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Anarchism and Eschatology - Why anarcho capitalism is not a solution, per se

My argument is that anarchism is impossible - sort of. Let me note that I think that anarchism is the most just, and probably most beneficent 'system' a society can arrange for itself - if such a thing can be said.

It is absurd to say that we should 'enact' anarcho-capitalism. Obviously, no anarchist would suggest this. You can't vote anarchism into existence.

So, anarchism is supposed to come by default. The state will collapse, people will take care of things themselves - POOF - anarcho capitalism. In another scenario, the people take care of things themselves first, and then the state dissolves into nothing.

I propose that neither scenario is possible, for two reasons. One, while the state exists it will prevent anarchism. That is, it won't use force to stop liberal behavior, it will instead construct a social paradigm that is unbreakable as part of its statecraft. The problem with statism is that people choose to support it and its paradigm. This leads to problem #2, which is that in the economics of division of labor, feudalism is vastly more cost effective than 'private security and insurance'. People value and seek stability, and for most of history the petty wars of princes have provided more of it than raw barbaric gang-ism. Feudal arrangements are horrible, unjust, and repressive contracts that no one would rationally select. However, the cost of education and trust are much higher than the benefits of stability under a feudal lord.

Thus, when the state exists, it reinforces its position in the market for security through social policy (education, wealth distribution, and repression). When the state does not exist, economic conditions cause society to associate the state with stability itself, due to the cost of acting otherwise (to include taking the time to become educated, and engage in political activity).

Thus, there is simply no political path to anarchism (by political I specifically do NOT mean statist, I refer to that process of people in a society coming to a consensus through voluntary behavior and consent over what rules govern interaction between them. Anarchism treats this differently, because the market drives a lot of behavior, as opposed to debate and voting, but there is still a political process by which the actors in a society choose to adopt different norms when interacting with each other).

Thus, anarchism is impossible.

Now, I take it back. It is possible, but only in one scenario. True anarchism won't result upon the collapse of the state. It will be the result of society's transcendence beyond the state. As society progresses, becoming more and more educated and experienced, it will need the state less and less. That is, at some point that cost of being educated and providing stability will be less than the cost of repression - and everyone will know it. The state will shrink as pressure is brought to bear against state intervention as participants will know this intervention to be more costly than not. At some point, the state will shrink to nothing. Perhaps it will remain as a curious tradition, much like many old monarchies.

I think that is a scenario under which society will have anarchism. Anarchism will result from society's progress, and therefore is a sort of eschatological system of government. Only after the perfection of society will it be a viable system. And, I am certainly being hyperbolic, but only to make the point.

With all this in mind, the question remains: what is to be done until then? The first conclusion is that anarcho-capitalism is a counterproductive ideology. Again, I take it back some. The ideology must be taught, people must be made aware of the argument against the state, and be taught civilized behavior that transcends the state. Discussions on anarchy-capitalism are incredibly useful, and have not come close to reaching their maximum utility. Indeed, it has only begun.

Politically oriented discussions of anarcho-capitalism miss the point. It is not enough to argue against the state. There is a state, and there is a society which depends on the state. I depend on the state, because it is there and has shut down its alternatives.

We must therefore devise political solutions that benefit from an awareness of the anarchistic ideal, but are practicable. I don't mean solutions that give any credence to the morass of electoral politics. Rather, solutions that acknowledge the present position of the state in society.

For example: compared to the rest of military spending, a defensive nuclear deterrent is a good deal and probably necessary until other nuclear players become convinced that the aggression of the US government has ceased. That trust may take a century. Some agent has to manage that nuclear deterrent. Maybe or maybe not, but a nuclear deterrent is perhaps something that needs to be 'kept' for a while even if we end all aggression through policy.

Also: social insurance. Be it food regulations, unemployment insurance, or social security. People and institutions have planned generations around these things. You can't defensibly pull out the rug from these programs. The fact is society depends on them, even if they aren't the ideal means of solving the problems they purportedly exist for. To get rid of them before society can transition in the least costly way to some alternative is to rob society. If a communist government owned everyone's house, dissolving communism wouldn't justifiably involve auctioning everyone's homes to three big banks.

So, unlike the 'Libertarians', I see anarcho-capitalist idealists as much much more moderate about government reforms. Oh, there would be doozies if 'we' took over, in terms of shuttering the activities of governments the states over. But there would be no intrinsic nativist/populist hatred of different kinds of programs. Big government is not the fault of a few antagonistic demographics, it's just a big darn mess everyone played a part in. The goal is to end the mess, not punish the people who we blame it upon.

