Anarchists & Minarchists & Socialists, oh, my!

I’m getting asked a certain question a lot lately. Why pick on minarchists? We’re on the same side! Why aren’t you picking on socialists more? I’m glad I was asked because it made me put some thought into best how to express this with words. What is it about the philosophy of minarchism that really gets up in my craw?

And then it occurred to me. Anarchists and minarchists in one key respect are polar opposites. I’ve said before that there is an ocean between an anarchist and a minarchist, but only a creek between a minarchist and a socialist and I can finally nail it down succinctly. An anarchist believes that a monopoly government is the source of our enslavement. A minarchist believes a monopoly government is crucial to protecting our liberties. Exact opposites! So why do people keep saying we’re on the same side? Presumably it’s because we have similar preferences. We both love liberty.

Now let’s compare minarchists to socialists. A socialist will justify aggression on the basis of need. Food, shelter, and medical care are all essential needs and a socialist feels justified in using aggressive violence to satisfy those needs. On that same basis, a socialist will also absolve individuals of responsibility and pass that responsibility onto “society” which is a very abstract and subjective thing, a calamity of collectivism, which of course is why it’s such a disaster in implementation. It’s why individuals fail to develop a sense of their own responsibility and become incredibly dependent on their governments, remaining in a childlike state with governments assuming the role of their parents.

So now let’s compare minarchists to socialists. A minarchist loves liberty a lot. A minarchist also believes aggressive violence against innocent people is justified due to a critical need, but only for that which suits their personal preference, i.e. providing for the protection of liberty. This is commonly defended in the same manner that socialists use for justifying aggressive violence, i.e. on the basis of need*. The minarchist claim is that we are responsible for providing for all of our own needs whether it be food, shelter, health care, or educating our children, but when it comes to the most crucial thing that’s at the foundation of all the others, they absolve the individual of responsibility and pass that crucial task on to a murky subjective thing, that calamity of collectivism known as “society”.

It’s for this reason that I believe the minarchist approach to liberty is such an utter failure. I don’t argue against minarchism to pick nits or because I’m a purist. I’m a long way from being a purist. If I were, I’d stop making calculated decisions regarding my activism. I’d drive without a license and I wouldn’t pay a single penny in taxes no matter what, even if it meant pointlessly rotting in a jail cell or living as a hermit in a booger hut.

No, I argue against minarchism because I believe principles are pragmatic and that the promotion of minarchism is a big part of the problem. They’re arguing against socialism out of one side of their mouths while proposing a slight variation on socialism out of the other side. It’s an incredibly weak argument and makes an easy target for our opponents to poke holes in. I love them because we have a common interest, but I feel a need to exercise great care in how I team up with them because the act can make me an easy target right along with them. It can be quite a liability from a completely utilitarian and pragmatic point of view. The irony that they’ve often felt the same way about me has not escaped me.

In the process of defending minarchy, one is also inevitably defending socialism. It is for that reason that I am so skeptical of whether minarchy is even possible. Governments, like a cancer, don’t stay small as long as they have legitimacy and they don’t get smaller as long as they have near 100% compliance with their demands and massive moral support. Can we have much smaller government? I hope so and I’m an optimist. I think we can. I’m sure we can make governments smaller, which I would be thrilled to do, but it will require anarchism to get on the right track.

Minarchists, I love you like I love a pet that just won’t potty-train. I know you’re trying your darnedest, but it sure is frustrating. I’m going to keep making fun of you, but just remember that it’s playful ribbing from a friend; an incredibly condescending and tactless friend, but a friend nonetheless.

* Here’s a little thought game for objectivists. Grab a highlighting pen and go through some of your blog posts against anarchism. Now highlight everywhere you say the word “need”. Can I get an “Oh, SNAP!” from some of my gay fans?

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Discussion (78)¬

  1. Charles says:

    In your Utopian anarchy, what’s to prevent “gangs” from forming and imposing their will on the individuals, until a bigger gang takes authority. We are selfish creatures by nature; we want as much as we can have, even at the expense of others.

