-9 votes

Further Thoughts on Anarchism

Modern anarchism is the theory that in the absence of government, people will generally do the right thing in all their social and commercial interactions. That isn't the normal definition given, but it follows from the arguments offered for anarchism.

In market anarchism or anarcho-capitalism, there is no special jurisdiction for justice: arrest, holding a trial or giving a verdict and sentence. There's no chain of appeals to finalize a decision.

Whether or not someone has committed a crime is the decision of a private court, either attached to or commissioned by some force-agent or agency.

Unlike under a government, there is no final arbiter or appeals process, going to higher courts, all of which follow the same law in relation to each other.

Today, if you commit theft, you go to a specific court, have certain rights like the right to an attorney, bail, jury trial, etc. If convicted you can appeal up to a certain point.

It is all very clear in terms of who has jurisdiction and what rights the accused has, even if it doesn't always work out that way in practice. The law is in the letter, the spirit is free to roam. If people lack vigilance about their rights, they are gone regardless of the paper.

There are problems with rights-literacy and there are problems with plea bargains and risk-reward of demanding trial, and these problems are deliberately imposed by the corrupt criminal justice system in order to prevent defendants from accessing their rights.

Too many laws and too many bureaucratic mouths to feed from the Crim Just trough create the incentive to avoid prolonged trial by jury with high standards of evidence. It costs too much to the beast, over what it takes in. This corruption needs to be remedied, and the only answer to that is vigilance and willingness to demand justice, as with any political goal.

Under anarchism, anyone can claim jurisdiction over anyone else. There is no magic number of jurors, and no single legitimate force agency sanctioned by the public or a majority in a territory.

There's nothing that requires a security agency or an arbitration agency to apply one code of law over another, and no requirement that all recognize a common appeal process or final arbiter.

Does someone have a right of appeal after conviction? Appeal to who, and how many times?

If a separate court deems the person innocent, and there is no tie breaker or final arbiter, then both sides could fight for the accused on the grounds that the other side is acting aggressively, and there is no tie breaker or final say. Neither side is in the wrong in terms of non-aggression, because both are convinced of their rightness and the aggression of the other. For any case where both sides aren't budging, there is no final arbiter.

Anarchists can only respond to these problems with their claim that people wouldn't do any of this, that everyone would agree to a harmonic legal system that would function smoothly, and rarely or never violate anarchist principles or the non-aggression principle.

For the anarchist, the real enforcement mechanism for NAP and anarchism is not in any institution, but the free market, allowing the true wishes of the people for anarchism to be expressed. Anarchists believe that everyone is an anarchist at heart, and that no matter how uncertain or dangerous an environment, most people will adhere to the non aggression principle and the golden rule on inherent moral grounds.

Anarchism is largely a theory of human nature, and that's why it ties in closely with economics. Someone like David Friedman will argue that people generally always act in what he considers their rational economic interest. He isn't worried about violence under anarchism because it is expensive in the present legal and market order. He thinks the rules and thought processes that prevail for the manager of a McDonald's are the same that would prevail for the leader of a force-agency, or an average Joe, in a world where no agreement is certain, no justice is guaranteed, and the devil take the hindmost.

This also applies to left wing anarchism. Its less sanguine theory of economics gives a different flavor of anarchism, one which is largely about preventing concentration of economic power, capital, market control, etc., and treating firms a a kind of government. The left anarchist sees predatory power lust in private as well as government organizations.

Suffice it to say that aside from all the problems of a functional justice system or of national defense conforming to NAP, and aside from other concerns, the deeper issue is the fundamentally flawed understanding of human nature as a merely economic nature.

Because of this wrong conception of human nature, anarchists are forced to concoct a villain. A collective called "government" or "the state" is designated scapegoat for all human political and social ills. Rather than saying "Humans behave violently, and the consequence is the State" they think, "Because of the State, there is violence among humans. If not for the State, people would not behave violently." They credit a nebulous, dehumanized collective with the crime of force, and anyone who engages in force is said to be "acting like a State." The reverse is true: People form States because humans use force; the State is acting humanly.

The need to resort to a villain is always the corollary and shadow of a faulty concept of human nature. A correct understanding of human nature, good and bad, will inoculate one from anarchism.

