More Maniacal Myths of Minarchy

More Maniacal Myths of Minarchy

Today’s comic is a continuation of The Prankster, so read that first if you haven’t yet. If I’ve offended any minarchists, then I apologize… for your inability to experience cognitive dissonance.

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Discussion (24)¬

  1. Well that pretty much sums it up. (I never really thought of the Founding Fathers’ attempt at liberty in that way before…) Also, the minion’s a nice addition to the cast, and I found this comic to be one of the funnier ones. =)

    P.S: Be careful with the Prankster… you might tick off an Objectivist or two.

  2. Rich Paul says:

    Isn’t the minarchy vs anarchy a bridge that can be burned when we come to it? At this point, it’s like delaying the launch of the first interstellar craft because you can’t agree on where to have dinner when you arrive on your new planet orbiting your new star.

    Once you have crossed the thousands of light years between where you are and the general neighborhood of your destination, you can either choose a restaurant, or you can agree to dine separately.

  3. Dale says:

    “Isn’t the minarchy vs anarchy a bridge that can be burned when we come to it?”

    I’ve addressed this misconception so many times. That’s not a complaint. Just pointing out how common this misconception is. And unfortunately, that misconception is also key to why we fail to keep the power of governments in check.

    Minarchy describes a type of collectivism, a type of government. Anarchy, which is at its heart a rejection of collectivism, cannot describe a type of collectivism, i.e. an institution or a state of society. I realize many anarchists do this, but I believe that approach is fallacious as well, and as long as they continue to describe it that way, their arguments will be less convincing.

    It’s like saying that atheism is a religion. The Catholic church is an institution promoting a specific set of beliefs. Atheism rejects all of those various religious institutions and does not present a religion to take their place.

    Anarchy is an individual philosophy, a rejection of the irrational beliefs that prevent us from effectively opposing government in the manner necessary to actually have some kind of impact on it. Monopoly government is institutionalized crime. Until you personally understand that we don’t need that crime, and until you withdraw your moral support, at a minimum, and hopefully more and more of other forms of support whenever possible, like not obeying every command of statists, it will not shrink.

    So anarchy is not a final goal. It’s not some new form of government that will replace the old where we can somehow all collectively “get there”. Minarchy is not a stopover on the way to anarchy. Anarchy is something you personally have to understand and that personal goal is absolutely achievable within your lifetime! Achieving the personal goal of anarchy, which is just a realistic and sensible view of human interaction and a rejection of violence as a solution to violence; that’s the first step on the way to getting governments as small as possible. You have to reject the absurd and irrational myth of minarchy. How can you convincingly argue others to withdraw their support, the only way to shrink government, if you haven’t withdrawn yours, if you keep arguing that we need a nearly omnipotent criminal warlord to have a civilized society? I will repeat my personal slogan about the very personal philosophy of anarchy

    Anarchy isn’t a form of government or a social system. It’s a personal philosophy.

    Anarchy isn’t the goal. It’s the path.

    Anarchy isn’t the end. It’s the beginning.

  4. Puke says:

    I want a magic goblet of freedom!

  5. bile says:

    I think we should remember that anarchy does not imply non aggression and ideally we need a word or set of words which points out the personal philosophy of absolute voluntarism. ‘Voluntarism’, ‘deontological libertarianism’, ‘anarchist consequentialist libertarianism’, ‘anarcho-capitalist’, ‘market anarchism’, etc. We need this especially when speaking with those that tend to come from or are more aware of European anarchism which isn’t always libertarian vs American anarchism which generally is libertarian.

  6. Zeus says:

    You’d be better off with a nonsensical word like “glorb” than “anarchy” when trying to convince the average Joe or Jane Public that “complete liberty” is a better way of co-existing.

    In current culture, the word “anarchy” is like using the word “Satan” in a crowd of Evangelist adherents. It has a bad connotation for most people. For them, it means bloody, barbarous Mad Max chaos. The effort required to combat that noxious meme is prohibitively inefficient. Better to call it something else like voluntaryism. Or glorb.