    Imagine a box where you can reach in and take out however much money you wanted. When would you stop using it? Never? Now what if every cent you removed from the box was taken from Bill Gates. Now when would you stop using it? What if it was taken from your neighbor? From some person in another country far away? From your best friend or sibling? If the answer to any of those is different from any of the rest, you are human and subject to human nature.

    People will group together and take what they want, with as much force necessary, as long as there is no force big enough to stop them. And when there is a bigger force to stop them, they will be the ones imposing their will and taking what they want.

    As a collective, a society, we can create guidance, rules, and restrictions, to protect ourselves, financed by the collective. As soon as we do this, however, a “government” is formed. If the “government” is some form of cooperative, we can maintain full control of this government because we all ARE the government.

    I’ve just don’t see how a complete anarchy can prevent human nature (e.g. Robbers Cave Experiments, etc.) and protect us from ourselves.

  2. Dale says:

    Charles, you can consolidate power, but how do you consolidate morality? That’s the tricky part. Governments simply become that scary criminal gang that you’re afraid of and they commit crimes much more effectively than any of the petty criminals they claim to protect us from. I’m waiting for someone to tell me how they’re going to prevent that from happening.

    My anarchy is not a Utopia. My anarchy is just my personal philosophy on life that I try to spread to other individuals. Read “Anarchy Isn’t the Answer” where I make it clear it’s no Utopia. In fact, quite the opposite. It’s facing reality, however harsh that reality may be. That’s why it’s such a difficult sell to people like you who have a Utopian view of minarchy. But we have to face reality to improve things. Fantasies are not serving us. I know what you want from your minarchy and I want it too, but it can’t provide it.

  3. Rich says:

    You beg some very interesting questions here:

    1) Are their enough anarchists in the world that they could establish a “Government Free Zone”, anywhere in the world, and not die, to a man, preventing the establishment of a government there?

    No.

    2) Why not?

    Because there are so many statists.

    3) Would many people risk their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honors to get rid of 80% of what government does?

    I hope so.

    4) Would many people risk their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honors to get rid of the last 20%?

    I doubt it. At some point, as government shrank, it would cease to be the biggest problem from the standpoint of a rational person. It is, and always will be, an inconvenience. However, there are many other inconveniences that I face from day to day. When government ceases to be my most pressing problem, it will cease to be the problem I spend most of my time addressing. I might move on to other problems, like the scarcity of goods (making some money), the need to mate (getting bloody laid), and others.

    I do not exist for the sake of establishing a Utopia. I live to get the most out of my life that I possibly can. If this makes be treason, make the most of it.

    You can call this philosophy a hybrid of Rational Anarchy(as defined in “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” and Minarchism if you like. MinarcoRationalism?

  4. Rich says:

    To be more brief:

    I would be unlikely to fight for the establishment of a minimal state if I found myself in a state of anarchy. I would at least be willing to see whether and how it works. But I would be equally unlikely to fight for the destruction of a government that fit my definition of “minimal”, because I think that there would be more pressing evils to confront.

  5. Matthew says:

    @Rich
    While I’m not in opposition to what you’re saying, assuming that you wouldn’t get in the way of others’ efforts to try to dismantle the remaining 20%, how would you personally decide what constituted a “government” versus some other type of aggressor? Just based on who was the most dominant?

  6. Dale says:

    “You can call this philosophy a hybrid of Rational Anarchy(as defined in “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” and Minarchism if you like. MinarcoRationalism?”

    No, I would call it ignoring my repeated attempts to explain that I’m not a purist, that I’m all for a gradualist approach, that I don’t expect to ever see a Utopian world completely devoid of crime, including the government variety, and that anarchy (for me) is a personal step you need to take before you can begin to shrink the government, which I’m all for. The smaller and less invasive governments are, the better. But I know it’s no use trying to say it yet again, so pull out your little booklet of talking points and continue to cut & paste.