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been there, done that

I have lived in anarchy for more than a week in Chicago, Atlanta, and New York. I haven't tried anarchy in LA, but I'm sure I'd get along fine.

When are you going to give up YOUR free government shit?

bigmikedude's picture

Guess what

I have zero debt and never owned a credit card. Everything I own is paid for. And I take no handouts.

Do you vote?

If you do, then you're taking a handout of illigitimate force to steal stuff from others and force them to do things for your convenience, like offering up 30 to 50 percent of the fruits of their labor.

All I want to hear is how anarchists...

How will/can anarchists prevent factions from forming and competing for power?

Once individuals decide to work together to enforce moral laws, or any other laws, there is a form of government, and no longer a state of anarchy.

Are you a POT or a PET - Person Embracing Tyranny?

to get an answer...

You have to ask a question which makes sense.

You don't "enforce moral laws." That is an impossibility. How is the moral law "Do not murder" enforced now? The obvious and correct answer is: It is not. Not murdering is not "enforced." You can tell because some people still murder other people. So you're setting up something that is impossible, and then asking how I as an anarchist can accomplish it. Well, obviously, I can't. And neither can you.

And imagining that thinking some special people can murder others without consequences is going to enforce any moral law is beyond crazy. You don't think that is the consequence or an accurate description of the idea of government? Then you tell me what consequence Lon Horiuchi suffered for murdering Vicki Weaver?

LOL, The question makes sense, you just won't answer it!!!

You won't answer the simple question because it destroys your false premises.

Question: How can anarchists prevent competing factions from forming?
Answer: You can't.

Therefore there will always be some form of enforced "law" or dictate, even if only at a localized level. It's all about force. Government is force. You cannot eliminate force. Nor free will/choice.

If individuals voluntarily form factions, they may choose to set up their own rules. Laws. And Enforce those laws. Enforced Laws = Government.

So you shouldn't be concerned about the inevitable use of force, but whether it is Moral/Just or not, and whether you have the greater force or not.

Are you a POT or a PET - Person Embracing Tyranny?

An anarchist society is not without laws

It is a concious societal decision just as a constitutionally limited government is. Competing factions would not take society over for the same reason that a despot did not pop up and sieze power after the ratification of the constitution. Because the people of America understood that decentralized power was in their best interest and there was no way that they were going to let it happen.

This is why Big Mike is right when he says that we will probably never see a limited government or a paradigm shift towards anarchy within our lifetime. Because it all revolves around education and only an educated people could maintain a system of liberty. That is also why it is important to have such discussions in my opinion.

If you want to read possibly the best article on the question of warlords or factions taking over an anarchist society:

You didn't answer the question...

If you have laws you have government.

How are the laws known to the populace? Are there borders?
Who enforces the laws?

A "conscious societal decision"? Huh, what? A collective hive mind makes a decision? What?

Anarchists should just do a little victory dance right now. Jump for joy. You know why?...
Because this world is naturally in a state of anarchy!!!
You want anarchy? You have it.

Unfortunately anarchy immediately breaks down into hierarchies, based on which creatures tend to most effectively use force to their advantage.
So, unless you don't care about enforcing Justice (i.e.- MORAL law, which is NOT Natural Law i.e.-greater force wins), a minimal necessary amount of force must be assembled, voluntarily, to enforce Moral Law/Justice.
That is why our founders gave us the 2nd Amendment. A voluntary citizens' militia. Nothing about police in the constitution, and standing armies in peace time are forbidden.
That's an example of how it could work in a minarchy.

BigMikeDude is certainly right that the anarchy vs. minarchy debate is fruitless, and a distraction. But not because a minarchy is a fruitless goal to work towards. Ron Paul worked towards that goal. America, and this liberty movement are based on that goal.
The Constitution was an attempt at a minarchy.

The US government has NOT abided the constitution.
Ron Paul and this movement are trying to reverse that trend!

Anarchy however, as some here describe it, is literally impossible to achieve, let alone maintain. That is why the "discussion" is a distraction. It is what Yuri Bezmenov called "active measures", basically a misinformation psy-op to side-track and neutralize the liberty movement.

Here's why a minarchy is achievable and anarchy is impossible:
A Minarchy can be Enforced.
Enforcing a "State of Anarchy" is an oxymoron.

