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Anarcho-capitalism

Anarcho-capitalism is a view that regards all forms of the state as unnecessary and harmful, particularly in matters of justice and self-defense. It synthesizes certain ideas from the tradition of classical liberalism (see libertarianism) and arguably from individualist anarchism as well. It opposes "traditional" anarchism on the issue of private property; while anarchists such as libertarian socialists and individualist anarchists reject all property beyond personal possessions as a form of authority, anarcho-capitalism embraces the established forms of property as an element of liberty.


Anarcho-capitalists promote individual property rights and free markets (in the sense of freedom from government interference) as the most just and effective way to organize all services. They see the definition of property rights through contracts and common law as a universal mechanism to solve conflicts. They regard capitalist businesses as being the product of voluntary contracts and thus a legitimate and efficient way for people to organize, with freedom to choose a competitor or to enter competition as the universal way to preserve and promote quality in services. This analysis includes all goods and services, including those which the state has traditionally claimed as its natural monopoly — such as police or military forces (though only for defensive purposes) and justice through courts of arbitration.

Thus, anarcho-capitalists hold their position to be a form of anarchism. Anarcho-capitalists repudiate all forms of state control — including taxation, coercive regulation, aggressive war, and coercive monopoly on the use of defensive force — as violations of essential individual rights. They reject these forms of coercive control whether they are exercised by state officials or by private agents; they oppose them on the grounds that they are violations of rights, not necessarily because they are committed by governments.

Anarcho-capitalism has also been called private-property anarchism, free market anarchism, anarcho-liberalism, neo-classical liberalism, anti-state capitalism, and free-market fundamentalism. Some consider it to be identical to panarchy, and critics often accuse it of reducing to plutocracy in practice.

Contents

Philosophical roots

Classical liberal tradition

Classical liberalism is one of the primary sources of anarcho-capitalist thought, and many anarcho-capitalists think of themselves more as an anarchist flavor of classical liberalism than a capitalist flavor of anarchism. Many consider non-anarchist libertarians as friends who make the relatively minor (but nonetheless significant) mistake of accepting some form of government, while regarding anti-capitalist anarchists as dangerous collectivists with whom they have little in common. Other anarcho-capitalists, however, have formed alliances with the Left in the past, and have sought bridge-building with anti-capitalist anarchists more than with other pro-capitalists. (One of the most prominent examples of the latter tendency was Murray Rothbard and his journal Left and Right during the Vietnam War era; one of the most prominent examples of the former tendency was Murray Rothbard's paleolibertarianism during the 1980s and 1990s.)

A descendant of classical liberalism, anarcho-capitalism is based on a conception of individual liberty which incorporates private property and on natural law. Libertarian scholars have, since the inception, studied society from the point of view of dynamic emerging orders, which in recent times has been explicitly associated with the economic theory of F. A. Hayek and with the discipline of cybernetics. Their tradition can be traced back to John Locke and the seventeenth century English Levellers, as well as to earlier French and British economists and philosophers; some count Aristotle as an early classical liberal, and some even interpret Lao Zi as an anarchist.

The classical liberal tradition has always been characterized by distrust of the State and calls to limit its power, but it was not until the 19th century that some classical liberals began to make explicit arguments for the abolition of monopoly government. Classical liberals have always argued for as little government as possible; minarchists in the classical liberal tradition have argued that some government was necessary or desirable to protect rights, whereas anarchists have argued that monopoly government can — and should — be abolished completely. Many (perhaps most) classical liberals today simply do not raise the question of whether government as such is something legitimate or desirable; most have treated the State as something inevitable, in practice if not in principle, for the foreseeable future, and hence think of anarcho-capitalism (if they think of it at all) as an irrelevant dream.

The earliest classical liberal thinker who advocated a complete theory of anti-state liberalism is Gustave de Molinari, beginning in 1849. (Before Molinari, some liberal revolutionaries in Britain and America had endorsed anarchy without theorizing it, and some French economists had begun theorizing it without endorsing it.) The anti-state liberal tradition in Europe and the United States continued after Molinari in the early writings of Herbert Spencer, as well as in thinkers such as Paul Emile de Puydt, Auberon Herbert, and Albert Jay Nock.