  7. Dale says:

    All of this talk about what to do when we get to minarchy is moot because we’re not going to get anywhere near there until a tipping point of people become anarchist. I will be thrilled when it’s at 20% of what it is now. That’s completely beside the point. It takes YOU as an individual opposing government and withdrawing your support from it rather than trying to fix it in order to begin to shrink it and get to that minarchy that you think you might be content with. Maybe I’ll be content with it too. Maybe all the fire of opposition will go out of me by then. Do you want to actually shrink it or do you want to keep it growing by supporting it?

    Anarchy is not the end goal. Anarchy is the way you get to the end goal, even if the end goal (that you’ll be content with) is a really small government.

  8. Octobox says:

    Yes I see now “anarchy in your head” — as in that’s where it stays; while you live in Economic-Fascism, nice.

    I agree with Agorism as a means to break the Corporatist back.

    However, there are a lot of simple issues that cannot be resovled in Anarcho-Capitalism and I pointed them out above.

    How do you feel about the Mises vs Rothbard argument (focus) regarding sovereignty?

    Mises — Consumer Sovereignty
    Rothbard — Individual Sovereignty

    Octobox

  9. Octobox says:

    “Anarchy is not the end goal. Anarchy is the way you get to the end goal, even if the end goal (that you’ll be content with) is a really small government.”

    @Dale — Yes I agree with this last point and post.

    I did say that I think Agorist methods are the only way to get to what I’m talking about — “they” are not just going to relinquish power. Their consolidation of power is only in a few areas (in terms of roots): Control of Currency, Regulatory Authority, Judicial Authority, and Tax/Spending Authority.

    I have a vegan friend and she’s hardcore — I said to her, “Hope, do you agree that if America only consumed 10% meat and dairy products and it was all free-range and organic that you and most vegans would have never became such dietary fanatics -and- she said ‘yes.’”

    If we live in a 80-90% Taxed Max-archy (maximum authority) and we moved into a 7-12% Taxed Min-Archy (minimum authority) no one would care — especially the way I’ve explained it above.

    Maybe it would have been better to call what I proposed “Contractual Meritocracy,” smile.

    I guess my point of all the Anarchist “hates” Minarchist ranting I’ve been reading all over the web stands in contrast to Ron Paul (Champion of Rothbard and Rockwell - the Anarcho-Capitalist) when he is clearly a Minarchist.

    Peace,

    Octobox

  10. frake says:

    Charles’ comments are self contradictory (like all arguments for minimal coercion):

    A: People will group together and take what they want, with as much force necessary, as long as there is no force big enough to stop them.

    B: As a collective, a society, we can create guidance, rules, and restrictions, to protect ourselves, financed by the collective.

    ????

    So, if people get together and call themselves a ‘group’ they will be evil, but if they get together and call themselves a ‘collective’ they will be good.

    So, which is it? Are people mindless-raping-and-robbing-machines, or are they thinking individuals working for the greater good??

  11. Dale says:

    “However, there are a lot of simple issues that cannot be resolved in Anarcho-Capitalism and I pointed them out above.”

    I don’t think the issues that are used to keep people clinging to the fallacious reasoning of minarchy are simple or easy to solve which is all the more reason why we shouldn’t just dismiss them to some monopoly but rather let lots of people try to solve those problems with whatever innovations they can apply. We also need to avoid monopolies so that those people will be accountable for their actions. Minarchists insist on making them unaccountable by granting them a monopoly and then somehow consider that a solution to very difficult problems.

    I’m skeptical of anything someone presents as a single magic pill solution, including Anarcho-Capitalism, whatever you mean by that. If it’s being presented as a system that solves those complicated problems, then I would argue that whoever is describing it as such is falling for the same fallacy of thinking and it’s actually a type of minarchy.

    I’m reluctant to attach any labels to the philosophy (not system) of anarchy, though I have done so occasionally mainly just because it was funny or because I was appealing to people who tend to use that label for themselves. Most of the time they just seem to describe preferences rather than fundamentals.

  12. memenode says:

    Good job.