Are you a POT or a PET - Person Embracing Tyranny?

You're assuming anarchy as a state of transition

Just as people would come together to bring about a government that would attempt to remain limited, instead they would decide to have a stateless society. Is this so hard for you to conceive? It is the clearest and most effective form of societal organization for maintaining the liberty and growing wealth of a population. Common law has been the most effective system of order ever put to use by man kind so stop acting like it is such a foreign idea. There are a great many examples of societies and city states maintaining peace and economic prosperity where common law was practiced. America tried to keep this kind of a system going, but just as will always happen when coersive power is given to a governing body, it was over-ruled by the law of equity as officials realized that they could gain power through promises of other people's money.

The laws are known to the populace the same way they are known under a limited government. There is very little difference between your scenario of limited government and an anarchist society. It is not a collective hive mind decision any more than the 1787 constitutional convention was a hive think. The laws are based on non-agression so not consenting to them means that you want to murder and steal from people. There would probably be very local borders for different legal jurisdictions so that an individual could maintain a true right of exit. There would be no legislative action and you pay directly instead of through taxes for services like courts, police and fire protection.

You do not need to enforce liberty. That has nothing to do with why a system works or doesn't. People wanted to be in the United States because of its freedoms and the people wanted to attempt to maintain its system of laws. So the different colonies ratified the constitution. The same could be done for a system of laws based on non-agression. The only thing that the government is necessary to enforce is the collection of taxes and economic regulation.

There are already private police forces, and on a larger scale they are really not that hard to imagine. You could pay a small fee, like an insurance premium, on a monthly or yearly basis so if you ever need the police, or fire department, they just take care of the problem for you. If you did not choose to pay a monthly premium it does not mean you don't get service it just means that you have to pay a higher fee just as you would have to pay a doctor more for surgery out-of-pocket than if you had purchased insurance to pay for it. I could not imagine that a private company would not be thousands of times more effective and less expensive than the current situation we have to endure.

Just as you have a second amendment meant to keep the populace armed so that a despotism could be put down if it decided to take over, it would be the exact same thing under an anarchist system. Don't imagine Somalia when you think of what anarchy would look like, think 1787 American philosophical understanding and 2014 America's technology and economic infrustructure.

And Ron Paul recently did an interview in which he said that he tends to side with Rothbardian anarchists.

Volunteerism does have a

Volunteerism does have a set-in-stone law that acts as its final arbiter. The NAP. It is every bit as solid a governing philosophy as our Constitution, only it is simple. Very very simple. All law, all justice and all criminal activity are defined within it. It can't be twisted, it can't be changed. Under the NAP, there is no question as to whether a person is a criminal or not. Yet every verdict is peer reviewed by competitors hoping to find a mistake.

A Volunteerist society does not expect that everyone will do the right thing; it expects that everyone will serve themselves and fight each other (via capitalistic competition) over resources and wealth. This works because its what we are in our nature. It is the only system that actually embraces human nature.

The only difference between a government society and a volunteerist one, is that one sanctions criminals who directly violate your rights with a monopoly on force while promising to protect them, the other lets you choose between a number of competing companies who you feel will best protect your rights, and fire those who fail. Under volunteerism, there is no monopoly on force, rather there is a giant stalemate on force, making violent subversion suicide. Force monopolies breed tyranny; obviously.

BILL what you are saying is that people are too dumb and too evil to be free. Who runs government? People. So now, rather than having dumb evil all have the same rights and follow the same law; too small to do much damage, you want a system where dumb evil people form into giant armed gangs with nuclear missiles at their disposal and the sanction by other dumb evil people to violate other people's rights?

Government gangs kill billion and billions of people. They cage billions and billions of people, they race toward evil technologies that can end life on the planet, and they do all this because they have unlimited money and resources thanks to the tax-cows who put up with it. No company without a government to pave the way could ever achieve this. Governments are too dangerous to live.

If people are too dumb and evil to manage a volunteer society..

..then they are too dumb and evil to manage a limited government. Every assumption that Bill made was wrong and hopelessly ignorant of anarchist philosphy. If he won't read serious scholars and their full explanation of the subject than it is hardly worth arguing with him. He was wrong and confused from the very first sentence and it only got worse from there.

