Talk:Anarcho-capitalism/Archive 14

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


This archive page covers approximately the dates between Sep 05 and Nov 05.

Post replies to the main talk page, copying the section you are replying to if necessary. (See Wikipedia:How to archive a talk page.)

Please add new archivals to Talk:Anarcho-capitalism/Archive 15. Thank you. --Saswann 15:21, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Renaming this article

What a lot of B.S., this article. Typical wikipedia platitudes.

It would be more accurate to call this article No State Capitalism. Thats exactly what it is. Why use the disputed "anarcho-capitalism"? Cews 21:24, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Because that's what virtually all pro-capitalism anarchists call it, since Murray Rothbard coined the term in the 1960's. Get a clue: There are more google hits for anarcho-capitalism than anarcho-syndicalism.
Why the ad hominem, telling me to get a clue? What i said had nothing to do with anarcho-syndicalism.Cews 00:38, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Anarcho-capitalism, by many meanings, of either of its derivitives, is an oxy-moron. Not to say all of its meanings.Cews 00:38, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

This is discussed in the article under "Terminological criticisms...". The fact is, anarcho-capitalists define capitalism differently - generally as a free market combined with private property, neither of which *necessarily* contradict anarchism generally (except under certain very narrow definitions of "anarchism" which many anarchists hold). The fact that this keeps getting belabored repeatedly is frankly rather tiring.
The term anarcho-capitalism is used because that is the primary title used to describe this particular system of political beliefs over the last forty-some years, whether you agree with the word or not - it was not just made up out of thin air by someone on wikipedia. I find Military Intelligence to be oxymoronic under certain definitions as well, but I wouldn't propose a rename - that would just be a waste of everyone's time. --Academician 09:28, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Anarcho-socialism vs. Capitalism chart

Wouldn't it make more sense if "anarcho-socialism" was changed to "anarcho-communism"? Then you could put traditional American individualist anarchists in between, since they were opposed to communism and capitalism. For instance, Benjamin Tucker called himself a socialist, but he believed in private property and opposed anarcho-communism of Kropotkin, etc.RJII 19:27, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

I put it back since it was rather odd to have the article refering to a chart that didn't exist. Saswann 12:00, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
added a few data points Saswann 14:26, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
I appreciate that, but Tucker refers to his philosophy as "anarchistic socialism." So, for the chart to be accurate, that label should be changed to "anarchist-communism" ..the most pure form of socialism. RJII 18:38, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
Tucker did not believe in private property in the way that most proponents of full liberal ownership do. Furthermore, the chart is very flawed. "Totalitarian Fascism" should read "Totalitarian Capitalism," as long as we're talking about socialism vs. capitalism. I also would not place the U.S. in the libertarian sphere. It may be economically liberal, but it certainly is not socially liberal. Just a few thoughts.--AaronS 18:00, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
Tucker did believe in full private property in the produce of labor --something communist anarchists such Kroptopkin oppose, and something Tucker ridiculed them for. That makes him distinctly non-communist, just as he's distinctly non-capitalist for opposing profit and ownership of raw land. "Anarcho-socialism" is too broad. Again, it should be changed to "anarcho-communism" since the American individualist anarchists don't fit in with the communists. RJII 18:35, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

Did some tweaks reflecting the above comments. Now as to the placement of U.S. vs Europe on the chart, I was trying to get the Ancap view into the chart, which I think would place the US as more "libertarian" than Europe, but I'm open to a counter-argument Saswann 19:40, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

Cool, but you forgot to change the title on the side to communism instead of socialism. Communism is the most extreme form of socialism so it, naturally, should be at the extreme of the chart. RJII 17:42, 20 July 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps, but not all extreme forms of socalism are communist. Saswann 12:14, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
Of course they're not. That's because socialism is a pretty big spectrum. Anyway, it just occured to me that the chart should actually have anarcho-communism on one side and anarcho-capitalism on the other. The more pure the socialism, the close it gets to anarcho-communism, and the more pure the capitalism, the closer it gets to anarcho-capitalism. What do you think? RJII 14:15, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
I think it wrongly implies that all systems toward the left would be communist, which I don't think is the case. I don't think we should imply that, say, Nazi Germany was more "communist" than Fascist Italy. Then you have the weird case of a "communist" China that is drifing away from the lower left, toward the lower right. Saswann 15:37, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
I don't see the problem. Why would it imply that Nazi Germany is closer to communism than Fascist Italy? And, about China ..China should probably be in the center (or maybe a little left of center), since it's a mixed economy. RJII 17:49, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
I was just pointing out that "communism" as the opposite point of the capitalism axis doesn't seem correct since a centralized "socalist" economy can exist without Marx or communist ideals (and vice-versa).
Yes, but the most extreme form of socialism is communism. As you move toward the left on the chart, you're getting more socialist, and the logical limit of socialism is communism. RJII 18:17, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
Also, that axis should say "More socialist - More capitalist" instead of "Less capitalist - More capitalist" RJII 17:52, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
can't believe anyone actually follows this cobblers. Any politically / historically aware person must realise it's absolute guff! Check recent developments in New Orleans for the proof.

Why the hell is Europe shown as more authoritarian than America on this chart? I think that could be up to seriou dispute. Secondly, I dispute the usefulness of the chart, they are far too simplistic. Many for instance would put fascism as fully authoritarian, but squarely in between capitalism and communism (because it represents, usually, rather neo-Keynesian economics). I would scrap the chart altogether and just explain that Anarcho-capitalism should be strongly contrasted with authoritarian systems. --CJWilly 19:10, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

I think the problem you have is you're looking at an illustration of an AnCap POV. It's not intended to be objective. Saswann 21:10, 9 September 2005 (UTC)
    • I fully agree with User:CJWilly about the relative positioning of Europe and America on the chart. My POV is that the two arrows stay on the same sides but with the US pointing down towards Fascism and Europe pointing up towards being more libertarian. However, I would strongly disagree that Fascism is a hybrid of capitalism and communism; it is placed in exactly the right position as the most extreme form of totalitarian capitalism. I'm no economics expert but I would be surprised if Htler was a neo-Keynesian!
The arrows aren't the direction the philosophy is "going", it's just a poor choice of line used to connect the dot to the label. And like RJII said, it's the ancap view, which would recognize Europe as being closer to totalitarian. Though I really don't think the picture is accurate that ancaps deem fascism "pure capitalism", because they don't. MrVoluntarist 01:30, 10 September 2005 (UTC)

FYI - Notes in the article

RJ mentioned he didn't know how notes were being used in the article, here's the rundown [1] It's pretty simple. There's a refrence template {{ref|<name>}} and a note template {{note|<name>}} that link to each other. The trick is:

  1. placing the notes in a numbered list that's in the same order as the citations in the body of the article
  2. naming all external links ( a link like [] will throw off the numbering, [ Footnotes] is ok.

