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Benson opines that, despite the lack of objectively measurable losses in such cases, "standardized rules that are generally perceived to be fair by members of the community would, in all likelihood, be established through precedent, allowing judgments to specify payments that are reasonably appropriate for most criminal offenses. But the robber's loss of reputation would be even more damaging. Specialized companies would list aggressors so that anyone wishing to do business with a man could first check his record.

The bank robber would find insurance companies listing him as a very poor risk, and other firms would be reluctant to enter into contracts with him. One difficult application of defensive aggression is the act of revolutionary violence including anarcho-capitalist revolution against tyrannical regimes. Many anarcho-capitalists admire the American Revolution as the legitimate act of individuals working together to fight against tyrannical restrictions of their liberties.

In fact, according to Rothbard, the American Revolutionary War was the only war involving the United States that could be justified. The two principal moral approaches to anarcho-capitalism differ in regard to whether anarcho-capitalist society is justified on deontological or consequentialist ethics, or both.

Natural-law anarcho-capitalism as advocated by Rothbard holds that a universal system of rights can be derived from natural law. Some other anarcho-capitalists do not rely upon the idea of natural rights, but instead present economic justifications for a free-market capitalist society. Such a latter approach has been offered by David D. Friedman in The Machinery of Freedom. Nor has he been inclined to attack economic efficiency as a normative benchmark.

Kosanke sees such a debate as irrelevant since, in the absence of statutory law, the non-aggression principle NAP is naturally enforced, because individuals are automatically held accountable for their actions via tort and contract law. Communities of sovereign individuals naturally expel aggressors in the same way that ethical business practices are naturally required among competing businesses that are subject to the discipline of the marketplace.

For him, the only thing that needs to be debated is the nature of the contractual mechanism that abolishes the state, or prevents it from coming into existence where new communities form. Anarchism, in both its collectivist and individualist forms, is usually considered a radical left-wing and anti-capitalist ideology that promotes socialist economic theories such as communism, syndicalism , and mutualism.

Uniformity of Rules Of Law: The Obviousness of Anarchy

Murray Rothbard argues that the capitalist system of today is, indeed, not properly anarchistic because it so often colludes with the state. According to Rothbard, "what Marx and later writers have done is to lump together two extremely different and even contradictory concepts and actions under the same portmanteau term.

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These two contradictory concepts are what I would call 'free-market capitalism' on the one hand, and 'state capitalism' on the other. Rothbard maintains that anarcho-capitalism is the only true form of anarchism — the only form of anarchism that could possibly exist in reality, as, he argues, any other form presupposes an authoritarian enforcement of political ideology, such as redistribution of private property. Moreover, anarcho-capitalists, as well as classical liberal minarchists, argue that the application of left-wing anarchist ideals would require an authoritarian body of some sort to impose it.

In order to forcefully prevent people from accumulating private capital, there would necessarily be a redistributive organization of some sort which would have the authority to, in essence, exact a tax and re-allocate the resulting resources to a larger group of people. This body would thus inherently have political power and would be nothing short of a state. The difference between such an arrangement and an anarcho-capitalist system is precisely the voluntary nature of organization within anarcho-capitalism contrasted with a centralized ideology and a paired enforcement mechanism which would be necessary under a coercively egalitarian-anarchist system.

However, Rothbard also wrote a piece, published posthumously, entitled 'Are Libertarians "Anarchists"? That none of the proclaimed anarchist groups correspond to the libertarian position, that even the best of them have unrealistic and socialistic elements in their doctrines", and furthermore, "We must therefore conclude that we are not anarchists, and that those who call us anarchists are not on firm etymological ground, and are being completely unhistorical.

On the other hand, it is clear that we are not archists either: we do not believe in establishing a tyrannical central authority that will coerce the noninvasive as well as the invasive. Perhaps, then, we could call ourselves by a new name: nonarchist. Classical liberalism is the primary influence with the longest history on anarcho-capitalist theory. Classical liberals have had two main themes since John Locke first expounded the philosophy: the liberty of man, and limitations of state power.