"Modern anarchism is the theory that in the absence of government, people will generally do the right thing in all their social and commercial interactions."

This is explained in every noteworthy discsussion on anarchism somewhwere in the first couple minutes. No one is expecting people to do the right thing in an anarchist society any more than any other society. There is a system of laws defended by most anarchists that has been used for most of human history and is still being used today as the basis for our modern legal system: Common Law.

He refuses to understand that a society that decides to live under principled non-coercion does so willingly just as they would enter into a system of constitutionally limited government. Rather than laws being passed as top-down legislation and forced upon the people by elected representitives, the legal structure would be clear and concise, agreed upon by the people of society and based on the principles of non agression. A community that could be trusted to not simply elect representitives that would bypass their constitutional limitations to steal from one group to give to another or to appease the majority by opressing the minority would be better served by leaving the common roles of government to be dealt with through free-enterprise.

It is clear that this system would be far less likely to perpetuate violence against a portion of the poplulation than would any government system which always ends up violently exploiting those that they are put in place to represent. It is unfortunate that you can argue with Bill until the cows come home and destroy every single one of his irrelevant hypotheticals, but he just continues to soldier on as though he makes some grand point that has never been brought up before.

Perhaps but I enjoy it, and

Perhaps but I enjoy it, and expand my own understanding as I explore his questions. To me its a no-brainer that a society based on voluntary choice as opposed to violent gang dominance is better. But many are stuck in the faith-based government dogma. It only improves us to counter their arguments as we ponder new ways to imagine how such a society would actually be implemented. People like us may actually have a hand in its creation some day.

In the end we can't expect everyone to agree with us or understand the NAP, simple as it seems. The best we can do is expand our own understanding and remain polite and constructive. Sooner or later most people who are truly interested in freedom will arrive here. Perhaps BILL hasn't had negative experiences with the gang like many of us have, and therefore has never had a need to confront the very idea of gang dominance. Much like Jan Heldfeld seems to be unable to face the reality that life only seems stable for us because we happen to live in the world's biggest gang. Were we citizens of Pakistan, his view would be drastically different. There is no gang more deadly and bloodthirsty than a government gang.

Ultimately he was proved incorrect alongside of Jan the first time he said a monopoly on force is a good idea. No monopoly is ever a good idea. Competition improves "every" service. And when it comes to force, a stalemate where everyone is armed with comparable destructive capability is ideal for upholding peace. If history has shown anything, you give one group overwhelming power and they will use it to oppress others.

In my opinion, it may be an arm's race in drone technology that forces a volunteerist society in the end as anyone has the capacity to 3D print a deadly mosquito sized death-bot. Scary thought, but is it much different than everyone carrying a gun? An armed society is a polite society. A deadly society is one that respects each others' rights.

Ha that is as good a reason as any!

And really I have been going against my own recommendation all day by arguing with people on this post as well. You could not be more right. I hope that I didn't offend you with my drawn out response to your thoughtful post. I was trying to make a point to anyone reading, not to educate you who clearly did not need to be educated.


These anarchist/minarchist/libertarian utopias, if/when put into place, do/would not last long anyway. In a finite world with finite resources, human nature inevitably takes over and the end result is the same. The powers of government, or pseudo-government gangs, grow exponentially larger until a tyrannical state is reached. The oppressed band together, revolt, and put their pipe dream ideologies of no/limited government into place.


Yeah Hillary, what difference

Yeah Hillary, what difference does it make? Why do you even bother then?

"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

You're like an infant

how do I survive without an oppressive group to control me? You ramble on and on, making such a simple subject into huge problems because you are indoctrinated... how do I do this and that without government?

The real problem is you don't want to even know how, you just want to complain.

Everyone is born an anarchist, you only turn into an piece of crap later

He's one of the many statist

He's one of the many statist trolls here either too fearful of freedom that he needs to get others to join his little fear-collective or he's an even worse kind of troll that has a more nefarious purpose and agenda.

Either way, he's no libertarian, just a pretender.

"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


We're born anarchists, before the oppressive government of the family brainwashes us with basic survival skills and mind-control tools like language.

If your family was like government

then that explains the indoctrination.... what are the basic survival skills you learned, how to control others through a proxy? How to avoid taking responsibility for your own actions? How to not have to ever grow up?