Saswann 12:52, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

Thanks. I hadn't been able to figure out how that worked. RJII 17:26, 9 August 2005 (UTC)


How would people feel if I deleted the postage stamp, moved the Libertatis Æquilibritas out of the lead, and moved the Collingwood painting to the lead? The postage stamp was simply the best PD/free image of the Althing that I could find, and the Collingwood painting is obviously much more vivid and interesting to look at. Personally, I feel that the Libertatis Æquilibritas has zero charisma as an image for the lead, and contributes needlessly to the impression that anarcho-capitalism is purely theoretical. I realize that the article is due to be frontpaged on Sep. 9, and it looks like Raul has already chosen the Libertatis Æquilibritas as the frontpage image; I see that as an unrelated issue, and I don't think the Collingwood painting would iconify as well.--Bcrowell 19:21, 28 August 2005 (UTC)

My only objection would be the fact that the painting is a bit oddly shaped for the lead, and needs to be fairly large to see the detail. It might overwhelm the lead section. Where it is, it's balanced by the massive weight of the surrounding article :) BTW, I like the stamp on my browser it fills a void opposite the TOC that would otherwise be a vast white space-- perhaps move the Collingwood picture there? Saswann 12:30, 29 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Can someone add a picture of a reputed Anarcho-Capitalist author please? --Rakista 01:12, 9 September 2005 (UTC)
Did you mean one currently living? Because Murray Rothbard is already on the page [2]. MrVoluntarist 01:53, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

Comment upon the image of a critique of potential violence inherent in anarcho-capitalism. The image contains a scene in which one of the opposing sides are uniformed agents of government. This scene does not accuratley represent an inherent flaw in anarcho-capitalism, as there would be a lack of uniformed agents of government. --Dennis Tessier Sept 9, 2005

Can you expand on that a bit? If you're referring to the Althing picture, I'm not quite sure what you mean. Looking at it, I don't see anything that clearly shows "opposing sides"; also, although a lot of people in the picture are wearing blue, there's no obvious reason to think they're wearing uniforms. - Nat Krause 09:11, 10 September 2005 (UTC)
I think he means [3] in the Crit section. And, while I agree that it is flawed in the way described, but it is very difficult to find PD photos illustrating abstract concepts. This was the best example of "economic violence" I could find in the commons. I don't think the flaw is that severe in that it's illustrating the critique of economic power relationships, and not a critique about statelessness. Saswann 12:29, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

"not technically anarchism"

I removed this phrase from the intro sentence because the article itself explains that the definition of anarchism is disputed. In fact, there's an entire article on the subject. I must also express a general complaint about the use of the word "technically". There really must be some technical definition underlying that sort of claim. Perhaps a law or official policy of some organization - as opposed to a "most people don't think that counts" kind of definition. -- Beland 02:50, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

von Hayek

Please note that von Hayek and the Austrian school is neoliberal/ordoliberal and while anarcho-capitalists read their writings their ideology has very little common with the classical ordoliberalism. Today neoliberal is a bashing word for the ideology of anarcho-campitalism or neoconservatism. It is simply wrong to call v Hayek and the austrian school an anarcho-capitalist. - anon

Fortunately, the article does not say that Hayek was an ancap. A lot of the current Austrian School is ancap though. - Nat Krause 12:38, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

Questioning a Premise

Without challenging the article's presentation of its subject, which is terrific, please accept one general comment on this school of thought, which has always seemed to me to suffer from a fundamental logical flaw. That is, so-called anarcho-capitalism assumes that property rights exist outside of a legal frame of reference. While it may be true, as Demsetz argued, that property rights exist to solve exernalities problems, it does not follow that such rights can, in practice, exist outside of a means of enforcing them. While two parties may be able to resolve property allocation issues between them through contracts or other bilateral arrangements, property rights are distinguishable from bilateral arrangements in that a party claiming "property" claims rights against the world and not simply rights with respect to the obligations of another party. While two parties may be able efficiently to transact acceptable arrangements between themselves, one party generally cannot efficiently transact vis-a-vis all other potential parties. One view is that this transaction-cost problem is resolved by the system of rules-plus-enforcement which we call law and government. It thus does not seem possible to accomplish the "anarcho-capitalist" vision outside of a framework of law and government, because the vision is fundamentally premised on the concept of property rights. Paradoxically, the anarcho-capitalist vision eschews the concept of law and government as unnecessary and even undesirable. To amplify, even if two parties can reach agreeable terms to allocate resources between them, and even if they can enforce the agreed-on allocation between each other, how do they ensure that other parties will respect the arrangement and not plunder? And if one party's obligation is more dependent on the cooperation of non-parties, then how does the other party accommodate the risk that the first party will not be able to perform? Even if solutions to these problems can be formed on a contract-by-contract basis, what basis is there for believing that the net result of a patchwork of ad hoc solutions would be more, rather than less, efficient than law and government as we know it?

-- Bob (Bob99 14:57, 9 September 2005 (UTC)bob99)

Well said, Bob. One reason, among several, why the phrase "anarcho-capitalism" is a contradiction in terms. But since this entry seems to be maintained by a majority of proponents of "anarcho-capitalism", I don't see much hope in it being corrected. -- Etusalikii 18:45, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

The idea is that intitutions that have to answer to market forces (businesses) tend to be more efficient than government. So, if consumer demand for protection of private property and individual liberty (including contracts) eventually increases to a sufficient level, then businesses (as entities that don't tax) would eventually outcompete government and serve as better and cheaper protectors of individuals liberty, and would protect more liberty than any government can or is willing to protect. Private enterprise would protect individual liberty and private property from government and taxation. RJII 18:21, 9 September 2005 (UTC)
I think the key to your misunderstanding is that you confuse anarcho-capitalism with anomie. You say: "the anarcho-capitalist vision eschews the concept of law and government as unnecessary and even undesirable", but this is not true - anarcho-capitalism rejects the State, but not law. It suggests that general law can arise in a market without a coercive government creating it. Some like Don Boudreaux and Russell Roberts suggest that law is "emergent", and is not necessarily best if created by an on-high authority. This is not to say that law will be chaotic simply because it is created in a distributed manner - standards arise in society all the time, without command from on-high. Market transactions are almost always more efficient that government solutions, and anarcho-capitalists infer this to suggest that law will likewise become more efficient due to the interaction and input from a multitude of subjective market actors. Admittedly, it is difficult to swallow when one is primarily used to understanding law as something derived from legislatures - but that doesn't mean it is an invalid perspective. Writers like David Friedman in particular make some very compelling arguments. --Academician 22:15, 9 September 2005 (UTC)
Academician, laws are sets of rules and therefore by definition universal and exclusive within their space. Laws can't "compete" like products and services can. You can't have a situation where several, perhaps contractitory, sets of laws apply to the same system at the same time (whether that system is social, economic, physical or mathematical).
Example: I rape your daughter. You pay a private court, court X to prosecute me and send me to prison for 5 years. I say "sorry, but I don't subscribe to court X. Rape of women by men is legal under court Y's laws (my private court)". To back up my point, I hire a personal army to protect myself from court X's private policemen coming to arrest me. -- Etusalikii 19:06, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
Your law allowing you to rape women would not be legitimate law according to anarcho-capitalists, since rape would violate the non-agression axiom and/or the self-ownership principle. RJII 19:13, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
Ok, another example then to make my point clearer: I offer your 16-year old daugther cocaine. Whose court decides whether this is defined as a violation of the above or not? Mine or yours?
It's all academic anyway, since in absence of a universal court to enforce them, the non-agression axiom and self-ownership principle aren't worth the paper they're written on (see previous example). -- Etusalikii 19:50, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
Look, the talk page is not the proper place for this discussion in any case. If you wish to discuss anarcho-capitalism the philosophy, rather than anarcho-capitalism the article, then feel free to post your arguments on the forums[4] and discuss them with the people who actually refer to themselves as anarcho-capitalists. If you do so, I will gladly join in the discussion there. This is not the proper place for this conversation, however. --Academician 22:32, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
I'm trying to illustrate that anarcho-capitalism isn't fully-fledged philosophy, like the article suggests. There are still incosisencies to be addressed, so I suggest a changing the name. The wikipedia isn't a place for half-baked ideas. -- Etusalikii 15:56, 14 September 2005 (UTC) -- Etusalikii 15:56, 14 September 2005 (UTC)
 ? 'anarcho-capitalism isn't fully-fledged philosophy' ?  ? 'The wikipedia isn't a place for half-baked ideas' ?
Please visit Scientology and call me in the morning. And as far as inconsistencies go, someone should reconcile Labor theory of value and Intellectual property and explain to Metallica that Wham engaged in an equal share of labor and they should both be compensated in equal measure. 16:15, 14 September 2005 (UTC)
Whether you agree with it or not, anarcho-capitalism is a legitimate philosophy with numerous followers who use that term. Should the LDS Church article not refer to Mormons as Christians, merely because some Christians do not consider them to be so? The anarcho-capitalism article lists numerous criticisms which you are more than welcome to add further outside sources to. But Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a discussion forum, and Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a dictionary. Wikipedia has plenty of articles with descriptions of terms based on how they are used, regardless of certain parties' beliefs about the legitimacy of that usage. Anarcho-capitalism is as complete a philosophy as is necessary to term it a "philosophy", with plenty of published books and articles by many noted authors who are cited in the footnotes and external links. If you have a problem with the philosophy, or you personally believe there are issues that it does not completely addressed, that is fine - but your opinion in that regard has absolutely nothing to do with the legitimacy of the anarcho-capitalism article. --Academician 21:14, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