Part of this is recognizing that the ideal - anarchy - is not something you can enact. So there's nothing like 'libertarian' policy. It's not like we can adjust the tax rates and make the world right. No, the world stinks and it will for a long time. We need to create a sustainable transition, one that produces the obvious short-term benefits, but leads to the long-term ideals. One that includes immediate justice: stopping wars of aggression, and police statism. And, sure, that can include some tax cuts.

Do you get what I mean? Anyone?

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Here is the problem with

Here is the problem with being anti-state, and the reason that anarchy is untenable:


As a noun, a people permanently occupying a fixed territory bound together by common habits and custom into one body politic exercising, through the medium of an organized government, independent sovereignty and control over all persons and things within its boundaries, capable of making war and peace and of entering into international relations with other states. The section of territory occupied by one of the United States. The people of a state, in their collective capacity, considered as the party wronged by a criminal deed; the public; as in the title of a case, "The State v. A. B." The circumstances or condition of a being or thing at a given time.

As a verb, to express the particulars of a thing in writing or in words; to set down or set forth in detail; to aver, allege, or declare. To set down in gross; to mention in general terms, or by way of reference; to refer.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


I certainly agree that the Federal government exercises extra-constitutional power and authority, but to dismantle it requires having standing in law to do so. In order to have standing, one has to have the proper status. Few realize that the 14th amendment changes their de jure status as a member of the Union States' body politics weilding sovereignty over the entire constitutional system to a de facto subject citizen of congress with no political power or sovereignty whatsoever.

When we unite in lawful de jure status once more, and secure republican freedom for ourselves again outside the control of Congress, we will find that to dismantle our States is folly, achieving only disunity and lawlessness, for there will then remain no body politic to exercise sovereign authority over any law.

Knowing the law is freeing, but eliminating law eliminates Sovereignty for everyone. There is no, and can never be, such a thing as "individual sovereignty" especially if you believe in the NAP. There is, however a big difference between statutory law and common law. In republican freedom we can design the protection of our freedom in any manner we choose. The trick is to get to a State of republican freedom.

~ Engage in the war of attrition: http://pacalliance.us/redamendment/

The only way to arrive at anarcho-capitalism...

...is to gradually shrink the state until so little remains that the final move into the free society is almost seamless. Thinking you can go direct from the status quo to anarcho-capitalism is extremely naive, and would be a bad idea even if it were possible: you'd end up with chaos, not the free society. The market could not replace all the functions of the state instantaneously, it would take time, and a lot of people would starve to death and kill each other in the interim. Not to mention that people are just not psychologically ready for that kind of freedom yet.

Aside from being the only viable way forward, the gradualist approach is nice in that it allows all of us (Constitutionalists, minarchists, and ancaps) to walk together most of the distance. We can all work together toward achieving Constitutional government. For some of us, that will be the end, for others it will only be a first step, and we can fight about that when the time comes, but the hardest part of the fight will have already been won, by all of us working together against the real enemy.

"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."

Why it is so hard to educate people about anarchy...

"I've invented a marvelous machine that can propel a wagon and its passengers at tremendous speed all the way across the city! I call it an internal combustion engine."

"It looks heavy, can one horse pull it?"

"No, no, we don't need horses. My machine supplies all the power."

"If the horse is not pulling it, then is it pushing it?"

"No, my good man, you misunderstand me. No horses"

"We need horses, otherwise what will pull the wagons?"

"My machine does it. Look, here it is."

"I don't see anyplace to attach the harness."

"Without horses, we don't need a harness."

"But without a harness, how will the horse pull it?"

"Sir, please stop and consider. Everything we need is in this machine right here. It is not pulled by a horse"

"Oh, I get it, so it carries the horse too? It looks too small to fit a horse. "

"No, it does not carry the horse at all."

"So the horse walks alongside it?"

"No, it goes much faster than a horse can run."

"So the horse won't be able to keep up? If you do away with the horse, what do you replace it with? A cheetah, perhaps?"

"We don't need any animal. This engine does all the work."

"But if you don't replace the horse, then what will pull your wagon?"

"No animal pulls it."

"So your wagon just stays still? Hey! Look everybody, this man has lost his senses, he is trying to sell us wagons that don't move! Hahahah"

tasmlab's picture

You forgot that the horse will lose his job (EOM)

Can't be eliminating jobs!

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

Go home, kook.

