into perspective and not run fearfully to the nearest thug or sociopath for "protection" from hyped up or imaginary dangers.

I'm not holding my breath.

1) most individuals have

1) most individuals have engaged in offensive or defensive violence at some point in life, even if only as children. it is indeed a part of our nature, curtailed mainly by training into a culture or morality imposed from above, by family and from society, not sprung from inner nature.

2) the relative peacefulness of modern communities can hardly be used as an argument against coercive legal order. it is a product of it. at the very least, it can't be claimed that peacefulness under the law is proof of peacefulness in absence of law. pointing to how people behave under a coercive legal order as evidence of how they would behave in uncharted territory, in the absence of coercive law, courts, and publicly funded justice, is not an argument that can be logically maintained.

3) primitive tribes were hardly peaceful. they may have had internal peaceful relations, held together by hierarchy, by implicit violence, by mores and taboos and customs. that is peace and altruism toward the ingroup, much like the peace within a family unit: hierarchy, implicit violence, altruism and particularism, but no written law.

outwardly, the tribe is at war with all other tribes, and has no sense of geography other than the line where other tribes start. war is intense, vicious, brutal, constant, and nearly pointless economically, and involves torture and cannibalism. the outgroup is dehumanized and demonized, so that every cruelty is permissible.

the idea of primitive tribes being peaceful is naive and ignorant of factual history. it is not a coincidence that civilized, capitalistic pioneers considered them savages, childlike in their innocence and in their cruelty and ignorance. they considered natives backward, and did everything to suppress and wipe out their insular and savage ways.

whether that was 'right' or 'wrong' isn't at issue. it appears to have been inevitable that cultures with advanced technology, dense populations, high division of labor, would not forever allow half the globe to be blocked to settlement by a thin wall of weak, divided savages, thinly populating coastlines and living a subsistence, hunter gatherer lifestyle. '

the tribes themselves, ever at war, were eager to use any advantage or alliance with the newcomers to destroy the tribes living side by side with them, who were almost identical in every way. thus willing to befriend the civilized man to get his weapons to use against other tribes. consider that a free lesson in real history.

4) the State may well be created by the violent rather than the peaceful. but the peaceful lacked the ability to defend themselves from the violent, in order for this original State to arise. therefore it doesn't matter who originated the state, because in conditions without it, the "good people" were defenseless. they obviously needed better protection if they were unable to prevent the violent people from getting into power. if their own state hadn't formed, violently or otherwise, some neighboring state would have overrun them.

5) if the people are therefore defenseless against the violence of the powerful, then clearly they need an organized apparatus, funded somehow, and able to specialize in defense, to deter or defend against these obviously prolific organizations of violent men. i.e., government and military.

We disagree profoundly

I will not attempt to counter each point...we disagree so profoundly that it can only descend into acrimony.

I find it curious that you agree that governments are formed by the violent to perpetuate the power of the violent. You advocate that the People need to form a more powerful benign government to protect them from the transgressions of the evil government. As I see it, granting power to some individuals to tax and coerce so they can protect you from another group of individuals who are taxing and coercing is nearly the perfect description of protection rackets. Power, once granted, inevitably expands until the protector becomes as bad as or worse than the original oppressor.

We have nothing further to discuss. You've made your points. I disagree. Our world views are too different to reconcile.

Fair enough. But simple logic

Fair enough. But simple logic says that if you aren't investing economically in your own defense, those who are investing economically in offense will pwn you. Whether on an individual or a group or a national level. Invest in defense, or get pwned. History shows no other state of things. No other state of things is even feasible without a completely dif human nature.

Good game.

I agree with some of your points here,

but not all.

1) The nature of man is not violence. The nature of SOME men is violence. The nature of OTHER men (the big majority) is peaceful coexistence. We do need to protect ourselves against the violent ones, but we need not generalize from that small minority to the nature of all men.