Language is built into our brains, your family just bastardized what you use the language for.. rambling on and on like a spoiled child... many different species of animals use language, you just don't see them voting to take other peoples stuff... they usually do it directly, and then everyone knows it is theft and who is doing it... they don't steal and pretend it is for everyone's benefit.


Good one :D

Andrew Napolitano for President 2016!

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

BILL3, book 12 , volume 3,

BILL3, book 12 , volume 3, verse 21 "Why I love the state and can't live without it."

"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

Jan Helfeld's picture

My two cents on anarchism

1. First of all, I am not saying that all these negative consequences I ascribe to anarchism are only possible, I think they are probable. The probable consequences: increasing crime because there are individuals not protected by a defence agencies that used to be protected by the state i.e. more easy victims; incentivizing the acquisition of military hardware by criminal gangs to increase their pool of potential victims( something they do not do it now because it makes no sense for them now) , an arms race between criminal gangs and defence agencies, as well as foreign tyrants that would attempt to rob and extort the weakest of us , i.e., those that could not deter their aggression; an increase in the possibility of civil war inside United States because all conflicts between defensive agencies with armies have this potential outcome - something that is not true today, even under our mixed system.
I have explained the premises that lead me to these conclusions, I would like to know which ones anarchists dispute. For instance, David said that the defence agencies would normally not fight, implying sometimes they would. If two defence agencies fight that is a mini war here in the United States. Some of these wars will draw in other defence agencies , increasing the scope of the war and have collateral damage that would make life miserable in your city. You don't need too many of them for things to be horrible.
The premises for my conclusion that there would be an increase in criminality are: there will always be people that choose predation, they prefer to pick on the weakest links- victims, there are individuals not protected by a defence agencies that used to be protected by the state i.e. more easy victims. Thus, more crime.
Premises for the conclusion that criminal gangs would be incentivized to buy military hardware.
With a central government there is no incentive for criminal gangs to acquire tanks, guided missiles, or drones, because that just makes it easier for them to be caught and they do not increase their pool of victims. However, once the state is removed every investment in military hardware increases the amount of potential victims. Anarchists think that this investment would be unwise on their part. How do they know? Do they know cost-benefit analysis of criminality ? On the face of it, a small investment in guided missiles would increase the potential for extortion enormously. More and more people would just have to give in to the demand of extortion.
The same logic applies to foreign tyrants and criminals. Anarchist's answer is, they would depend on charity to pay for a professional army that could deter these threats of extortion. I think this is imprudent and I would never rely on charity to protect my freedom, and all my property. It is too flimsy a reed on which to support your whole life. I think your chances protecting your liberty and property are greater by socially organizing with people that are willing to pay for such an important service and commit to this legally in the form of a limited government.
In the debate with Friedman, each of us had a right to define what we consider optimal social organization, David argued that no government was the optimum, I argued that limited government was the optimum. Each of us has to live with the likely consequences of setting up that structure, including the possibilities of deviating from it to some degree. The deviations from limited government I criticize and try to change, but by and large I consider the American experiment a great success (compared to any previously existing anarchist model), providing a great life for me, most Americans and I suspect for David as well. Contrary to anarchists , I don't consider it a failure because we have strayed from the model to some degree.

The deviations from David's model, we didn't even get into!

Our horrible civil war, was one such case of a deviation from the principles of limited government, which depend on the consent of the governed and the recognition that if there is a fundamental difference regarding social organization there should be a procedure to secede peacefully, like I have suggested and offered the anarchists and none of them seem to be interested in it. They appear to have no interest to move to an anarchist zone within the United States and then secede.

2. The more security agencies there are , the more probability there will be more conflicts; and one of the parties will resort to physical force to enforce their view of what is right. If there is no law of the land that applies to everyone, then on top of all disputes we now have we will also have disputes about what the law should be on every issue , criminal law, civil law,, criminal procedure, civil procedure , inheritance law , tort law , penalties , etc. This will also increase the amount of disputes and conflicts, regardless of whether many agencies refer conflicts to arbitration. It also increases the uncertainty of what the law is, which makes business and investment, less likely.
I describe those hunter gatherer societies of the first million years that had no government as anarchy because I view the lack of government as the essential characteristic for anarchism. The point was that there was very little progress during that period, nor was there much progress or a great civilization in the Icelandic anarchist experiment or the Somali anarchist experiment. In fact, all of these had very high levels of predation and poverty. Compare that with the American limited government experiment. It is night and day.