    For those who argue that most people wouldn’t care so long as government isn’t more than an inconvenience I would say, make them care, provide an incentive for them to care. This is like talking with someone who has been living in a cave his whole life and trying to demonstrate just how great would it be to go out to the beach, appeal to his emotion and curiosity, the natural human desire to explore and be more powerful.

    But if you just dismiss people as hopelessly apathetic you have failed before giving yourself a chance to succeed, not to mention failure itself isn’t anything other than a milestone on a road to success (because it provides you with useful information).

    The end goal, as far as I’m concerned, is the complete eradication of all violence and all coercion so that every individual can be completely free of fear and imposed authority. Proposing “a little organized violence” as the solution is such an utterly and obviously inappropriate way to get there that it escapes me how can anyone still believe it. Which is why in my mind, if you’re really a minarchist and minarchy is your end goal, you support violence, period. No matter how little of it you want.

    And in my book, people who support violence should ideally be ostracized. You cannot stop coercion with coercion. So please minarchists, grow.. you can do so much better than this. You are more powerful than you think but are holding yourself back with this ridiculous fear that if you don’t allow for some institutional violence there will be more violence.

    Know that if anarchy is ever established anywhere in my life time (NH?), I wont hesitate to defend myself from a gang you call a “minarchist government” if it ever threatens me for establishing a competing defense agency.

  13. memenode says:

    To expand on the last thing I said, that’s another thing about minarchy.. Should there be enough anarchists in your minarchist “society”, it will be an instant fail because all those anarchists will have enough support and fire power to compete against your government and effectively relegate it to nothing more than a rogue defense agency soon to be forced into a normal private company rather than a group pretending to be a government.

  14. Dale says:

    This notion of an aggressively violent monopoly that is “merely an inconvenience” is exactly the Utopian fantasy I’m trying to dispel. That you still believe that’s possible is why you are still spinning your wheels. Our governments now are tyrannical disasters on the verge of causing a total collapse of our economy and you think they’re going to shrink by playing the old games and running on the hamster wheels they’ve put out to distract you with so you won’t do what’s really effective– undermine their legitimacy and withdraw your support as much as possible, starting with your moral support. Minarchists trying to “fix” them is supporting them and letting them grow ever larger and more tyrannical.

  15. Rich says:

    @dale: The point of what I typed was not entirely gradualism, although that was a big part of it. It was also a “point of indifference” at which I would probably replace government as my “white whale” with something that has become more. If this point is unreachable, then it will not be reached, and I’ll be with you to the bitter end. I just forewarn my allies that at some point I may be off to pursue some greater evil.

    I would also point out that “no vote cast” won again last year, but that for some reason they inaugurated Barrack Obama instead. How many votes you require to declare a government “legitimate”? Would you stop resisting the government were some given % of people to vote? Of course this argument takes on greater importance when we consider the Free State Project, for whom inflated Libertarian vote counts would be a powerful selling point.

    @memencode: Gather your anarchists! I would not raise a hand to defend a government from anarchists, though there are political factions from whom I would do my best to defend one (anybody who was trying to expand the role of government, for example). If you can slay the beast, I’ll eat popcorn and applaud the novelty of it, if nothing else. But please, there are lots of statists to convince! Lets agree to disagree, and engage the *other* side for a while!

  16. Billy Bob says:

    “The end goal, as far as I’m concerned, is the complete eradication of all violence and all coercion so that every individual can be completely free of fear and imposed authority.”

    That’s nice. What about the thug who is stronger than any 3 regular guys, who is stupid, and who is tired of having to work harder than others to raise enough food to feed his huge body? He is going to decide to take. By force. He doesn’t care about being shunned - he mostly is anyway.

    No amount of ostracism is going to dispel the detestable parts of human nature. Men will try the “easy” way out on occasion. When Moe the bully takes my lunch money, and I collect 5 friends who all together force him to give it back, I have used coercion and force. And when I and my friends claim a “right” to use this force, we have instituted an authority. Are you seriously suggesting that in a truly moral and anarchic society I have no right to resort to force to restore my possessions to myself? I understand the concept, I just don’t understand why anyone over the age of 12 would suggest it. If I have no right to use force to retain or recover my possessions, then I don’t have a right to possessions at all, and the sum total of libertarian ideals has gone out the window.