There is somewhat more controversy concerning the relationship of individualist anarchists such as Max Stirner, Henry David Thoreau, Lysander Spooner, and Benjamin Tucker to the anti-state liberal tradition. Anarcho-capitalists typically claim them as intellectual forbearers; critics of anarcho-capitalism often argue against that claim by noting that each of these individuals rejected essential aspects of the modern capitalist marketplace. For example, Spooner rejected wage labor, Tucker argued against usury and described his project as "voluntary socialism," and Stirner argued against the very application of property. Anarcho-capitalists, on the other hand, emphasize the individualists' critique of collectivist politics, and point out that the individualists denounced the use of violence to oppose the economic relationships that they considered exploitative. Critics sometimes respond that while the nature of social organization and the use of violence were considered important issues, they were not believed to be cornerstones of anarchist theory, whereas opposition to capitalism was universal amongst historical anarchists and generally considered just as important as opposition to the state.

The term anarcho-capitalism was first adopted by anti-state liberals during the 1950s, especially under the influence of Murray Rothbard. This new generation of thinkers was heavily influenced by the introduction of Austrian School economics by Ludwig von Mises and other classical liberal thinkers who had fled the rise of Nazism and now taught in the U.S.A.. The fusion of European and American traditions was found especially in Rothbard, who studied under von Mises, and was passed on to many other prominent anarcho-capitalists, including David Friedman, Jan Narveson, Anthony de Jasay , Gary Greenberg , Walter Block and Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

Individualist Anarchist tradition

Many anarcho-capitalists also locate themselves within the tradition of individualist anarchism. Like the individualist anarchists, they reject the State and endorse a society based entirely on free association, though they disagree with individualists on exactly what is entailed by free association. Many anarcho-capitalists were also 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). Anarcho-capitalists also follow in the individualist anarchist condemnation of all forms of collective coercion, though again they disagree in some places on what exactly constitutes collective coercion.

The relationship between anarcho-capitalist and individualist anarchist economic views is somewhat more complex. Some of the difficulty 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 violent intervention from the State. Some individualist anarchists, on the other hand, used "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 individualist anarchists. For example, they disagree on many arrangements which are pervasive in today's marketplace. Contrary to individualist anarchists, most anarcho-capitalists do not reject those phenomena such as wage labor, rent, and corporate organization of commerce as unlikely to arise in, or incompatible with, a free society. Further, anarcho-capitalists often repudiate the arguments of Spooner, Tucker, and other individualist anarchists who rejected these institutions as economically inefficient or morally illegitimate.

In any case, both anarcho-capitalists and individualist anarchists agree with the principle that in a free society, everyone should be free to organize themselves into any voluntary economic order that they wish (i.e., in any way that respects particular conceptions of individual rights) — whether in mutualist cooperatives, in independent family-run businesses, etc. Anarcho-capitalists merely defend capitalism (in the first sense of the term) as a legitimate choice among these forms of organization, and argue that it is the choice which is the most efficient for a prosperous and vital community — but one which they should not and will not impose on others by force.

Many modern individualist and collectivist anarchists, on the other hand, criticize the anarcho-capitalist reading of the 19th century individualists and the philosophy of anarchism in general, arguing that the individualist rejection of capitalist practices is essential to individualist anarchism. These anarchists typically reject anarcho-capitalist claims to belong to the individualist anarchist tradition as a serious distortion of individualist anarchist thought.

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 most anarchists, who believe that capitalist economic relations constitute a form of social domination, and thus contradict the fundamental anarchist belief in freedom.

Utilitarian vs. Natural Law Approaches

Libertarians in general, and anarcho-capitalists in particular, have developed two different approaches to their theories, from a utilitarian point of view, or from a point of view of natural law. Some of them defend one approach and dismiss the other, whereas some of them, like Bastiat, claim an inherent harmony or correspondence between the two complementary approaches.

The Natural Law approach (see for instance Murray Rothbard and his book Power and Market, or Chapter 10 of Hans-Hermann Hoppe's book The Economics and Ethics of Private Property [1]) argues that the existence of the state is immoral, and that unlimited capitalism is the only ethical political system, or rather anti-political system. The Utilitarian approach (see for instance David Friedman) argues that abolition of the state in favour of private businesses is economically more efficient. The Harmonic approach argues both as equivalent statements.

The notion of property rights is a fundamental element of anarcho-capitalism. The Natural Law approach argues for the natural right of humans to own their body and the result of their work, that they can use or refuse to use as they like, as long as they do not attempt to use or forcibly transfer the property of someone else. The Utilitarian approach argues that defining property rights in this manner is the most efficient way to prevent destructive conflicts between individuals and to foster productive efforts. Actually, under this approach, ownership of one's body together with the respect of earlier claims naturally entails ownership of the results of one's marginal work, since someone who owns one's own body could withhold work if refused the ownership of its results.

