Talk:Anarcho-capitalism/Archive 8

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This archive page covers approximately Feb 2005 & Mar 2005.

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Capitalism a free market?

The current article reads: (in the sense of a market where all economic decisions and actions by individuals regarding transfer of goods and services are voluntary)

This is not absolutely truth, it is truth according to the anarcho-capitalists who believe that institutions such as interest and rent can be voluntary. As such, it needs to be indicated that this is their view, or the process needs to be described without resort to the word voluntary, whose interpretation is heavily contested in this context. Kev 14:36, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Anarcho-capitalists explicitly advocate a "free market." The use the common modern definition of capitalism that says it is a system of trade based on a free market. A traditional anarchist doesn't use this definition or is not aware of it. RJII 18:31, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The definition of free market in is, an economic market operating by free competition. It is thus completely within the perview of individualists to object that the market advocated by capitalists does not allow for free competition. Merely defining your opposition out of existence is neither convincing nor sincere, but then again neither is relying on highly selective and particular dictionary definitions to define dynamic and multi-dimensional political theories. Or are you now going to accept the common definition that anarchists are those who use violent means to overthrow an established order and abandon the whole anarcho-capitalist title altogether? Kev 18:40, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Ok, The definition of capitalism at is: "an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market." Whatever a "free market" is, capitalism is a system of trade occuring in a free market. So the answer to the question in the heading of this section "Capitalism a free market?" .. is clearly "yes." RJII 18:52, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)
You seem to be missing the point. Have you seen me remove all referance to capitalism as free market from this article? Nope. What you have seen me do is question whether or not a particular viewpoint based on one particular definition should be the only one presented in regards to this subject. Given that there is a very relevant objection from a very relevant group of people on this very issue, NPOV would at the very least require that this be listed as a viewpoint, rather than simply stated as a fact. Kev 19:35, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)
If you have a problem with the use of the term "voluntary" here, why don't you have a problem with it being used in the intro paragraph of anarchism, since you're so into "NPOV"? RJII 20:02, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Because that sentence begins with, " These philosophies use anarchy to mean..." making it very clear that the wiki article is explicating a point of view, not advocating it. The sentence in question here gives no indication that this is merely the point of view of capitalists, only that they are promoting it. In fact, in the absence of any qualifier, it implies that what they are promoting is in fact voluntary according to wikipedia itself. Kev 20:29, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)
It says that Anarcho-capitalists/free-market anarchists believe in a free-market by definition, then relays the basic definition of a free market. I don't see any advocacy in that. RJII 02:45, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)
You don't see -any- advocacy in having wikipedia declare that what is a free market according to capitalists is voluntary? You don't see that as, you know, sorta giving away the entire controversy to the anarcho-capitalists by definitively stating that institutions such a usury and rent are voluntary in nature? Give me a break here, this is -one- friggin qualifier to bring this into NPOV, why are you resisting it so much? Kev 02:49, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Anarcho-capitalist by definition advocate a "free-market." It's explicit in the definition of anarcho-capitalism. It's also explicit in the definition of a free market that it's one based on "voluntary" interaction. There is nothing POV about providing a quick definition of it that both sides agree on ..that it's "voluntary." If someone disagrees that what anarcho-capitalists advocate is accurately described by the moniker "free market" then that's another issue. I'd guess it would be a difficult claim to substantiate. RJII 03:30, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)
If you really insist on being so pedantic as to define away the positions of those who disagree you will only find your foundations slipping away beneath you. If "free market" must be "voluntary" (something I agree with), then of course capitalism is not considered to be advocating of a free market to many people. Can you justify why this fact should not be reflected by the text? Kev 03:42, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I have no problem with someone arguing that as a criticism in the text. But it would be a criticism of whether anarcho-capitalists advocacy of a free market is truly a advocacy of a what is defined as a free market, rather then whether a free market is a market of voluntary interaction. RJII 05:11, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Regardless of what it would be a criticism of, the text should not be left without a qualifier to indicate that the anarcho-capitalist claim is just that, a claim. Kev 05:42, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Well if you modify it to say that they "claim" to be in favor of a free market, then are you also willing to allow the traditional anarchism article to be modified to say that the anarchists "claim" to be in favor of "the elimination of hierarchy and imposed authority" and "claim" to be in favor of "voluntary cooperation"? RJII 05:49, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)
You seem to be very confused RJ. Why do you think the very first sentence of the article begins with, "anarchism is a generic term describing...". Perhaps because people just like the phrase "generic term describing" and stuck it in at random? Because nobody thought to say, "anarchists are the folks who do X?" No... because by indicating the philosophy rather than the supporters, and explicitly refering to the title as generic, it rules out any particular group of people from -necessarily- claiming the title. In other words, it is descriptive of a phenomena, not proscriptive of a belief system. Wikipedia is not in the instance indicating what is, but rather what is described. And it is beyond argument to state that anarchism is at times used to describe social movements that advocate elimination of hierarchy, this is a fact regardless of whether or not the description is true.
Your second example is equally lacking. I've already indicated to you that the sentence begins with the words, "These philosophies use anarchy to mean..." Now why do you suppose people decided on that wording instead of, say, "Anarchy means..." or, "These philosophies adhere to anarchism which means...". Because once again, and not purely by chance, wiki editors are being -very- careful to ensure that the voice of wikipedia does not bias the reader toward a particular interpretation of the text. Once again, it is a fact that these philosophies use anarchy to mean a society based on voluntary cooperation. This does -not- necessitate that the society they advocate is based on voluntary cooperation, nor that anarchy does in fact mean a society based on voluntary cooperation. All it necessitates is that group X uses the word to mean Y, and again, we have in this case reached an undeniable fact.
This is in marked distinction from a passage which reads, "Anarcho-capitalists promote individual property rights and free markets", which gives the distinct impression that there is a particular group of people called anarcho-capitalists who do in fact promote free markets. BOTH of the statements you indicated are already qualified in the way you have required, so I take that as a go ahead to qualify the anarcho-capitalism article in a like manner. Do you object? Kev 06:18, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Do what you want. I just want to point out in the article what a free market is, and that that definition of free market is what capitalists refer to when they say they advocate a free market. RJII 07:00, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)
RJ's latest edit: (what they consider a free market is the generally accepted definition of one --a market where all economic decisions by individuals are voluntary)

Are you -trying- to be antagonistic? Do you even realise who originally put in that tagline to explain free market? Why the heck is it required when you are already linking directly to the article from the text? Kev 04:53, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I'm just trying to put in a quick definition of a "free market"...a defintion you already said you agreed with. It saves time for the reader; if he wants more explanation, he can click on the link. The fact that you dont want it there is highly suspect. I thought you were all about "NPOV." RJII 05:24, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Saves time for the reader my ass. You are trying to give the impression, using the voice of wikipedia, that the markets capitalists support are in fact voluntary. I played nice, I tried to discuss this before even editing it, I tried out several different edits to compromise, and you've done nothing but push this BS propaganda. I've had enough of that and will simply revert now if you continue. Kev 08:21, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)
It's a true statement. I'm guessing the reason you don't want it there is you want to give the impression that anarcho-capitalists don't support a free market as defined based on voluntary interaction. Let me guess, you're a leftist? Feel free to revert. I'll do the same. I see no reasons to delete a true statement. RJII 18:53, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I happen to know Kevehs a little bit, and while I don't think he's the kind of guy to get into a revert war, he is ... persistent. Before casting the die, there is probably still room for a compromise here. Also being an anarcho-capitalist, I am inclinded to agree with... Kev. The parenthetical explanation of what a free market is is not required, and if it will only lead to acrimony and reverts, then it shouldn't be there. I know what a free market is; you know what a free market is; most people who read this know what a free market is, and those who don't can click it. RJII, there's no reason I can see that this link should get special treatment. For example, when we have a link to France, we don't usually add "(A country in Western Europe)," unless the explanation is specifically relevant to the surrounding text. I don't see a pressing relevance for the parenthetical explanation here.
Long story short, there's no reason to have a war over that phrase, RJII. To many "leftists" (quotes used in lieu of having a better term, not to belittle or demean them), markets indeed do not necessarily mean voluntary exchange. Are they wrong? Perhaps. But that belongs in the appropriate market or free market article, not in one sentence in this article.
One final comment, Kev, which may or may not be relevant to this argument - You say "the markets capitalists support" may not be voluntary, but does that apply to the term "free market" as well? What I mean is, are you saying free markets are bad, or that capitalists don't support free markets? --Golbez 22:33, Feb 6, 2005 (UTC)
What I'm saying is that there is more than one view of what a free market is, and that relying on a single dictionary definition to definitively declare that capitalists believe in voluntary exchange only serves to devalue the discussion by making basic disagreement (and an important distinction) impossible. Killing discussion in this manner doesn't serve anyone's interests, even the most die hard of anarcho-capitalists, it will just frustrate those unable to articlulate their critique. The individualist conception of a free market is different than that of the anarcho-capitalist, the fact that it is different is relevant given that they both share a claim to anarchist theory, and that fact should be reflected in the text (with a single qualifier, or with a short explanatory sentence, or with referance to an article that discusses this, or whatever else someone can think of). So short answer is that capitalists don't support a free market, but this isn't merely my POV, it is a standard POV of a well known and documented group of anarchists. Kev 01:59, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)
First, the article is about anarcho-capitalism, not about socialist "anarchists" or self-proclaimed "individualist anarchists" (which seems to be a term for people who would be anarcho-capitalists if they understood economics, but are monetary cranks (like Tucker) since they don't) -- why do you want the article about anarcho-capitalists to talk about these other kinds of anarchists? It's a typical leftist tactic to redefine the commonly understood meanings of words to their opposites to make themselves sound sane -- witness the Communist countries calling themselves "democratic", and your argument over the use of the word "voluntary" -- everyone knows what "voluntary" means. Write about your POV on a page about your variety of anarchism. Write about anarcho-capitalism on this page. 23:20, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I think what we need is an article on voluntary interaction --GiveBlood 11:39, March 3, 2005

Anarcho-capitalism is the same as free-market anarchism

Someone is linking the Free-market anarchism article to "individualist anarchism" article when it should be linked here. Some on anarchism talk page are arguing that free-market anarchism and anarcho-capitalism aren't same thing, asserting that capitalism is anthethical to a free-market. RJII 18:28, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The article should not be redirected to either page, but if it is going to be redirected to one of the two it should most definately be individualist anarchism as that movement pre-existed anarcho-capitalism and is accepted as legitimate by other anarchists. And again, it -does not matter- whether or not you agree with the argument that capitalism is antithetical to a free-market. All that matters is that such an argument exists and is not blatantly self-contradictory, and that this argument was given long before anarcho-capitalism even existed. NPOV requires that this fact be reflected in the text, and thus those who put that argument forward have far more legitimacy to claim the title free-market anarchists as they were the first to do so and very much defined what the term came to mean. Kev 18:45, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Ok, who then? Who was the first to call himself a "free-market anarchist"? RJII 19:08, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Lets see, I've told you twice on the anarchism talk page, I gave you the exact book in which the collection of essays can be found, and I've refered you back to that evidence at least two more times since then. Heck, I even 'linked to an online version of it in case you were to lazy to find it yourself', and now you are asking me again? This is the third and last time... In the collection of essays 'Individual Liberty' Benjamin Tucker explicitly refers to what he advocates as a form of free-market anarchism, and explicitly rejects capitalism. Honestly, if you aren't even aware of Benjamin Tucker, Lysander Spooner, or the other individualists and their position in regards to the market, I think you should seriously reconsider your current crusade to conflate anarcho-capitalism with market anarchism. Kev 19:17, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I don't see them referring to "free-market anarchism." RJII 19:27, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)
RJ, this is ridiculous. Are you aware that amongst most anarcho-communists the word anarcho-communist and anarchist are sometimes used interchangably? Are you aware that in doing so the libertarian socialists are conflating their own personal take on anarchism with anarchism as a whole? Do you think it would therefore be appropriate to refer to anarcho-communism as simply anarchism in wikipedia, and to redirect the page "anarchism" to anarcho-communism? No, of course not. Not only because there are other groups claiming the title, not only because anarcho-communists are not the only people advocating anarchism, but also because it would be a disingenuous attempt to redefine the terminology used by anarchists in such a way as to rule out even the very dialogue necessary to distinguish anarchism from anarcho-communism. Now... if this is inappropriate for anarcho-communism, why is it appropriate for anarcho-capitalism? Kev 19:40, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)
RJII, Tucker and his circle repeatedly referred to themselves both as anarchists and as the most consistent proponents of the free market (or "Manchesterism"--meaning laissez-faire economics). This is interesting and a bit curious, in part, because they also referred to themselves as socialists and repeatedly condemned bosses, bankers, and landlords (among others). In any case: I don't know whether any of them ever used the phrase "free-market anarchists" but they certainly used the component phrases and thought all the terms involved were descriptive of them. This is also why, incidentally, I don't think that "free-market anarchism" should be redirected to the "anarcho-capitalism" page (or to the individualist-anarchism page either). "Free-market anarchism" is a broader category than "anarcho-capitalism;" you could give a good argument that all anarcho-capitalists are free-market anarchists, but Tucker et al. demonstrate pretty clearly that not all free-market anarchists are anarcho-capitalists. (I've had some sharp disagreements with Kev here in the past over how to talk about the lines of influence, but it's pretty clear that describing Lysander Spooner or Benjamin Tucker as an "anarcho-capitalist" is an anachronism, and gets at a genuine commonality between them and (say) Rothbard only at the risk of erasing or substantially distorting their important differences. Radgeek 04:40, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Recent Edits

RJ, I think you might want to leave well enough alone. A couple of your recent changes altered parts of the article that were perfectly acceptable and made them questionable, this article has been through a lot in the past and I would prefer to avoid the kinds of conflict that took place previously. Of course, you already know that there is going to be objection from other anarchists (myself included) to labeling this philosophy free-market anarchism right in the first sentence. The article already makes clear that anarcho-capitalism is sometimes known as free-market anarchism, there is no justification in the wording "commonly known as", and again this is a contested referance that really doesn't need to be emphasized unless you are trying to cause trouble. Just because it has become popular on and a handful of other websites call anarcho-capitalism free-market anarchism does not mean this is a universal or even particularly wide-spread phenomena, the current indications in the text suit the situation just fine.

