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Anarcho-Capitalism: A Whim-Worship Political Ideology

May 4, 2010

“If a society provided no organized protection against force, it would compel every citizen to go about armed, to turn his home into a fortress, to shoot any strangers approaching his door—or to join a protective gang of citizens who would fight other gangs, formed for the same purpose, and thus bring about the degeneration of that society into the chaos of gang-rule, i.e., rule by brute force, into perpetual tribal warfare of prehistorical savages.” — Ayn Rand

One of the fatally flawed analyses by the anarchists to justify their argument that anarcho-capitalism is a moral and practical political system

If communism is for the unthinking brutes, anarcho-capitalism is for those whose mind is not yet fully developed...

If communism is for the unthinking brutes, anarcho-capitalism is for those whose mind is not yet fully developed...

is their naive claim that the government has the monopoly on force. They argue that since the government is all about force, then it must be eliminated in order to guarantee individual rights. They see government as a necessary evil whose existence poses a threat to the interest of every freeman. They see police or force whenever they talk about or disparage the government.

In order to justify their puerile claim that the government is the avatar of evil and force thus it must be abolished, the naive defenders and credulous supporters of anarcho-capitalism resorted to Orwellian tactic. For example, they concocted the term “minarchism” to justify the legitimacy of anarchism, a political philosophy that regards the state as harmful, unnecessary, and undesirable, and instead advocate for a stateless society. The term “minarchism” was coined by agorist Samuel Edward Konkin III in 1971 to classify libertarians who support limited government. The reason why Konkin invented the term is to distinguish the two clashing political factions of Libertarianism, a political ideology that defends the maximization of individual liberty in though and action and the minimization or even eradication of the state. These two factions are the Libertarians for limited government or the “minarchists” and the Libertarians for the abolition of the state or the anarcho-capitalists.

On the other hand, anarcho-capitalism, which was supported by Murray Rothbard, once a member of Ayn Rand’s inner circle, and his fellow anarchists, regards free-market capitalism as the foundation for a free and industrialized society. They reject the existence of government and objective laws and legal system. They see the market as the main integrator- or protector- of a society. They believe that free trade and voluntary exchange of goods and services can only exist in an anarchic society. Their rejection of the state is founded on the premise that it is the only entity that can use force against citizens for the enforcement of taxation, restriction of trade and personal freedom, and creation of monopolies and unfair competition.

However, some of the pathetic ammunitions being used by the Libertarian anarchists to justify their uber-weak defense of anarchism came from Ayn Rand, a controversial and influential philosopher of the 20th century. It is true that the government has the monopoly of force, but reality and man’s nature dictate that we need a government to protect us against any kinds of physical aggression. Ayn Rand once said that “a government is the means of placing the retaliatory use of physical force under objective control—i.e., under objectively defined laws.” (“The Nature of Government,” The Virtue of Selfishness, 112.) She argued that the only proper purpose of a government is to protect individual rights against the use of force and violence. This means that the only proper role of a government is that of a policeman- “to act as an agent of man’s self-defense, and, as such, may resort to force only against those who start the use of force.”

She wrote:

“The only proper functions of a government are: the police, to protect you from criminals; the army, to protect you from foreign invaders; and the courts, to protect your property and contracts from breach or fraud by others, to settle disputes by rational rules, according to objective law. But a government that initiates the employment of force against men who had forced no one, the employment of armed compulsion against disarmed victims, is a nightmare infernal machine designed to annihilate morality: such a government reverses its only moral purpose and switches from the role of protector to the role of man’s deadliest enemy, from the role of policeman to the role of a criminal vested with the right to the wielding of violence against victims deprived of the right of self-defense. Such a government substitutes for morality the following rule of social conduct: you may do whatever you please to your neighbor, provided your gang is bigger than his.” (Galt’s Speech, For the New Intellectual, 183).

Even Rothbard’s non-aggression axiom is based on Ayn Rand’s non-initiation of force principle. It means that no one may transgress against the rights of others. Rothbard said in his book Society and State: “I define anarchist society as one where there is no legal possibility for coercive aggression against the person or property of any individual. Anarchists oppose the State because it has its very being in such aggression, namely, the expropriation of private property through taxation, the coercive exclusion of other providers of defense service from its territory, and all of the other depredations and coercions that are built upon these twin foci of invasions of individual rights.”