Anarcho-capitalism rejects every and all kinds of "positive rights", while defending "negative rights". It differs from minarchist libertarianism only in that it considers that "being protected by others" is also a positive service that must be rejected as a right, and that one can't claim protection by government, but must take personal steps or organize with others, so as to enforce the respect of one's property.

Anarcho-Capitalism and the environment

Anarcho-capitalists argue that private property allows people who care for nature to protect whatever is valuable about it. Indeed, they point out, when individuals own a certain portion of a natural ecosystem, that means there is someone who is interested in the preservation of its capital, and someone who can hold people who damage it responsible for torts. Anarcho-capitalists frequently argue that most of the worst-polluted land and water on the planet is government-owned, and claim that this is due to the lack of incentives for good stewardship of government-owned land (putting control of natural resources in the hands of government agents, they argue, effectively creates an externality problem and results in decision-makers far more likely to cut political deals with well-connected corporations than a private owner would). The nationalization of nature by governments, and their delegitimation of homesteading, is thus argued to be one of the primary causes of pollution. One example often cited is the number of wild-life species that were endangered in South Africa while they were administered by the government, some of which now prosper after privatization because farmers and villagers now own them and have interest in their continued existence (as game, tourist attractions, biological capital, etc.). More generally, anarcho-capitalists argue that if any resource is in the hands of people who have disrespect for it, and undervalue it, then a completely free market (including freedom from government monopolization of unclaimed resources) allows people who do respect and value this resource the opportunity to make an exchange for what they value and acquire it for protection or responsible use.

Critics of these views argue that when individuals own a certain portion of a natural ecosystem, they may have a variety of interests that conflict with the preservation of that ecosystem. For example, they may wish to destroy it and build something else on that land, or they may wish to exploit its resources rather than preserve the ecosystem in its natural state. Indeed, critics point out that the main driving force in a capitalist system is profit, and that there is usually very little profit to be made in preserving a forest, for example. Opening it up for logging would most likely result in a higher revenue, and thus individuals have an incentive to destroy the natural ecosystem for personal gain. In general, critics argue that the people who value a resource (and who have an interest in purchasing it) tend to value it for the profit it can generate, rather than for any natural beauty. Thus, they claim that the free market approach advocated by anarcho-capitalists would result in all (or most) as-yet unspoiled ecosystems being owned by large businesses with an interest in exploiting them for profit.

Anarcho-Capitalism, Corporations, and Contracts

While anarcho-capitalists believe that private businesses born out of voluntary contracts are the best (most moral and most efficient) way to conduct human affairs, they do not support corporations as currently are supported by governments. All anarcho-capitalists criticize government-enforced privileges for corporations in the form of various subsidies and protectionist barriers to the free movement of people and trade, subsidies and regulations concerning official "workers" and "employers", disproportionate protection for official work contracts as opposed to other private contracts, and so on. More radically, many anarcho-capitalists argue that the traditional government protection of limited liability for corporations is an illegitimate form of protectionism that insulates corporate owners from full responsibility for their actions, and harms those who are denied the right to sue them for damage or debt.

To anarcho-capitalists, contracts in general, and employment contracts in particular, are but a particular case of voluntary exchange of property (property of one's time and work, of one's goods and capitals, etc.), that individuals may freely get involved in. Individuals may take any legitimate steps within their property, including the self-defensive use of force, to protect whatever they have gained from such contracts. On the other hand, they do not deserve any special protection above and beyond the protection of the peaceful exchange: just because two (or more) individuals agreed something together at some time does not mean they are entitled to any protection from each other, from third parties, or from the accidents of life.

More generally, anarcho-capitalists do not recognize any monopoly authority for declaring any arrangement "official" as opposed to other "unofficial" things. Thus, for anarcho-capitalists, no-one has the rightful authority to enforce special benefits or penalties for "official" arrangements above beyond the legal status already given any other private contractual arrangement.

One illustration might be the present debate over same-sex marriage. For anarcho-capitalists, both sides of the debate operate on fundamentally flawed premises. Opponents of same-sex marriage on the Right argue that the State should give special status to the family arrangements of heterosexual couples who enter into an "official" marriage, and inflict special penalties on same-sex couples by refusing to give legal status to their private family arrangements. Liberal advocates of same-sex marriage, on the other hand, argue that both heterosexual and same-sex couples should be allowed to enter into an "official" marriage and gain special benefits from the State. Anarcho-capitalists differ from both positions: they deny the legitimacy of distinguishing between "official" and "unofficial" family arrangements, and argue that no-one should receive special legal benefits. Thus, they argue that in a free society any group of two (or more, for that matter) consenting adults have the right to set down a private agreement about family arrangements, and that that private agreement is as good in legal terms as any other.