But what will your little 'gin go on if there isn't a government to build the roads? Hmm? Can't pull a cart without a road, can you? You see! I have stumped you with my logic! Go home, kook.

BTW did you make that up or is it a quote? Because that is some damn good funny dialogue.

Andrew Napolitano for President 2016!

"Patriotism should come from loving thy neighbor, not from worshiping Graven images." - ironman77

No, I got this from Facebook


Agree 100%

I believe there is a long evolutionary path of education and understanding before we can shake loose the grip of the state. All it takes is the success of capitalist anarchism in one area of the world that can act as a model for the rest to follow.

Anarchy is a Temporary Condition

...situation...state of being, defined as such:

"a state of disorder due to absence or nonrecognition of authority."


Mankind is not, by nature, disorderly...most people crave order in their lives, unless one is anti-social, or a hermit.

"Beyond the blackened skyline, beyond the smoky rain, dreams never turned to ashes up until.........
...Everything CHANGED !!

Anarchy Is Not Chaos - a poem by David Friedman

Government produces all order.
Under anarchy there is no government.
Therefore anarchy is chaos.

In Washington there isn't any plan
With "feeding David" on page sixty-four;
It must be accidental that the milk man
Leaves a bottle at my door.

It must be accidental that the butcher
Has carcasses arriving at his shop
The very place where, when I need some meat,
I accidentally stop.

My life is chaos turned miraculous;
I speak a word and people understand
Although it must be gibberish since words
Are not produced by governmental plan.

Now law and order, on the other hand
The state provides us for the public good;
That's why there's instant justice on demand
And safety in every neighborhood.

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus

permanent definition

Let me fix that for you:

Anarchy (noun) A state of order due to the absence or nonrecognition of authority.

Premise is wrong

This leads to problem #2, which is that in the economics of division of labor, feudalism is vastly more cost effective than 'private security and insurance'

Fuedalism, or any collectivist socioeconomic organization, is vastly less cost effective at a macro level. The more free the market the more efficient. There's a reason feudal societies didn't have the exponential capital growth we see in more liberal societies.

It's true that for the ruling class it's more efficient, but it depends on lies, to tell the prey class they aren't slaves, and guns when they stop believing the lies.

The rest of your commentary is ok. Yes one possibility is slow, if bumpy, recursive balkanization and decentralization.

Existing institutions, some of them, can become market firms. We need police, if vastly fewer in a world without made up 'crimes' of trying to compete in the market, or intoxication. Same with courts. Far fewer lawyers, I'm not sure if the profession would really exist in a free society. Who would subscribe to a legal system that you had to pay more to get a fair shake? Answer, you won't. Honest people will subscribe to the one whose judges are known for equity. Dishonest won't subscribe. If the court system makes a bad blunder, they will lose subscribers. Sure it might be tempting to rule in favor of the rich guy willing to bribe you. But then you lose everyone who isn't rich.

Freedom wins by default. Because yes, as you point out we aren't trying to replace anything.

To paraphrase Thomas Sowell. What do you replace the state with? That's like asking what do you replace cancer with.

The problem is the bad guys are gearing up with the plunder they have stolen. A slow and peaceful dissolution of evil is becoming less and less likely with every bearcat and drone.

tasmlab's picture

If anyone is curious...

Eschatology is the part of theology concerned with death, judgment, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind.

I had to look it up.

Interesting post. I enjoyed it.

Anarchism at this point may be as a big a fantasy as constitutional government. We do know that $36MM in Ron Paul bumper stickers doesn't result even in one less US bullet being shot in the Middle East or one penny less in taxes. We're pretty powerless.

But the conversation needs to remain. The moral argument against violence needs to persist. We need to be sweet to our children and show them the truth.

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

And Anarchy, Most Likely

..would lead us "astray"...it seems inconceivable that the "fulfillment" of that "fantasy" would ever bring us closer to Constitutional Government.
The flood-gates would be opened.....the Republic destroyed forever..and the "Era of Powerful Men" would ensue.
Case in point:
Is Russia any more "democratic" today?
LOOK at who is running the show....

"Beyond the blackened skyline, beyond the smoky rain, dreams never turned to ashes up until.........
...Everything CHANGED !!

If you want democracy you haven't been paying attention

And Russia is about as opposite to anarchy as a developed economy can get without collapsing. (though we may find out in the US soon) Russia is an oligarchy, practically an autarchy.

The threat of powerful men is the state. In a free society there are no "powerful men" in that sense because there is no power to seize.