In her essay Objectivist Ethics published in her book The Virtue of Selfishness, Ayn Rand states:

“The basic political principle of the Objectivist ethics is: no man may initiate the use of physical force against others. No man—or group or society or government—has the right to assume the role of a criminal and initiate the use of physical compulsion against any man. Men have the right to use physical force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use. The ethical principle involved is simple and clear-cut: it is the difference between murder and self-defense. A holdup man seeks to gain a value, wealth, by killing his victim; the victim does not grow richer by killing a holdup man. The principle is: no man may obtain any values from others by resorting to physical force.” (“The Objectivist Ethics,” The Virtue of Selfishness, 32.)

The best argument against anarcho-capitalism must be grounded in metaphysics, epistemology and ethics. Anarchism is a contradiction in terms; it is a floating abstraction. It is the result of the Libertarian anarchists’ failure to identify the difference between anarchy and capitalism. Anarchism is all about the abolition of government, while capitalism is a political system that recognizes individual rights- man’s rights to life, liberty, property, and his pursuit of happiness. How can we guarantee man’s rights in a society that rejects order, objective laws, and basic rational principles?

It is no secret that the so-called market anarchists acknowledge Ayn Rand’s “competing government” scenario as a legitimate argument. In a stateless society, the market anarchists claim that businesses, corporations, groups, and entities are free to compete with each other for consumers and profits. This is what they view as the true meaning or concept of “free market”, a system wherein a government or a single agency no longer plays a role in the market or in people’s lives.

However, what the anarchists fail to grasp is that in order for a society to be free, it needs objective laws and an objective legal system. In order for a society to be organized and free from social chaos and disorder, it must have objective, non-contradicting, and easy-to-understand legal procedure and rules of evidence. It needs both rational and objective substantive and procedural laws. The anarchists believe in private courts and private appellate courts where corporations, groups, and individuals file legal cases for the violation of their rights, breach of contract, or any kind of civil and criminal cases. In an anarchist society, courts are motivated by profits and the forces of the market. But that’s another problem.

The existence of conflicting, clashing, contradictory laws is one big problem that the anarchists have not yet fully addressed. Just imagine a state, or a city, with different kinds of laws. For instance, whose law shall prevail in a breach of contract case or in a fraud case? What sort of standards or principles shall be applied for the determination of the applicable law that should govern a particular case? Who will decide? The market?

It is also very possible that various religious, ethnic, social and political groups would establish their own laws and legal systems. For instance, in a criminal or civil case between a Muslim party and a Christian party, whose law or legal system would govern the case? The anarchists might say: “the parties can amicably choose the law that shall be applied to their case.” Suppose the petitioner here is the Muslim party, what if he/he chose to file his complaint in a Muslim court where Shariah law and legal system were applied and where he/she could get a favorable verdict and a harsher penalty? Can the Christian party petition for ‘change of jurisdiction’ on the ground that he/she is a Christian? And where can he/she file such a petition? Where can parties appeal their cases? Who may establish a court of last resort?- by what right? – by what standard?

Anarchism, which rejects order and objectivity, is a form of collectivism for the fact that it is an invitation to organized gangs and collectivist groups to take advantage of the sheer weakness of the stateless social system in order to impose their own will, whims, and caprices, establish a monopoly, or worse create a dictatorship. In an anarchist society every group, gang, entity, or organization can have its own understanding of man’s rights, laws, and principles. It is very possible that in some cases some groups and gangs do not believe in individual rights, freedom of speech, or even the right to one’s life.

In the real-world, we have radical Islamic groups who make no secret of their god-ordained duty to rule the world, to kill the infidels, and to treat the non-believers as sub-human species. Is there any guarantee that these groups would not impose their religious will on the stupid anarchic masses? Yet reality tells us that the so-called omnipotence of the market can never work in a society of men with evil intent, a society that rejects order and objectivity. Such a society is a threat to man’s rights and existence. And yes, such a society must be denounced and rejected.

