Top 10 Causes of Minarchism #10

Top 10 Causes of Minarchism #10

Top Ten Causes of Minarchy, number 10. More to come, obviously.

What is Minarchism? From Wikipedia:
In civics, minarchism (sometimes called minimal statism, small government, or limited-government libertarianism) refers to a political ideology which maintains that the state’s only legitimate function is the protection of individuals from aggression. Minarchists defend the existence of the state as a necessary evil, but assert that it may only act to protect the life, liberty, and property of each individual. A minarchist state would therefore consist simply of courts, a military, and a police forceā€”the mere components of a night watchman state. Generally, minarchists identify themselves within the broader libertarian movement.

I’ve decided that it’s not the next day until I go to sleep and wake up. Therefore, this comic is not late.

Discussion (26)¬

  1. Jim Johnson says:

    I went to goobernment school in Minnesota… so a paradox was a good day during duck season.

  2. Kushin Los says:

    I went to several different government schools including a couple DoD schools. I have a hard time explaining my points to some people.

  3. Dennis says:

    So how does entering into voluntary contract with someone to protect our personal property equate with enslavement, exactly?

  4. frake says:

    Because the Government is not a voluntary contract. It’s not a voluntary contract until you can withdrawl your financial support without fear of violence being done to you; at wich point, it will become a buisness that offers it’s services in an open market.

  5. Dennis says:

    Granted, but with respects to the potential police officer or court official who is hired by the government on my behalf (presumeably) to ensure that no one trespasses and commits acts of vandalism, theft or violence against myself, my family, or personal property, how has that “contractor” become enslaved? That is, afterall, what this particular comic panel seems to suggest, is it not?

  6. bile says:

    The comic is referring to the fact that minarchists tend to believe it’s OK to force people to fund defense and courts.

  7. frake says:

    1) It’s not that you and I have enslaved the police to protect us, but that you and I are enslaved by the people in government to pay for the police. It doesn’t matter that a free market would provide such servies, and we would pay for it anyway (as the overhead in the cost of our goods probably); it’s the people in government operate on the mantras: “Your money or your life.” and “Your compliance or your life.” A free market does not have this coercion. And because value must be earned in a free market, then value must be given, and you will have policing agencies that actually try to prevent crime; you will have as impartial court systems as possible; you will land/water defence agencies that don’t provoke attacks from other nations across the globe.

    2) “… hired by the government on my behalf (presumeably)…” That is an error. Nothing the government does is on your behalf. The people in government may say that, but it is not true and is impossible even if that person feels geninuine about it.

  8. Dennis says:

    In my limited understanding of minarchism, I hadnt realized that it naturally espoused coercion with respect to personal defense, but instead, optimistically assumed it endorses by its very nature a free market approach. So, thanks for your responses.

    I guess my next question would be: from the anarchist perspective, is minarchism viewed as a means towards a truly Free-market society, or simply an end, a diluted compromise, within itself?

  9. Dale says:

    “I guess my next question would be: from the anarchist perspective, is minarchism viewed as a means towards a truly Free-market society, or simply an end, a diluted compromise, within itself?”

    This particular anarchist see minarchism as an impediment to all freedom, even an impediment to the smaller government that they seek. More than a hardcore socialist, by describing government as the only way to be free, minarchism empowers the biggest tools of government for keeping us under its control– delusions and legitimacy.

  10. Dennis says:

    Ok, I guess Im gonna have sit back and watch this play out, because Im very curious to learn how you suggest we as a society realistically transition to a truly free-market society without passing thru a minarchy…. Im not being critical, mind you, I just dont see how that could be done.

  11. Dale says:

    If you have a little time, check out some of my blog posts. There aren’t as many of them as there are comics, if that makes it sound less daunting. :)

  12. susan28 says:

    good cartoon.

    Dennis: though not directed to me, my answer to your question would be that for me, minarchism is an incremental move toward the ultimate goal of orthodox anarchism, hence my reluctant support for “political” libertarianism, or libertarian statism as manifested in groups like the LP.

    basically, given that humans are herd critters by nature, and that nature herself is a grand tyrant, with our very conceptions being by design non-consensual (on our parts) and tantamount to kidnapping, i see government not so much as necessary but inevitable - a force of nature - so i simply focus on limiting it as much as possible. but if i could limit it to “zero”, i would, ie: i don’t see libertarian statism as preferable to orthodox anarchism, just preferable to staism with more tyrannical ends. however i agree with Dale and Frake that when it comes to means, libertarian statism is just as non-consensual - and therefore tyrannical - as any other form of statism, except for collectives small enough to acheive absolute consensus.

    i was in a collective of approximately 12 people once, and even then it was difficult to achieve consensus. we agreed that the group would do nothing to which even a single member objected, and the meetings often went til the objectors changed their vote out of sheer sleep deprivation, hehe.. but that’s compromise not tyranny, which is at least civil, and no humans were ever harmed or threatened in the throwing of our party (we were a rave collective, throwing parties to sustain ourselves and the community at large thru minimal-profit events).