As with corporations, anarcho-capitalists assert that a private agreement between two or more parties does not place a duty on anyone else and that, rather, private individuals have every right to choose for themselves whether or not to smile upon the family arrangements that particular consenting adults make. Thus, the owner of an insurance company that disagrees with same-sex marriages should not be forced to extend benefits to same-sex partners; on the other hand, the owner of an insurance company who endorses same-sex marriages has every right to extend benefits to same-sex partners that he wishes. Gay liberation activists are free to boycott the first provider and support the second provider; Christian conservatives are free to boycott the second and support the first. The same principle applies to all other providers of goods and services, as well as employers and employees. Anarcho-capitalists argue that no restrictions should be imposed on their choice of customers, business partners, employees, etc. For example, an employer with racist views should be allowed to hire people based on racial standards, and a shopkeeper with very strong views for (or against) a certain religion should be allowed to refuse the entry of people with other religious views into his shop.

Anarcho-capitalists have very widely differing social views, ranging from the conservative and sometimes religious paleolibertarians to moderate and extreme social libertarians. As such, they tend to disagree about which of these arrangements are best. What they don't disagree about is which of these communities ought to be legal--assuming that they do not interfere with the property claims of other communities, they should all be allowed in a free society. Most anarcho-capitalists expect that different communities will tend to coalesce around different social norms and attitudes; within these communities, more common forms of private arrangements will have more extensive jurisprudence than less common forms, and thus lower enforcement costs, which might make some arrangements more common than others. The only important political issue, however, is that people are free from the threat of "illegitimate" violence no matter which community they live in, and that they can freely move from one community to another (if they have the resources to do so, that is). As long as that is the case, there may be many arguments about fairness or virtue, but there are no arguments of legality.

Anarcho-capitalism and violence

Anarcho-capitalists, like classical liberals in general, argue that the use of violence should be restricted to self-defense of person and property. A few anarcho-capitalists are outright pacifists, but most defend the right to use force in defense of person or property against criminal acts, and many argue that the defensive use of force may include revolutionary violence against tyrannical regimes or even war against dangerous imperialist or terrorist foreign states. However, even though they might approve of violence as legitimate in certain cases; even though they may concede that governments, having monopolized the means of violence, are the ones who currently are to enact this violence; they believe that governments should yield this monopoly of violence, and let individuals organize freely to better handle such situations. (One prominent example of such mixed feelings is the admiration that many anarcho-capitalists express for the American Revolution. Many anarcho-capitalists see the American Revolution as the legitimate act of individuals working together to fight against tyrannical restrictions of their liberties, but also sharply criticize the Revolutionaries for the some of the means used — taxes, conscription, inflationary money — and the limitations of the result achieved — a system involving a government.)

However, whether or not a given group of anarcho-capitalists thinks that forceful resistance and revolutionary violence are legitimate, the vast majority of anarcho-capitalists think that gradual change through education and modification of public opinion are more reasonable as a strategy. The use of force is seen as a dangerous tool at best, and violent insurrection is usually seen as a last resort. (Some anarcho-capitalists argue for a third option: simply circumventing the State by working to found a libertarian society in some territory uncontrolled by statists.)

Arguments for and against Anarcho-Capitalism

Anarcho-capitalism being a radical development of liberalism, the same general arguments for and against liberalism, laissez-faire capitalism and capitalism usually apply, except as regards the justice system, in which anarcho-capitalism is more specific and differs from the classical liberal tradition.

A common misunderstanding about liberalism in general, and anarcho-capitalism in particular, is to consider them as economic or political theories. They are not. They are theories of Law — of what is or isn't legitimate to do. This in particular is used to refute the affirmations according to which today's society or any society is already libertarian, since everyone is ultimately free to obey or disobey and chooses to abide by the rules of the system: indeed, libertarians have a theory of "natural law", i.e. law as it should be; and as long as positive law (law as it is acknowledged) doesn't match natural law, the society is not libertarian. In particular, the right of anyone to secede from a government he considers unfit should be respected (see secession and urban secession). If not, then non-cooperation is morally justified (see civil disobedience).