Every nation or state has its own supreme court or a “court of last resort”, which has the duty to finally put an end to any kinds of legal dispute. For a society to be peaceful and organized it needs a court of last resort authorized to decide on the finality of any legal case that went through a rigorous, painful, ladderized process of legal determination. But who would decide on the implementation of a co-called Libertarian supreme court? What if the non-Libertarian groups, corporations, and gangs would like to establish their own supreme courts? Another problem is the possibility of conflicting jurisprudence.  Who would decide on the legal principles or jurisprudential parameter to be applied to a particular case? The  private court involved of course. But can the aggrieved party make a petition for certiorari or any kind of “Libertarian petition” designed to protect his rights and interest? If no, why? If yes, where and based on what legal standard?

Since the Libertarian anarchists believe in private courts, it is also very possible that these private tribunals have to protect their market interests by issuing favorable decisions to moneyed parties or corporations. But the anarchist might argue: “If that’s the case- if their decision is based on who pays more- then the market would go against them, and as a result they would lose clients.” In the real-world, parties would usually go to a court where they can obtain a favorable judgment.This shows that the Libertarian anarchists are whim-worshipers. They are living in a world of Libertarian fantasy.

Ayn Rand, who passionately argued against anarchism, once wrote:

“If a society provided no organized protection against force, it would compel every citizen to go about armed, to turn his home into a fortress, to shoot any strangers approaching his door—or to join a protective gang of citizens who would fight other gangs, formed for the same purpose, and thus bring about the degeneration of that society into the chaos of gang-rule, i.e., rule by brute force, into perpetual tribal warfare of prehistorical savages.

“The use of physical force—even its retaliatory use—cannot be left at the discretion of individual citizens. Peaceful coexistence is impossible if a man has to live under the constant threat of force to be unleashed against him by any of his neighbors at any moment. Whether his neighbors’ intentions are good or bad, whether their judgment is rational or irrational, whether they are motivated by a sense of justice or by ignorance or by prejudice or by malice—the use of force against one man cannot be left to the arbitrary decision of another.” (“The Nature of Government,” The Virtue of Selfishness, 108.)

31 Comments leave one →
  1. May 14, 2010 3:38

    “Anarcho”-capitalism is complete and utter BS and is contradictory on so many levels. Anarchism doesn’t necessarily mean the abolition of the government; it means abolition of hierarchies between people. For example, real anarchists also oppose things like bosses, landlords, corporations, etc. And to top it all off, anarchists have ALWAYS been opposed to capitalism in any form. Why? Because capitalist systems create these hierarchies.

    See also:

    http://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/economics/proudhon/property/index.htm

    http://flag.blackened.net/daver/anarchism/bakunin/capstate.html

    Thanks!

  2. EricK permalink
    March 5, 2012 3:38

    Anarchism- a political theory holding all forms of governmental authority to be unnecessary and undesirable and advocating a society based on voluntary cooperation and free association of individuals and groups (Websters).

    Under Objectivism and anarchism, all property is private and all relationships are voluntary, i.e., no coercive taxation. Rand supported the right to secede even in “mixed economies”.

    My question is what is the practical difference between between anarcho-capitalism and objectivism if aggression is not permitted and if secession is moral (and thus legally permitted)? Or as Geroge Smith says, “Why cannot a landowner (or combination of landowners) refuse to pay for the services of their Randian ‘government,’ which they regard as inefficient, and take their business elsewhere?”

    • March 5, 2012 3:38

      Under a Randian government, if you ever Rand Rand’s article on government financing, taxation would be VOLUNTARY. So that means landowners are not forced or obliged by law “to pay for the services of their government.”

      • EricK permalink
        March 5, 2012 3:38

        1. How does consent manifest itself then? Do those governing have to first get the consent of the landowners to represent them? If so, under what conditions can the landowners revoke their consent? All governments, past and present, have been illegitimate since their existence is due to the initiation of force. Can the landowners secede and set up a new government once this voluntary government becomes aggressive?

      • March 5, 2012 3:38

        I find that kind of argument weird. Even if landowners were allowed to secede and establish their own governments, what prevents them from initiating force? That would lead to to a competing governments scenario. Read the whole blog. I discuss the issue there.