  7. Dale says:

    Atheism was the same way about 20 or 25 years ago.

  8. Jake says:

    The notion that Anarchy is better than minarchy must be the most absurd notion I’ve ever encountered. The simple fact is that not everyone is equally informed, and not everyone has access to the same kind of resources. If this happened during an anarchist society, then There’s no way one can stop the smarter, richer folk from defrauding and coercing those below them.

    It will inevitably collapse back into Feudalism, which will ultimately be a crude form of statism vastly more evil than any minarchy.

  9. @Jake

    “The simple fact is that not everyone is equally informed, and not everyone has access to the same kind of resources.”
    Of course not. But that’s not any different under any system today, governmental or not. To accommodate for the varying degrees of intelligence, resources, and skill, we have the division of labour and management heirachy. (I would think the political heirachy more or less follows from the same principle, except that in perfect democracies, your rank is determined not necessarily by merit but by whatever your popularity is on election day.)

    “There’s no way one can stop the smarter, richer folk from defrauding and coercing those below them.”
    And what’s stopping that from happening under coercive monopoly governments? For the Founding Fathers, their solution was the separation of powers and three branches of government. For anarchocapitalism, it would be all of the dispute resolution organizations acting as checks and balances against each other. Multiple > Three

    ~Bored and needed to respond to something,

  10. Andrew says:

    Brainpolice recently wrote a very good piece on the anarchism/minarchism debate for Polycentric Order:

  11. susan 28 says:

    Zeus: this reminds me of a couple experiments i read about lately, one with a bunch of students that were told to circulate a petition which consisted of the Bill of Rights, re-worded in modern language to say the same thing but in different words, and canvassed neighborhoods for signatures and could hardly get a single one, all thought it was too “controversial” or “radical”. kind of the opposite of what you described; in this case they changed the words for something that already exists and is popular as a buzzword, but when it was presented to them in other language to stand on its own merits it scared the crap outta them.

    the other one was some high school students were asked if they supported suffrage, and out of everyone surveyed all said no but one girl who knew what it actually meant.

    bile: i think of anarchy as meaning, “no rulers”, not “no rules”. no rulers is itself a rule, albeit the only one. and i think of aggression as de facto non-consensual rule, so the introduction of aggression would immediately render the situation non-anarchic. so yes, i do view Anarchy as implying non-aggression. infact it’s the only thing i see it as implying, the rest is open-ended.

  12. Anton Lee says:

    I expect that minarchists don’t have to believe as I do, but I still expect them to leave me the hell alone if they want to push government into my face. They want limited government, I want no government. Those two conflict when I see minarchists siding with statists and pushing new regulations on people like me. Be a minarchist, that’s fine, enjoy your government. . .but don’t come to my doorstep with it. In my house, the only government is ME.

  13. Curt Howland says:

    I must say, that is one of the funniest, most insightful political commentaries I’ve ever read.

    And it has nothing what so ever to do with “anarchy vs. minarchy”, since both ideas have full agreement that government can be abusive and tends to grow. Did a scroll restrain it? Will a potion restrain it?

    No. Only one thing will restrain the growth of government: People who will not allow it.

  14. Alex Libman says:

    Yes, shrinking the government gradually is bad. We must have a magical solution that causes the government to disappear overnight. Heck, even overnight is too long, one nanosecond or bust! No transition what-so-ever! We mustn’t give people who are dependent on government any warning. No privatization plans, no need for educating the public, no need to give the power vacuum a chance to be filled with functional free-market entities, nothing. Makes perfect sense! It’s like treating cancer: you take a chainsaw, buzz buzz buzz, and your patient is perfectly healthy!

