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Someone wrote on another page:  

'In case anyone really doesn't know what anarcho-capitalism is supposed to be about, have a look at [this article]. '

This particular article isn't bad overall, but it might lead the reader to a few misconceptions. First, the anarchocapitalism is not the 'house ideology' of the Libertarian Party. No doubt there are some anarchists in the ranks of the LP, but as far as I know they do not dominate.

It should be noted that the author, MikeHuben?, is best known on the Internet for his critique of libertarianism.

Another problem with that article is that Benjamin Tucker is given as an example of an "early" anarcho-capitalist. Tucker's attachment to capitalism is fictional as explained in ["Benjamin Tucker: Capitalist or Anarchist?"]. There were no early anarcho-capitalists; the "movement" was invented out of thin air a mere couple of decades ago. Electioneering experts call this an astro-turf movement. AnarchoCapitalism's styling itself after anarchism is propaganda based on lies.

Nothing wrong with critiques. I find they're usually a better way of evaluating ideas: everyone will defend their own position eloquently, but you can only build a strong counter-attack against an idea with flaws. So looking at how strong criticisms are usually gives you a better idea of how good the original was.
I agree completely. The only point, though, is that Huben may wish to tar libertarianism by association with AnarchoCapitalism.

What does libertarianism mean in the above sentence? Does it refer to the right-libertarianism of the proponents of the Libertarian party or does it also include anarcho-syndicalists as left-libertarians? And what does right-libertarianism mean if one does not take it to be synonymous with AnarchoCapitalism? If Mike Huben does wish to tar left-libertarians by associating them with right-libertarians, he need do no more than recognize the right-libertarians' own claims.

These two claims make no sense to me:
The theory assumes a genuinely free market, independent of geographic distributions and economies of scale, which prevents abuse of monopolies and extreme inequalities in the execution of justice.

A classic argument against cooperatives by anarcho-capitalists is precisely that it is irrational to have all one's stock in one company (your own) and so workers would seek to spread their risk by diversifying their stock portfolio.


The first sentence is my mangled synopsis of the perfect free market, and the second one I copied from the anarchism/talk page or something like that.

The point of the first sentence is, for example: it should be better for a protection company to protect the assets of 100 poor men than the assets of one rich man, since the assets of the poor men are already protected by 100 people. But the reality is the geographic factors and economies of scale come into play, so protection companies would rather protect the rich man's assets.

Hey, I don't get it either, but I'm trying.

--The Cunctator

A lot of useful text was deleted from [this revision].

--The Cunctator

I agree some of that info should go back in, my only concern is finding the right place to put it. -- SJK
> The fundamental element of the philosophical approach is a belief in absolute private property rights.

No way.

The fundamental element of the philosophical approach is a belief in absolute individual liberty. This includes, but is not limited, to right to effects of one's work. And proporty right for things that aren't effects of somebody's works aren't absolute. --Taw

But what do they mean by "absolute individual liberty"? They mean property rights without any government interference. You can be silenced, you can be starved to death, just so long as no one takes any of your property. -- SJK

Facts: Could somebody please change these into some statements that adhere to NPOV ? --Taw

The first "fact" you mention here may or may not be a fact, but probably doesn't belong in an encyclopedic presentation. One of the key difference between encyclopedics and polemics is that an encyclopedic tends to refrain from drawing conclusions or making evaluations.

Additionally, I think that there are serious economic arguments against AC. I have made such arguments myself to David Friedman and he conceded that my arguments were, at the least, interesting. He thinks I'm wrong of course, but I think he would concede that my argument is at least serious.

To sum it up in one paragraph: many forms of organized crime involve A violating B's rights in such a fashion that A and B both make money at the expense of C. From economics we know that the only thing that can sustain a cartel is coercion, i.e. the use of force or threat thereof. Sustaining a cartel under AC is possible for a corrupt defense agency which represents only clients in a particular industry. The costs of the cartel are spread widely throughout the population in such a fashion that non-cartel defense agencies will not find it worthwhile (due to free rider problems) to engage in an expensive fight to "save" B from A.

Thus, it seems likely that AC will lead to some very un-libertarian outcomes.

Now, you may not agree with the argument, but at least it is both economic and serious. --Jimbo Wales

"There are no serious economic arguments against AC"? I am not aware of any, but I am sure there are. Most economists reject AC, and I am sure at least some of those opposed to it have come up with at least some arguments against it. -- SJK.
They do ? Really ? If you know some arguments, please list them. --Taw

Fare: indeed, if you do, please list them.

I have a problem with the wording of this sentence that was inserted during Revision 11: Services traditionally provided by governments (police, defense, courts) are provided by private corporations. 'Corporation' is NOT a generic term for any type of business and there is nothing in Anarcho-capitalism that requires these services to be provided by corporations (as opposed to sole proprietorships or whatever). Moreover corporations, as such, would not even exist in a purely free market as they require a charter from the state which shields their CEOs and stockholders from certain kinds of legal liability (by the way the free market equivalent is a 'joint stock company'). I suggest the more neutral: "Private businesses compete to supply services traditionally provided by governments(like police, defense, and courts)".
I removed Wendy McElroy? from the list of proponents of Anarcho-capitalism. She is an Individualist Anarchist, not an Anarcho-capitalist. --MemoryHole.com

I'd really like to see a suggested reading list about Anarcho-capitalism but is that appropriate? --MemoryHole.com

What's the difference? Maybe you could explain, and in your explanation cite Wendy McElroy as an example of an individual anarchist. Would she herself consider herself an anarcho-capitalist? --Larry Sanger

There is an interesting essay here: http://flag.blackened.net/daver/anarchism/mcelroy1.html by McElroy? herself on the various differences between several flavors of anarchism. But the most obvious difference is that "under individualist anarchism, you could have communist communities existing beside capitalist ones so long as membership was voluntary" (a concept also known as Panarchy). While anarcho-capitalism and anarcho-communism?are ends oriented (ie resulting in a specific economic system), individualist anarchism is means oriented (anything that's peaceful) with no hard vision of what would result. You can see from her website: http://www.zetetics.com/mac/ she prefers the label [individualist anarchist]?. --MemoryHole.com

Fare: No, anarcho-capitalism, like classical liberalism in general, is not ends-oriented. It predicts general results, and claims several essential liberties. By no way would anarcho-capitalists accept that anyone be forced to work in a company rather than a cooperative. Anarcho-communists seem to be ends-oriented indeed, although I prefer to believe (until given sufficient evidence) that not all left anarchists are. About a classical liberal view on means and ends, I recommend of Henry Hazlitt's [Foundations of Morality].
Fare: I removed [Brian Giovannini]? from the list of prominent anarcho-capitalists. I had never heard about him. It turns out he's a cartoonist (see [his site]), and he's anarcho-capitalist indeed: he wrote one web page about anarcho-capitalism. But I don't think this qualifies to put him in the same list as Murray Rothbard.
Fare: Do quotes fit in here? e.g. Emile Faguet: "[U]n anarchiste est un libéral intransigeant." An anarchist is an uncomprimising liberal.
 -- Émile Faguet, Politiques et moralistes du dix-neuvième siècle, Vol. 1 (Paris: Société Française d'Imprimerie et de Librairie, c. 1898), p. 226.

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Last edited October 14, 2001 4:21 am by Fare (diff)