  3. EricK permalink
    March 5, 2012 3:38

    Nothing prevents them from initiating force just like nothing prevents government from initiating force. This issue is how to determine whether those governing are legitimate are not. Are those governing initiating force and has consent been delegated to them rightfully are two key components one must ask. Smith makes this key point here:

    http://folk.uio.no/thomas/po/rational-anarchism.html

    “A system of objective justice, on the other hand, enables us to discriminate between the initiation of force and the retaliatory use of force, thereby providing a rational method of assessing any person, agency or government which claims to use legitimate violence. Furthermore, a system of objective justice defines and sanctions the use of defensive violence, which has traditionally been expressed in libertarian theory as the rights of resistance and revolution.

    These rights, which stem from the individual right of self-defense, can justify the suppression of any agency or government that seeks to impose an unjust legal system. And though this suppression of ‘competition’ may sometimes bear a superficial resemblance to the sovereign suppression of all competition (whether just or unjust), this should not mislead Objectivists and libertarians into supposing that these two actions – one by a sovereign government, the other by a private justice agency – are based on the same mode of justification.

    One (suppression by a sovereign government) is rooted in political subjectivism (or relativism), and has no relationship to the justice or injustice of the victimized agency. The other (suppression by a justice agency) is rooted in political objectivism, and is confined solely the suppression of unjust agencies and governments. The former power is justified by political sovereignty, a right that cannot be reduced to the rights of individuals. The latter power is justified by the right of self-defense, a right that is possessed equally by every individual and can be delegated (or not) to a specialized agency. The former theory leads necessarily to absolutism and cannot be reconciled with consent. The latter theory generates agencies whose power is specifically limited by the consensual delegation of rights by individuals.”

    • March 6, 2012 3:38

      One of the fatally flawed analyses by the anarchists to justify their argument that anarcho-capitalism is a moral and practical political system is their naive claim that the government has the monopoly on force. They argue that since the government is all about force, then it must be eliminated in order to guarantee individual rights. They see government as a necessary evil whose existence poses a threat to the interest of every freeman. They see police or force whenever they talk about or disparage the government.

      In order to justify their puerile claim that the government is the avatar of evil and force thus it must be abolished, the naive defenders and credulous supporters of anarcho-capitalism resorted to Orwellian tactic. For example, they concocted the term “minarchism” to justify the legitimacy of anarchism, a political philosophy that regards the state as harmful, unnecessary, and undesirable, and instead advocate for a stateless society. The term “minarchism” was coined by agorist Samuel Edward Konkin III in 1971 to classify libertarians who support limited government. The reason why Konkin invented the term is to distinguish the two clashing political factions of Libertarianism, a political ideology that defends the maximization of individual liberty in though and action and the minimization or even eradication of the state. These two factions are the Libertarians for limited government or the “minarchists” and the Libertarians for the abolition of the state or the anarcho-capitalists.

      By the way, if you’re a Libertarian, you should know that Mises was against anarchism.

      • EricK permalink
        March 6, 2012 3:38

        “They see government as a necessary evil whose existence poses a threat to the interest of every freeman. They see police or force whenever they talk about or disparage the government.”

        Anarcho-capitalism sees government as a necessary evil because of its historical nature of relying on coercive taxation for its existence. Smith makes this point when he says ” Rand’s position on taxation places her squarely in the anarchist camp – her idiosyncratic use of the word ‘government’ notwithstanding. We should focus in this debate on the concept of government and its essential characteristics, not on the word usage of a particular writer.”

        “In order to justify their puerile claim that the government is the avatar of evil and force thus it must be abolished, the naive defenders and credulous supporters of anarcho-capitalism resorted to Orwellian tactic. ”

        It’s not Orwellian to observe that all governments past and present have been evil because of aggression. Can you point to one government in history that has been funded through voluntary taxation and has tolerated secession?

        “For example, they concocted the term ‘minarchism’ to justify the legitimacy of anarchism, a political philosophy that regards the state as harmful, unnecessary, and undesirable, and instead advocate for a stateless society.”

        Again, in an AC and Objectivist society, all property is privatized and all legal institutions derive their legitimacy by consent and nonaggression. I’m sensing a semantic, not a substantive difference. Anarcho-capitalists support courts, police, jails, prison, and military. They simply disagree with minarchists who believe in coercive taxation to fund these governing institutions, believe it should be voluntary, think consent can be revoked if those governing become aggressive, and see that as a private situation.