Returning to my original comment, I will forcefully assert that proponents of so-called anarcho-capitalism have proven my point by continuing to discuss a putative "market" without providing a theory of property that permits a "market" to exist independently of a system of law and government. Proponents of anarcho-capitalism are assuming that "property" is an indivisible concept and that "property rights" can exist outside of a system of law and government. No basis is given, however, for why these assumptions should be accepted. There is no market without property rights, because a market is an aggregation of transactions, and a transactions is an exchange that is necessarily defined in terms of property rights. The argument in favor of anarcho-capitalism thus assumes the existence of property rights without providing a theory of property that does not depend on a system of law and law enforcement. To say that law can exist without government is nonsense, unless one means "government" in an extremely formal sense, since whatever mechanism exists to enforce law is government. While one can imagine various "work-arounds" for individual acts of government, there is no reason to believe that an agglomeration of such work-arounds would be more efficient than government as it is presently understood. In fact, there is every reason to believe that Western government exists in its present form as much because the market has demanded it as for any other reason.

-- Bob (Bob99 14:24, 30 September 2005 (UTC)Bob99)

Well, anarcho-capitalists certainly do argue that property and the market exist independently of the state. Whether or not this is a plausible argument is a matter of opinion. In any event, this talk page is not a venue for political argumentation. You may wish to take this up on a politically-oriented message board somewhere. - Nat Krause 07:03, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
All exchange requires is property, not necessarily property rights. Or are you suggesting that people can not own and exchange things without government? I am sure that black marketeers like drug traffickers would find that highly amusing. Anarcho-capitalism, as is illustrated in the article, suggests a replacement system of private law to enforce property rights and create a structure for the market to operate in. If you want a more thorough treatment of the subject, I suggest you read one of the numerous books cited in the article - starting probably with The Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman - then get back to us. Your comments with regard to the article's topic do not seem useful to me; if you really wish to add criticisms, find a source and cite it. Edit boldly, if you see a problem with the article. But be aware that other editors will check your own assumptions.
I cannot help but comment on the unintentional humor implicit in the insistence that a discussion of "anarcho-capitalism" should be limited to arguing from authority.
-- Bob (Bob99 14:55, 5 October 2005 (UTC)Bob99)
I'm not clear on whether or not you understand what Wikipedia is here for. It is not a blog on which you can cite your own opinions, nor is it a discussion forum for you to debate politics. What we do here is report facts and notable opinions. - Nat Krause 19:29, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
And as Nat says, the talk page is not the place to discuss this subject if you are quibbling with the philosophy - people writing the article should not necessarily have to be anarcho-capitalists, after all, and they would not necessarily defend what the article writes about. I assume, for example, that most of the authors of the Nazi article are not Nazis, so the talk page of that article would not be the place to discuss the flaws of Nazism and expect a defense. I suggest you take your quibbles elsewhere. --Academician 04:46, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

The point is not a political one but a logical one. A theory of property is essential to any system based on exchanges of "property." If property can be demonstrated to be an indivisible, unitary or elemental concept, then so be it. But that has not been done. Exchange, as discussed above, requires possession rather than property. And while possession may be 9/10 of the law, it is the other 1/10 that distinguishes property from possession. If anarcho-capitalist theory permits a cost-benefit assessment weighing the cost of obtaining possession through a transaction against the cost of taking possession unilaterally (such as by force or by stealthy theft), then the potential for post-contractual opportunism significantly impedes the realization of value through contractual exchange. In addition, in a system where possession is 10/10 of the law, buy-in by those who are themselves capable of taking possession by force or stealthy theft would be essential to effective contracting. What is the theoretical explanation for why such buy-in is more efficient than (or different from) government? If that question cannot be answered, then it is necessary to present a THEORY OF PROPERTY in order to support the theory of anarcho-capitalism. I do not see why that is a political comment.

-- Bob (Bob99Bob99)

Please either contribute something useful to this article or else take your arguments someplace else. - Nat Krause 19:29, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
I still want to know what the anarcho-capitalist theory of property is. If there isn't one, that information is essential to the description of the theory in the article.
-- Bob (Bob99 14:31, 7 October 2005 (UTC)Bob99)
Most anarcho-capitalists have a natural law theory of property which is the same as the classical liberals. That is, property originally comes into being by the exertion of labor (this is talked about a bit in the article, concerning Rothbard and original appropriation). If you build something, it's yours --since you "mixed" your labor with previously unowned raw materials. On the other hand, there are anarcho-capitalists who don't believe in natural law, but rather think it's in the best self-interest of individuals to contract to regard that product of labor as property (so this amounts to a subtle difference between the natural law advocates --the end result is the same: property comes about through labor). RJII 15:11, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation. The problem I have with the substance of it is that it does not explain how one keeps property, absent a system by which ownership is respected. As a threshold matter, the legal definition of ownership is typically along the lines of "the right to exclude others." (There are also levels of granularity about "the right to exclude others from doing what?" which may differ from one legal system to another.) My original comment referred to Demsetz's thesis that property comes into existence to solve externalities problems. Demzetz used as an illustration the example (now believed to be apocryphal) of a group of Native Americans who developed concepts of land ownership in response to experience with overtrapping of pelt-bearing animals as European demand for fur increase trapping beyond what was necessary to meet local requirements. The additional demand gave every individual an incentive to trap as much as possible, regardless of the long-term consequences of driving the fur-bearing animals to extinction, because "if I don't, somebody else will." That is, any action to preserve resources over the long-term by refraining from overtrapping would involve a negative externality because the benefit would be conferred on those who, being less altruistic, simply took advantage of the situation to do more overtrapping themselves. That happens when the preserver does not have the right to exclude others. With the innovation of ownership, or the right to exclude others, the "owner" can profitably preserve the long-term value of the resource. This is probably the best analysis of property as a solution to a problem, but it does not necessarily support an anarchist point of view, though Demsetz certainly preferred minimalist government. Also, somewhat on point, is Williamson's very interesting study, "The Economic Institutions of Capitalism," where he analyzes forms of industrial organization as solutions to various problems involving minimizing the risk of post-contractual opportunism. For example, it might be suggested that an assembly line could be organized as a group of independent contractors buying components, adding value by combining the components, and selling the subassembly to the next person on the line. Williamson asked the question why this does not happen in real life and decided that there are situations in which common ownership is necessary to reduce investment-limiting risk. For example, a supplier may be asked to make a significant sunk investment in a particular customer (i.e., an investment that cannot easily be recovered by, for example, selling the relevant capital on a used equipment market). Because the investment will be sunk, the supplier will be locked into the customer until the cost of the investment is recouped. If the investment is significantly large, this recoupment period may be years long. In such cases, the supplier may hesitate because of the risk that the customer will seek to renegotiate the terms of the deal after the supplier is locked in. In some cases, contractual terms are sufficient to overcome this, but in other cases they are not. When contractual terms are not available to manage the risk, the supplier may decide not to invest. In such cases, the customer is likely to choose vertical integration instead of dealing with a contractor, and Williamson's thesis is that this kind of risk-management consideration goes a long way towards explaining the organization of modern industries. I think these same considerations are relevant to considerations of why property rights take the forms that they do, as well as of the difficulties that may be anticipated in attempts to replace government with contract.
-- Bob (Bob99 22:49, 7 October 2005 (UTC)Bob99)
However, anarcho-capitalism is a system by which ownership is respected. It is a fallacy to say that libertarian society is based on contract to the exclusion of property. - Nat Krause 15:29, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure, but it seems you think that anarcho-capitalists don't recommend protection of property? That's not the case. It's just that instead of government protecting property (government being that which funds itself through taxation), private institutions would protect property --for example, you pay a monthly bill to maintain the private police, private courts, private armed forces, etc. There would be competing protectors of property who charged for services, rather than taxed. If you don't want to pay, that's fine, but don't expect anyone to protect you unless it's out of charity. The article quotes the individualist anarchist, Victor Yarros: ""Anarchism means no government, but it does not mean no laws and no coercion. This may seem paradoxical, but the paradox vanishes when the Anarchist definition of government is kept in view. Anarchists oppose government, not because they disbelieve in punishment of crime and resistance to aggression, but because they disbelieve in compulsory protection. Protection and taxation without consent is itself invasion; hence Anarchism favors a system of voluntary taxation and protection." RJII 15:44, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