As for this part of the sentence, is a view that regards initiatory coercion, regardless of what individual, group, or organization perpetrates it, . It is simply far too vague. Again, some view property claims themselves as an initiation of coercion, while others view property as neutral but property enforcement in cases of non-violent theft as initation of coercion. This would therefore require the qualifer, is a view that regards what anarcho-capitalists believe to be initiatory coercion, in order to remain NPOV. But that sounds stiff and over-qualified, so I'd rather avoid it if possible. What compelled you to make this change anyway, was there something wrong with the previous version? Kev 05:52, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)

What was wrong with it is it wasn't decriptive enough. It didn't really encapsulate what anarcho-capitalism is, in my opinion. As far as "the article being through a lot in the past" I really couldn't care less. It's going to go through a lot more in the future. Of course I know that there are going to be objections and conflicts, and I welcome them. I'm not going to refrain from putting something there because I think somebody is going to be upset about it. I modify an article in order to make it more correct, according to my understanding of the concepts. Feel free to modify, or revert, or whatever rocks your boat. I'll be right there doing the same until I find it acceptable. It may cause complications for you, but that's just something you're going to have to work out isn't it? RJII 06:21, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Is this what you call discussion? I certainly hope not. I have raised substantive points and am requesting a response here. The attitude you are expressing now is exactly the kind of thing that starts revert wars. I don't want a revert war, and neither do most wiki regulars. Do you? Lets try and work this out through compromise before it comes to that. Kev 08:37, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Ok. I think that "free-market anarchism" is a common enough term, second to "anarcho-capitalism," that is used to refer to the concept and that therefore it should be noted there. I don't see any harm in it; i think it makes the intro a little more informative. Personally, I had always heard the concept referred to as "free-market anarchism" ..much before I had heard the term "anarcho-capitalism." Again, in regard to the other changes of the intro sentences, I think they better describe the concept. It's not perfect and I'm not against me or anyone else refining it, but it's certainly not as "vague" as it was before. Does it really matter that one person thinks "coercion" refers to one thing and someone thinks it refers to something else? Coercion is what it is. I suppose we could literally spell-out what is meant by coercion if you'd prefer. RJII 17:25, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Actually, RJII, folks I'm familiar with use simply "market anarchism", since an anarchic market must be, by definition, free. To say "free-market anarchism" is tautological. --Golbez 17:59, Feb 8, 2005 (UTC)
Given that NPOV is a primary goal of wikipedia, yes it very much does matter that some people will disagree that anarcho-capitalists oppose initiatory coercion. As for the harm in putting the term "free-market anarchism" in the first sentence, I've already been quite clear on that point. It is a contested term, it is already used to describe another group, and there is zero evidence that it is common. Of course it should be noted in the article that anarcho-capitalism is sometimes called free-market anarchism or market anarchism, but -it already is-. I would like to see an attempt made to literally spell out what you mean by coercion in that sentence, otherwise a qualifier will be required. Kev 18:29, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)
OK. RJII 19:45, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)
is a view that opposes the initiation of physical force Unless the reader agrees with the anarcho-capitalist contention that the self is somehow metaphysically bound to all property claimed by the self, then this sentence turns out to be false. Is it the initiation of force when one makes no contact with the owner at all to occupy a property long since left ignored? The answer is irrelevant other than to say that it is not universal. As such, it is simply not proper to claim that anarcho-capitalism opposes the initiation of physical force, because indeed it sometimes advocates the initation of physical force when its particular rights system has been violated. Such violation may or may not even involve force, much less physical force.
Just a note.. that you're probably already aware of: It doesn't say they were against the use of physical force, but against the initiation of physical force. Initiating physical force is using physical force first. Physical force used in response to someone who initiates force in order to defend oneself from that force is acceptable. This is an essential distinction to understand libertarian philosophies. RJII 02:53, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I'm aware of this distinction, but I appreciate the attempt to be precise. My problem with the sentence is that it turns out that anarcho-capitalists are only against the initiation of force if we previously accept the assumption that property roughly equates to the physical body, so that theft of property (even theft that includes no physical contact with the ownwer at all) or even simple trespass, is seen as initiation of force against the owner. Since this conception of a kind of meta-physical link between property and owner is not shared by all philosophies (indeed, it is not even shared by all advocates of anarcho-capitalism), it does not follow as fact that anarcho-capitalists only respond to force. For those who see no link, enforcement of property title will in some cases appear to be the initiation of force by the capitalist. As such, the sentence needs rewrite or qualification to be NPOV. Kev 05:03, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I don't think the conception of "metaphysical link" is necessary or even rational. Why is the body you inhabit "your" body? Because it is attached to your brain? If so, does a car in your neighbors yard become your property by physically attaching your body to it? I don't know of the various arguments of anarcho-capitalist theorists, but I don't think their ideas regarding property require anymore than practical arguments. For example, it's "your" body because it is being physically protected from the intrusion of others by any given method. Your "land" is not your land because you have some metaphysical moral right to it, but because it's being protected or controlled by you. And, a good reason to advocate that your body is protected is because it has good consequences for you if it is protected. The same argument for other types of objects besides the body. Anarcho-capitalists say that in order to maximize your liberty you should have the freedom to possess other properties besides your just your body and "personal possession." It's not a moral argument, but a rational or practical one. Maybe there are "moral" arguments for or against private property, but I'm not the one to talk to about that. RJII 02:55, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I think I understand now. Your property is yours because you have the power to defend it in some fashion. In other words, you staked out a piece of land that you either found or became yours through some chain of process after which someone found and claimed it. You then told everyone around you that if they did anything to that land you didn't like you would use force against them to protect it. You initiated a threat of force against anyone who dissents from your absolute dominion justified by nothing other than the fact that you have the power to claim it. And you actually had the gall to rewrite the begining sentence to claim that anarcho-capitalists are against the initiation of force in threat, when here you are explaining to me that your philosophy is founded on it? Nevermind, I don't understand. Kev 05:25, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
First of all, I expect that you're using "you" in a rhetorical manner. I never said I was an anarcho-capitalist. Now then...By using someone else's property or land and refusing to stop, you are preventing the owner from having the use of that property that he would otherwise will. It's initiation of force for the same reason that it would be initiation of force if you began using someone's body and refused to stop, IF the case is that one's body and one's land belongs to them for the same reasons. And, the reason to claim that the body one inhabits (and the land he inhabits) is "his" amounts to "because I acquired these things without initiating force and using this as a criteria for determining what constitutes ownership is the best way to best insure my opportunity for maximum liberty , happiness, or wealth in the long run." A practical basis. Again, I'm sure someone has come up with moral arguments ..personally I'm wary of metaphysics. RJII 06:57, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Strange that you are so quick to abandon moral argument. If this is all about practicality then you would have a hard time claiming that anarcho-capitalists oppose initiation of force, because in fact they would only oppose such initiation when it is impractical, and it would be exceedingly unlikely that it would -never- be pratical for anyone to ever initiate force, even if that did turn out to be a good general principle. In that case, the sentence claiming that anarcho-capitalists oppose the initiation of force would be misleading to the point of deception. But all of that is beside the point.
The position would be that they believe it is practical to prevent initiation of force. RJII 08:59, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
ATM you have me very confused. Above, you told me that, "your land is your land because it is being controlled and protected by you." Now you are telling me that something is mine if, "I acquired these things without initiating force." But you are of course changing your definition. Now it is, "this land is your land because it is being controlled and protected by you AND you acquired it without initiating force." Which does us no good at all, because it brings us straight back to the previous objection. Namely, how are you determining who initiates force, and does it not require agreement with the anarcho-capitalist conception that property damage somehow equates to bodily damage in order to claim that someone who damages property that I claim is aggressing against me. If agreement is required here than it is and NPOV violation to claim without qualification that anarcho-capitalists oppose the initiation of force, because a whole ton of people would disagree with this claim. If agreement is not required, you have yet to explain why it is not. Claiming that no such agreement is necessary because we only own the property we can protect doesn't work, cause it turns out that our ability to control and protect property is a necessary but not a sufficient condition to its ownership. At least according to you. Kev 07:37, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The ownership of land would be the result of controlling that land, yes. But the rational justification for controlling/owning that land is not only that "I acquired these things without initiating force." I think you need to read the last paragraph a little closer. It said that "because I acquired these things without initiating force and using this as a criteria for determining what constitutes ownership is the best way to best insure my opportunity for maximum liberty , happiness, or wealth in the long run." It's saying that "it works best for me if what is regarded as my property is regarded such by virtue of me having acquired or recieved it without initiating force." It's just someone saying "it benefits me (or you and me) if we agree that X is going to be the criteria to label something as property." It becomes property not for metaphysical or moral reason, but simply by labeling it so and protecting it as such ..the same for land as for the human body. As for the rest of your message, I don't really understand what you mean .."How are you determine who initiates force?" By observing the person using my property against my protestations otherwise I suppose. The same reasons that you might claim that someone is not initiating force against "your" land by using it without your consent can also be used to claim that someone isn't initiating force if he uses "your" body. What makes the body yours? What makes the land yours? These are ultimately the result of control. There is no message from the sky telling us that "the body you inhabit is your property." It is your property because you and others agree to agree that it is and decide to treat it as such by protecting it from the intrusion of others. The same for land, etc. An anarcho-capitalist practical justification for regarding and treating some objects this way is that treating and regarding objects that were acquired or received without initiating force on what is already owned by someone else...body or other THIS WAY, leads to preferrable consequences. If using someone's body is initiating force then using someone's land is as well if what makes something someones body is the same thing that makes something someone's land. And, what makes something someone's land or body is arbitrary's just agreed to and protected as such. RJII 08:59, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Assumptions abound. Again, as you did on the anarchism talk page, you seem to assume that all anarchists hold the conception of body as self-owned. I do not, nor do I see it as a rational concept, and most the anarchists I associate with would reject it out of hand. Depending on which of the many jusitifications one holds for this view is at best meaningless in its redundancy, often circular, and at worst self-contraditory. I don't see my body as "mine", but as "me". I am not removed from my body such that I can, should, or need to claim ownership of it like I do that which is external to me. In fact, if it turns out that I do own my body, then this relationship is by necessity different than all other property relationships, given that my relationship to my body is essentially more intimate, and one or the other relationship is probably mislabeled. Anyway, all of this is really ignoring the basic problems presented here. Again, you are offering up anarcho-capitalist reasoning for justifying the initiation of aggression and instead calling it "property defense". Nothing wrong with that, perfectly reasonable to have your own POV or express the anarcho-capitalist POV of this situation in explaining why someone simply standing on a piece of land is not being aggressed against when they are shot, it just needs to be indicated as a POV, because that is what it is. Further, you've entirely avoided the problem I stated, namely that your property entitlement boils down, essentially, to nothing more than having arrived on a piece of property first and then gone about "controlling and protecting it." In other words, having come upon something unused, claimed it as ones own, and actively restricted others from using it. To many this would appear to be the very definition of aggressive threat of force, and once again we are left with the undeniable conclusion that anarcho-capitalist "opposition to initiation of force" only extents as far as anarcho-capitalist assumptions about what makes something aggression. Again, this would necessitate that wikipedia not inform the reader that anarcho-capitalists oppose the initiation of force, but rather that they oppose what they take to be the initiation of force. Anyway, the current text is fixed, as it indicates that this opposition is typical rather than absolute, and you were able to specify that the opposition only extends are far as the anarcho-capitalist conception of property, and quotes have been placed around "initiation". So this discussion need not continue for wikipedia reasons and would have to continue elsewhere if you have other interest in it. Kev 16:29, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
If something is unowned, there is no way that appropriating it to oneself can be initation of force against or upon the property of another --a logical impossibility. Once someone comes upon an unowned property and claims it, and protects it, it becomes owned by him. From that point on, anarcho-capitalist principles engage by recommending what means of transferring this property to anyone else should be regarded as a proper or rational means to do so. The means determined and agreed upon by anarcho-capitalists to be the best means that should be allowed, while all other means prohibited, is through voluntary trade or gift. The opposite of voluntary is coerced. What is coerced? that which is not voluntary. What is voluntary? that which is not coerced. But what is exactly is "coerced"? The state of a person being deprived from having willful use of his property including his body by another person. What would could cause such a thing? Coercion. Coercion? What is coercion? It is whatever causes this. Like? Initiation of physical force, threat of such, or fraud upon all that we agree to be the property of a person and choose to protect it as such. What if I don't agree to regard those things as property that should be protected from intrusion? I have no problem with that, since I am against the use of initation of force to get you to agree. And, I'll simply take what you have since you don't agree that it's property and given that, I won't be initiating force against it since you don't own it. Thanks. RJII 21:41, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

You seem to want to get off on tangents here RJ. Your straw-man arguments concerning those who disagree with this particular set of property rules and regulations are irrelevant. What is relevant is that you continue to insist that the anarcho-capitalist perspective of these issues is THE PERSPECTIVE, i.e. the truth, the undeniable truth, and nothing but the truth. What is rather hilarious is that in the process of justifying this convoluted system of supporting property dominion I notice that you have to import a completely artificial meaning for the word coercion. Notice that it isn't: (from