        “By the way, if you’re a Libertarian, you should know that Mises was against anarchism.”

        He also supported taxation.

      • March 6, 2012 3:38

        In order for a society to be organized and free from social chaos and disorder, it must have objective, non-contradicting, and easy-to-understand legal procedure and rules of evidence. It needs both rational and objective substantive and procedural laws. The anarchists believe in private courts and private appellate courts where corporations, groups, and individuals file legal cases for the violation of their rights, breach of contract, or any kind of civil and criminal cases. In an anarchist society, courts are motivated by profits and the forces of the market. But that’s another problem.

        The existence of conflicting, clashing, contradictory laws is one big problem that the anarchists have not yet fully addressed. Just imagine a state, or a city, with different kinds of laws. For instance, whose law shall prevail in a breach of contract case or in a fraud case? What sort of standards or principles shall be applied for the determination of the applicable law that should govern a particular case? Who will decide? The market?

        It is also very possible that various religious, ethnic, social and political groups would establish their own laws and legal systems. For instance, in a criminal or civil case between a Muslim party and a Christian party, whose law or legal system would govern the case? The anarchists might say: “the parties can amicably choose the law that shall be applied to their case.” Suppose the petitioner here is the Muslim party, what if he/he chose to file his complaint in a Muslim court where Shariah law and legal system were applied and where he/she could get a favorable verdict and a harsher penalty? Can the Christian party petition for ‘change of jurisdiction’ on the ground that he/she is a Christian? And where can he/she file such a petition? Where can parties appeal their cases? Who may establish a court of last resort?- by what right? – by what standard?

        Anarchism, which rejects order and objectivity, is a form of collectivism for the fact that it is an invitation to organized gangs and collectivist groups to take advantage of the sheer weakness of the stateless social system in order to impose their own will, whims, and caprices, establish a monopoly, or worse create a dictatorship. In an anarchist society every group, gang, entity, or organization can have its own understanding of man’s rights, laws, and principles. It is very possible that in some cases some groups and gangs do not believe in individual rights, freedom of speech, or even the right to one’s life.

        In the real-world, we have radical Islamic groups who make no secret of their god-ordained duty to rule the world, to kill the infidels, and to treat the non-believers as sub-human species. Is there any guarantee that these groups would not impose their religious will on the stupid anarchic masses? Yet reality tells us that the so-called omnipotence of the market can never work in a society of men with evil intent, a society that rejects order and objectivity. Such a society is a threat to man’s rights and existence. And yes, such a society must be denounced and rejected.

        Every nation or state has its own supreme court or a “court of last resort”, which has the duty to finally put an end to any kinds of legal dispute. For a society to be peaceful and organized it needs a court of last resort authorized to decide on the finality of any legal case that went through a rigorous, painful, ladderized process of legal determination. But who would decide on the implementation of a co-called Libertarian supreme court? What if the non-Libertarian groups, corporations, and gangs would like to establish their own supreme courts? Another problem is the possibility of conflicting jurisprudence. Who would decide on the legal principles or jurisprudential parameter to be applied to a particular case? The private court involved of course. But can the aggrieved party make a petition for certiorari or any kind of “Libertarian petition” designed to protect his rights and interest? If no, why? If yes, where and based on what legal standard?

  4. EricK permalink
    March 6, 2012 3:38

    Under anarchism, courts, police, the military is privately funded as they are under Objectivism.

    The possibility of bad law under monopoly government (most if not all of history) is the same as it is under anarchism. Ditto for good law.

    Civil procedure (core course in law school) addresses cases that involve overlapping jurisdictions. As Randy Barnett says, “Courts and judges have traditionally found peaceful ways to resolve the two questions most likely to lead to conflict when multiple legal jurisdictions exist: Which court system is to hear the case when more than one might do so? And which law is to be applied when more than one law might be applied? Much of the court-made law of ‘civil procedure’ addresses the first question, and an entire body of law-called the ‘conflict of laws’-has arisen spontaneously (that is, it was not imposed by a higher authority) to provide a means of resolving the second of these two questions.”