By the way, Nat, you seem to be trying to maintain possession of this page through bullying. I do not appreciate it. With the notable exception of well-deserved ad hominem comment againgst yourself, my remarks have been extremely civil. If you don't have the ability to back up what you have to say with logical argument, don't embarrass yourself by talking. If you don't like my comment, please feel empowered not to read them.
--Bob (Bob99 14:31, 7 October 2005 (UTC)Bob99)
What I'm trying to do is make sure that this talk page gets used for its intended purpose, which is discussing ways to improve the encyclopedia article, rather than as a general forum for comment about libertarian theory. The article should have nothing to do with my personal opinions, so, therefore, my ability to defend them with logic or not is irrelevant. Anyway, since other editors here seem to be willing to comment in it, I will give this thread the benefit of the doubt that it is leading towards something that will eventually improve the article. As for, "If you don't like my comment, please feel empowered not to read them"; this, coming from the guy who thinks I'm bullying him from across the internet! - Nat Krause 15:29, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

I quite agree with Nat and others in this thread. The purpose of an encyclopedia article is to DESCRIBE the topic. In a topic describing anarcho-captitalism, which is a commonly used name for a general category of related political viewpoints, it is appropriate to describe (a) the principles held in common by those who call themselves "anarcho-capitalists," (b) the principal divergent viewpoints still within that ball park, and (c) the most common criticisms lodged against same by other anarcho-capitalists. The article is to provide descriptive information, the validity of which depends only on the correctness of the description, not on the correctness of that which is being described. LEKulp 02:58, 22 November 2005 (UTC)


What is to prevent an Anarcho-capitalist society from devolving into uncontrolled violence, as individuals unconstrained by a common enforcement power struggle for wealth and influence?--M@rēino 15:50, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

Nothing --mitrebox 17:21, 9 September 2005 (UTC)
The state of affairs where the forces trying to defend against aggression are stronger than the forces trying to aggress. If consumer demand is greater for defense of liberty than initiation of coercion, then defense would have the upper hand. RJII 17:30, 9 September 2005 (UTC)
Oh I see. So "consumer demand" will "stop the forces". Righty. So let's say I purchase a discount missile from the recently privatised nuclear stockpiles and fire it at your city. What are you going to do? Bundle your citizens' collective "consumer demand for defense" into a force field? Get real. Talking about misplaced context ... -- Etusalikii 19:29, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
I would think that an anarcho-capitalist wouldn't contract with others to allow each other to own nukes, out of self-interest. I think the reverse would happen --people would contract to refrain from obtaining nukes, out of their own self-interest. If you didn't contract as such, you would not receive the services of being protected from aggression. In that case you would be fair game for any force that wanted to stop you from obtaining nukes. I think this would hold for anarcho-capitalists that base their philosophy in egoism and contract. If an anarcho-capitalist thinks that people have a right to own nukes under "natural law" that says no one has a right to initiate coercion against anyone for any reason then I can see that being problematic. So, you do bring to light something that's lacking in the article. It's not mentioned that not all anarcho-capitalists believe a prohibition against initiatory agression exists as natural law. Some believe that such a prohibition can only exist out of contract. RJII 04:04, 14 September 2005 (UTC)


Moving ergo no ID (&yes I know I should register) This whole article had better be displaced by "Anarchocapitalism is complete bollocks", but unfortunately that is a somewhat argumentative POV


Someone with an understanding of objectivism and anarcho-capitalism, and how they relate, should take a look at the objectivism section of this article. It reads to me like someone's propagandizing for Rand but I don't know enough about either to tell for sure. I've added links and did some minor editing.

forgot my sig: --Andymussell 20:00, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

Anarchism / Murray Rothbard

The article on anarchism which has Murray Rothbard as a person notible in anarcho-capitalism is not mentioned once in this article nor, of course, is his picture included. If someone knows about the topic perhaps you can copy some of the material over to this section?

Expand on related articles, spec. Frank Chodorov

Article very interesting, started reading it and noticed there were are few hotlinked articles that haven't been written. I started a basic one for Frank Chodorov, so if someone with a better understanding could fill his article out , plus add any extra unwritten articles. rakkar 21:44, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

try" Stateless Fascism"

Use this name, and you have a correctly identified social theory. I know that anarchism can be mutually exclusive of socialism, but usually the two are combined in practical anarchist theory. The anarchist movement does not need this article right now; it's name has already been defamed by countless post-Katrina headlines. I feel that wikipedia has been irresponsible in featuring this article. Why poromote sterotypical ideas of what a social theory is when the main funtion of this technology is to share information? (Especially when this website is itself operating in an anarchist manner by allowing all people to add their perspective and knowledge to the community.)