  13. Anon says:

    I bet there’s 9 more to come.

    Just a hunch.

  14. Nick says:

    Is Dale a Gilligan fan?

  15. Dale says:

    Nah. That show used to annoy me mostly.

  16. paul says:

    I’m fine with going through minarchy, or not. Just as long as the final destination does not include systematic violations of the NAP.

  17. Markus says:


  18. Dan Clore says:

    Skipper: Professor, will you tell these people who is
    in charge on this island?
    Professor: Why, no one.
    Skipper: No one?
    Thurston Howell III: No one? Good heavens, this is anarchy!
    – _Gilligan’s Island_, episode #6, “President Gilligan”

  19. BoogerRey says:

    minarchy is welfare

  20. SnowDog says:

    I think the ideal society is a principled minarchy. If you have the time, take a look at this thread and comment.

  21. Matthew says:


    I completely agree with you about the minarchists. The contradictions in minarchist thinking mean that they are every bit as unprincipled as big government statists. After all, you can derive any kind of arbitrary conclusion from a “logical” system (like mathematicians would use) that contains a contradiction. All statists, whether they know it or not, support rule by man, not by law.

    Keep up the great work.

  22. TomM says:

    I am a fan of minarchy,
    I would suggest reading Fredrich Bastiat’s “The Law” - a wonderful 20 or so page pamphlet that elequently identifies that a just government respects the rights of all people equally and grants special favor to none.
    I must ask one to seriously consider the current state of government vs the stated puspouse - and limiation to the Night watchmen role
    - essentially protecting person and property but leaving people alone to their peacefull persuits.

    So who is John Galt?

  23. Dale says:

    I think we’re just mincing words because you don’t sound like a minarchist by my meaning of the word. If all your “government” is doing is protecting person and property but leaving people alone in their peaceful pursuits, then it’s not a minarchy as far as I’m concerned. If you want to describe it as a “minarchy”, however, then I will not argue over semantics. Someone might even start their own “minarchy” in the same geographic region that will also protect person and property and leave people alone in their peaceful pursuits and we can see which one people choose to support. It would even leave your “minarchy” alone in its peaceful pursuits. That way the free market will hold them both accountable and the services of both will be improved by the competition.

  24. TomM says:

    Dale - I like to use term minarchist especially when discussing with some big government lover and they are accusing me of being an anarchist. And usually by anarchist they think of social chaos with bomb throwers, mayhem, some bizarro world that would not last a week. The Minarchy concept works with them because they are unable to conceive of a ’system’ where people are self responsible so comprehending no need for over lords as moot at best and more likely a costly threat is foreign thinking.

    I like your notion of competing minarchies and having the market decide which or multiple ones may be in existence; However that reminds me of a definition of anarchy which is when you have more then one government;)

  25. It’s important to clarify that anarchy already exists fully within each of us from our internal core outward to the surface of our skin. This self-containment, self-control, and self-responsibility is already ingrained within us. Of course, some humans will still fall and children will still soil their pants, but it can be plainly seen that the majority are more than capable of autonomy.

    Minarchy quickly finds a point where “someone” wants to opt out of “something” and then all those “principles of minarchy” go flying out the window. Nothing more is needed, regarding minarchy, to show it’s failure rate to be just like all the others…ONE HUNDRED PERCENT.

    We also wanted to point out that those who would physically assault/detain/kidnap/restrain ANY OTHER HUMAN BEING who may or might want to have something/anything removed from their person…those folks are most certainly NOT anarchists(quite the opposite and they should be destroyed immediately in all instances of these transgressions).

    John and Dagny Galt
    Atlas Shrugged, Owners Manual For The Universe!(tm)
    Starving The Monkeys, Start Starving Them Today!(tm)


  26. blackacidlizzard says:


    The right-wing paradigm!!!

    Totally right on.