    In order to avoid all jurisdictional conflicts including between countries, a planetary government is the only solution, hopefully one you don’t support. Perhaps I am wrong as your final arbiter could settle disputes among different countries including hostile ones.

    Also, you’ve switched the debate from the question of what constitutes a legitimate government (normative argument) to what is efficient (positive argument). The key moral argument is what are the rights of individuals when government violates them? Should they be allowed to replace those institutions that represent them? While we can imagine a hypothetical government deriving its authority from the consent of the governed limited to only protecting rights, we know utopia is not an option, so what happens when this government transgresses its moral authority? The bottom line according to Rand is that private property, non-aggression, and voluntary consent are the three essential concepts that must be included for the government to be morally justified and this is a standard that anarcho-capitalists support. The secondary question of how efficient and objective law is designed (whether common or statuary) is interesting but is not the threshold question.

    You claim that anarchism has the potential for capriciousness possibly leading to gang warfare but the same logic applies to monopoly government that has killed hundreds of millions. This is called a double standard. As I’ve said elsewhere, every government that has ever existed has systematically aggressed innocent individuals, and not one has ever been legitimate. It’s easy and convenient to invent a perfect objectivist government in your head while ignoring the bloody history of government power and abuse but reality tells another story.

    I know you have a lot invested emotionally in believing the way you do but I strongly suggest reading some of the AC literature (Randy Barnett, Bruce Benson, Bryan Caplna, etc.) and especially the George Smith piece I linked to above.

    • March 6, 2012 3:38

      Further readings on the folly of anarchism…

      “Bear in mind that, in fact, those who would be granted the right to enforce their own notions of just retaliation include leftists who consider government intervention in the economy to be retaliation against business activities that the leftists view as “economic force.” Then there are the terrorist groups who claim that random slaughter is “retaliation” against “Zionist imperialism,” “British rule,” etc. Are we to assume that the country will have been converted to “libertarianism” before anarchism is instituted? Very well. One wing of the “libertarians” holds abortion to be murder; in their view, force against women who have abortions is retaliation in defense of the right to life. Another wing welcomed the New Left rioters of the 1960′s, including the Black Panthers, as liberators who were retaliating against “state coercion.” How will the principle of no initiated force—in a philosophical vacuum—resolve disputes of that kind?”

      —- https://fvdb.wordpress.com/2010/05/04/anarchism-vs-objectivism/

      “Anarcho-capitalists advocate that you be able to hire your own police force. In a neighborhood of 100 people, there could be 100 different police forces protecting individuals. Anarcho-capitalists advocate the military be privatized, if they advocate its existence at all. One anarchist, who envisions an anarcho-capitalist world without a military, told me to stop Hitler or Ousama bin Laden, he would, “hand me a gun.” One anarchist, advocating a larger “defense agency,” imagined the military operating much like a not-for-profit club or organization. She says, “People concerned with armed invasion could encourage the build-up of community defense forces. Military Olympics could stimulate proficiency in defensive skills among those who were inclined both toward athletics and the civic pride associated with being part of a community militia.” (Ruwart http://www.ruwart.com/Healing/ruwart_all.html) Under anarcho-capitalism, the interpretation of law would be in each involved party’s hands. All justice, anarcho-capitalists claim, would be handled by private courts. “Civil disputes” would be handled by two parties “mutually agreeing” to go to a private arbiter.”

      —- https://fvdb.wordpress.com/2010/05/06/anarcho-capitalism-vs-liberty-why-objective-law-is-necessary/

      “In regard to anarcho-capitalism, this is not even a system; it is a LIE! Anarcho-capitalism is incompatible with Capitalism as it is incompatible with man’s freedom. Anarchism is a prelude to everything that man should fear, such as socialism, communism, fascism, and every derivative of collectivism. A rational man cannot survive in an anarchic society where there are no rational, objective rules and principles for man. You cannot put man’s fate at the mercy or generosity of a gang of savages who either harbor evil or altruistic agenda and who have mustered enough power to rule and enslave men who don’t have the capacity to protect themselves. In a free society, we need the aid and protection of a government with limited power. This is what Ayn Rand envisions, which is against anarcho-capitalism proposed by Murray Rothbard and his fellow anarchists. What we need is a separation of state and economy. In an anarchic society, there is no protection of contracts, intellectual property rights, individual rights, and mutual agreements between parties. This social system will only lead to barbarism and social chaos wherein power is within the reach of those who have the means to use force against other men.”