Well, Wikipedia is not an experiment in anarchy, so that's not an aim of the site. If the function of the site is to share information, why do you want a particular piece of information (that is, combining statelessness with capitalist free enterprise rather than socialist collectivism) to be suppressed? *Dan* 00:08, September 10, 2005 (UTC)
You know, a lot of people can't conceive of socialism or communism without a government and find them much more exploitative than capitalism could ever be. If you don't like what the featured articles are, you can always look at articles as they're being nominated from the featured article page and vote on whether to give them featured article status. You can even look into the future to see featured articles before they get placed on the front page. So if you had objections, then was the time to voice them. Btw, are you the one who's been vandalizing the page? If so, please stop. That's really immature. MrVoluntarist 01:02, 10 September 2005 (UTC)
What Dan and MrVoluntaryist said. Also, calling anarcho-capitalism "stateless fascism" is really quite bizarre. Not only is that an oxymoronic phrase (fascism is all about glorification of the state - Mussolini, in the article you linked: "For the Fascist, everything is within the State and... neither individuals nor groups are outside the State... For Fascism, the State is an absolute, before which individuals or groups are only relative"), but capitalism is not fascistic. To an extent, I can understand socialists refferring to capitalism as "kleptocratic"; even saying it leads to de facto feudalism is understandable. But "fascist"? Don't you realize how absolutely ridiculous that is? Even for someone with an admitted bias, that is beyond the pale. And Wikipedia is not about promoting the ideals of anarchists (or anarcho-capitalists for that matter) - it is simply about the distribution of information. I find your advocacy of the suppression of information to be rather authoritarian, personally. --Academician 02:03, 10 September 2005 (UTC)

Fine then,I'll use the term "neo-fascism"... despite the glorification of the state involved in fascism, fascism necessitates rule of people by corporations and other private, capitalist edndeavors. Thus stateless fascism would be a less organized version of this. Capitalism and anarchism can never merge. Anarchism is NOT synonymous with chaos nor does it focus exclusively on autonomy. The author of this article clearly seems to define it as such. Anarchism is a social theory. It necessitates collectivism. Capitalism is an alienating force out of which Anarchism arose as an antithesis. I do not see "anarcho-capitalism"as a valid synthesis of anarchism and capitalism, because it does not address the conflicting ideologies of each movement. I am personally offended that you have accused me of vandalizing the article. Furthermore, everyone is entitled to opinions and conceptions, and I think that it is immature to make personal shots in a discourse forum. Please stick to ideas, not ego.

"anarcho-capitalism" may be an unfortunate coinage in the view of "traditional" anarchists (a point that the article goes on for a whole section for, which has also spawned another whole article) however, it is one used in academic discourse by about half of the 40 some citations. It is also the most common self-identification used by its proponents. I think a moment of reflection by any serious editor would consider the renaming this article to conform to the spur-of-the-moment coinage by a single anon user, a coinage that has no usage other than a wikipedia talk page, would be an ill-conceived move. You are entitled to your opinion, however this article is not about your opinion, or about collectivism. It is about an economic philosophy that rejects the premises you operate from and is therefore incapable of adhering to your worldview. Sorry, but there are significant economists that don't buy your argument Saswann 21:07, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

Removed critiques

I have removed from the article some recently-added critiques. There are two reasons. First, a Wikipedia article is not designed to be a back-and-forth series of claims, counterclaims, and rebuttals; controversial articles like this one tend to spiral in that direction. Second, these passages are not written in very good NPOV style, but state some critical opinions as facts. Removed content is as follows:

History does, however, show that in societies of unevenly distributed wealth, those with money do not really act in a charitable manner to those without. It might take several very civil wars before the wealthy people in an anarcho-capitalist society realize that looking after the poor is in their own interest. Still, even in our modern society, many states exist where the wealthy ruthlessly dominate the poor and show no sign of changing their attitides, despite frequent uprisings.

Comments: to say that "history" does or does not show that is necessarily a huge generalization. "Civil war" is a nonsequitur in a stateless society. Anyway, mostly nobody expects anarcho-capitalism to result in a society which is based on rich people subsidizing poor people out of the goodness of their hearts. The last sentence about rich people employing state power in their interests is irrelevant to the subject of this article.

[The anarcho-capitalist would respond that in the absence of what they call "victim disarmament" (gun control), such domination would be expensive even for the most powerful, who would instead prefer peaceful trade with all.] The problem with this argument is that there exist several "economic" ways for a wealthy upper class to keep large numbers of poor people in check, even if weapons are sold freely. The possibilites include hiring other poor people to fight as badly-paid mercenaries, using expensive high-tech weapons such as tanks and helicopters that the poor cannot fight with their shoestring budget or establishing a mafia-like system of fear and control.
Historically, people without the money to buy arms and the time to train with them were always at a disadvantage, even if weapons were available for sale or could be easily made. The French revolution worked only because many poor men had military training and because guns could be taken from government arsenals in large numbers. If this is not the case, an armed insurrection by the poor would be unsuccessful. Moreover, the price of military gear in our world is influenced by the fact that governments buy huge amounts to equip their armies. In an anarcho-capitalist world without huge citizen armies, the price for guns could be much higher. Moreover, wealthy owners of private armies could easily influence the sale of firearms by boycotting any gun manufacturer who sold freely to the poor. This would limit the poor to cheap low-quality arms (perhaps homemade zip guns or weapons like the Sten submachine gun).

Comments: It's not clear what "economic" means in the above. The anarcho-capitalist argument is that is quite likely that any situation involving "Group X keeping Group Y in check by illegitimate violence" would not be economical at all; i.e., it would not be profitable. Moreover, this passage, like the above, appears to operate on the assumption that a society will naturally tend to experience "war" (something resembling what we know as war), with the sides breaking down by social class, which is hardly a proven fact; certainly, this is something that we see a lot in the politics of states, but it's not at all clear how an elite class would coordinate their efforts in the absence of a state; they could just as easily wind up fighting each other. "Historically ..." begins another quite dramatic historical generalization, followed by yet another, viz. a hypersimplistic account of why the French revolution worked (note that this, insofar as it was a popular rebellion, consisted of a group of non-state actors fighting against a state). As for the price of guns, because a gun is not a public good, we can predict with some confidence that the price will always match the demand pretty closely. - Nat Krause 12:53, 10 September 2005 (UTC)

I can't believe this is a real topic

How stupid can an true anarchist be to believe in such a thing? I'm into two things. Anarchy and Anarcho-Communism. Capitalism is governed by a rule because of the production of money most be controlled. Otherwise, there is no point in having money. Therefore there is a leader in control with the production and distribution of money. Man this is such a sad topic.. --Cyberman 00:38, September 9, 2005 (UTC)

Of course, since anarcho-capitalism doesn't hold that production of money must be controlled, your point is moot. Most anarcho-capitalist theorists treat money as anything else, i.e., something that can be privatized. Pulpculture 06:02, 10 September 2005 (UTC)
Well at places like here you can see it best. Wikipedia has become a fantasyland for reactionary opinionating. The problem is that there's a thoroughly corrupt structure of sysops who promote this agenda. No better proof than having a nonsense article liek this one become featured Viande hachée
Thanks for your input on how to improve the article. --Golbez 00:43, September 9, 2005 (UTC)
How about if people take their misinformed griping to a forum that discusses anarcho-capitalism instead of just cluttering up the wiki?
A better suggestion: read up on the No true Scotsman article. --I am not good at running 02:46, 9 September 2005 (UTC)
Turning an idea into a featured article may indirectly promote that idea. --Zackofalltrades
The definition of and arguments for this idea are all that is in the article, and that makes it incomplete, yet its a featured article.

Reading above I find the following:

  1. an exclusive POV definition of "true" anarchism that excludes non-communist ideology
  2. an assertion that capitalistic exchange is impossible without state-backed money
  3. a conspiracy theroy that Wikipedia is in the grip of facist reactionary sysops
  4. a critique that somehow Wikipedia shouldn't "promote" ideas like this by making them featured articles
  5. and an unsigned critique that if an article on a topic only discusses the topic it is about it is somehow incomplete

Conclusions to be drawn are left as an exercise for the reader Saswann 12:43, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

New Age Mumbo Jumbo

I find it disappointing that any dreamt up science-fiction ideology can creep its way into the Wikipedia and manage to attract enough attention to become a featured article. This example doesn't do the Wikipedia's credibility many favours.