    I have another question. I have considered for about 12 years or so writing a book on a semi-anarchy: instead of being born into a state, everyone elects to “contract” with some contract-state or other. Every state exists solely by explicit contract, and in order to persist all these states have inter-relational agreements for protection and arbitration. Those few hardy individuals who choose not to contract with a state usually end up easy pickings for con men and thugs, but a few manage to survive long enough to become rich and hire their own security company. Some states have virtually no contractual rules except for the rule against violence (and a security company to grab violent people), using expulsion from the contract-state with fines or confiscation (all according to the basic contract) as the primary result. Other states are highly regulated all by contract.

    So here is the question: is this minarchy, or anarchy? Since each person is free to choose to contract with a state (or not), I would say that that it is anarchy. But then, since nearly everyone belongs to a group that retains the contractual right to use coercion and confiscation, it is not that ideal of anarchy mentioned above. Or is it something else?

    Second question: Children. Nearly all the contract-states above treat the children of a contractual member as at least provisional members, if not full members, until age 12 or 15 or 18. From the standpoint of the 6 year old child, how is different from a state as we currently know and (don’t) love? It is a collective body that claims the right to force him to do things and use physical force to make those rules effective.

  17. Zeus says:

    “This notion of an aggressively violent monopoly that is “merely an inconvenience” is exactly the Utopian fantasy I’m trying to dispel. That you still believe that’s possible is why you are still spinning your wheels.” - Dale

    Here you make the point that *a* minarchy as a destination or physical thing is a fantasy. Small is subjective. Government is “a monopoly on force”. It’s like throwing gasoline on a small fire.

    “All of this talk about what to do when we get to minarchy is moot because we’re not going to get anywhere near there until a tipping point of people become anarchist.” - Dale

    And yet here you still perpetuate minarchy as a destination rather than a subway train bound for Anarchyville. In my opinion, it’s just a temporary philosophy created by fear of the unknown that ultimately leads either to despair (because, even if you could create it, it’s half-life would be infinitesimally brief as governments are always, inevitably wont to grow like a weed and rage like a fire) or anarchy where you say “screw it” and give up on that fantasy.

  18. memenode says:

    Rich, if you wont raise a hand to defend a minarchist government from anarchists then I think you’re effectively an anarchist yourself, because all it takes is withdrawal of moral support for government (which would be a precondition for defending it).

    @Billy Bob:

    The goal I described is the eradication of coercion and all you basically said in the beginning of your post is that it still happens. Right it does. And I want to find solutions for that problem.

    And speaking of those solutions, the solution is personal freedom as it stems from the self ownership axiom which inevitably implies personal responsibility. All that is then necessary is to consistently apply this to all examples of violence happening that you can think of, including the ones you posted.

    In the first one, the thug that initiates force instead of seeking non-violent ways to improve his situation can be defended against by those whom he seeks to violate. Point is, ostracism isn’t the only tool in the hands of an anarchist/voluntaryist. Why do you think libertarians insist on gun rights? Because we believe in the right to defend ourselves and our property (which is an extension of it).

    The second example also stems from missing the self defense point. If somebody stole something from you you’re perfectly in your right to use the force necessary to take it back (but no more). This is NOT coercion. It is restoration or restitution. It isn’t even revenge. Revenge is when you coerce someone back AFTER already being restored.

    And before you jump on me for “supporting” violence in this instance while saying I want to eradicate it. What I want to eradicate is coercion. Without coercion no defensive force is necessary, thus removing coercion means removing all violence.