The liberty of man was expressed in terms of natural rights , while limiting the state was based for Locke on a consent theory. In the 19th century, classical liberals led the attack against statism.


Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe, 'That government is best which governs not at all'; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. The early liberals believed that the state should confine its role to protecting individual liberty and property, and opposed all but the most minimal economic regulations. The "normative core" of classical liberalism is the idea that in an environment of laissez-faire , a spontaneous order of cooperation in exchanging goods and services emerges that satisfies human wants.

So, they advocated what may be seen as classical liberalism taken to the extreme by only supporting voluntarily funded defense by competing private providers. One of the first liberals to discuss the possibility of privatizing protection of individual liberty and property was France's Jakob Mauvillon in the 18th century.

Later, in the s, Julius Faucher and Gustave de Molinari advocated the same. Molinari, in his essay The Production of Security , argued, "No government should have the right to prevent another government from going into competition with it, or to require consumers of security to come exclusively to it for this commodity. Historian and libertarian Ralph Raico argues that what these liberal philosophers "had come up with was a form of individualist anarchism, or, as it would be called today, anarcho-capitalism or market anarchism. This society versus state idea was expressed in various ways: natural society vs.

Later, in the early 20th century, the mantle of anti-state liberalism was taken by the Old Right. These were minarchists, anti-war, anti-imperialists, and later anti- New Dealers. In the s, the new "fusion conservatism", also called " cold war conservatism", took hold of the right wing in the U. This induced the libertarian Old Right to split off from the right, and seek alliances with the now left-wing antiwar movement, and to start specifically libertarian organizations such as the U. Libertarian Party. Rothbard was influenced by the work of the 19th-century American individualist anarchists [72] who were also influenced by classical liberalism.

In the winter of , influenced by several 19th century individualists anarchists, Rothbard decided to reject minimal state laissez-faire and embrace individualist anarchism. Tucker were unsurpassed as political philosophers and nothing is more needed today than a revival and development of the largely forgotten legacy they left to political philosophy.


The 19th century individualists had a labor theory of value , as influenced by the classical economists , but Rothbard was a student of Austrian Economics which does not agree with the labor theory of value. So, Rothbard sought to meld 19th-century American individualists' advocacy of free markets and private defense with the principles of Austrian economics: "There is, in the body of thought known as 'Austrian economics', a scientific explanation of the workings of the free market and of the consequences of government intervention in that market which individualist anarchists could easily incorporate into their political and social Weltanschauung".

Tucker thought that unregulated banking and money issuance would cause increases in the money supply so that interest rates would drop to zero or near to it. He says that first of all Tucker was wrong to think that that would cause the money supply to increase, because he says that the money supply in a free market would be self-regulating.

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If it were not, then inflation would occur, so it is not necessarily desirable to increase the money supply in the first place. Secondly, he says that Tucker is wrong to think that interest would disappear regardless, because people in general do not wish to lend their money to others without compensation so there is no reason why this would change just because banking was unregulated. Also, Tucker held a labor theory of value.

As a result, he thought that in a free market that people would be paid in proportion to how much labor they exerted and that if they were not then exploitation or "usury" was taking place. As he explains in State Socialism and Anarchism , his theory was that unregulated banking would cause more money to be available and that this would allow proliferation of new businesses, which would in turn raise demand for labor.

This led him to believe that the labor theory of value would be vindicated, and equal amounts of labor would receive equal pay. Again, as a neoclassical economist, Rothbard did not agree with the labor theory. He believed that prices of goods and services are proportional to marginal utility rather than to labor amounts in free market. And he did not think that there was anything exploitative about people receiving an income according to how much buyers of their services value their labor or what that labor produces.