I explained why the government was instrumental in the increased progress; for example, irrigation canals, generals laws like the Roman law and reduction of internal military conflicts, because there was a monopoly of major force in the government.

3. It is difficult to predict exactly what kind of defense agencies there would be under anarchy and how they would operate, and what plans they would offer to their customers , but it is probable that there will be a variety of plans and kinds of defense agencies, some of which would not refer all matters to arbitration, some would be simply alliances of people that feel close and share values, even bad values like white power groups, black power groups, Muslims that believe in sharia law and want to apply it, pedophiles that want to protect each and form alliances, security agencies that advertise better judges and their outcomes in home judicial practice/better than the arbitration, criminal gangs that just want to protect each other and practice predation etc. If they have sufficient military power, nobody will mess with them.
Which ones would go broke and how long it would take them to go broke is difficult to predict, but David seems to think he knows.

4. Contrary to what most anarchist believe, voters do not have to be ignorant of political issues or candidates. Nor is necessarily irrational for them to spend some time in making these decisions that effect their freedom, property and every aspect of their life. In fact it is quite rational to do so and responsible citizens within the context of their lives should allocate some time to this value. Not only to vote correctly, but to influence how other people vote and think, and thus affect the social organization in which they live, i.e., their society. One of the reasons we do the correct thing is to serve as an example to others, and thus influence their actions as well. This is one such case when assuming some social responsibility helps improve your chances of having your individual rights respected. It is not just the issues and candidates, it's also the principles.
I spent time discussing political issues, including whether anarchism is the optimal system to affect the out come. If I didn't think I could affect the outcome I would not do it. I act with purpose. Some of these purposes are indirect like I mentioned above.
The anarchist movement is draining the energy of the people that are fighting for freedom and limited government today in this country. It is the logical consequence of accepting anarchism. Don't run for office, don't vote, don't discuss any public policy because they're all wrong because they are all enacted by government and government is "ëvil". They are shirking their social responsibility, and if the government becomes even more unlimited, with more infringements on our individual rights, they will have to take their part of the blame. I on the other hand, can rest with a good conscience because I'm doing everything I can to prevent more infringements of our rights. I expose the flaws and contradictions in the flawed public policies, politicians and journalists. You can see my interviews on YouTube/Jan Helfeld and make up your own mind about my contribution.

Jan Helfeld

The consequences of limited government are certain

Limited government becomes empire and empires becomes more extreme in their corruption than they were ever free.

How do you propose to stop it? You don't understand rational ignorance and you claim people are motivated to limit the power of the state. Yet the evidence is clearly to the contrary. There is no evidence minarchy is anything more than overture to empire.

If limited government could work why hasn't it?

Regardless you are just arguing for socialism. You think that there is something special about provision of law that makes socialism more efficient. Just like left statists think there is something special about provision of health care or education or automobile manufacture that makes socialism work better.

There's a reason the so many of the people on the capitalist side are economists.

What is social responsibility?

"They are shrinking their social responsibility, and if the government becomes even more unlimited, with more infringements on our individual rights, they will have to take their part of the blame."

explain, very clearly, what "social responsibility", aka "social ownership", i have over you or anyone else?

just admit it, you are afraid to die and that is the entire basis of your belief system. so much so in fact that you are willing to trade freedom for security.

I use Blue Wave, but don't expect one of THEIR silly taglines.

Jan Helfeld's picture

social responsibility

Rational people are willing to VOLUNTARILY put in some time and effort to preserve and buttress a social organization that provides them many benefits like a limited government does. They are also grateful to the people that made it possible, in the past(founding fathers) and the present(the Ron Pauls of the world).

Jan Helfeld


are you unafraid to die?

Seems that most human behavior is directed at not dying.

Seems the best way not to die from natural and unnatural causes has always been joining up with other people for a mutual defense.

Seems that jan's "social responsibility" is our responsibility to clean house when the social organization gets taken over by criminals, and that the irresponsible response is to claim that the whole thing is criminal and so just throw up your hands.