I don't dream of the glory days of the old republic. I dream of freedom.

The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on Earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but only to have the law of nature for his rule. - Sam Adams

Where liberty dwells, there is my country - Benjamin Franklin

Simplicity defined

Don't make anarchy so difficult because it is not. The individually personified anarchism is to simply live your life free of the constraints of governments or law. We all do it on a daily basis. Government is a part of our lives because it was forced upon us and into our daily routines. But anarchy is not some political ideology but rather a way of life that is far simpler than many will make it out to be. Try this...

Live your life today as you would live it. Make no observations of laws and authority and conduct yourself in the average, everyday peaceful manner that you usually do. You see your everyday life is anarchy. You don't live your life because it is scripted. You live it one moment at a time. Anarchy recognizes this. Government does not. Government thinks that we need scripts, laws, systems, safety nets and everything else it attempts to provide. But it does so by the people who support government, not those who support anarchy. Those that support anarchy have opted out of getting their hands bloodied on behalf of government force and they stopped paying the beast. If you support government you have blood on your hands and it will never, ever be washed off. You will die guilty as sin because of either your support for the beast or your lack of understanding about how to correct the monopoly on force and misdirection. Anarchy works better than any government can simply because no one need make any extra effort in order to establish a system of order. We already have it. It is called life. Government only manipulate and destroy lives in the name of protecting them. Boy you really want to make anarchy so complicated. Stop thinking about government an you will see how simple anarchy is!

I think I get what you mean...

...but I think you are ignoring/underestimating the fact that the underlying foundation upon which our society has been built is slavery, plain and simple.

There is no justification for enslaving those who do not rely on the current system. We just need to have more of them. Yes, it's a hostile environment in which to build a civilized society on a different foundation---the foundation of voluntarism. But we have the opportunity to do it. Why not?

Read your paragraph again on social "insurance." (What a euphemism!)

People have planned around them? Who's responsibility is that?

I can't defensibly pull out the rug? It would be robbing society?

What of the robbery/slavery upon which these "programs" (another euphemism) exist? How is that defensible? How is it defensible to continue to contribute to them?

I'm with you that, in the realm of politics, waste and warfare and such things can get the priority to cut. This has to do with sound management of the livestock. But I am not livestock.

I wish there was an option on

I wish there was an option on every ballot of "no-confidence". I can't think of a quicker way to undermine the legitimacy of the state.

"In reality, the Constitution itself is incapable of achieving what we would like in limiting government power, no matter how well written."

~ Ron Paul, End the Fed

Abolishing the State = enacting anarcho-capitalism

There are a variety of ways to enact capitalism (shrink the State) without waiting for the rest of the world to catch up:

  • A net tax cut at any level
  • Privatization of any service (without redirection of funds)
  • Localization of control of a service
  • Implementation of a Civil Order Pact for public officials
  • Implementation of a Constitution that prohibits the State
  • Abolition of statutory law (via amendment or new countries)
  • Abolition of the Fed (along with reintroduction of free banking)
  • De-monopolization of "defense" (Let security companies do their job.)
  • Abolish the FCC, DOE, FDA, ...


Read "Instead of Politics (Civilization 101)"


Bump for discussion

Will read and respond later. From what I have read so far it sounds like you have given up on moving people towards ethical and moral behavior. Dangerous indeed.

There is no political path to

There is no political path to anarchy, there is only a personal one.

Plus one...

...and as a consequence, we *can* enact anarchy = voluntarism.

You started out OK

But then you wrote this.

"Now, I take it back. It is possible, but only in one scenario. True anarchism won't result upon the collapse of the state. It will be the result of society's transcendence beyond the state. As society progresses, becoming more and more educated and experienced, it will need the state less and less. That is, at some point that cost of being educated and providing stability will be less than the cost of repression - and everyone will know it. The state will shrink as pressure is brought to bear against state intervention as participants will know this intervention to be more costly than not. At some point, the state will shrink to nothing. Perhaps it will remain as a curious tradition, much like many old monarchies."

Education and experience has not brought us any closer to anarchism and will not unless anarchism is mandatorily taught in school but that is oxymoronic to the anarchist ideology. I'll go one further and say that "education" has distanced us from anarchy. The state doesn't shrink but they do tend to fall abruptly when they get too top heavy but then again at best you will get a short lived period of partial anarchism before the next government arises.

A new government will always arise and people may look at the old as a curiosity, perhaps, but they will still be under some new government. Anarchy doesn't work for two simple reasons. First you would need complete participation/nonparticipation for an anarchist society to exist. Secondly without the complete participation you would need some form of government to enforce anarchism which again is oxymoronic.