1) to restrain or dominate by force

because if that was the meaning you used then it would turn out that "property defense" is possibly a form of coercion by many standards. Nor is it,

2) to compel to an act or choice

because again, it would turn out that at times "contract enforcement" could be a form of coercion in some interpretations. Nor is it even,

3) to bring about by force or threat

because that just screams "property defense". No, it isn't a broad spectrum of meanings you are considering here, it isn't even one particular dictionary definition selected with the express purpose of supporting your arguments (like you use for anarchism), it is an entirely artificial definition of your own creation that goes something like this, "The state of a person being deprived from having willful use of his property including his body by another person." Now if that isn't an example of stacking the deck in favor of capitalist rhetoric at the very start, I don't know what is. Unfortunately, you have just defined away any possible point you have made. True, you can justify your logic with this kind of tactic. But then again, if you change the meaning of words to suit your political agenda, you can justify anything. Wanna see me prove some fun things using this kind of logic? Whadda ya know, authoritarian fascists advocate only voluntary relations. And it just so happens that when I say "coercion" I mean, "any instance in which someone is forced to do something against their will, unless it happens to be the command of their supreme dictator." Gee, that was fun. Kev 06:52, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

And, you ask "is it the initiation of force when one makes no contact with the owner at all to occupy a property long since ignored?" If a person's body is just as much that person's property as that person's land (i assume you mean) then compare it to resting your arm on someone's shoulder and he's asked you to stop but you don't. You would be using physical force that prevented him from having the willful use of his shoulder. He would rather not have any of your weight on it. Now think about the same for land . If someone is camping out on your land, and you'd rather look at the pretty grass on it that the tent is covering, and he refuses to leave when you ask, then he's initiating physical force that prevents you from using your land as you wish ..the use being prevented could be something as simple as the utility gained from the pleasure of viewing your grass. Now, it may be the case, by some stretch of the imagination, that merely standing on someone's property and refusing to leave is not initiation of force, but I don't think it matters as far as the definition is concerned. Anarcho-capitalists are against the initiation of force whatever that may be. If standing on their property is not initiation of force, and they are against allowing that too, then you can go on to say that they also oppose ..blah blah. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if there are anarcho-capitalists who would say that "squatting" on "unused" land is not initiation of force and not a violation of anarcho-capitalist principles. RJII 03:41, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I agree, all the more reason that it is necessary to include a qualifier indicating that they are against what they consider to be initation of force. Kev 05:03, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I don't know how you could come to that conclusion given what I said. I think you're being a stickler to the point of absurdity. Are you also willing to contest the statements in the anarchism article that they favor "voluntary" cooperation and say "what they regard as voluntary"? And for "imposed authority" change it to something like "what they regard as "imposed authority"? I think you're going to far. RJII 05:19, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Unless you are pointing to something new, I already addressed this above. The statements you refered to then are ALREADY QUALIFIED, which makes it all the more important that similar statements in this article be similarly qualified. The only instance in which qualification would not be necessary would be in the case that there is no specific group of people being refered to. For example, when the anarchism article explicitly states that it is a generic term -describing- various philosophies and movements, it is indicating a concept rather than proscribing a viewpoint. Do you fail to see the distinction between the first and second? Kev 06:11, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
No, the statements are not qualified. Saying it's a "generic term" has no relevance to the matter. You clearly are trying your best to rationalize your double standard and POV. RJII 07:45, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
So why do you think people put in the wording "generic term," because it looked pretty? And later in THAT VERY SAME SENTENCE were it says "social movements that advocate", why do you suppose it says this rather than "anarchism opposes...". I'm not rationalizing anything here RJ, you are clearly blind to what NPOV means. Kev 18:11, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
As for the recent import of this, (defined as a system of trade occuring in a free market) I continue to object to it for the reasons listed above and have yet to see a compelling argument for its retention given its problematic nature. Same goes for the bolded referance to free-market anarchism in the first sentence. As this discussion has not moved forward for several replies despite my continued request, I will now simply remove both pending some better idea. I will await reply on the physical force stuff. Kev 01:05, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
There are a few definitions of capitalism apparently. Some marxist-oriented people have another definition (such as "private ownership of the means of production") that never refers to a free market. The definition of capitalism that anarcho-capitalists refer to is a system of trade occuring in a free market. You'll almost never hear that definition from a marxist. It's important to make it clear that this definition (as one can find in merriam-webster for example) is the definition they are using. It's essential. When a socialist anarchist and an anarcho-capitalist talk about capitalism they're usually talking about two different concepts, unfortunately. RJII 02:53, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
If this is your only concern then you need only say "capitalism (in the economic sense)", because the link already given directly to the capitalism article articulates what capitalism means in the economic sense far better than one could in a single sentence in this article and makes clear the distinction you find so important. This would have the added advantage of avoiding the NPOV violation that occurs when using wikipedia's voice to state that the relations anarcho-capitalists advocate are, in fact, voluntary. Kev 05:03, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I insist that somehow that there is a distinction between the archaic marxist and the modern definition of "capitalism" that refers to a "free market," as it is the source of a huge amount of misunderstanding and lack of understanding. RJII 05:19, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Um... that is exactly what I was suggesting. The link that is (I'm getting tired of repeating this) -already present- includes a section on the economic meaning of capitalism which would make exactly the distinction you are trying to indicate. Thus, having already provided the link, all that needs to be said is that we are refering to the economic meaning, and we can avoid the NPOV violation that voluntary represents. Is there something you are not understanding here? Kev 06:11, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I don't think "economic definition of capitalism" always refers to the free market definition. What is the harm of explicitly saying it refers to the free market definition? Are you trying to keep people in the dark by hoping they don't click on the link? If it makes it easier for the reader and more readily comprehended without having to go around clicking links then it makes good sense to state it just takes up 3 or 4 words of space. Many marxist-types are not even aware that there is a definition of capitalism that is about a "free market." These individuals are not likely to click on the link to see what the definition is. They are just going to remain in the dark. Believe me, it's necessary to be explicit. When they see that some kind of differentiation is being made in the article, THEN they'll be more likely to click on the capitalism article. It's not a "NPOV violation" just doesn't accord with your POV, apparently. RJII 06:27, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I have told you what the "harm" in refering to anarcho-capitalism as a free market based on voluntary relations is. That you continue to ignore my responses does not speak well to your sincerity. RJ, I don't think you understand wikipedia NPOV policy. I don't know how to tell you this because I already have and it hasn't gotten through to you yet. Stating things that are anarcho-capitalist POV as fact in the article is a violation of NPOV. All the language is to be neutral to POV, meaning that you can explicate what capitalists believe all you want as long as it is made -explicit- that this is what they believe, not fact. If you can't figure this out, we won't get anywhere in our discussions. Kev 16:25, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

"capitalism has never existed in the absence of the state this is questionable)"? Many don't think capitalism has ever existed even with a state present. Most libertarians that favor the existence of government certainly don't think capitalism has existed yet. Capitalism is an ideal, just like a "free market" is an ideal. You have either the ideal which is an absolutely free market, or a real world approximation which is a relatively free market. Same for capitalism. Some people call some present systems capitalism because they think they are relatively close enough approximations to the ideal to reasonably be called capitalism; others think they're not close enough to be called capitalism --they'll tell you they're "mixed economies". The anarcho-capitalist doesn't want to compromise ..he wants the ideal of capitalism ..the ideal of an absolutely free market. RJII 06:42, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

"what they see as the initiation ". I'll leave that in's so obviously written by someone with a POV that it's laughable. It speaks for itself. RJII 06:49, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Yes, it was written by someone with a POV. Everything you write on wiki is also written by a person with a POV. Everything written by everyone on wiki is written by someone with a POV. The difference is that the language I'm using does not -endorse any particular POV- whereas the language you are using explicitly endorses the POV you are expresssing. Kev 16:29, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
No it doesn't. It's just honesty. RJII 16:49, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
So you are saying that it is undeniable truth that anarcho-capitalists would not, from any perspective, endorse the initiation of force? And those who disagree, what of them, retards? You are quickly entering into the area in which I simply ignore people RJ. Kev 18:11, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The issue is, is Capitalism considered to be intrinsically anti-state. The answer is no. So any claim that anti-statist Capitalistm is "pure" Capitalism is questionable.--Che y Marijuana 14:29, Feb 9, 2005 (UTC)

The definition of capitalism makes no mention of a state. It does mention a "free market." If a market is absolutely free, then obviously there can't be taxation intervening in the transactions. And a government, to be a government, necessarily funds itself through taxation. If it funded itself through trade, it would no longer be a government, but a business in this respect. So a capitalism, as a free market in the ideal sense, can't have taxation which necessarily means that a government can't exist. RJII 16:49, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Kev and (I'm guessing) Che, on the matter of "can capitalism exist without a state", replace socialism with capitalism and you'll start to understand how annoying that battle gets. Capitalism was a word invented to disparage capitalism. It's not our fault. We lack a better word, apart from "free market" and y'all are preventing use of that, too. This is all very frustrating. --Golbez 17:41, Feb 9, 2005 (UTC)
Annoying or not, the battle is necessary. On the question of whether or not socialism can exist without a state traditional anarchists answer definitively yes. That doesn't mean it is true, it means that we believe it is true. This is also the case on whether or not capitalism exists in its "pure form" in the absence of a state. MANY economists and capitalist theorists believe that the state is integral to capitalist functioning, that capitalism simply can't exist without the state, it is therefore POV to state definitively that this is not the case, or to use language which requires it not to be the case. Kev 18:11, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Alea iacta est.

I'm going to rewrite this article. I tried actually READING it, rather than keeping along with all the edits - and it's virtually unreadable. I didn't get out of the first paragraph before I found runon sentences and such. The lead is also much too long. I'll see what I can do. --Golbez 19:09, Feb 9, 2005 (UTC)

Good. I will hold off on my edits of RJs recent changes for a bit in hopes you can altogether avoid such problems and hopefully mold a better article. Kev 20:38, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I took the information in the lede and split it out into a few sections; please see Anarcho-capitalism/temp for the current draft. It is only a replacement for the lead section. How does this look, though? "Philosophical roots" and the rest can easily go below these head paragraphs. RJII, Kev, you two are the ones I primarily want to hear from on this, but anyone is welcome. My main problem was with the lead of the article; it was MUCH too large, and very difficult to read, IMO. The rest of the article, I haven't tried reading yet. So for now, the rest of the article could simply be grafted on to what I've started here with little problem. What do you think? I probably overloaded philosophy and underloaded economics, but hey, first draft. :) --Golbez 23:05, Feb 9, 2005 (UTC)

New Intro Wording

Much applause for anon for fixing what myself and several other editors seemed unable to. Kev 16:09, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Does this make my temp article unnecessary? --Golbez 17:08, Feb 10, 2005 (UTC)
I think your reasons for overhauling the article are still good, there are still many run-on sentences, incoherent paragraphs produced by too many insertions, and grammar mistakes. I've been wanting to fix it for some time but was hoping an anarcho-capitalist would show up to do it for me to save and editing conflict trouble. The intro paragraph still need some work I think, but that first sentence is now fine. I'm still waiting to see how it turns out. Kev 19:39, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

"combines...with a form of anarchism"? It *is* a form of anarchism. RJII 01:05, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Many anarchists disagree, but nonetheless, it is listed on anarchism. This seemed the least offensive way to state it. You never said you were an ancap, implying that you aren't, but I am, and having discussed this topic at great length with Kevehs and other anarchist socialists in other forums, I have no problem with stating it as such. --Golbez 01:35, Feb 11, 2005 (UTC)
I never said i wasn't an anarcho-capitalist either. RJII 01:46, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Then there's no reason to be coy about it, what are you? --Golbez 01:56, Feb 11, 2005 (UTC)
It's a personal policy of mine not to tell. RJII 02:13, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)


This article is obviously too long and needs to be broken up into separate articles. I think it would be wise (and perhaps less controversial) to move all criticisms to a separate page, perhaps one entitled "Differences among Various Types of Anarchism." "History of Anarcho-Capitalist Thought" is probably necessary as a separate page, as well.