2) The reason that nations stockpile nuclear arms has less to do with some mystical "violence in the human heart" and more to do with the power structure of government. I find it hard to believe that a free market would fund nuclear bombs build up, especially since most of the uranium would sell for a higher price for nuclear power. But may be I am wrong, I don't know.

Don't be such a pessimist, BILL3. There is also love in the world.

"All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind." - Khalil Gibran
"The Perfect Man has no self; the Holy Man has no merit; the Sage has no fame." - Chuang Tzu

here, lemme fix that for ya

Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

good thing no one has

good thing no one has absolute power. i think you yourself argued recently that even tyrants and dictators aren't insulated from the pressures of other constituents of society. they are not immortal.

the well spring of liberty is therefore a world of divided and competing power rather than centralized power. the ironic part is that it is largely the growth of individualism - the individual's complete independent from other social institutions - that has empowered the total state. every step of the way the state sold itself to the individual as his emancipator from feudal lord, church, guild, extended family, finally even parents and local community.

at the end point of such an evolution you're left merely with the isolated and defenseless individual and the total state, pretending to guarantee his liberty.

the places where the state has been historically weakest has been when large extended kinship, tribal, or financial networks had local autonomy, lived above and outside public law, and engaged in free use of private violence.

e.g., islamic society an d its extended kinship networks. or powerful autonomous households (feudal domains), powerful merchants with armies of retainers and mercenaries (families in renaissance cites of italy).

the state has never been weak in a society of isolated individuals who's rights and claims could only be defended by a ubiquitous central state.

your theory of liberty is wrong.

read james burnhams "Machievellians: Defenders of Freedom" for a realistic understanding of the basis of political liberty - conflict between opposing rivals for power.

Hitler kept The Prince by his bed...

You're in good company.

I've read The Prince I don't need someone elses interpretation.

your resorting to argument ad

your resorting to argument ad hitlerum is pathetic.

there is no evidence hitler ever read Machiavelli let alone was influenced by his work.

do you just make stuff up? your ignorance is breathtaking.


In an anarchist society, how do you manage disputes or a justice system? Are there any jails and how do you manage punishment for criminal activity? Also, how is transportation managed without funding for roads? Are there competing roads that run parallel by different companies?

Anarcho-capitalism sounds good from a philosophical level but if someone could enlighten me on the logistics that will keep everything running smoothly it will be appreciated.

We all share this eternally evolving present moment- The past and future only exist as inconsequential mental fabrications.

This short free book answered my questions....

As I read it, I slapped myself at how bad my imagination was. The stateless answers are so easy to understand.

Go here
The book is called "A practical guide to anarchism."
Protect your assets and profit from the greatest wealth transfer in history.


Shameless self-plug! I've written extensively attempting to answer many if these same questions.

Freedom has always worked throughout history, providing everything from law to roads to peanut butter.
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

Civil disputes could be managed by...

an arbitrator agreed upon in the original contract.

As for criminal activity, there would be no victimless crimes - no illegal drug trade, no illegal consumption of particular goods, etc. I think a novel idea to deal with thieves would be to have theft insurance whereby those that wanted it would pay a regular fee to an insurance company. Upon the occurrence of theft, the insurance company would investigate and try to recover the stolen goods. In cases that are solved, thieves would be treated like hot check writers (which are also thieves) whereby they would be turned into social pariah by informing everyone in the community or alternatively they may be able to work off the debt incurred by their misdeeds by laboring for the person that was stolen from.

Unfortunately, murders would have to be dealt with more severely. Cases may likely be investigated by private investigators and the evidence brought before a voluntary grand jury for the person to be judged. If the person chooses to defend themselves they may hire counsel to represent them before the jury. The perpetrator could flee, but pictures, descriptions, and crimes of the person would be forwarded to all communities, where the particular community could decide to do business with him/her. If the person came before the jury, they would face whatever punishment (or lack thereof) that the jury thought suitable.

As for transportation, who actually builds the roads now? Answer: Construction companies. Would construction companies cease to exist? No. Would demand for roads cease to exist? No. The people already pay for roads, except in the current system the money passes through a middle man thereby making the process less efficient and more costly. Roads would be cheaper under a system without the State.