Well, a google search shows that the idea of "anarcho-capitalism" is sure enough popular within the blogger/geek community. But I honestly doubt that terms like "anarcho-capitialism", "anarcho-communism" (and other wikipedian anarcho-nonsense) form part of the vocabulary of many serious scholars. I've done a master's in economics and I can assure you that before stumbling upon this article I had never even heard this phrase. I have also asked a few colleages with a background in social and political sciences and none of them seemed familiar with it either. Finally, a search on science direct returned zero hits. It seems the term "anarcho-capitalism" hasn't been mentioned in a reputable journal, ever (correct me if I'm wrong!).

However, this article is of good quality and makes some very good points about capitalism. So I suggest a vote to change the problematic name to something more orthodox. -- Etusalikii 23:30, 11 September 2005 (UTC)

Change to "radical capitalism"
"It seems the term "anarcho-capitalism" hasn't been mentioned in a reputable journal, ever (correct me if I'm wrong!)." You're wrong. And, I don't find it surprising that you never heard of it in college. Colleges typically ignore anything radical unless its leftist. If you want to learn pro-capitalist laissez-faire theory, you're on your own. Apparently it's a little too subversive. RJII 23:55, 11 September 2005 (UTC)
Well, "anarcho-communism" wasn't taught either. Or is that too subversive as well? Your so called "pro-capitalist laissez-faire" theory falls under the Austrian school in my opinion, which was covered extensively. Etusalikii 00:48, 12 September 2005 (UTC)
Murray Rothbard, a prominent member of the Austrian school, is considered the person who coined the term "anarcho-capitalism" and he uses the term extensively in published works. However, it would be a mistake to limit anarcho-capitalism simply to the Austrian School since, as is noted in the article, there are non-Austrians (like David Friedman, largely a neo-classical economist) who also consider themselves anarcho-capistalists and use the term (in published works, like Friedman's "Machinery of Freedom"). Just because you were not able to find the term in a quick search of certain journals does not mean that the term is not the most appropriate. The article documents plenty of sources that utilize the word and describe the philosophy.
I wonder, frankly, what purpose your criticism serves. Are you pushing for Wikipedia to become an elitist organization that takes cues only from published academia, or should it remain an actual encyclopedia of knowledge - unbound by the constraints of a particular sect of elite society? I think most Wikipedians would consider it the latter. I doubt the band Oingo Boingo is in many scientific journals, but I think it entirely appropriate that they exist on Wikipedia. --Academician 09:07, 12 September 2005 (UTC)
My criticism serves a simple purpose: To call things by their real name. As I've said before, I don't have a problem with the content of this article. If the band Oingo Boingo was called "The Band" by its fans that wouldn't justify a wikipedia entry on "The Band", instead, this fact would be included as a footnote under the entry "Oingo Boingo". The Microsoft Corporation is referred to by the alternative name of "Micro$oft" by millions of computer users. Yet the wikipedia entry quite rightly uses the "elitist" naming convention "Microsoft", not "Micro$oft".
The term "anarcho-capitalism" is a slogan, not a political philosophy. A handful of individuals and advocacy groups dropping this phrase in their publications to make "radical capitalism" sound more sexy doesn't change this fact.
Apart from not being NPOV, the term is also misleading because of the questionable association of the content with anarchism. There is by definition only one anarchism. Whether an anarchist society organizes itself into de facto free market, feudalist or collectivist models (or, more likely, a combanation thereof) is academic. It's still anarchist, not "anarcho-capitalist", "anarcho-communist", etc. If you think that the phrase "anarchism" has been hijacked by left anarchists, fight against it on the anarchism page, but don't respond by hijacking it yourself. -- Etusalikii 12:42, 12 September 2005 (UTC)
Things don't have "real names" that exist independently of what people call them. "Anarcho-capitalism" is by far the most commonly used unambiguous description for what we're talking about here, so that's what we call it. Also, you really think "anarcho-capitalism" sounds sexy, moreso than "radical capitalism"? Neither term sounds appealing at all. You really kind of impeach your good judgment a little by making such a claim. - Nat Krause 03:49, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
Anarcho-capitalism has been discussed in the economics literature. I'll give you three cites right now, all available on JSTOR --
Sutter, Daniel. (1995). "Asymmetric Power Relations and Cooperation in Anarchy." Southern Economic Journal Vol. 61, No. 3 January): pp. 602–13.
Hirshleifer, Jack. (1995). "Anarchy and Its Breakdown." The Journal of Political Economy Vol. 103, No. 1 (February): pp. 26–52.
Mueller, Dennis C. (1988). "Anarchy, the Market, and the State." Southern Economic Journal Vol. 54, No. 4 (April): pp. 821–30.
They don't call it anarcho-capitalism, but it's clear what they're referring to. That's why the specific term "anarcho-capitalism" isn't more common -- because most times, the context is clear enough to refer to it simply as "anarchism". We can't do that on Wikipedia, however, since a lot of ideologies very hostile to anarcho-capitalism share that term. Also, I don't know why you're looking for anarhco-capitalism on a science database. Moreover, I've heard that in Italy, most political philosophers feel obligated to address Rothbard's ideas (Rothbard was the primary exponent of anarcho-capitalism). The name shouldn't be changed, because anarhco-capitalism is the most-used term for it, other than "anarchism" in the context of statelessness and "market anarchism" or "free market anarchism" all of which are shared by other ideologies. MrVoluntarist 23:56, 11 September 2005 (UTC)
>>because anarcho-capitalism is the most-used term for it<<. Amongst anarcho-capitilists I guess, but obviously not in mainstream political and scientific life. I can't help feeling the suspicion that making this a featured article was an attempt at popularizing the term.
Like I said, if you bothered to read the full sentence, it's also referred to simply as "anarchism" like in the articles I cited for you. Other than "anarchism", "free market anarchism", and "market anarchism", anarcho-capitalism is the most common term. If you don't like what's being selected for featured article status, you have and had every change to vote against it. It wasn't anarcho-capitalists that selected it to be on the front page. MrVoluntarist 01:04, 12 September 2005 (UTC)
>>Also, I don't know why you're looking for anarhco-capitalism on a science database<< Science direct covers social sciences and economics too. But from what I've gathered so far, anarcho-capitalism seems to be more of a religion than a science. Etusalikii 00:48, 12 September 2005 (UTC)
A philosophy is a philosophy, not a science. Some science may justify it, but that would not itself be the philosophy. Apples and oranges. MrVoluntarist 01:04, 12 September 2005 (UTC)
New Age? What does this have to do with psychic crystals, unicorns from outer space, or overweight and frightenly-jolly office secretary ladies who collect crystals, unicorn porcelain figurines, and own 70 cats? --I am not good at running 06:05, 12 September 2005 (UTC)
The content of this article doesn't, but the naming is reminiscent of nonsensical New Age phrases such as "quantum transcendence". Etusalikii 12:42, 12 September 2005 (UTC)
And all this coming a day or two after the featured article Space opera in Scientology doctrine was on the front page. Saswann 15:05, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

individualist anarchism as a term for anarcho-capitalism

Saswann, you deleted the claim that "individualist anarchism" was a term for anarcho-capitalism. Individualist anarchism includes individualists that espouse the labor theory of value as well as those that hold the subjective theory of value. There are anarcho-capitalists who simply refer to themselves as "individualist anarchists." One notable anarcho-capitalist that comes to mind is Wendy McElroy. Here is an interview where she says "I am an individualist anarchist." RJII 14:40, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