    ANSWER TO 1ST QUESTION:

    It is anarchy, plain and simple. Note what Dale said in his article “Anarchy isn’t the answer” ( http://anarchyinyourhead.com/2008/11/28/anarchy-isnt-the-answer/ ). Anarchy does not refer to any one particular “system” or set of solutions. It simply means “no coercive rulers”. Whichever way you can find to organize a society which never ever includes coercion is fine and perfectly compatible with anarchy. Anarchy is just a clean slate that begins with the mutual agreement not to coerce.

    That said, what you’re describing reminds me a lot of Stefan Molyneux’ concept of Dispute Resolution Organizations. I wouldn’t call them states. They’re simply private agencies that cooperate together much like insurance companies do today. Molyneux’ DRO concept is like a hybrid between an insurance company and a defense agency.

    You must be a little bit of a genius yourself when you came up with that. It’s pretty interesting that independently from you (I presume) Stefan Molyneux came up with almost the same thing. Isn’t that an exciting thing? Once we refuse “solutions” which include violence, the mind starts working and like it always happens among free people in a free market, interesting and innovative solutions emerge. :)

    ANSWER TO 2ND QUESTION:

    If buying the services and entering the contracts of these, as you call them “contract-states”, is completely voluntary then there is no problem. The force you’re talking about isn’t force if the persons in question (yes, even kids) already agreed to these terms. The terms are in the contract papers they signed.

    What you today know as “law” are in fact just “terms of service” of a company of people who believe they have a right to hold a coercive monopoly on certain markets. This is what makes their laws illegitimate. However, when you sign up to an insurance company (which is much like what you’re proposing), you agree to the terms of service of that insurance company. Your agreement makes these terms of service *the law* by which you must abide. That’s how law becomes legitimate and that’s what law in an anarchy is (far from lawlessness people often ascribe to it).

    I hope that helps. (And sorry for the verbosity..)

  19. Chaohinon says:

    Minarchists are infinitely more dangerous than fascists. Fascists are at least consistent in their values, holding to the idea that “I have the biggest gun, and am therefore the best”, and can thus scare away enough people simply by being honest. The Ron Pauls and Badnariks out there, however, are snatching up voluntaryism-minded people and looping them back into the statist nightmare, rather than allowing them to reach the logical conclusions of freedom.

  20. Billy Bob says:

    Memenode,

    When my next door neighbor starts polluting the air and ground by running a factory that puts out toxins (but he is upwind of me, of course), who is to say whether he is or is not taking something from my by enriching my land by toxic ash fallout? He says no, I say yes. If I use force to stop the pollution, am I the aggressor?

    When I contract with a security group that prescribes certain rules, and my 6-year old violates the rules and gets grabbed for violating those rules, then they have subjected him to coercion. A 6-year old cannot give or withhold consent for contracts, and so cannot be a party to them.

    Some libertarians naturally say: “What gave you the right to water coming down-stream, and how is it that you call it yours?”

  21. Billy Bob says:

    “The second example also stems from missing the self defense point. If somebody stole something from you you’re perfectly in your right to use the force necessary to take it back (but no more).”

    You are oversimplifying the issue. If I did not actually see him take my belongings, but the evidence points in his direction, who has the right to say “yes, we can go and force him to give up what he stole?” If it is me, then the old saying that a person is never a good judge in his own case goes out the window. If someone else, then that person is using authority.

    Also, what if the person stole something that is long-lasting consumable, (an old stereo system) and he uses/damages it beyond repair? Do I force him to return money equal in value to the consumed - the used condition - or enough so I can buy a new system? Who decides how much? What if the object he stole has value way below the use that he stole from me: if I have a contract to furnish a completed, complex and expensive widget on July 10th, with a 1,000,000 penalty per day for lateness, and the thief stole my car on July 9th so that I cannot meet the deadline, do I merely require him to return the car, or require him to make good the loss I suffered? What about the expense I had to endure to locate and actually re-acquire the car itself?

    If the criminal injures my wife so that she can no longer bear children, how do we obtain recompense for her loss? What can the criminal give that makes whole what has been destroyed?

    All these, and many still more complicated sorts of problems, suggest to me that a program where you simply force the thief to return what he stole cannot possibly meet people’s need for justice, and there must be someone to arbitrate complex and doubtful cases.