Benjamin Tucker opposed vast concentrations of wealth, which he believed were made possible by government intervention and state protected monopolies. He believed the most dangerous state intervention was the requirement that individuals obtain charters in order to operate banks and what he believed to be the illegality of issuing private money, which he believed caused capital to concentrate in the hands of a privileged few which he called the "banking monopoly. Though he was a supporter of laissez-faire, late in life he said that State intervention had allowed some extreme concentrations of resources to such a degree that even if laissez-faire were instituted, it would be too late for competition to be able to release those resources he gave Standard Oil as an example.

They, like all Austrian economists, believe that monopolization is facilitated and expanded through government intervention.

Auberon Herbert, Voluntaryist

Of particular importance to anarcho-capitalists and Tucker and Spooner are the ideas of "sovereignty of the individual", a market economy, and the opposition to collectivism. A defining point upon which they agree is that defense of liberty and property should be provided in the free market rather than by the State.

Tucker said, "[D]efense is a service like any other service; that it is labor both useful and desired, and therefore an economic commodity subject to the law of supply and demand; that in a free market this commodity would be furnished at the cost of production; that, competition prevailing, patronage would go to those who furnished the best article at the lowest price; that the production and sale of this commodity are now monopolized by the State; and that the State, like almost all monopolists, charges exorbitant prices.

Legal scholar Bruce Benson notes: [79].

Philosophical Anarchism

The basic political unit was the family, which had a leader, but not in the sense of a political ruler, as Hoebel notes: [80] "Although he leads the family in legal and economic enterprise, its members think of him more as an integrating core than as a head who in any way dominates. They did not settle these disputes through warfare, but through arbitration by a voluntarily contracted "monkalun". Benson notes: [79].

The Kapauku Papuans were a primitive linguistic group of about 45, living by means of horticulture in the western part of the central highlands of West New Guinea until well past the middle of the 20th century. Benson observes: [79]. Those who were rich and considered to be honest and generous became leaders called "tonowi". However, they held no coercive authority over others. Legal disputes were handled through contractual arbitration, which was enforced ultimately by the threat of being outlawed and ostracized by all members of one's confederation.

Economist and libertarian scholar Bryan Caplan cites the free cities of medieval Europe as important examples of anarchist or nearly anarchistic societies: [82]. According to the libertarian theorist David D. Friedman , "Medieval Icelandic institutions have several peculiar and interesting characteristics; they might almost have been invented by a mad economist to test the lengths to which market systems could supplant government in its most fundamental functions. Long observes how the system of free contract between farmers and chieftains was threatened when harassment from Norwegian kings that began around AD forced the people of Iceland to accept Christianity as the national religion, which paved the way for the introduction of a compulsory tax in AD which was to be compulsorily paid to the local chieftain who owned a churchstead.

This gave an unfair advantage to some chieftains who, at least in part, did not need to rely upon the voluntary support of their clients in order to receive some income.

This gradually lead to the concentration of power in the hands of a few big chieftains, enabling them to restrict competition and eventually establish effective monopolies. Although the Commonwealth was politically stable for over three centuries, longer than any democracy has lasted, its eventual down fall was brought about, according to Long, "not through having too much privatization, but through having too little. According to the research of Terry L.

Anderson and P. Hill, the Old West in the United States in the period of to was similar to anarcho-capitalism in that "private agencies provided the necessary basis for an orderly society in which property was protected and conflicts were resolved," and that the common popular perception that the Old West was chaotic with little respect for property rights is incorrect.

Benson explains: [86]. According to Anderson, "Defining anarcho-capitalist to mean minimal government with property rights developed from the bottom up, the western frontier was anarcho-capitalistic. People on the frontier invented institutions that fit the resource constraints they faced.

Murray Rothbard in his work For a New Liberty has claimed ancient Gaelic Ireland as an example of nearly anarcho-capitalist society. Civil disputes were settled by private arbiters called "brehons", and the compensation to be paid to the wronged party was insured through voluntary surety relationships. Commenting on the "kings" of tuaths, Rothbard states:.

Many libertarian historians [90] [91] [92] have cited Law Merchant , Admiralty law and early Common law as examples of anarcho-capitalism. In his work, "Power and Market", Rothbard states:.