      —- https://fvdb.wordpress.com/2010/05/03/on-anarcho-capitalism/

      • EricK permalink
        March 6, 2012 3:38

        First, monopoly government does no guarantee objective law as history demonstrates. If someone is going to argue that AC is unstable and will result in violence and institutionalized rights violations, the logic doubly applies to monopoly government. In addition, the logic of the need for a final arbiter argument necessitates a global government to impose planetary law on all nations. Is this what Objectivism supports?

        More importantly, the pragmatic argument regarding efficient law is secondary to the moral criteria concerning government legitimacy and what happens when government breaches its primary moral purpose. I’m not sure why you aren’t addressing this since it’s essential. How is consent transferred, maintained, and what are the legal options once governing bodies are no longer efficient or violate the rights of the individuals they represent? Anarcho-capitalists believe in consensual governance as do Objectivists and have accepted the implications of what transference means and how the law should function in a free society. If you prevent transference and revocation from occurring in legitimate cases, you are violating the rights of those who choose to delegate rights protection lawfully. If you accept that individuals have this right, then welcome to the anarcho-capitalist camp.

      • March 6, 2012 3:38

        Behind the puerile fantasies of “market solutions” to political and legal disputes lies the collectivist notion that the ideas of the individual are determined by social institutions, so that once the “proper” social institutions have been established, “the people” will automatically agree on political and legal issues, and government will no longer be necessary. In the Marxist version of anarchism, once a socialist economy has “conditioned” men to altruism, they will automatically act according to the principle “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” In the “libertarian” version, once a capitalist economy has been established, rational selfishness will become automatic, and “the market” will act to resolve whatever short-lived disputes still arise. In the words of one of the “libertarians”: “Legislation forcing the parties [in a dispute] to submit to binding arbitration would be unnecessary, since each party would find arbitration to be in his own self-interest. Nor would it be necessary to have legal protection for the rights of all involved, because the structure of the market situation would protect them.”

        In any irreconcilable dispute, at least one party will find that its view of justice is stymied. Even under anarchy, only one side will be able to enforce its ideas of where the right lies. But it does not occur to the anarchists that when one of their private “defense agencies” uses force, it is acting as a “monopolist” over whomever it coerces. It does not occur to them that private, anarchistic force is still force—i.e., the “monopolistic” subjection of another’s will to one’s own. They are aware of and object to the forcible negation of “competing” viewpoints only when it is done by a government.

  5. EricK permalink
    March 6, 2012 3:38

    What evidence do you have to support the claim that people will “automatically agree” on political and legal issues? No one has ever made that claim to my knowledge.

    Again, under Objectivism and anarchism, all property is private and all legal and military services are funding privately via consent. Anarcho-capitalists consider this a market or private environment. Objectivists don’t. The key question that you don’t seem to want to address is how is consent transferred and revoked that is consistent with individual rights.
    Smith says:

    “The right to pay for services or not, according to one’s own judgment, is a characteristic of the free market; it has no relationship, either theoretically or historically, to the institution of government. There is no way a government can retain its sovereign power – its monopoly on the use of legitimate force – if it does not possess the power of compulsory taxation…

    …Objectivists, if they are to remain true to the theory of rights defended by Ayn Rand, must agree with anarchists that the moral legitimacy of a particular government depends, not on the subjective claims of that government, but on true measure of justice in its legal system, as evaluated by objective criteria. If a legal system is objectively just, then its enforcement agency (whether governmental or private) may properly restrain the ‘competition’ of an unjust legal system, whether implemented by a government or by a private agency. If, however, the competitor also works within the framework of a just legal system (perhaps differing from the other agency in optional matters of procedure), then that competitor may not be forcibly restrained from entering into contractual relationships with willing customers.”

    In short, what matters is not the label but how it functions.

    • March 6, 2012 3:38

      Yes, under your anarchist fantasy, all force would be delegated to private force who would in turn use force or coercion against individuals. Force should not be made an object of competition. Disputes concerning rights should not be treated like any common commodities.