I'm not disputing that it might be used by some ancaps, but placing it there ignores the fact that it is a highly contentious assertion. It is not strictly an alternate term, but als refers to a seprate philosophy. It makes as much sense as putting "anarchism" in that box. Technically true, but also highly misleading and soaked in POV. The box should be limited to terms that, if existed as articles, would be sutible redirects to this article. Saswann 14:54, 12 September 2005 (UTC)
By that reasoning you would have to also remove "market anarchism," "stateless liberalism," "private property anarchism," and "voluntarism," As the 19th century individualists are also called those things, especially "market anarchists" which is a very popular term for them. RJII 16:54, 12 September 2005 (UTC)
I guess so. . . though there may be a better way to deal with it. I'm going to try a slightly different format. Saswann 17:15, 12 September 2005 (UTC)
Ok, I think I have a workable solution. BTW, it would be nice if you turned that McElroy refrence into a note in the text. Saswann 17:33, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

Anarcho-capitalist Gangland? (and more possible ancap areas)

Under the proposed form of government, "coercion" (see article's definition of 'state') would be a tool available to everyone. This is often the case in frontier areas, "failed states" (like PNG), areas claimed by multiple states (like the Congo) and some US inner-urban areas. These are generally not great places to live *because* of the multiple entities using coercion.

Historically, such areas have not been this way for long. One group obtains a monopoly, forming (or more often expanding) a state. For instance, the "Wild West" of the US only lasted about a decade before the US state controlled the area.

This monopolistic group might be a small subset of all residents. This would make it similar to un-state-sancioned monopolist corporations like Microsoft. The group might encompass most or all residents. This would make it like a democratic state. As soon as norms exist and there's a special group with exclusive rights to enforce them, there's a state.

Every working-age male Swiss citizen has a gun. It's law. Many people in the US have a gun. That's legal. Yet it's only in the US that many people with this lethal power feel they have a right to use coercion. Guns don't kill people - people who feel they have a right to use coercion kill people.

Which is preferable, a monolithic state that will kill you if they feel like it, or millions of individuals that will kill you if they feel like it? That is difference between anarcho-capitalism and statism. The state is easier to understand and control.

The article should include something on why this is all rubbish... matturn 05:03, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

Wow, you certainly do make the choice between the state and no state sound like an unpalatable one. No reasonable person would want either, the way you describe them. Anyway, you seem to be citing some cases of blatant failure and destruction by states ("failed states", the Congo, American inner cities) as critiques of anti-statism. The exception, though, is the old "Wild West", which was apparently a pretty nice place to live (people kept moving there, after all). As I mentioned to Bob99 above, this talk page isn't really the right place for polemics, so you might want to bring up the same points on a political forum somewhere.
Good point about this not being the place for polemics. I should have thought a bit more and put the case more susinctly. I'll try that now: plurality of coersive power in an area (ie anarcho-capitalism) has occured many times in history. It's the case in quite a few places now. However, these periods have almost always been short, filled with violence, and quickly resulted in the formation of a state (or the extension of one into the area).
I don't believe the article sufficiently addresses this historical record.
BTW, people kept heading west because of the free land. They didn't like the anarchy, that's why it didn't last long. Order has a terrible habit of being more productive than anarchy...
(by the way, it would be nice if everyone in Switzerland had a gun and could use it, but apparently they have very strict ammunition control there). - Nat Krause 07:13, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
Anarchy isn't the lack of "order," but the lack of coerced order. Many see capitalism as "economic anarchy" --the lack of a central authority determing prices, etc. Many would argue that anarchy is what's most conducive to order, and that coercion introduces disorder. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, for one: "Liberty is not the daughter but the mother of order." RJII 20:00, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
In any event, the people being discussed in this article certainly believe that anarchy and order do not constitute an eiter/or choice. Please feel free to add anything you think is missing from the article. Of course, the more sources you can cite, especially for opinions and controversial facts, the better. - Nat Krause 06:58, 3 October 2005 (UTC)

Walter Block

I've got nothing against Walter Block, but I'm given to wonder periodically why he is single out (in addition to Rothbard) in the intro as the co-founder of modern ancap thought. What makes Block's role different from that of Rothbard's other founders and cohorts, or from that of David Friedman, the Tannehills, Robert Le Fevre, etc.? - Nat Krause 04:16, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

Cause Block kicks ass! --Christofurio 16:26, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Somalia POV

I deleted this section:

However, Somalia is far from being a paragon of anarcho-capitalism, as it is lacking in sophisticated systems of private protection of individual liberty and private property from criminal elements. Such systems have not yet developed, hence, crime is rampant in some areas according to some news reports. However, those wishing for protection from bandits may pay security guards or even warlords for protection. There is, however, a rudimentary legal system which has been called "a free market for the supply, adjudication and enforcement of law."[5] It remains to be seen if private solutions develop to the point of providing high quality security.

Is wrong because it is not true. There is a full private right enforcement in Somalia as reported in Van Notten's new book. Furthermore, it makes no prove to show some "warlords" news as evidience of lawlessness. --Irgendwer 19:21, 3 November 2005 (UTC)


I agree that the Somalia section needs to be cleaned up. For example, the claim that "Nevertheless, though Somalia continues to be a poor country that has been ravaged by civil war, the number of individuals living in abject poverty (individuals living on less than $1 per day) has diminished" is not sourced. If it is meant to be sourced from the world bank report that follows, then it is not supported, as that report only gives the info for a single year, so there is no way to see if it has grown or diminished, only that it is slightly less than neighboring countries. It would probably also be more balanced to not that while the abject poverty statistic is 7% less, per capita income is about half and access to safe water is 1/3 (which the report blames in part on the absence of government). The section also refers to education being private, but doesn't mention that enrollment is 65% lower in Somalia than neighboring countries.

There is also a general tone to the Somalia section that seems to skirt POV issues. For example, while the text reads, "One business sector that is said to be doing especially well is telecommunications." and goes on to note that there are even internet cafes, the article it sources reads that the telecommunications industry is one of, "Somalia's few success stories in the anarchy of recent years."

There is little way of knowing how much the statistics offered are influenced by Somaliland or Puntland, in which clan rule (i.e. a state) extends over several regions. Several studies have indicated that data from Somalia is hard to get and generally inaccurate, as shown by the lack of economic data in the world bank database [6] (from which these figures were taken), and the contradiction that can be seen in figures like the literacy rate estimated by the CIA factbook (38% 2001) versus the world bank index (81% 2003). As the CIA factbook says, "Statistics on Somalia's GDP, growth, per capita income, and inflation should be viewed skeptically."