In the meantime, I will simply limit my changes to rewriting the article's dense text. Wild Pegasus 21:10, 10 Feb 2005 (GMT)


"a philosophy that opposes any action that prevents anyone from having the willful use of their private property, including their body and land, unless such is used in defense against another who has initiated such an action." I think this is good because it avoids the use of the word "force" and "coercion" that people so enjoy disputing. What it says is that they favor a society where everyone interacts on a voluntary basis. "Coercion" and "initiation of force" is just what prevents people from acting or refraining from acting voluntarily, which don't even need to be mentioned. RJII 04:32, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

It's a bit unwieldly, and it seems specific; your destroying my car doesn't mean my use of the car has been altered, maybe I never planned to drive it or even look at it. But we still consider it wrong. And us ancaps enjoy the term "initiation of force" much; if you are one, then perhaps we should see if our friend Kevehs has any objection? --Golbez 04:35, Feb 11, 2005 (UTC)
Not really much point in voicing any objection I have atm. RJ knows quite well that I opposed putting free market in the first sentence, much less refering to it as common, in addition to the whole "opposes initiation of force" bit. There was a perfectly good edit avoiding these problems but still accurately describing the philosophy by some anon that he almost instantly removed for reasons that baffle me and with no explaination, apparently thinking that opposition to his edits don't matter and this is all survival of the spamiest or some such. So atm I'm just going to wait. If his edits get changed quickly I will be happy, if they don't I will either change them all myself, or I will simply tag the whole article with a single header explicitly stating that this is not meant to be an NPOV article (as some articles are tagged), and leave the entire thing alone to be worded however RJ or anyone else likes. The only alternative I can see is an NPOV dispute header, but those are nasty and I'd rather not. Kev 07:08, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Which edit was it that you liked that he changed, specifically? (much easier to find mine than his :) --Golbez 07:35, Feb 11, 2005 (UTC)

Kinda hard to be specific with so many changes going on so quickly. But basically the anon had a good first sentence, then it got altered a bit by RJ, then you came in and put in a first sentence I didn't like as much but was still basically acceptable, then through a process of back and forth RJ ends up putting in stuff like "commonly called free-market", "opposes all initiation of physical force" (this started with initiation in quotes but that got removed as well), and the unqualified voluntary as well as the laughable "pure" capitalism. I mean really, its fine to call it "pure" on a forum, but in an encyclopedia? The crazy thing is that all of this had been dealt with by one person or another. The free-market bit got moved to the end of the paragraph and balanced with the anti-state capitalism term, a great edit by you. The "opposes initiation of force" was given the more precise "typically anarcho-capitalists oppose the "initiation" of force" by the anon. And I changed the "pure" hyper-bias to a wikified capitalism term along with a (in the economic sense) distinction that completely covered his supposed problem with the term being conflated with another meaning. But through this latest series of back-and-forth edits the entire thing has been driven slowly backwards to the point it was at when RJ first put in his objectionable edits, which itself was a step back from the relatively stable state it was in before that. Ugh. Kev 08:37, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Good point. RJII 04:46, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Also, it implies there are actions that aren't forceful that could put such limits; for example, if I own all the oil in the world and don't give you any, that means you can't drive your car - but that is not taboo under anarcho-capitalism (just mindblowingly unlikely). And what about rules of the road? Let's say I own a road and have limits on what you may do while driving on it. I'm preventing you from having the willful use of your private property, aren't I? --Golbez 04:41, Feb 11, 2005 (UTC)
You're definitely right. It's not inclusive enough. RJII 04:47, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

What do you mean "fraud is not universally opposed"? All anarcho-capitalists favor a free-market. Fraud is definitely not consistent with a free market. RJII 05:52, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I'm not sure "is a philosophy that espouses laissez-faire economics" is good idea to say. I think Laissez-faire implies that there is a government in existence but that it keeps it's hand out of the economy, whereas an anarcho-capitalists doesn't believe a government should exist at all. RJII 06:00, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Some consider fraud to simply fall under caveat emptor; since it doesn't involve initiation of force and is essentially a passive event (you can't commit fraud on someone, they have to enter into the transaction), not all ancaps believe it falls into the same crime bracket as theft and injury. And 'lasseiz-faire' seems to be the best term, can you think of a better one to describe the economic system? --Golbez 06:08, Feb 11, 2005 (UTC)
Right's easy to disagree that fraud is initiation of physical force, which is why it's always stated as an adjunct. Anarcho-capitalists believe in a "free market" and a free market, by definition, is one where all transfers of money, goods, and services are voluntary. Consider this example: Someone offers a box for sale on the streets of Manhattan which is labeled as containing a Sony VCR. You pay him for it. You take it home, open it, and much to your dismay the box contains a brick. (this actually happened to a friend of mine) This is not a voluntary transaction because you volunteered to pay to receive a VCR, not a brick. So, this can't be consistent with a free market. "Caveat emptor" doesn't apply to misinformation (lying) but a lack of information. If he actually sold you a VCR but conveniently didn't mention that it's of shoody workmanship and would probably malfunction a few hours after use, that would be a case of caveat emptor, but not outright lying to usurp the wealth of someone else. That's called fraud, or as it is called in criminal law (theft by deception). Theft in any form is not consistent with a free market. RJII 06:22, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Actually, you did lack information - you lacked information on what was in the box, you lacked information on the vendor's reputation, you lacked information on what a properly packaged Sony VCR looked like, etc. Again, I'm just saying, not all see fraud as a crime on the same level as the other activities. Most do; some don't. --Golbez 06:27, Feb 11, 2005 (UTC)
Of course he lacked information. But misinformation was given. He was told that it was a VCR when it was a brick. A lack of information isn't the same thing as misinformation...being lied to. A policy of "caveat emptor" is not a license to commit fraud (to lie to take someone's money), but a license to refrain from revealing all information that you're aware of. RJII 06:31, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I agree, and will not challenge the change; I could well be wrong on this front. If someone who knows better comes along, they can edit it. However, we will be expected to defend fraud being included, but that should be done later in the article, and probably already is. --Golbez 06:36, Feb 11, 2005 (UTC)

I know you're trying to go for "brevity" but that's a relative term. I think the version I support is brief. I think the version you prefer is so brief that the reader doesn't really get a good understanding of what it is. You shouldn't have to read that whole protracted article to get a decent grasp on what it is. RJII 06:04, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Maybe it should be less protracted, then. :P I don't think my version SAYS less than yours; it just says it in fewer, shorter words. --Golbez 06:08, Feb 11, 2005 (UTC)


I've edited the first few sentences of the section on anarcho-capitalist economic thought. The whole section needs some rewriting to avoid clunkiness and fragmentariness, but I wanted to get one specific bit off the ground before anything else:

Many anarcho-capitalists identify most with the Austrian School of economics, developed primarily by Ludwig von Mises, Carl Menger and Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

I know that the Von Mises Institute crowd has been trying to talk up Hoppe's reputation for the past couple years or so, but this is not only wrong, but weird. Hoppe has contributed to contemporary Austrian economics, but he's not a founding figure in it. (He's arguably not even the most important contemporary figure in it--what about Israel Kirzner? Mario Rizzo?) Why even mention Hans-Hermann Hoppe's contributions to Austrian economics while not mentioning those of Murray Rothbard? And why mention either of the two without mentioning Hayek? I've edited this introductory line accordingly:

Anarcho-capitalist economic thought often draws heavily from the Austrian School of economics, as developed by Carl Menger, Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, F.A. von Hayek, and especially Ludwig von Mises. (Some prominent anarcho-capitalists--such as Murray Rothbard and Hans-Hermann Hoppe--have made substantial contributions to Austrian economics in their own right.)

Feel free to change this around as you like, but I think a division of the historical figures more like the one made here is pretty important to conveying an accurate picture.

I didn't say he was a founder; I said he helped develop it. I picked a name I knew; you're more than welcome to edit it, as you have, and I thank you. --Golbez 05:36, Feb 11, 2005 (UTC)


I'm having a hard time with this: "They have no issue with consensual government, the government people place over their own property or the rules followed when entering someone else's establishment." An anarchist is against people being governed, period, but favor voluntary interaction. So how could they have no issue with the existence of an institution that governs (a government)? I don't construe defending how you wish to use your own property as governing anyone or constituting a "government." But, if someone is intiating force or threat of such, then *he* is the one attempting to govern *you*. I'd like to delete that line unless someone can reasonably defend it. RJII 04:00, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

A highly selective view of government is being used here to claim that anarcho-capitalists reject all government. Judiciary is often considered to be fundamentally governmental, and most anarcho-capitalists support the use of judges backed by PDAs, for all intents and purposes judges backed by police. Furthermore, I've never heard of an anarcho-capitalist reject governing institutions within property, for example corporate rules and regulations again enforced by a PDA. I suppose you could just claim that this is not government because it isn't aggression, but then you'd have to be using a very peculiar definition of both aggression and government. Kev 04:33, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)
And along the same vein as self-ownership, we also have the notion of self-governance. "Government" is neutral; it simply means to exercise authority. If that authority is over your body or property, then no problem. "State" is when it becomes coercive. As I enjoy saying, anyone who seeks to limit your rights - from a mass murderer to a petty thief - is a de-facto state. --Golbez 05:53, Feb 12, 2005 (UTC)
Ok. RJII 06:14, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)
On second thought, calling throwing someone out of your house that you don't want to be there doesn't constitute a "government" in any normal sense of the word. I think that's a bizarre stretch. RJII 17:11, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Kev, it seems to me the real issue is that when you don't really reject hierarchy, you don't really reject government. "Anarcho"-Capitalists have much more in common with the Minarchists than they'd like to admit.--Che y Marijuana 12:46, Feb 12, 2005 (UTC)
I agree, but atm I'm trying to come at it from the anarcho-capitalist POV. It is a fact that many anarcho-capitalists don't reject all governing institutions, and that they view government itself as not necessary the same as "the state". This apparently disturbs RJ, so he is going out of his way to eradicate any language that might indicate as much. Kev 17:52, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Kev, "government" is an ambiguous term--it can refer to the specific organizations of people that carry on the business of the State, or it can refer to "governance," i.e. the making of decisions for a group or organization--and the sense in which you seem to be using it here (so as to include everything from arbitration to bylaws and binding resolutions for an organization) seems to be the latter one. But the latter sense is a sense of "government" that nobody objects to except perhaps primitivists and the most hardcore anti-organization anarchists. Certainly socialist anarchist syndicates and federations haven't had any trouble in the past adopting binding resolutions and rules, and methods for coming to these decisions (majority vote, consensus, etc.). So in a sense they don't reject "all governing institutions." But clearly they are not buying into government in the sense of connecting any of these with a territorial State (which is a necessary condition of being part of "the government" in the sense we normally use in political contexts). And neither do anarcho-capitalists. Radgeek 07:06, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)
First, many anarchists do accept certain governing institutions and call them such. While this is certainly not universal, it is fairly common to see anarchists espousing something similar to, "we reject rulers, not rules, we reject state, not governance". Second, there is a stark difference between binding rules in a community that everyone has input on and having a third-party judge use a PDA hired by someone else to throw you into a prison. I'm always baffled that many anarcho-capitalists can blithely refer to such institutions and then turn around and claim not to believe in the state. But regardless of whether or not the claim to reject the state is valid when accepting things like prisons and indentured servitude, I don't see any merit in the claim of rejecting government. Regardless, I'm not saying that all anarcho-capitalists feel this way, I'm just indicating that even claiming to reject government is not universal amongst them. Kev 10:15, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Of course we have much in common with minarchists. They want a monopoly state of minimal authority, we want competing legal systems of minimal authority. In reality, the only difference between the two of us is whether or not a legal system has the right to force out competitors: we say yes, they say no.
Whoops, that was me. Wild Pegasus 11:46 pm EST, 12 Feb. 05

The neutrality of this article is disputed.

Haha. Whatever. And the justification you give in your comment is that "RJII has had his way with this article too long." Real objective aren't you? RJII 18:09, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

My justifications for the tag are listed on this very discussion page, and your attitude towards the process only furthers supports it. Kev 01:50, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)
That's ok. I think the colorful tag makes the article prettier. RJII 02:27, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Good =) Because at this rate it'll be there for awhile. Kev 02:56, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Factual accuracy disputes

There are several factual inaccuracies in this article along with the many NPOV violations. However, at this time there seem to be less than 5, so according to policy I have tagged individual passages rather than the article at large. Thus, the [dubious ] tag has been added to a few sections, the reasons for which follow:

  • No evidence has been given for the attribution of the term market anarchism as common, furthermore the term already describes another group that is given no mention here.
What sort of evidence would accept? I notice that there are 9,720 hits for "market anarchism" on google. Of the first 20, 18 are referring to anarcho-capitalism. The other two of are actually linking to the same article, which, unless I'm misunderstanding it, seems to be based around some new, idiosyncratic idea of "market anarchism". None of the first 20 appear to be referring to the individualist-anarchists specifically (although the first hit, Roderick Long's page, is big on them, too). I don't how meaningful you consider this sort of evidence to be, though. - Nat Krause 19:07, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I would consider a significant movement calling itself market anarchism to be evidence for the use of the term "common". Kev 02:18, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • The claim that it is a logical impossibility to initiate force against another if the property at issue is unowned is both factually inaccurate according to the definitions of the relevant words, again given no evidence, and probably a NPOV violation to boot
It doesn't say "initiate force against another if the property..." It says "initiate force against the property of another." In other words, you're not initiating force against something that somebody owns if the thing you're initiating force against is not owned by anybody. It's a logical impossibility. RJII 17:16, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Sure, and if that was all that was being claimed the statement would be fine, but it is also saying that this conforms to the anarcho-capitalist opposition to the initiation of force against the property of another, and earlier we have already detailed that initiation of force against property of another is to an anarcho-capitalist tantamount to initiation of force against that person themselves. In other words, the text is reading that having someone claim that a given thing is their property cannot be interpreted as aggression if that thing was previously unowned, and that it would be a logical impossibility for the creation of property from the unowned to be aggression. A very minor change in the wording would fix this, but as long as you continue to ignore objections on your editing spree there isn't much point, thus the tag. Kev 18:44, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)
How can you say I'm ignoring objections? I'm responding to your objection right here. As far as they key tag, as I said, I like how the color looks in the article so I have no problem with it. It also gives the article a sense of radicalism which I think is attractive so I'd like to see it stay. Aside from that, the sentence doesn't mention "aggression." But, go out in the middle of a previously undiscovered jungle and wage a campaign of agression against a banana tree. *If* no one owns it, then you're not using aggression against something that's owned by anyone. Again, the sentence mentions initiation of force, not aggression. Maybe you'd rather it said "physical force" instead of just "force"? Let's try that. RJII 19:20, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I can say you are ignoring objections because you roll back the edits on a regular basis. Other than that my previous comments stand as there is nothing new you have added here. Kev 02:18, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Whatever, dude. RJII 02:35, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • The either/or statement in the criticism section concerning coercive and natural monopolies leaves out an important argument that rejects such a dichotomy based on the possibility that the distinction between natural and coercive monopolies is faulty. However, all attempts to insert this as another possible position have been removed from the article, leaving the statement false. Kev 03:25, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Any difference between Market Anarchism and Anarcho-Capitalism?