      Who will decide on what courts would have the jurisdiction to try a case? The parties? What if one of the parties would like to use his own private court and the other party also wants to use his own private court? How would parties appeal their cases? These are just some of the minor issues that need to be addressed by the anarchists.

      • EricK permalink
        March 6, 2012 3:38

        How are you distinguishing between private and public if under both systems legal institutions are paid for by voluntary contributions? How is Objectivism any less fantasy if the funding source is the same (private)? Ayn Rand says “In a capitalist society, all human relationships are voluntary…they can
        deal with one another in terms of and by means of reason, I.e., by means of discussion, persuasion, and contractual agreement, by voluntary choice to mutual benefit.”

        This is precisely the contractual arrangement that anarcho-capitalists support. All human relationships are contractual including between individuals and those individuals who govern.

        I’ve already explained to you how disputes between are peacefully settled among overlapping jurisdictions both inter and intra-nationally.

        Do you support a planetary government to settle disputes among countries?

        “The argument that we need court systems with geography-based jurisdictional monopolies does not stop at the border of a nation-state. Any such argument suggests the need for a single world court system with one Super-Supreme Court to decide international disputes and its own army to enforce its decisions. After all, the logic of the argument against a competitive legal order applies with equal force to autonomous nations” (Barnett).

      • March 6, 2012 3:38

        The issue I raised is, rights disputes cannot be reduced to mere commodities. If you understand what that statement means, you’d also understand the weakness of your anarchist position. Of course I don’t expect you to ‘automatically’ understand that.

  6. EricK permalink
    March 6, 2012 3:38

    Under Objectivism and Anarcho-capitalism, courts, police, prisons and the military have to be paid for by monetary resources (“commodities” if you mean money). Budgets have to be balanced if they are privately funded so I’m not sure the exact point you are making. Both sides want efficient legal procedures that are fair and rational but there is no guarantee under any system. The question, however, is not what system is more efficient but what legal framework is consistent with individual rights. If you interfere with the ability of individuals to rightfully choose legal representation (“consent of the governed”) then you are iinitiating force against them. If you disagree you are doing this, then you need to explain how consent manifests itself in the society you support and how revocation should work if those who govern do so unlawfully (to be expected considering there are never been a legitimate government in history).

    • March 6, 2012 3:38

      You don’t understand the context of the issue here, and that’s the reason why the anarchists are clueless of the philosophy of law and its application to real-life situations. If you attempt to reduce rights disputes to mere commodities, that suggests that everything that pertains to legal disputes (e,g, procedures, technicalities, due process, appeal process, etc.) would also be determined by market forces, which means judicial processes are anchored on the biases, prejudices, desires, or whims of consumers.

      • EricK permalink
        March 6, 2012 3:38

        Bruce Benson’s (Florida State economics professor) “The Enterprise of Law: Justice Without the State” includes real life situations. Georgetown law professor Randy Barnett wrote “The Structure of Liberty: Justice and the Rule of Law” explaining a polycentric legal order. You seem about 20 years behind the debate and unaware of the AC literature addressing non-monopolistic legal orders both theoretically and historically.

        Since the government you support (privately funded & consensual) has never existed, you can’t assume that it would be anchored in a lack of prejudices, desires, etc. Heck, you can’t or won’t even explain what it looks like or how it would differ from AC governing institutions. Vague objections to “mere commodities” doesn’t cut it.

      • March 6, 2012 3:38

        What you said, comrade, made me LOL. I suggest that you read this piece. Thanks and good day. https://fvdb.wordpress.com/2010/05/04/anarcho-capitalism-a-whim-worship-ideology/

  7. EricK permalink
    March 6, 2012 3:38

    One back at you:

    MRS LOGIC AND THE LAW: A Critique of Ayn Rand’s View of Government

    http://folk.uio.no/thomas/po/misslogic.html

  8. Mike Schneider permalink
    March 31, 2012 3:38

    > …They argue that since the government is all about force,
    > then it must be eliminated in order to guarantee individual rights.

    A government, by definition, *governs*.

    But *you* have not right to rule others.

    You only have the right to rule yourself.

  9. July 7, 2014 3:38

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