To ease you into the idea, would you agree to the idea to make taxation voluntary? Further, would you agree to idea that people could itemize the taxes that they decide to pay - thereby appropriating tax money before it ever reaches the politicians? In this case, if you think that no one will pay taxes, then you admit that there is no demand for the "services" government performs. People may for a short time not pay any taxes, but then, they may find that they need certain services - so they would begin to pay taxes on demand to fulfill those particular roles. However, in the case described, we have transformed government into a business working to supply demands of the consumer. This is de facto anarcho-capitalism.

I really like the theft insurance policy

but on the murder solution, I'm not sure I'm sold on that.

Who would be in charge of organizing the grand jury? You say it would be voluntary, but wouldn't the people, most likely, that are interested, and be volunteering, have some sort of bias in the case? Wouldn't there be a conflict of interest?

I am not understanding how that would work.

I was giving it some more thought earlier while I was cooking...

I was speculating about how many people that murder (and don't get caught) go on to murder again. After consideration, I figured that the number would be relatively small - that is, that most folks probably aren't serial killers but are more likely to kill someone in an emotionally charged situation. Also, I figured that most people would be disturbed for the rest of their lives after performing such an act. Look how crazy OJ got. It destroyed him.

Ultimately, I think it would become common for most people to carry sidearms for purposes of self-defense. Anyone that was known to be a dangerous person would probably have a hard time in such a society. Once they became a known murderer, others would have an itchy trigger finger around them, and they would likely get killed if they continued being ornery.

I knew a fellow when I was living in Texas that pulled a gun on me one time. I told him to go ahead and shoot, but he didn't. He was known to be haphazard. Later, I told him that if he ever pulled a weapon on me again he better use it because I had already let him off the hook once. Then, here a couple of years ago, one of my old friends told me that he pulled a gun on a fellow at a bar, and the guy shot and killed him in self-defense.

Outlaws probably had a pretty short life expectancy in the early American West. Rugged folks don't put up with that nonsense.

I think most of the violence that occurs in the US today - besides domestic violence and that among friends - is associated with drug prohibition. I wonder how much violent crime would drop if all drugs were made legal? I know that there's some violence attributed with use, but I believe most of it is from the illegal trade and the environment it produces.

In a free society, if, for instance, a man murdered his wife, most people in the community would know or suspect him very strongly. They would be free to choose not to do business with him. He would likely lead a tormented life for the rest of his days.

After further consideration, I'm not sure that even a jury would be required as long as people communicated and were willing to defend themselves.

Nonetheless, I seriously doubt that the murder rate would exceed that of modern governments. Overall, there would very likely be much less people that were unnecessarily killed.

This is a great comment, and

This is a great comment, and I think absolutely true.

But it only refers to the violence that might be expected from individuals in a society that has chosen to live without much law enforcement.

It basically deals with how people with bad attitudes, poor impulse control and propensity for violence would be dealt with in the sort of rough communities bred by a lack of law.

Let me raise two points.

One, the kind of people who choose a rough society where they expect to have to defend themselves and raise a weapon are unique, they aren't universal and aren't likely a product of education. I think its a question of temperament, and many of the people of that kind of tough, independent temperament are the ones who end up on the edges of society where violence has to be regulated by men standing up in self defense.

The timid, who prefer public law enforcement and fear any violence, let alone gun violence, don't end up on the edge of the legal net where they would encounter such obstacles.

It seems like a big assumption to think that people who have chosen law, through their own timidity, can be forced somehow or convinced somehow to become rugged individualists. Some people are just soft, and will prefer to empower dogs to keep wolves at bay. You can't necessarily make all sheep into German shepherds, and its folly to believe people are inherently more German shepherd than sheep.

The second objection goes deeper.

Let's focus on violence that is not mere individual rowdiness and propensity to snap and act out in random aggression.

What about real, organized violence. I don't even mean the kind that springs from prohibition of trade in goods (black market violence).