  15. Mike says:

    This is a debate about the ends, not the means…

  16. Dale says:

    Actually Alex & Mike, you’re both (sort of) wrong. Anarchy IS the means to smaller government. Alex, as is usually the case with minarchist arguments, you are arguing a straw man. as I’ve stated over and over on this matter, anarchy cannot be collectivist and therefore it is a personal viewpoint, i.e. “Anarchy In Your Head”, an understanding that is crucial to have in order to succeed in shrinking the State. It WILL be gradual as people lose their irrational faith in Statist institutions and replace them with non-aggressive, non-monopolistic alternatives. You obviously didn’t read any of the comments including the extensive one left by me (the third one down) before you left this very tired old misconception about what anarchy is all about.

  17. John H. says:

    As many in the agorist camp (with which I happily ally myself) have successfully argued, the notion of “shrinking the government” to get to no government is a joke.

    The only thing a Reagan, Thatcher or Paul will do is make the government more tolerable, further entrenched, and expand its resources. Not because they want to (certainly not in the case of Ron Paul) but because that is the inevitable consequence of their actions.

    If you have a weed which you want to destroy, you kill the roots. If you have a flower that you want to thrive, you prune it.

    “Shrinking the government” (a laughable idea – government is a qualitative, not a quantitative, entity – it’s “yes/no” not “x amount”) is not addressing the root of the problem (coercive monopolies) but rather pruning it (removing the inefficiencies, the overburdens, making it healthier and more agreeable to its victims). It will grow back – it always does – and it will be healthier and stronger for your efforts.

  18. Matt says:

    Dale, you should also clarify that collectivist by force, as I hope no anarchist would ever be against people forming their own collectivist organization. I once lived in a collectivist organization, it was called a family. On a micro scale say less than 10 communism or limited property rights for the individual is quite useful. I think people who support gradualism, need realize it will never happen if you work for it, only by advocating the complete downfall will real gains be made. That being said, minarchist are still useful, and some do some good.

    Great comic, when I first realized the constitution was flawed, and told others, they were all like “it’s a piece a paper, what do you expect.” And then i foolishly believed the people could make minarchy work. But then i realized if the people could keep government at bay, then they should easily keep the existence of government at bay even easier.

  19. Dale says:

    “If this happened during an anarchist society, then There’s no way one can stop the smarter, richer folk from defrauding and coercing those below them.”

    This cracks me up. What do you think authoritarian government is all about? That’s what we have right now! Governments are tools for the smart and the wealthy to defraud and coerce those below them. I’m glad you oppose that fraud and coercion, but fraud and coercion are not a solution to potential fraud and coercion. Until you get past that tragic logical flaw, you won’t escape the vicious cycle.

  20. Markus says:

    Dale, I love this cartoon. My favorite scene is the 2nd one where the kid lays it down!!!


  21. Brother Dale!

    You’ve made it to the big-time now!

    Lew Rockwell!



    John and Dagny Galt
    Atlas Shrugged, Owner’s Manual For The Universe!(tm)


  22. This comic is hahalarious. Keep pulling no punches, my friend. The truth hurts. Hit em below the belt.

  23. FreeFall says:

    Dale: It is easier to control the government we have now then it is to control the multitude of governments that would rise up (small at first but growing constantly) in its absence. As someone who would probably fall under the idea of minarchy, I would very much like to see the concepts of anarchy work. Of course, I could say the same for the ideal of those subscribing to a large and powerful government, for their ideal would not have any corruption nor need for violence (as everyone would actually follow laws and all laws would be for the better of all). However, the only things that have been shown to have success in practice are revolt and grass-root reform movements (the second being rather new to history).
    Revolt uses violence and is quite ugly, so I would choose the grass-root reform, if I had the means to start it or could find someone whose movement I felt would work. Being a poor college student I do not yet have the means/time, nor have I found someone willing to promote reforms that would actually work.

    Also, atheism, while it linguistically should not be a religion, is the name that those who religiously deny God use. As such, it has come to mean their religion, instead of what it should be defined as using normal prefixes and suffixes.

  24. Dale says:

    Got it. “Glorb in Your Head” it is. 😉