  22. Dale says:

    @Billy Bob,
    Regarding your argument of need (ahem), I don’t think anyone is arguing that we need services to help resolve disputes, including to help resolve those issues of disagreement over how much harm was done like you described, and even to protect us from dangerous people that are beyond hope from restitution. Did you listen to Thursday’s Free Talk Live?
    http://media.libsyn.com/media/ftl/FTL2009-07-02.mp3

  23. memenode says:

    @ Billy Bob,

    If your next door neighbor is polluting your air and you can demonstrate this damages your own property you do have a valid claim that you can make against him through your dispute resolution organization or directly to his. Outright force is never a good first step and I think every civil person who has any experience settling private disputes (almost everyone) knows that. Even the DRO wont use immediate force, but will arrange arbitration. Violence, even defensive violence, is expensive. Government can get away with using it on a regular basis. Private companies do not. This creates incentive for more peaceful solutions.

    Same for your other examples.. If you lost something you have a claim. You make a fair point as far as seeking justice all by yourself, without third parties, is concerned as there is a risk you’ll turn your justice into blind vengeance. But outsourcing this VOLUNTARILY to a third party is not in any way involving coercive authority as you seem to suggest.

    The third party, like Dale, said helps find the optimal solution taking into account your full disclosure of loss etc. How is the current system of monopolistic courts any better? All of the implied criticism you have for private arbitration seem to suggest you expect it to be a magic pill that cures all ills when the current system can barely do even a portion of them due to its monopolistic, one-size-fits-all square approach.

    Regarding the 6 year old, if (s)he truly isn’t capable of making his or her own choice then all responsibility for her breaking the contract YOU signed instead of her is on you. And again, dude how many times does this need to be reiterated, if you signed the contract yourself, its enforcement is NOT coercion. You freaking agreed to it.

  24. Matt says:

    It’s amazing how the same arguments about anarchy keep coming up. Often with extremely simple solutions. It seems like they rarley tried to ever search for the answers, either on the web, or in their mind.
    Anyways billy bob what you are describing is basically volantarryism, though also similar to panarchy as the two kinda overlap, which would allow people to live in anarchy.
    To anyone who question how we get to anarchy, all people need to really have is a government that believes in the right to secession. Once you believes that states can secede, then counties, then towns, then finally an individual person, the whole anarchist society will start to form.
    However, regarding the comment that if the size of our government was only 20% of what it is today, almost nobody would oppose it, is a steaming pile of bull shit. Taxes were well below 20% of today during revolutionary times, and masses of people opposed the government there. Technically there were other reason too, but an example is the state of Pennsylvania, where the people thoroughly tried to stop the state there. Notice how it took a decade to even prop up a minarchist state, imagine if an fascist tried to take over. Gov’t are extremely tough to prop up when there is none in place, especially if the people don’t want it. Does anyone honestly believe that a previously anarchist society would quickly jump to a government stealing half your income?

  25. Jason says:

    I appreciate your sense of humor Dave, but I think a lot of this talk is needlessly divisive.

    Lew Rockwell:

    “There are only two kinds of libertarian, much as some would like to obscure it: Rothbardian and non-Rothbardian. But even that can be a distraction in our everyday work. As Murray noted — minarchist or anarchist, constitutionalist or monarchist — there is really only one consideration: Do you hate the state?”

    Check out Rothbard’s article “Do you hate the State” below if you haven’t read it before. I think he puts it well.
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard75.html

  26. Dinnerboi says:

    As a former minarchist, I support this message.

  27. Dinnerboi says:

    Question: of Minarchists, socialists, and Anarchists,
    which ones are the lions, the bears and the tigers?

  28. ChuHuaZhu says:

    Pretty much. I’m an Objectivist and I can’t stand minarchism. It’s philosophically indefensible, and every other Objectivist I argue with about it displays that they have precisely zero knowledge of it beyond the usual Republican bullshit.

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