Some people object to the article saying that anarcho-capitalism is also commonly called "market anarchism." If they delete that reference, they should be able to point out the difference. What is the difference? RJII 15:19, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The differences between Individualist Anarchism and "Anarcho"-Capitalism have already been discussed intensively. Wage labour, rent, property, corporate organization of society, are some of the forms of coercion and hierarchy Market Anarchism opposes, that "Anarcho"-Capitalism fully embraces.--Che y Marijuana 15:23, Feb 16, 2005 (UTC)

That's not true. Market anarchism believes in private property. And it says that wages, rent, interest rates, etc. should be determined by the market. Also, it does not oppose the existence of business and the opportunity to profit. RJII 15:47, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
There's a difference between business and corporation. And individualists consider ownership to be coercive.--Che y Marijuana 16:25, Feb 16, 2005 (UTC)
From the article: "All anarcho-capitalists criticize government-enforced privileges for corporations in the form of limitations on liability." So how is that different from market anarchism? RJII 17:46, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Maybe "individualists" by your definition do, but it seems to me that you're trying to take over ownership of the word "individualist" for yourself and others of your ideological persuasion, just like you'd like to own "anarchist", but with even less justification. (And it's pretty darned ironic that people whose stated ideology considers the very concept of "ownership" to be abhorrent would try to do such a thing!) Libertarians of the classical-liberal tradition certainly do regard themselves (ourselves) as individualists. I would expect that the word "individualist", by its very nature, would be a hard one to pin down to a very rigidly specific ideological framework... after all, individualists are individuals, with widely divergent ideologies and agreeing only on their right to hold one another's beliefs without coercing one another. Dtobias 17:03, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Right. "Individualist anarchism" and "market anarchism" aren't two terms for the same thing. Market anarchists, are a kind of individualist philosophy, just like the socialist anarchisms are individualists. But that doesn't make "market anarchism" mean the same thing as socialist anarchism. Anarcho-capitalism is also an individualist philosophy. And as far as I can tell, it's exactly the same thing as "market anarchism." RJII 17:51, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
This whole, "ownership of the word" argument is tired and lame. Its been used over and over by anarcho-capitalists, who are actively trying to change the meaning of several words, in order to justify their own position. It is an entirely meaningless argument, impossible to prove wrong but universally applicable to almost any and all positions given that all people restrict words in some way in order to provide them meaning. It could just as easily be applied to your attempts to include anarcho-capitalism in the ideology of anarchism (who are -you- to say that anarchism is not against hierarchy, do you own the word?) Don't you get tired of repeating, "this is ironic" over and over again just to have your BS argument answered yet one more time? Please, for the sake of whatever integrity you have Dtobias, let that one rest.
As to Libertarians regarding themselves as individualists, that is entirely irrelevant. Many Libertarian Socialists consider themselves individualists, many statists consider themselves individualists. We are not talking about individualists, we are talking about the anarcho-individualists, individualists anarchism, a distinct and identifiable movement that not only rejected capitalism explicitly (therefore ruling out this weaseling "what is the difference between anarcho-capitalism and free-market anarchism junk), but deserves better than to have people revise its meaning to suit their political leanings of today. Especially when those leanings run counter to those of the anarcho-individualists.
RJ, you are absolutely correct that individualist anarchism is not synonymous with market anarchism, but you are being purposefully obtuse in trying to equate market anarchism with anarcho-capitalism when the individualists themselves supported a market, were in fact anarchists, were sometimes refered to as market anarchists, rejected capitalism, and existed long before this pathetic off-shoot of capitalist apology ever got the bright idea to associate itself with anarchism. You close your eyes and pretend none of that is the case, only looking at and carefully selecting the evidence that supports your bias. Give it up. Kev 18:14, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
You can't support a free market and at the same time be anti-capitalism if capitalism, by definition, concerns a free market. Maybe you're upset that the common definition of "capitalism" today refers to a "free market"? Too bad for you --that's the definition. "Market anarchism" and "anarcho-capitalism" are two words for the same ideology --the ideology that supports private property and unrestricted markets, the freedom to own businesses, and to profit. RJII 21:14, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Go take a basic course in logic and learn how useful it is to define away the position of your opposition RJ. I've already answered you on this, you want to ignore that answer you go right on ahead and spout dictionary definitions like it means something. While you are at it, go change the wikipedia pages on "democrat," "republican," and about a dozen other political and economic ideologies. They are not two words for the same ideology, unless you are pushing one POV to the denial of another, which just so happens to be your thing, apparently. Kev 00:53, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Why can't you tell us what the difference between Anarcho-capitalism and Market Anarchism is? All you seem to be able to say is that Market Anarchists and Anarcho-Capitalist have a different idea of what a "free market" is. Ok, what is that difference? Everything I read about Market Anarchism is exactly what I read about Anarcho-Capitalism ..the terms are interchangeable. RJII 01:19, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I already told you the difference, not only in this section but further up on this very page. Please feel free to refer to my previous responses to you. But since I know you won't bother, even while you still repeat this call for evidence, I will repeat myself. Individualist anarchists, the first anarchists to ever embrace the free market, rejected institutions such as interest, property beyond possession, and rent as contrary to free market relations. Some of them went further and rejected wage, others rejected unequal pay. Denying the legitimacy of interest on capital rejects the very essence of capitalism. But again, as I told you before, all of this is entirely beside the point. It doesn't matter whether or not -you- accept or endorse their arguments. It doesn't matter what you think on this issue at all. All that matters is that there was a group which pre-existed anarcho-capitalists who believed in what they considered a free market, who rejected capitalism, and who considered themselves to be market anarchists. All of this is true, and this -requires- that NPOV on wikipedia not allow you to simply overwrite their existence in order to justify your pet ideology. Kev 01:42, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Can you provide any evidence that there was some group of people who said that they believed in a "free market," and used that term, and said they were against the things you stated above?
That is it RJ, I've had enough of you. I've provided that evidence 4 times now, repeated myself over and over. Told you where to find it, the book and author, and even gave you a friggen direct link to a copy available online. You are obviously now just trying to waste time. Any further edits on this subject by yourself will simply be reverted until you actually bring something new to the table. Kev 03:43, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)
That would count for something in a historical context at least, but that is contrary to the common concept of what a "free market" is today. A free market, is commonly understood to be a situation where all things are permissible as long as both sides agree upon them, including wages, interest, etc.
Saying that all things are permissable as long as both sides agree upon them is not good enough. What if someone is holding a gun to your head? What if someone is using force to restrict acccess to resources you require in order to labor for your own sustainence? A "free market" is a market absent of coercion, and interest is a capitalist practice built on the assumption that one party has coercive power over the other either in the form of a state, or a PDA entitling that party to property claims above and beyond that which they are capable of possessing. Kev 03:43, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)
A free-market in the commonly understood sense is one where wages, interest, profit, personal property, freedom to become financially successful, are essential parts of it. Maybe you can find some archaic obscure reference of someone saying he favors a free market and is against those things, but it's not really relevant but as a historical footnote. But, please, is there such a group of people that say they favor a "free market" and and at the sime time say they oppose those things? I'd like to see some evidence of that. And, furthermore, that they refer to themselves as "market anarchists?" RJII 01:53, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)
See above, you are clearly being disingenuous. Kev 03:43, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)
That's what I thought. No evidence. A pure fabrication. RJII 03:55, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)
It's already been provided, you ignore it. This is a historical movement with vast works dedicated to it, and intellectual giants involved in it. It has a rich history. The burden is on YOU to write it away from history. If someone went to the Communism article and tried to say Communism as a political ideology and movement never existed, they would be laughed away. Don't make me laugh at you by trying to do the same to Anarcho-Individualism.--Che y Marijuana 03:59, Feb 17, 2005 (UTC)
No evidence has been provided that any group of people called said that they favored a "free market" and siad that they opposed wages, interest, profit, private property, etc, and that called themselves "market anarchists." RJII 04:03, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)
This is a nice rhetorical trick you keep trying, but that level of evidence is not required to justify my objection to your conflating anarcho-capitalism with market anarchism. All that is required is that, A) the people in question were anarchists, B) the people in question advocated market-based economics, and B) the people in question pre-existed the anarcho-capitalist movement. All of that evidence, and more, has been provided. You could, in theory, argue that this is a long-dead or irrelevant movement and therefore associating them with the term market anarchism is unnecessary, but unfortunately there is no evidence that individualist anarchism is dead, I happen to personally know some individualist anarchists, and in fact the evidence for the existence of anarcho-capitalism is hardly more strong. Kev 19:16, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Firstly, don't you understand that "market-based economics" means that, for example, interest rates are set by the market, even if that means extroardinarily high interest rates? ...something you've called "usury" that you claim market anarchists would not permit? Secondly, you are still unable to supply any evidence of people that call or called their philosophy "market anarchism" whose philosophy is any different than anarcho-capitalism. It's becoming increasingly clear that you are simply looking at a group or people in the past who opposed unregulated capitalism and then arbitrary labeling them as "market anarchists." It's *you* who is labeling them as market anarchists when they did not label themselves as such. Who do you think you are? RJII 20:52, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Yep, this is all a figment of my imagination RJ. That is why the author of, a self-described anarcho-capitalist, refers to mutualism as a form of free market anarchism. Its why the mutualists at refer to Tucker's free market anarchism, and indeed, refer to themselves and free-market anti-capitalists anarchists. You see, this is all part of a vast conspiracy on my part, I went back in time after we had this conversation and forced the folks at listen liberty to describe Tucker's views as market anarchy. Or is it possible, just possible, that in fact there are a group of anarchists who advocate the free market and denounce capitalism? Indeed, people who obviously fall into the category of "market anarchist", and did so before anarcho-capitalism even existed, and thus rule out the possibility that such a term would directly equate with anarcho-capitalism?, just ignore this RJ, it goes against your previous conclusions. It also goes against your policy of doing anything you can to trump for anarcho-capitalism, even if it means breaking all appearance of NPOV.

Very good. Looks like I had to push you a bit. RJII
Whatever you need to tell yourself to save face. Don't worry, in another day or so you'll come up with a new way to weasel your use of this term in. Kev 05:44, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)

As to usury in a free-market, nobody in their right-mind is going to pay interest on a loan when banks given the out for free, when people can print their own money, when the monopoly on land-ownership (enforced by a state or PDA) is broken, and when extravagant property entitlements enforced through the blood of the dispossessed is finally put to rest in favor of possession. That is why usury isn't going to exist in an actual free market, because people will have real alternatives to the criminals who enforce their own property entitlements and try to pass off schemes in which the product of labor is stolen. As to those people who subject themselves to such usury anyway once these institutions have been abolished, its just like S+M, when one voluntarily submits to usury it is no more a capitalist market than a political realm becomes fascist when one voluntarily submits to physical abuse. It is the coercive institutions that back capitalism and fascism that make them what they are, not the free actions of individuals in society. Kev 00:21, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)