There have also been considerable donations to regions of Somalia by outside states such as the EU, Italy, and the US, to shore up their infrastructure, while its debts have continued to grow, so it is difficult to know how much of there development is from lack of a state or from the presence of foreign state investment. Finally, many of the world bank's report have not been glowing concerning the state of the economy, "Somalia is one of the poorest countries in the world, a situation aggravated by the civil war and the absence of a functioning national government for more than a decade. The impact of state failure on human development in Somalia has been profound, resulting in the collapse of political institutions, the destruction of social and economic infrastructure, and massive internal and external migrations." [7]

In other words, some of the claims made in the article aren't supported by the data being cited. I'll clean it up myself if no one else bothers, just wanted to give a heads up for the reasons first. Revkat 05:25, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

Yes, please, clean up the nonsense. --Irgendwer 13:46, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

Revkat deleting source

Revkat continues to delete the source in the article from Richard Garner, that was in Ifeminist Newsletter issue of May 14 2002. On Peter Sabatini's "Libertarianism: Bogus Anarchy" His explanation is "It was a post to an online forum, I know because I was there at the time and watched a friend participate in the discussion. Please don't resort to an online forum for a source." First of all, can you prove that? Secondly, it was published in Ifeminist Newsletter, and even if it was originally from an online forum I'm sure it was published with permission from Garner). Your justification for deleting this source from that contemporary individualist anarchist (who recently converted to anarcho-capitalism from labor theory individualism) is invalid. RJII 18:00, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

You want a source? Ask Gardner, he hangs about on wikipedia sometimes and tends to be honest about that sort of thing. Or you could ask me, I'm a eye witness to the event, having watched discussions between Gardner and a friend on that forum at that time. Its impossible to show the forum itself, as McElroy doesn't keep archives from back then. As for it being "published" in the ifeminist newsletter, that is an "e-newsletter" sent primarily to subscribers of the ifeminist forums. In other words, someone cut-and-paste it from the forum into an email with a bunch of CCs and sent it out. You want to start including mailing list posts as sources? Please say the word, because I've got a whole lot of junk written by various anarchists over the years on forums and in email lists. Heck, the @-list alone could add thousands of sources to this article. I just thought we had, you know, standards.
And as for Gardner's political viewpoints, yep, he is a confused guy. Is that evidence for something? Revkat 18:25, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
So you indeed have no evidence to back up your claim. And, I sure don't believe you. The source is staying in. RJII 18:31, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
Nope, it isn't. Forum posts sent to an email list do not a real source make. Revkat 18:41, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
All we have is your word that that's the case. And, that's not worth much at all. The article is from Ifeminist Newsletter. RJII 19:03, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
Really RJ, if this is the road you want to go down, good luck. Revkat 20:04, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

Revkat (formerly Kevehs) is putting in a source with the explanation: Further evidence according to RJ's "email lists are okay" standard for sources. I'd just like to state for the record that this is a lie. I never said any such thing. Read this section for more information. RJII 20:25, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

RJ insists on inserting evidence from an online forum. The website of the forum keeps no archives, so there is no way to prove its origin. So he claims that is was "published" in a newsletter from This "e-newsletter" is nothing more than an email mailing list, so even if he doubts the fact that it was cut-and-pasted from a forum (as the format demonstrates pretty well) and refuses to contact Gardner over the issue, it still resolves to nothing more than a mailing list. Given his refusal to stick to respectable sources, and his habit to interpret things from sources he cites that are not supported by the text, I feel it should be completely legitimate, from his perspective, for me to post sources from a mailing list as well. Revkat 20:52, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
Rehash. Already rebutted. RJII 21:12, 8 November 2005 (UTC)


Not to shout, but recent edits severely screwed up the footnote numbering. Please note the following when placing references in the document:

  1. Do not EVER put an unnamed off-site link in the article. They throw off the footnote numbering within the article. I commented out half a dozen. I am making no calls on the value of the references in themselves, but please name them if you feel they should be included.
  2. When adding a footnote, be sure that the note at the end of the article is placed in the correct position! The notes in the table need to be in the exact same order as the references in the article.

This might seem a little anal, but this is a featured article, and messing up formatting like this makes the whole thing look amateurish, which shouldn't be anyone's goal here--Saswann 20:25, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

Self-ownership not all that central

This article describes the idea of self-ownership as central to anarcho-cap. It seems to me that the presentations of anarcho-cap by David Friedman don't depend upon this idea, but are much more pragmatic in style. I doubt that the Asutrians (prior to Rothbard, who seems to have revised them considerably in the course of eulogizing them) would have had any use for the term or idea.

One's relationship with one's self isn't that of ownership, but that of identity. Furthermore, saying so is perfectly consistent with reaching anarcho-cap conclusions on the basis of what succeeds and what fails in creating or destroying value. --Christofurio 21:27, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

There does seem to be a problem. There is a difference between basing it on the assumption that individuals own themselves and basing it on contractualism. In the latter case self-ownership comes about only by contract, and so contract is more fundamental than self-ownership. And you can get even more fundamental than that, if you say there is no natural right of contract but for pragmatic reasons it makes sense to act as if there is, etc. RJII 02:22, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
The idea of self-ownership is indeed central to ancap, even if one does not accept self-ownership as a natural right. Ownership means de facto use of and control over a "thing" (and the person is a "thing"). Hence, the non-aggression axiom (thou shalt not agressively interfere with another's person or property) defines and establishes, at least in part, a property right. That is, one should be free from aggressive interference with his use of and control over his person and property. Therefore, self-ownership is a central idea to ancap, whether it is natural law, positive law, or otherwise.
Of course, the concept of property, particularly "rightly held" property, needs further development. In a nutshell, however, property is an extension of the psyche--the body and other instrumentalities through which the psyche acts on the world. (That is from whence the word "property" comes in this context, meaning "attribute.") And "rightly held" property is that property which does not require violation of the non-aggression axiom for its acquisition and its continued use and control.
It depends on the anarcho-capitalists. Some think property comes about through labor; others think it can only come about through contract. RJII 04:18, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

Non-Aggression Axiom--Proposed Clarification

May I suggest the following clarification to the non-aggression axiom. The text following the Rothbard quotation, as presently written, is cluttered and confusing.

First, the prescription against the "initiation of force, or the threat of force" is ambiguous, because it can be taken, incorrectly, to mean that the "initiation of the threat of force" is forbidden. In a more precise formulation, this prohibition should clearly not apply to a threat to DEFEND one's person or property by force, regardless of whether the threat is made before or after someone else acts aggressively. In other words, when distinguishing between initial and defensive force, the correct equivalent of "initial force" is the "threat of initial force."

Second, "fraud" should be made more clearly equivalent to "force." Indeed, the purpose and result of both force and fraud are the same: they are used to change another person's conduct. Fraud differs from force by merely this: the perpetrator of fraud changes his victim's conduct by intentionally creating a false reality in the victim's mind, i.e., if the victim had not been defrauded, then he would not have changed his conduct unless he had been compelled to do so by actual force. Therefore, fraud, like the threat of force, is the psychic equivalent of force.

Therefore, I would rewrite the non-aggression axiom thus: "One should neither initiate force or fraud, nor threaten to initiate force (threats and fraud being the psychic equivalents of actual force), against another person or his property."

Any objections or other comment? LEKulp 02:15, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

You have a good point. It's a threat of initiating force that's forbidden --initiating a threat to use force isn't itself forbidden if the threat is to use force to defend oneself. But also, it needs to be clear that it's physical force. "initiate physical force..." RJII 02:20, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

Agreed. The most fundamental of the principles must be stated with absolute clarity. So, as per your suggestion, the axiom should be restated as follows: "One should neither initiate physical force or fraud, nor threaten to initiate physical force (threats and fraud being the psychic equivalents of physical force), against another person or his property."

Incidently, I have trouble calling this an "axiom," because it is not self-evident. Anyway, the article is meant to be descriptive, and ancaps do use the word "axiom" in referring to this principle. I suppose that it resembles an axiom insofar as it is a political "first principle." The logically antecedent premises probably come under the category of ethics. LEKulp 03:23, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

I have a problem calling it an "axiom" as well, because like you said it implies that it's self-evident. Also, it intimates natural rights, which not all libertarians believe in. It's alternatively called the "non-agression principle," so we could use that. RJII 03:59, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

It is axiomatic that all great minds think alike. But I must admit that, having been reared as a Catholic, I just can't get away from natural rights. Lost the faith, but still hung up on medieval Scholastic stuff. LEKulp 04:27, 22 November 2005 (UTC)