The problem I see with a lot of ideas that look good on paper is that they require some form of mass enlightenment of the human race to one way of thinking which will not happen. You will always have different classes, different incomes, different ideologies, etc...

Anarchism will never work as a viable long term societal norm.

And Anarchy

..is only TEMPORARY, as history has shown.

There are always those who will "use" that "situation" to rise to power.
To fantasize about "living day-to-day" as an "anarchist is simply one big "wet-dream".

"Beyond the blackened skyline, beyond the smoky rain, dreams never turned to ashes up until.........
...Everything CHANGED !!

Where to start?

Your first claim: complete participation/nonparticipation required.


Your second claim: Government enforcement required.


Different classes, incomes, ideologies?


The first step is to free your mind.

I know people who reject the idea of initiating violence against me. We have an anarchist society now. The question is: Do you personally support the initiation of violence against me personally? If you're voting and participating in other government rituals, paying taxes, and such things, then you do. So you need to free your mind. Then you can become part of our anarchist society.

By the way, mass enlightenment of the human race per se *does* happen. People have a much better understanding of the relation between hygiene and health---en mass. There are very few people unaware of the role germs play in disease, but it was not always that way. It will be that way about the idea of government one day.

Just telling me I'm wrong doesn't make you right.

The fact is that if everyone doesn't agree with the anarchism philosophy then it will not work. Just like communism. They may sound good on paper but they are unobtainable.

If 50% of the population decided to forgo government for personal independence and self rule then in no time at all the other 50% who desire government oversight will impose that government on the anarchists.

You are arguing with me as if I am arguing against anarchism. Whether I agree with anarchism is not the point. I am talking about real world implementation.

Anarchy will never work unless you have almost total acceptance and participation. One percent of the population fighting for central government can thwart any anarchist desires. And we all know that there are way more than that who look to government for their livelihood.

but for you...

just telling me I am wrong---accompanied with false statements---makes you right. That's nice.

The fact is that I HAVE decided to forego government for personal independence and self rule. Time has passed. No one has imposed "government" on me. So your assertion is demonstrably false. Just false.

But I know: you're still right. Anarchy can never work. Keep repeating that to yourself.

BTW, I am not arguing with you. I am simply pointing out that what you are saying is nonsense and demonstrably so.

You live in the USA

and are free from government intrusion? WOW! No sales taxes, no income taxes, no drivers license, property taxes, no automobile registration, no fees and taxes on internet service, no etc... Tell me how.

Just the fees and taxes on internet service alone would fund a substantial government. Yet somehow you are on the internet.

Seriously. Tell me how.

I live very secluded and independent. I rely on myself as much as possible but their is no denying that I am still under the authority of government. And although I am somewhat separated they can still exert that authority at any time they become displeased with me whether I like it or not or whether I recognize their self imposed authority or not.

That is the crux of what I am saying. I am not trying to offend you and am definitely not supporting government dependence.

There is no denying...

...slavery only ends with the slave.

The fact that thugs abuse you so much does not mean that they have authority. Only you can give them authority. When you remove your consent, you will put yourself in a position to reduce or eliminate the abuse.

I pay some sales taxes on some things. I pay less and less sales taxes as I develop my network of fellow anarchists with whom I trade. When all my trading is with them, sales taxes will be over for me.

The other things you mention are similar.

There are ways to extract resources above and beyond those which seem to be extracted without becoming dependent, and without exchanging honest labor for them. Put your mind to it. Put the psychopaths in proper perspective, and the possibilities really open up. They are not authorities. They are criminals. They are enemies.

The crux of what I'm saying is this: They may be able to exert authority upon you at any time. That is *your* choice. They cannot do that with me. They can only kill me.


You seem to be laboring under the assumption that there is education in this country.

Did you miss the part where the government is calling the shots on education? Why would they teach anything that threatens them? Do you assume they WANT to aid thoughtful, intelligent, independent students? I've never seen evidence of that, though I have seen evidence of them re-writing history to suit their agenda.

School in this country is a systematic authoritarian regime programming course, nothing more.

Allowing the government to run the schools was one of the biggest mistakes we made as America. What were we thinking? ;)

Just open the box and see

Perhaps you didn't notice the quotations

around "education". And if you will read my response above then perhaps you will understand what I am saying.

FYI. I home schooled my children because I fully understand the indoctrination camps that our government calls schools.