And people will build houses for other people for free, out of the goodness of their hearts, on vacant land that's free for house-squatting because private property is an invalid concept, so that everybody can have the house they want without resorting to evil things like mortgage interest or rent. And champagne will come out of the water faucets in those houses. Dtobias 00:31, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)
And anarcho-capitalists will construct straw-men to cover their ignorance when dealing with philosophies that pose economic and political challenges to their own. Kev 00:34, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Kev, let's say I print my own money that's backed by gold, and you print your own unbacked money. Now let's say someone thinks the money is a better value than yours because he thinks mine will have less risk for inflation. (He tried printing his own before but no one would accept it because of inflation fears.) Let's say he offers to pay me if I let him borrow some (interest), because I think I have a better use for it. If someone is actually for a "free-market" he's not going to interfere, because the transaction is voluntary. What is an anarchist going to do to stop us who says he's for a free-market but against "interest"? If someone is actually for a "free-market" he's not going to interfere, because the transaction is voluntary. So what's the deal? Is he going to initiate force to stop it, or he's going just try to convince me with words that I should find it in the goodness of my heart to lend it to him for free? RJII 03:23, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)
In a true free market in the individualist sense, that's not how it would work. You wouldn't be competing with unbacked money, you'd be competing with gift economies. Imagine napster, with no laws to hold it down. Who do you think would have won? Even now, with bittorrent, who do you think will win?--Che y Marijuana 03:54, Feb 21, 2005 (UTC)
"Free market" and "free-market anarchism" have the word "market" in them. A gift economy is not a market economy. A market consists of "trades", rather than gifts and sharing. RJII 04:01, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Che didn't say that the market would be a gift economy, he said that the interest lender would be competing with a gift economy. In other words, may be talking about a pluralist economic model, one of the solutions to attempts by capitalists or others to railroad individuals into unjust economic arrangements. Your dilemma has been responded to in many places by many anarchists and there are more answers than I could list here. My personal take on the issue is that, of course there is nothing wrong with you -attempting- to lend out your money at interest. Any anarchist worth their salt would simply ignore/boycott you so long as you aren't attempting to restrict vital resources in some kind of monopoly, and engaging in direct action or resistance if you are. But this argument is not unique to traditional anarchists, anarcho-capitalists also expect that the massive businesses they legitimate (but generally do not advocate) will not attempt to try to form monopolies to block out competitors. However, it is always possible (some think very likely) that they will, and your only recourse is to boycott them or resist them directly, that anarcho-capitalists only legitimate the first choice limits your ability to respond to this problem even further. But that doesn't mean you support natural monopolies, and it especially doesn't mean that you would simply look the other way if one of these monopolies became a coercive one. This is the same for an anarchist, we aren't going to be shooting people who offer to lend at interest, but neither are we going to do business with them, and we certainly won't stand aside when they attempt to use force to restrict from us what our economic model says we have legitimate claim to.
Anyway, this discussion is entirely inappropriate. If you have some criticism of mutualist, individualist, or other free market anarchist economics feel free to take it to any one of a number of web forums, if you wish I could join you there or you could email me privately. This page exists to discuss this particular article, and discussion of the viability of economic alternatives to anarcho-capitalism isn't appropriate for an article not meant to introduce original research. Kev 05:39, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I've got nothing against gift economies myself -- they're a great thing when they happen, and a lot of examples of things organized at least partially along those lines can be found on the Internet, including collaborative noncommercial projects such as open-source software and wikis. These things are capable of existing and thriving within an overall system that is capitalist, despite tension that sometimes occurs between them and more overtly commercialized elements (e.g., Bill Gates denouncing open-source advocates as "communist"). I just doubt that a gift economy can actually sustain itself beyond fairly narrow segments of the goods and services that are needed and wanted in the world, although some of the types of things that do work as "gifts" are quite important ones given the increasing emphasis on "virtual" things on computer networks (something well-suited for noncommercial collaboration) versus actual physical objects (where traditional economic conditions of scarcity still apply). Maybe future technologies will move more things into the realm of open-source cooperation, but that's the future, not the present. If this ever happens, then the question of capitalism vs. socialism may well become moot. Dtobias 11:38, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)
It is interesting that you believe that a gift economy can exist within a capitalist system, but then move on to mentioning that it would not be able to survive beyond a narrow niche in the economy. You seem to conclude from this that gift economies are faulty in themselves somehow, but I see no evidence for this conclusion, any number of other explainations are possible. For example, I don't see why you would not instead conclude that capitalist economic practices are harmful to gift economies and themselves ensure that other economic will models will always been ghettoed into specialized markets. If you base the economy on capitalist assumptions and practices, how could you expect that a different form of economic practice would be able to out-compete? I don't claim to know one way or the other how well a gift economy will function, there simply isn't enough data. Then again, we also have no large-scale examples of this so-called "pure" capitalism, as to date capitalism has been just as integrated with the state as socialism has. Still, I do think it is revealing to see just what conclusions you have come to in the absence of sufficient data. Kev 17:10, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)
"to date capitalism has been just as integrated with the state as socialism has." If this is so, then it's not capitalism but "mixed economy." Capitalism, by definition, is, among having other characteristics, a system not "integrated" with government. If a state exists, it merely oversees the economy in a detached sort of way. Don't make the mistake, as many do, of calling the modern economies "capitalism." I'm not saying you do this, but I'm pointing that out just in case. RJII 20:32, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Capitalism is only a system seperate from government in the peculiar interpretations of anarcho-capitalists. According to the very definition you keep citing, it is highly integrated with governments: ( an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market
First, notice that the last line reads, "distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market". In other words, capitalism does not determine the distribution of goods exclusively by way of the market, by definition. Far more important, is the use of the phrase, "corporate ownership of capital goods," because corporations are, again by definition, state entities: (corporation according to
2: a body formed and authorized by law to act as a single person although constituted by one or more persons and legally endowed with various rights and duties including the capacity of succession
3 : an association of employers and employees in a basic industry or of members of a profession organized as an organ of political representation in a corporative state
Again, I know these definitions don't fit the biased version of anarcho-capitalism that you are trying to project, instead they reveal that your interpretation is not only just one of many, but for the most part is not even the most common interpretation. Don't worry though, dictionary definitions are not a valid way to pigeon-hole a political philosophy, if they were then our understanding of what it is to be, say, a democrat and republican in the US would be completely different. You already know this, of course, this is why you don't insist that anarcho-capitalists seek chaos and disorder just because one of the dictionary definition suggests this is a goal of anarchists. What this -does- mean is that your constant attempts to push your point via dictionary definitions are not only invalid, but also a tad ironic.
Far more important, though, is that outside of the dictionary definition most economists and business people today, and in the past, speak of capitalism as being intrinsically integrated into the state. Indeed, this forms the very basis of the average capitalist's arguments against anarcho-capitalists, since they believe that it would not be possible to maintain property enforcement in the absence of a state regulatory body. This idea that capitalism is somehow "pure" when it is apart from the state is simply another attempt by the anti-state capitalists and a narrow band of libertarians to redefine the words we use, in the same way that many capitalists, when faced with the undeniable fact that anarcho-individualists were known to decry capitalism and embrace socialism will say, "well they meant something entirely different then we do by the words socialism and capitalism." An argument I will readily accept if anarcho-capitalists are prepared to admit that when they say "liberty" they actually mean "tyranny". Kev 20:49, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)
So what if there are corporations? That doesn't signify that these businesses and government are integrated with each other. That's exactly what capitalism is against. This is no obscure understanding of capitalism only held by libertarians as you claim. Capitalism *is* a libertarian philosophy, the modern generally accepted definition of which came from libertarians. Adam Smith describes capitalism. It's very commonly held to be the definition of capitalism. Capitalism is economic liberalism ..laissez-faire...separation of business and economy. What you are doing is falling for a lot of propaganda if you think that part of capitalism is the integration of business and government. What has happened is crony capitalists have convinced you that the system they support is capitalism. They're liars. And now you've been duped to think that the U.S., for example, is capitalism, when any sensible person knows that it's a "mixed economy." Now, of course none of this is going to make any sense to you if you think that Marx was defining capitalism. If capitalism is just defined as "the private ownership of the means" of production, then anything goes. RJII 21:26, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Your perspective on this issue is a bit too one-sided to really be compelling. You already know that there are multiple definitions of capitalism, from that used by communists, to that used by state capitalists, to that used by liberal capitalists, but instead of simply accepting the existence of these as fact and moving on you have decided that one is "lies" and another would mean that "anything goes" while only your particular interpretation is "the one truth(tm)." Its odd that you have this attitude toward capitalism, that only certain uses of the word are legitimate, and yet in your attempts to include capitalism in the philosophy of anarchism you have gone out of your way to ridicule people you believe are pushing what you have percieved as a "one truth" meaning of the word anarchism. The difference here being that unlike anarchism: you have no basis in history to define capitalism as contrary to the state, as it has always since its inception included definitions that refer to state functions, and unlike anarchists who almost entirely reject capitalism most modern self-described "capitalists" do not consider the economic system to be intrinsically seperate from the state. Further, most anarchists are not actually attempting to push a "one truth" meaning in the first place, as you accuse them of, but rather simply attempting to put all claims to the title anarchism into the broader context of a social and historical movement. You, on the other hand, want to isolate the definition of capitalism to suit your own politic, you want to create a vacuum around the word so that it has the meaning that you prefer, and instead of forming a valid critique of other uses based on their etymology, history, or even their common use, you simply accuse those who interpret words differently as flat out "liars". But I appreciate your posts nonetheless, because they have allowed me to understand where you are coming from in accusing anarchists of trying to "own" a word, you are simply projecting your own actions and intentions onto those you critique.
You ask, "so what if there are corporations [in capitalism]." I will tell you why this is revelant. Corporations -require- the existence of government, by definition. Now I fully admit, if you are going to claim that you can have law (and thus legislative bodies), a judiciary (along with judges, prisons, and indentured servitude), and military/police (call them PDAs or whatever else you want, they perform the same function of law enforcement), without having government, then as you said earlier, "anything goes." Suddenly your definition of "state" becomes so peculiar and contrary to both common and dictionary definitions that communication with you will become meaningless. Next you will tell me that there are anarcho-fascists who advocate that we all voluntarily follow our one great leader, and how could it be their fault if their leader happens to legitimately own everything on the planet and ejects you from his/her righteously obtained property when you dissent from his rule- er, from his excercising his property rights?
So lets stick to some facts. Here is one you don't like: capitalism is considered by many, indeed most economists today, to be integrated into the state. They may be wrong, they may be liars, they may be part of a vast conspiracy to make you look stupid, but they do in fact give meaning to the words they use. The same is true of socialism, despite the fact that many believe that both socialism and capitalism can exist apart from the state, it is undeniable that both are commonly viewed to integrate state controls. This doesn't mean that any one particular interpretation is wrong, it doesn't mean that capitalism or socialism do in fact require state controls. It doesn't mean that you can't hold your own personal interpretation in common with many libertarians and classical liberals. It does mean that your interpretation, and my interpretation for that matter, are not the only ones, nor the "correct" ones. Thus, it means that what your take on what the word implies is not, "the correct universal truth that shall be represented on wikipedia because Adam Smith was correct but Marx and Keynes and Proudhon and everybody else is wrong." That is why I removed your rhetoric of "pure" capitalism when it was unqualified, and that is why I point out that your own citation does in fact indicate that business entities be given rights and powers -by law-. In other words, unquestionably by a government, and most likely by a government in the form of a state. Indeed, a dictionary definition that includes the very words, CORPORATIVE STATE as part of the meaning of corporation. It can't get any more bald faced than that RJ, but feel free to add whatever spin you can to make you more comfortable. Kev 03:29, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The U.S. is a "mixed economy," not capitalism.I'm sorry to be the one to inform you that you've been duped. RJII 03:53, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Hehe, very good counter-argument there RJ. You go ahead and bury your head in the sand, I hope it gets you far in life. Kev 08:40, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)


This is a cute little bit of racism: Also, there is no certainty that this tribe did not steal the property, or, if they did not steal it, whether that property was stolen by others in the more distant past.

I don't see any racism in that. It's just said to make a universal point, rather than making any judgement against Native Americans. Who knows the history of transfer of land possession in the world throughought the history of man? There is probably not one square inch on Earth that hasn't been stolen from someone else somewhere along the line. Who was the first thief? The first owner? We don't know. RJII 03:32, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
And my point was that this applies to all cases, including something that is claimed to have been stolen yesterday. Kev 03:56, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Why are we specifically calling into question the claims of native american tribes in this case? There is never any -certainty- that a claim to theft is true, regardless of the amount of time or nature of the theft. It must in every case come down to someone making the decision that there is sufficient evidence, and it seems a bit odd for the text to be going out of its way to suggest that there is no certainy in this specific case. Is this a convienent way to justify the general anarcho-capitalist position that the land many buy and trade today not be given back to its rightful heirs? Kev 03:06, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

If we leave out mention of Native Americans and instead use a hypothetical example the concepts can be explained better. The concepts are better explained in neutral and universal terms. Also, let's assume we know that someone stole land from a "tribe" in the past.. If those people are long dead, who are you going to give the land back to? The children of their children of their children? If you think this should be done is it possible to trace this? If it is possible to trace, you aren't giving the land back to the owners but to children removed by several generations that never owned the land in the first place. How about if some of these children along the line mated with non-indians? Do they receive a portion of the land as well? There are problems. I'm sure there are are various positions from various anarcho-capitalists on this subject. But, what they do want is the establishment of private property "rights" so these seemingly insurmountable complications can be set aside and future peoples can be free from being subject to the same problems. RJII 03:32, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
You inserted the sentence on inheritance in this article, yet you suddenly dispute the concept of inheritance when applied to victims of theft. Apparently and intelligent thief is legitimate in anarcho-capitalism? Kev 03:56, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I didn't put in the sentence about inheritance. It was someone else. As far as your question goes, I don't see it as worthy of response. RJII 04:09, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Cripes, if I used that standard with you this talk page would be blank. Kev 06:30, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Initiation of force

Why are you opposed to letting the reader know that that "initiation of force" is distinct from force used in response to an initiation? Believe me, many people, when they see that someone opposes "initiation of force" their first objection is "Duh. How can you defend yourself if you're against initiation of force?" Then one has to go through the whole explanation that defending oneself is a secondary use of force ...force used when someone else uses initiatory force. This is a neutral distinction that has nothing to do with anarcho-capitalism in and of itself. What is the problem? Is it that you don't get the distinction either? RJII 03:40, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I already explained the problem above. Anarcho-capitalists define intiation of force to include things like trepass of property, or eating an apple shoplifted from a store. Commonly, or at the very least amongst a significant number of people, initation of force is considered to apply only or generally to the physical person, violence or restraint used against a body. So for the article to say that they are against initiation of force when they in fact support using force to repel say, non-aggressive trespassers, or at times even to forcefully claim restitution or enact punishment on a shoplifter, is biased in favor of a conception of initiation of force that is specific to anarcho-capitalists. The only reason I'm letting the claim stand is because it is now clearly labeled as a claim, but your import of (initiation of force as distinct from response) throws that NPOV out the window and tells the reader that yes, in fact the capitalists are always -responding- to force when they enact their little system of property domination. Kev 04:04, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
You seem oblivious to what I just said. The parenthetical thing is only telling the reader what initiation of force means. It's not saying what particular things constitute initiation of force. RJII 04:08, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
And as we have previously discussed, if the passage existed in a vacuum that would be fine. But since it exists in the context of detailing anarcho-capitalist claims, and those claims involve non-normative (or at the very least non-universal) conceptions of the initiation of force, it is rather relevant not to have the text indicate that the type of force capitalists are refering to is in fact responsive. Kev 04:13, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Ok, let me make this even easier to understand. It is explaining what "initiation" means. It's not explaining what force means. RJII 04:14, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Quit with the snide condescention. If you want to act like a jerkoff, go ahead and have the guts to actually voice yourself rather than hiding behind that smug air of superiority that your ignorance lends you. That passage does -not- merely explain what initation means. It explains what initiation of force means, and that is directly relevant to my comments. Kev 06:20, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)