I finished up Mises' Socialism today. Toward the end, he dealt with some behavior that was common in the 1920s and 30s by the trade union movement.

The trade unions were voluntary organizations whos activity was not really sanctioned by the law. Mises focus was on the nature of the tactic of the "general strike."

Not just the strike to get a wage raise, but the general strike to shut down production of necessary goods, basically holding society hostage, threatening great bodily harm to the hundreds of thousands of dependents on the system of market delivery of goods.

Even aside from their contract breaking and gangsterism and violence toward strike breakers, these general strikes were a grave menace and in essence a form of violence that threatened the whole fabric of society and often ended up on political capture of power by these socialist parties.

Often, this kind of thing had to be put down by force and resulted in civil war. Fascism was born in fighting this kind of mass organized political violence.

But in a sense, much of this activity was voluntary and simply free association and mutual action - cease working. The law was violated around the edges, intimidating "scabs" and strike breakers, damaging company and private property.

But suffice it so say that this kind of organized social and political violence cannot be dealt with in the same way as handling a rowdy fellow at a bar who's had too many drinks.

I agree with that

I told a friend of mine a year and a half ago that "I'm not going to call myself an anarchist, but I feel like if I follow this idea (NAP) to it's logical conclusion that's where I'll end up". I am much further towards that than I was then, and you and a few others on here can be credited for some of that.

Anyway, what about lynch mobs and vigilante justice?

It's tough one to deal with in a society that glorifies violence. but we truly would live in a world where the morality of the people reflect the morality of society. I believe that people, for the most part, are good and if the power is spread out to the people it would show. When you centralize power, you just have to hope that good people control it and can overcome the corrupting power of it. I know which one I'd choose.

When I see your posts dwalters

I always read carefully because you have a good way of presenting ideas. Thank you.

I would like to self identify as AnCap, but I still have doubts about the feasibility of some aspects. For example, who has rights over wild animals? I'm not sure if I'm asking that the right way, but I think you get the idea.

If the answer is, "well if the deer is on my property, then its meat in my fridge" then my next question would be, "what if I'm the neighbor next door, and I was expecting those deer to come on my property?"

tasmlab's picture

Nothing much happens when you identify as an An Cap

If you start identifying as an An Cap, nothing much happens. There's no party or induction ceremony. The government still lumbers on unchanged as if you never decided to identify. You don't have much risk.

It's a fascinating study though. Highly recommended. I'm not sure anyone ever has to be totally conclusive and right, despite it being our instincts to be so. Nobody has perfect knowledge.

There's certainly some issues that are hard to take in Like incestual pedophilia, serial killers, air pollution.

Keep in mind that you don't have to solve every problem. Government doesn't do it.

Hunting on your property doesn't seem much different than farming on your property or making stuff in you woodshop on your property. If you are feeling neighborly, maybe you could toss your neighbor a few steaks to be friendly.

Currently consuming: Morehouse's "Better off free", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football

well, what I meant by "self identify"

was along the lines of, what am I striving for? I am a part of the Liberty movement, but what direction is it going in? Which school of thought has the greatest influence and validity?

that's not to say that I don't have a mind of my own and that I'm just trying to latch on to what seems popular, it just means that I am trying to flesh out the details of what America can become after the great unraveling or whatever it is that we are all in the midst of.

Anarcho-capitalism, seems to me to be a lofty ideal, worthy of discussion and something to strive for but in the end may never be fully achievable because of one simple fact. The flaws of man, The dark side of humanity.

I think like so many other belief systems that begin as truly wholesome messages, they get corrupted over time. Need I point any farther than the major organized religions of the world for an example?

And so for me, like so many others here. I don't have a cookie cutter label to hang on my door, but I am looking and my only criteria for all things that I consider is to ask one question; does this advance the cause of individual liberty?

Because in my heart of hearts I want to be left alone. Time in general, and the days we have on this earth specifically, are a finite resource. I resent every moment that is frittered away on mind-boggling preparing income taxes.