At the end of the day, there isn't gonna be any anarchism, so its more of a cop out than anything.

I'll bite Jan,

I would like to make a specific point without getting too far off into the anarchism vs. minarchism debate.

I disagree with your assumption that a stateless society would have more crime. I would imagine that if there were no cops, a lot more people would be carrying sidearms for self protection since that responsibility is not farmed out to police. There are a lot of people out there that are very rude/instigate because they know that if you touch them, they can call the police and have you arrested for assault. Judging by your youtube videos, you have met a few.

If everyone has a sidearm and initiating a conflict will mean they have to defend themselves, I believe conflicts would be less likely. There are a lot of bullies out there that would tone it down if someone didn't have to worry about a jail cell for shooting them. The idea that if you try to bully someone, they can shoot you and walk away without consequence would be a HUGE deterrent to antisocial behavior.

Now, as far as warlords taking advantage of the weak, that would not be an anarchist society, that would be the infancy of government. A warlord is a political leader, and we would have to consider that a form of small limited government (minarchism), as a warlord reigns over a small limited area. Warlords exploiting a small select group of people is the same thing that we have today, only on a much larger scale, with their violent tactics, selective enforcement, and rape cages to put people in.

It is a romanticized notion to believe justice will be carried out more efficiently by a politically motivated court system than by a reprisal killing. Since we all know that most of the time justice is based on how much you can afford to spend, and your social position, it would actually be fairer for a poor person to be able to take justice into their own hands, rather than a court.

Justice/self defense is not a violation of the NAP, but taxation to fund a court system is. How do you fund a court system without tax dollars, with donations? Wouldn't the more wealthy donors to fund that court system receive preferential treatment so their donations keep coming?

We could get into the debate about whether humans could even live voluntarily together, but as soon as the conversation becomes about how a group will organize and exploit others, we are talking about some form of government, which is what minarchist advocate for. Somalia is not a country without a government, it has many little governments within it that independently use violence against their people as they see fit.

Do you see how minarchist argue against themselves? A voluntary society won't work because someone will form an oppressive group, so instead of that we need to form our own group, which will somehow not be corrupt and oppressive itself. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Anarchists cannot keep government from forming and minarchists cannot stop government from growing out of control, it is plain and simple human nature.

seth is entirely correct

that those three minutes prior to gangs forming, anarchism would be relatively peaceful.

Of course, just calling the gangs and warlords "government" does not absolve anarchy of responsibility for allow them to emerge.

Since gangs and warlords are a main part of jan's arguments, it is really not answering his arguments to just call them "government" and so fob off responsibility for them.

It's not a discussion about whether anarchism would be great for those three minutes. It's a debate about whether there could lasting, stable order without governments. If gangs and warlords emerge under anarchism, the answer is no. Yes, you can call these new gangs "really bad governments." Fine, we agree.

Not the point. The point is anarchism has no way to prevent really bad governments from rushing into the vacuum left by destroying somewhat bad government.

The reason there is no 'good government' is because there are no good people. People aren't 'good' in the way we want them to be. We are bad, and the worse we are, the more likely we are to get power.

That's why it takes so much more vigilance and effort from good people who are unafraid of fighting, to have even a short period of semi-good government,

That's why liberty always emerges from insecurity and danger, like the early American environment, or other tough environments where people are more willing to set aside security to maintain their power over themselves and property (their freedom).

Anarchy could either produce tyranny in short order, if the existing millions of willing subjects and security-hungry people could be property farmed by the new warlords, or else there'd be a massive population drop, and the remaining survivors might well be more libertarian and freedom loving in their character.

"It's a debate about whether

"It's a debate about whether there could lasting, stable order without governments."

How about a debate about whether or not you can have a lasting, stable limited government? It seems as though the American experiment has failed to hold back the flood gates, what makes you think you can have a lasting limited government?

Perhaps you can point to some LARGE society where this has been achieved and endured? Is there a case study that you can point to as proof of concept for minarchism (America is not one)? If there are none, we should consider it as utopian as anarchism.


1 lasted until 1861, USG 2 lasted til 1933, and USG is still going. All were limited, even if each less so.

Yes, I prefer a limited govt to 3 seconds of anarchy followed by bedlam and mass death.


go live with the cartels, road warrior.