Kev seems to think saying that anarcho-capitalists think that "exploitation" is ok is NPOV. The statement is this: "Anarcho-capitalists favor the establishment of private property and believe in the freedom of individuals to become wealthy, even when such wealth is produced through exploitation." He is the author of "even when such wealth is produced through exploitation." This is blatant POV, but he insists that it's not. The anti-anarchocapitalist bias is so obvious that it's my opinion that anyone who has the mentality to think that this constitutes NPOV has no business being an editor on Wikipedia. RJII 04:52, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I put in about a dozen attempts to compromise with you on so many issues throughout this text before I threw in the towel. You handed me back a series of rollback edits, attitude about how you didn't care if the article was listed as NPOV or if your edits were not consistent with those of others who worked so hard to compromise on this page. So don't even try to play this as your own personal concern for NPOV. You will not unilaterally determine this article. Sorry.
You tried to patronizingly persuade me to refrain from editing the article because it had "been through a lot." I told you that I didn't care and that it was going to go through a lot more now that I've arrived. Did I lie? I also told that I would not compromise what I believed to be truth and accuracy of the article for the sake of appeasing fellow writers. I would expect the same approach from others. The article isn't about you or me or who gets his way, but writing a quality article. Consensus for the sake of consensus is absurd. I will never sacrifice quality, accuracy, and honesty for consensus. Neither should you. RJII 16:50, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I did not try to persuade you from no longer editing the article, I tried to persuade you not to butcher a bunch of passages with no thought as to why they were constructed in the manner that they were. And if you are so big on quality, accuracy, and consensus, then please feel free to stop using language designed specifically to put anarcho-capitalism in the best possible light. Kev 19:10, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
As for that statement, many anarcho-capitalists agree with it explicitly, refering to exploitation as making full and best use of a resource, and use that word specifically. This is yet another case of you wanting to put anarcho-capitalism in the best possible light, even if that means stating things in the article that are untrue and leaving things out that better explicate the philosophy. The fact that some use exploitation with negative connotations does not mean that everyone does, and especially does not mean that it should be removed just because it would not make your pet politic shine as much as you would like. Kev 06:17, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
You're so transparent as to be laughable. RJII 16:50, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Heh, this from the guy who says, "I didn't say I was an anarcho-capitalist, and I didn't say I wasn't." Thank you for the road-map to your bias. Kev 19:18, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Nya nya to you too. Find someone else to get into a petty bickering match with. RJII 20:24, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
"Exploit" can, indeed, have positive (or at least non-negative) connotations in some contexts when it concerns one's behavior toward inanimate objects, but the word tends to be highly negative in implications when people are at the receiving end of it. It's best off avoided in a NPOV discussion except when describing specifically what one group is accusing another of perpetrating on another. Dtobias 11:54, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Fine, then lets be consistent. If you are going to remove exploitation because it -might- have negative connotations, then lets remove all this BS about "voluntary", "liberty", "freedom", etc because all of the ideas can be explained without resort to those words, all of those words have blatantly positive connotations, and all are being used to describe anarcho-capitalist positions that many believe involve the denial of liberty, the absence of freedom, and coercive involuntary institutions. Kev 19:10, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Context matters. In a NPOV article, it's wrong to assert as a "naked fact" that, either "Capitalism exploits the poor", or that "Capitalism is the only system consistent with freedom". On the other hand, it's all right to say "Critics charge that capitalism leads to the exploitation of the poor", or that "Supporters of capitalism regard it as the only system consistent with freedom". Dtobias 22:07, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I agree completely. This is why it is so important to qualify statements like "capitalists believe in voluntary exchange," when they are using the word "voluntary" to describe situations which other anarchists and people in general may not consider to be voluntary. Kev 03:56, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Again with the "traditional" stuff

The following descriptions of the relationship between anarcho-capitalists, the individualist anarchists, and contemporary anti-capitalist anarchists are intensely problematic:

Many anarcho-capitalists also locate themselves within the tradition of individualist anarchism, though this claim is rejected by those who have traditionally used the "individualist anarchism" label.

Those who have traditionally used the "individualist anarchism" label (Tucker and his circle) are dead, and were in their graves well before the word "anarcho-capitalism" was coined. There are those who use it today who argue that anarcho-capitalism is incompatible with the individualist anarchism espoused by the Liberty crowd, but the latter aren't around to be interviewed, and enforcing the views of the former on them is an anachronistic bit of POV. Furthermore, imposing it on everyone who uses the label today won't do either; those who use it have a wide range of different relationships to anarcho-capitalism, among them Wendy McElroy (who has on several occasions straightforwardly identified Rothbardian anarcho-capitalism with individualist anarchism), Daniel Burton (who claims that anarcho-capitalism is a species of individualist anarchism but not identical with it), and B.K. Marcus (who claim that they are distinct but compatible).

It would be an understatement to claim that anarcho-capitalism's place within the anarchist tradition is hotly contested (see Anarchism); in fact, it is disowned by the movement, which believes that capitalist economic relations constitute a form of social domination, and thus contradict the fundamental anarchist belief in freedom.

This of course simply begs the question against those who identify anarcho-capitalism as a form of anarchism by writing them out of "the movement". Of course, if the anarchist critics of a-c are correct, then they aren't part of "the movement," but deciding on that is not for a WikiPedia article on a-c to do.

I'm revising the section to try to make the point without tendentious references to "traditional" anarchism or the presumption that "the movement" is something exclusive of anarcho-capitalism.

Radgeek 20:30, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia is here to present fact. It is straightforward fact that the movement does exclude anti-state capitalists.--Che y Marijuana 20:59, Mar 6, 2005 (UTC)

Your preferred wordings, like "Anarchism as defined by anarchists", seem almost to be circular definitions, tautological and self-serving. You're deciding what group of people to consider to be "anarchists", and then you're letting them define anarchism in a way that excludes people not in that group... big surprise. However, since there are indeed others who use the label, a NPOV article should use some sort of clarifying adjective to indicate just what sort of anarchists are being discussed; if "traditional" isn't a good one (which I can understand; sticking time-based words like "traditional", "contemporary", "neo-", "paleo-", "modern", "postmodern", and so on, whether onto philosophies, political movements, artistic movements, or whatever, can be a moving target as times change) something else should be used. Dtobias 21:59, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Again: what does "the movement" mean? I take it you are using this elliptically to refer to "the anarchist movement". But whether "the anarchist movement" does or does not include the efforts of anarcho-capitalists depends on whether or not anarcho-capitalism is, in fact, a form of anarchism. I do not think that that is a question that WikiPedia is here to decide. Of course, you can point out that anti-capitalist anarchists don't work together with anarcho-capitalists on anti-state organizing and activism. Actually, that's not universally true, but even if it were, so what? Lots of movements have internal splits and factions that refuse to associate with each other. That doesn't mean that you can summarily describe one faction as "the movement" and write the other out by saying that "the movement" disowns them.
The point here isn't to prove that anarcho-capitalism is a faction within the anarchist movement. (I frankly don't care whether it is or not.) The point is that assuming that it is not in order to introduce "the movement's" disowning of the a-c position as evidence against a-c identifications with anarchism (1) begs the question against anarcho-capitalists, and (2) stomps all over NPOV and involves WikiPedia in a dispute that it's not here to decide on.
That said, here is my latest stab at the section:
=== Individualist anarchist tradition ===
Many anarcho-capitalists also locate themselves within the tradition of individualist anarchism--as exemplified by 19th century individualists such as Benjamin Tucker and Lysander Spooner. Early anarcho-capitalists were influenced by individualist critiques of the State and their arguments for the right to ignore or withdraw from it (as, for example, in Lysander Spooner's "No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority," which was widely reprinted in early anarcho-capitalist journals), and they adopted individualist ethical arguments against the use of collectivist reasoning to defend State power or any other use of coercion to subordinate the individual to some authority claiming to act on behalf of collective interests. Like modern anarcho-capitalists, 19th century individualist anarchists described their economic and political positions as a radicalization of the classical liberal defense of free markets and civil society--Tucker, for example, described anarchism (on his individualist conception) as "consistent Manchesterism" [1] and anarchists as "unterrified Jeffersonian Democrats" [2].
Whatever the parallels, however, the ultimate relationship between anarcho-capitalism and the individualist anarchist tradition is made much more complicated, and controversial, by the fact that 19th century individualist anarchists usually identified themselves as socialists, and condemned the common practices of bosses, landlords, and bankers as exploitative. Some contemporary individualist anarchists hold that, whatever anarcho-capitalists may have appropriated from the individualist anarchist tradition, their explicit support for capitalism places them outside of the individualist anarchist tradition, and excludes anarcho-capitalism from being a genuine form of anarchism at all. Some of the difficulty here here may be understood as terminological: anarcho-capitalists typically use the word "capitalism" to mean the free market, i.e., an economic order based entirely on voluntary association, free of intervention from the State. Anti-capitalist anarchists, on the other hand, typically use "capitalism" to identify a system of specific economic practices prevalent in historical and modern markets. One can be an advocate of capitalism in the first sense without being an advocate of capitalism in the second sense; indeed, some anarcho-capitalists argue that government intervention creates many problems in the "capitalist" marketplace today. On the other hand, there are still substantive differences between many modern anarcho-capitalists and the positions of 19th century individualists such as Spooner and Tucker over issues such as interest, the legitimacy of land titles (and thus demands for rent), and the corporate organization of commerce. Anarcho-capitalists such as Murray Rothbard have been willing to accept substantially more of the "capitalistic" practices that characterize today's market as acceptable or even desirable features of a stateless free market than the 19th century individualists were--who rejected them, either because they were inefficient and exploitative arrangements that would cease to exist without government protection (as with interest and corporate commerce) or because they were themselves directly coercive (as with the enforcement of absentee landlord's claims to ownership).
In light of these differences, many anti-capitalist anarchists hold that whatever anarcho-capitalists have gained from their reading of the individualists, they have repudiated essential components of both anarchism in general and individualist anarchism in particular (including not only specific conclusions about practices such as interest, but also underlying premises such as the labor theory of value). Not everyone who would today be described as an "anarcho-capitalist" would disagree--Robert LeFevre, for example, described his position as "autarchy," rejected the identification with anarchism, and criticized Tucker's individualism in particular. On the other hand, some self-identified individualist anarchists (such as Wendy McElroy and B.K. Marcus) also argue that anarcho-capitalism as a species of individualist anarchism (although not the only one on offer). Most anarcho-capitalists, on the other hand, emphasize the underlying premises they draw from the 19th century individualists—such as the critique of collectivist justifications for force, the identification of organized coercion as a primary cause of social ills, and the rejection of violence for any purpose other than defense against invasion—and argue that their differences with the 19th century individualists are corrections within a tradition rather than a break from the individualist tradition.
Comments, questions, and corrections are, as always, welcome.
Radgeek 21:55, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
It is, indeed, a fact that the place of anarcho-capitalism in the anarchist tradition is hotly contested. This is a very relevant fact to the page, and needs to be addressed in it.
As to the original individualists being dead, that is all well and good, but it doesn't mean that one or two people calling themselves individualists today can completely redefine a movement that predates ac. It is particularly strange that you would cite examples from folks like McElroy and B.K. Marcus, given that the later explicitly refers to himself as an anarcho-capitalist (and it isn't anything new for an anarcho-capitalist to claim relation to anarcho-individualism) and the former calls herself an anarcho-individualist while stating flatly that if the individualists of the past were alive today they would be capitalists. In other words, if we are to take McElroy's own arguments and accept them, she is an anarcho-capitalist. The fact that she, as an anarcho-capitalist, believes it appropriate to redefine individualism as compatible with anarcho-capitalism is not surprising, but certainly not evidence that anarcho-capitalism is actually part of the anarchist tradition. We already know that anarcho-capitalists think individualism is compatible with their philosophy, and the article already makes that clear, but this does not mean that wikipedia should be endorsing this POV when the individualists of the past -explicitly- decried capitalism as such. Kev 21:49, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I certainly agree; but that is not what I objected to above (and it's not reflected in any of the edits I've made). The point is not to present the claim without qualifying it in terms of the controversy; it's a matter of how the controversy is to be presented. If you go around saying "anarcho-capitalists identify with the individualist anarchist movement but traditional individualist anarchists think they're full of it" then applying the "traditional" qualifier to "individualist anarchists" is either false (because it reads back contemporary anti-capitalists' positions to people who never were around to weigh in on a-c as formulated in the mid-20th century) or question-begging (since it uses the claim that a-c's are not part of the individualist anarchist tradition in order to provide evidence for that same claim). The claim may very well be true--I'd have stronger feelings about it if I were more convinced that the word "capitalism" means anything coherent at all--but whether it's true or not is precisely the controversy that this article is supposed to explain (in conformity with NPOV), not something for the article to decide on one way or the other.
As for Marcus: in what I have read from Marcus he does not identify as an "anarcho-capitalist"; he explicitly distinguishes it from individualist anarchism as such, typically uses it in scare-quotes, and argues that Rothbardians are right on important points but get some important things wrong because they embrace a chimaerical notion of "capitalist" that bundles together something legitimate and important (a free market and entrepreneurship) and "the main evil in the political realm". You might still think that his position is incompatible with individualist anarchism for other reasons; fine, but that controversy between self-identified individualist anarchists is no more a matter for this article to decide than the controversy over whether or not anarcho-capitalists are in fact individualist anarchists. (If I'm mistaken, and you have a recent citation in which Marcus describes himself as an anarcho-capitalist, I'll be glad to hear it and to qualify the discussion accordingly.)
As for McElroy: again, she directly identifies herself as an individualist anarchist in the tradition of Tucker. She accepts many Rothbardian points that differ from Tucker's; but whether that makes her not an individualist anarchist or not is, again, part of the controversy and while it is essential to present that controversy this is not the place to try and settle it.
Radgeek 22:23, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Isn't Lysander Spooner known for starting businesses (like the one that attempted to compete with the U.S. Post Office)? That sounds pretty capitalist to me. Dtobias 21:59, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
It's "capitalist" if "capitalism" means the same thing as "free market" or "entrepreneurial". But the 19th century individualist anarchists, Spooner among them, didn't see it that way. They identified themselves, explicitly, as socialists. Their understanding of socialism included individual and co-operative initiatives between workers to make needed goods and services available; they held that the capitalistic marketplace we see today is the creature of (1) direct coercion (in the form of various protected monopolies, among them the U.S. Post Office) and (2) non-invasive but exploitative practices that survive only because of the practice of direct coercion (such as usurious interest). Maybe they were wrong about that; but whether they were wrong or right, that was their position, and our job is to try to accurately report it. —Radgeek 22:30, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Of course it does Dtobias, that is because you have gone out of your way to ignore individualist anarchism and the economic practices associated with it. Kev 22:12, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The following attempt to restore part of what was edited out in the most recent round is still objectionable:

It would be an understatement to claim that anarcho-capitalism's place within the anarchist tradition is hotly contested (see Anarchism); in fact, it is disowned by the tradition, which believes that capitalist economic relations constitute a form of social domination, and thus contradict the fundamental anarchist belief in freedom.

