Comment: "Minarchists" and "Anarchists"

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"Minarchists" and "Anarchists"

are terms usually used by libertarians to describe, respectively, those who advocate the existence of minimal government, and those who advocate abolishing all governments. The term "government," when used by libertarians, usually means any organization having a monopoly on the definition and application of legalized coercive violence in a given geographical area.

Minarchists usually come to their beliefs by saying that the existence of a "power vacuum" in a stateless society would result in a greater level of coercive violence than would be imposed by a minimal state.

Anarchists usually use the argument that the need for a small amount of socialism to defend property rights is a contradiction, and fails to make sense in the context of attempts to maximize liberty.

I make no bones about my belief that minarchy is a contradiction, however, as I stated below, I really admire and respect consistent minarchists (consistent in that they do not advocate an increase in government power in any general area), especially ones like Ron Paul who are anarchists at heart.

I started out as a Reagan conservative, became a libertarian minarchist, and ultimately evolved into a radical libertarian anarchist, so I am familiar with some of the beliefs of both brands of libertarians. I will leave it to any minarchists here to let me know if I have mischaracterized their beliefs, and let them speak for themselves.