It's objectionable (1) because it's redundant (the fact that it is hotly contested is what everything other than the first paragraph of the section is already about), (2) because (as I explained above) setting anti-capitalist anarchists on one side as "the movement" or "the tradition" and the a-c's on the other side to say that "the movement" or "the tradition" disowns them simply begs the question against the a-c position, and (3) because the substitution of "the tradition" for "the movement" makes it simply ungrammatical (traditions don't disown; people do).

So it seems to me, anyway. What, precisely, do you think the previous revision of the i-a section lacked that re-adding this paragraph has restored?

Radgeek 22:58, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)

(1) I disagree that it is redundant. The text above goes on about how the relationship between ac and ai is "complicated" and "controversial", and states that many anti-capitalist anarchists believe that ac is not a part of anarchism. But it does not give a perspective on the kind of proportions we are dealing with. To say that the vast majority of non-acs believe anarcho-capitalism to be a contradiction in terms is almost an understatement. And far more than being a controversial movement, anarcho-capitalism intentionally set itself apart from and denied/ignored entire sections of anarchist thought. It was universally rejected amongst anyone not calling themselves an anarcho-capitalist when it first arose, but the text makes it look like this is simply a deep seeded controversy -within- the movement. I know that this is what anarcho-capitalists believe, but it is not a message that anarchists would be satisfied with having wikipedia project. (2) Its been very difficult to come up with a term that is acceptable in this instance. "Other anarchists" does not work because it presumes that anarcho-capitalists are anarchists, "anti-capitalist anarchists" does the same. Traditional is one of the better terms because it is true that both the original anarchists and those who the anarcho-capitalists claim to be following in the tradition of rejected anarcho-capitalism. So when anarcho-capitalists claim to be following in the tradition of individualist anarchism they themselves are refering to this tradition which predates them, and the simple fact that the individualists repudiated capitalism should be enough to demonstrate that this tradition did not include anarcho-capitalism. (3) I dunno how to improve it, open to suggestions, I'm tempted to replace it with something along the lines of "those who self-describe as anarchists but are not delusional reject anarcho-capitalism", but somehow I don't think that would be better accepted. Kev 03:02, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The fact of the matter is, the Anarchist movement defines itself. ACs have no major organizations, no major historical accomplishments, no major support. They are an isolated purely intellectual stream, and to redefine Anarchism for them (which is exactly what calling other anarchists "traditional" would be) is not NPOV as people here claim. Stick to the definition of Anarchism as expounded by actual Anarchists, and use terms like "anarcho-capitalism" without inferring relationship with Anarchists by specifically calling them anarchist. Say they believe anarchism to be incompatible with Socialism, but make clear that anarchism has always been an anti-capitalist movement. This is the way forwards. Just as the National Socialism article does not identify them as Socialists, neither should this article lend credence to the idea of ancaps being Anarchist.--Che y Marijuana 05:35, Mar 7, 2005 (UTC)

Initial conditions

"freedom of individuals to choose their path of life, either to become wealthy, stay poor or found a cooperative." does not address initial conditions. "stay wealthy"? or "path of life with regard to choices such as work and associations."

Also, consider this. Violence is OK in defense of property, so the US Government can claim sovereignty over all US land and use violence if you are on that land and don't follow the rules. Free association is OK so we the citizens of the US are allowed to form the government FOR THIS PURPOSE. You don't want to follow our rules? GET OFF OUR LAND. Isn't that the world you say you want to live in? You ALREADY have it. Oh, you want to have sovereignty YOURSELF? Well, you can aquire it the same way EVERY nation on Earth has - declare yourself sovereign and defend that statement with SUCCESSFUL force. You want someone to GIVE you sovereignty? Yah, and I want someone to give me a million dollars. Not gonna happen. 20:35, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Why not neutral?

Can someone make a short list of why they think this article is biased? It would make fixing it a lot easier because I'd rather not work my way through talk page archives. Thanks, Dave 04:20, Mar 24, 2005 (UTC)

I believe there are still sections that imply that it is a form of anarchism. That's my issue with it, but I didn't put the NPOV warning, and I haven't edited this article in a while, so I'm sure there are other issues. --Che y Marijuana 12:22, Mar 24, 2005 (UTC)
Holy crap, you know what, the article needs MAJOR reworking...--Che y Marijuana 12:53, Mar 24, 2005 (UTC)

Well... I probably shouldn't drop it half way through, but I will have to continue this later. The article is far too long, it needs to be cut down and the ideas organized into a more intuitive format. Half the time I was reading it, I had to reread the header, because the section had nothing to do with its title. This is making editing it especially difficult. So understand that a few of my edits only make sense with a complete re working of the page and the headings and subheadings, which is yet to come. Meanwhile, it's almost 9:20 in the morning and I haven't slept. So I'm going to sleep, good night.--Che y Marijuana 14:19, Mar 24, 2005 (UTC)

Talk to Kev. He's the one that put the tag in. RJII 01:32, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
It was a series of RJ's more egregious edits that spurred me to add the tag. Most of it was undone eventually and I think the tag would have been ready to be removed up till a couple days ago, but then bascially rolled it back. Other than those, and of course RJs attempt to only use dictionary definitions that meet his personal bias (even changing his dictionary when it turns out not to proffer the definition he wanted), I think its set. Well, maybe a little of the word choice here and there could use a little NPOVing. Kev 05:27, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Please make a greater effort to be civil. Calling edits "egregious" and accusing someone of selective use of evidence to support "personal bias" does nothelp the project. For the record, the vast majority of RJII's edits have been constructive and appreciated by everyone but you. If you assume good faith, I suspect you will find disagreements easier to resolve. Dave 05:39, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)
Dear god. When I saw your post here, I assumed there had to be some major difference between the two definitions. There isn't. The dictionary definitions differ by about five words. I hardly think that omitting the word "competition" and referencing government control qualifies as outrageous. For the record, as the article is currently written, the online version is better (state control is mentioned the sentence before the definition anyway), so I support your decision to edit the article. But grow up. Dave 05:49, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)
Sorry about the triple post. Kev, you obviously know a lot about the subject and have a knack for fixing articles (see my comments on your talk page about libertarianism). But good editing isn't the only part of making a good article. Please try harder to keep an open mind about other people's ideas. Dave 07:00, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)

I always assume good faith, with you for example. RJ gave me lots of evidence to crush that assumption some time ago. And I must add, I am certainly not the only one who has seen RJs edits in and around the anarchist pages as something other than constructive. You could check out the discussion on the anarchism page for referance to this.
My post here, concerning the neutrality of the article, has nothing to do with RJs recent definition change, but rather with some of his previous edits and the recent ones by I certainly would not slap on or support a NPOV warning simply for the dictionary bit. I will of course try my best to keep an open mind. I suggest that you do one of two things to help me in this regard. Either, 1) refrain from telling me to "grow up" or 2) refrain from lecturing me about making a greater effort to be civil, as these two comments seem to expose a double standard. Kev 07:45, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Re: "double standard:" Good point. I wasn't thinking. I'm sorry. I feel dumb now. Dave 07:58, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)
Here I thought I was just being more NPOV and objective by putting the unabridged version of the definition in from the same Merriam-Webster source. Actually, if I had an anarcho-capitalist POV I would have left the other one in as it doesn't say "a mainly free market." The previous one had no such qualification; it said "mainly by competition in a free market." And the comment in the newer definition about lack of state control is saying the same thing --that's what "private" means (it's just being more explicit for those who don't know what is meant by private). But the point does need to be made that anarcho-capitalists are using a definition of capitalism that refers to a free market. Not all definitions of capitalism do. So, someone can say he's for capitalism, and the other person will have no clue that he's talking about a free market. Why the definition thing upsets Kev is bizarre. Does he think his definition of capitalism is the only one and Merriam-Webster is wrong? It wasn't saying that that was the only correct definition of capitalism, but that that was one among others. RJII 13:46, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
lol, RJ, the definition which I reverted back to, which you call "mine", is the one -you- posted originally. You know exactly what this is about because we have been through it a dozen times already, right now you are just trying to put on a show. The point that anarcho-capitalists are refering to a free market has already been made, over and over, in the article and in the footnote itself. The reason I reverted back to the old one is already listed in the edit history, i.e. its more accessible and it says basically the same thing. Kev 17:10, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

NPOV sign removed, cleanup sign added

That seemed to me to be the consensus of the above section. We have several options now:

  1. Stripping down this page so that it contains as little redundancy as possible with libertarianism and making it just about the anarcho-capitalism aspect. (my preferred choice)
  2. Just fixing it up (sort of a pain and leaving lots of redundancy)
  3. Eliminating it and redirecting to libertarianism (probably a bad idea, but I thought I should mention the possibility)
  4. Something else

Thoughts? Dave 08:05, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)

Of those options I would most support the first. The second would be okay but I've yet to see anyone spend the kind of time necessary to fix the entire article, and the one person who was about to a month or so ago got driven off, and there is no need for the redundancy. The third one is a definate no, as anarcho-capitalism is a distinct concept from libertarianism and significant enough to merit its own page. Kev 10:05, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

definition of capitalism footnote

Dave, right now the article says "free market or capitalism." I just foresee problems where people are going to come along and protest that "capitalism isn't a free market!" and protest that that statement improperly equates the two. Many socialists, for example, are not even aware that there is such a definition of capitalism that indicates a free market and adhere to the old definition of capitalism where it's simply the private ownership of capital --a definition of capitalism that's still not in uncommon use. The footnote was a way I came up with to avoid that problem. I really think this needs to be clarified, if not the way I did it, then somehow. RJII 04:11, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The article reads "Anarcho-capitalism is a kind of libertarianism whose proponents favor unregulated markets (which they call' a free market or capitalism)." My understanding is that, while you're right about socialists, anarcho-capitalists would agree with my definition. The article only makes a claim about the anarcho-capitalist definition of capitalism, not about what other groups would call unregulated markets, free markets, or capitalism. The article also refers to "their version of capitalism" to differentiate it from other usages. Dave 04:21, Mar 28, 2005 (UTC)
Very perceptive foresight you have there RJ, except that this protest already happened, didn't it? Who is being transparent now? The complaint about capitalist markets not being free markets is a valid one, it stems from a real tradition and is directly relevant to anarcho-capitalism given that the tradition which launches that complain is the same one that puts the "anarcho" in the name anarcho-capitalist. I appreciate you finally being frank about your intentions though, now that you have made your bias as clear as possible I'm going to do everything I can to -ensure- that the language of this article does not rule it out the individualist anarchist viewpoint that anarcho-capitalist markets are not free. Kev 08:20, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Individualist anarchists are not mentioned and the article explicitly denies that it's making claims about the way anyone but anarcho-capitalists view capitalism. If you want to put in other views, put them in in some kind of context like in a criticism section or in the section that discusses anarcho-capitalism versus anarchism, rather than just a disembodied definition in a footnote.Dave 16:25, Mar 28, 2005 (UTC)

In need of rewrite

This section is incomprehensible, I can't even tell what it is trying to claim well enough to fix it:

"But precisely because they see natural monopolies as inefficient, they also endorse economic arguments that natural monopolies can exist only transiently, usually due to some recent technical or organizational innovation that hasn't been copied by competitors yet. ; In Austrain School view the market is an open process and in real markets will be no end which could called "natural monopoly" or "market failure". These theories are only possible by theorists of neoclassical economy. This doesn't mean, that these theories should be wrong; just the conclusion is wrong that intervention by government is announced with it as proper procedure. Every authority can only evalutate a monopoly-situation on political needs. But government sets ends in an open process. This is a reason that coercive monopoly regulation consists although the assumptions of monopoly had gone long time ago.

Thus, all evaluations of free markets are the motto of anarcho-capitalists. Maybe force is an tool of free markets, too - with all responsibility to the offenders. But why shouldn't be this and moral purchasing a better method than regulation with techniques from socialism?" Kev 09:58, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

you're right. It is incomprehensible. I'll see what I can do. Dave 16:30, Mar 28, 2005 (UTC)

Lost passage

I've removed this passage as it did not actually respond to the critique that came before it, but the content may not exist elsewhere in the article and I don't know where to put it so for the moment it goes here: "Anarcho-capitalists typically argue that a broad classical liberal conception of private property is justified independently of the state, either by utilitarian considerations or by natural law. Thus, they argue that individuals can use force to defend a wide range of private property, and they can cooperate with others or hire a defense agency to defend whatever they can rightfully defend on their own." Kev 10:12, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Dan Sullivan

The criticism section mentions Dan Sullivan. Google comes up with one link to what appears to be his homepage. Is this person really notable in the anarcho-capitalist scene, or is this grandstanding? If someone knows of him s couple sources of referance would be nice. Kev 10:12, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I've never heard of Dan Sullivan, but then I've never heard of Crypto-anarchism, either. I'm in favor or removing him unless he says something unique and exciting. Dave 16:27, Mar 28, 2005 (UTC)