Parallel arguments are made by other movements with a similar belief in the existence of natural law, but a different conception of what that law implies for human behavior. For instance, the green movement contains a strong strain of green anarchism with a concept of natural law based on the science of ecology, and more minimalist advocates of eco-anarchism. The convergence between these movements and tenets of syndicalism and anarcho-capitalism leads some to observe that green politics can sometimes be libertarian, and some political positions, e.g. the green tax shift, resemble measures advised by libertarians and anarcho-capitalists. Such measures, very broadly stated, tend to degrade special status of debt (which takes a strong state to guarantee and collect) but sees profit as the basis of prosperity .

This common strength of movements with different concepts of natural law is one of the main arguments for anarcho-capitalism: it accommodates much diversity.

However they see diversity or biodiversity as a value, there is some role accepted by most anarcho-capitalists for strong centralization of some powers, particularly if those are achieved by persuasion and good service , and restricting centralized power would put restrictions on property rights.

Neither Natural Law Nor Utility

Criticism of anarcho-capitalism can focus on either of its two variants, or on the elements they share. The Natural Law approach encounters criticism from those who maintain that human beings cannot be considered property, even their own, and/or that private property in general is illegitimate (or immoral), or that private ownership of natural resources is so in particular.

Libertarian socialists agree with anarcho-capitalists that one has a right to own one's own labor, but some at least would argue that no such right exists in the case of natural resources; since natural resources are ultimately required in the construction of any object. Those libertarian socialists who make this argument might conclude that all property is illegitimate.

Criticism of the utilitarian approach argues that anarcho-capitalism does not maximize utility; indeed, most critics contend that it falls far short of that goal. This kind of criticism comes from a variety of different political views and ideologies, and different critics have different views on which other system brings the greatest benefits to the greatest number of people.

Defense Agencies and Monopoly

One of the most common criticisms of anarcho-capitalist prescriptions is that, in practice, the free market "defensive agencies" that they envision providing defense services will collapse into monopoly governments, creating (at best) local governments controlled by market wealth in the place of larger constitutional governments. This amounts to arguing either (a) that governments represent natural monopolies rather than coercive monopolies on the defensive use of force, or (b) that anarcho-capitalism will make it more likely for coercive monopolies (in the form of local plutocracies) to form. Considering the merits or demerits of this charge requires a consideration of the anarcho-capitalist understanding of monopoly.

Anarcho-capitalists are not opposed to natural monopolies (or de facto monopolies, in which a company happens to currently be the only provider of some service due); rather, they are opposed only to coercive monopolies (or de jure monopolies, in which a company or a cartel of companies is guaranteed a monopoly through the use of political force). Or rather, to be more precise, anarcho-capitalists are not politically opposed to natural monopolies--that is, they do not advocate the use of political force to prevent them or break them up. Many anarcho-capitalists are economically opposed to natural monopolies or quasi-monopolies as inefficient methods of production, and may support economic actions against natural monopolies that abuse their market position, such as boycotts and worker strikes. 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. They argue that if goods or services come at prices that are too high or quality that is too low, customers will look for alternatives, and entrepreneurs will soon be able to make a killing by entering into the monopolist's market. Thus, moral purchasing rather than political force is the motto of libertarians in general, and anarcho-capitalists in particular. Applying this reasoning to the protection of individual property rights, most anarcho-capitalists do not fear the emergence of local monopolies or oligopolies in the justice market — as long as the individual right to secede and choose a new defense agency, or start a new one yourself, is respected.

Another related argument, characteristic of opposing anarchist views, is to deny the claim that natural monopolies cannot be coercive. This view holds that capitalist defense agencies and the owners who employ them would constitute de facto monopoly governments in themselves due both to the economic powers they hold and their exclusive right to legitimate defense of those properties they claim. Proponents of this view say that a cooperative group which sets to enforce its claims in such a manner, without accounting for the active involvement of dissenting parties, would amount to the very same monopoly on violence that anarcho-capitalists claim to reject. As such, some hold anarcho-capitalist businesses to be identical to a state in all but name - thus incompatible with anarchism.

Anarcho-capitalists were the first group to claim the title anarchist while expressly embracing private property and capital. Given this, many anarchists have questioned the legitimacy of the title "anarcho-capitalist," claiming that anarchism is essentially antithetical to capital relations due to their perception that capitalism inhibits individual freedom. Because these forms of anarchism originally arose, in part, to decry capital relations, anarchists of many different factions have a diverse set of arguments against property (which some distinguish from possession). All of these arguments, some of which occupy the space of several books, would thus apply as arguments against anarcho-capitalism. One brief example of such an argument is to consider private property an institution enforced privilege, and so regard individual or collective defense of it to be a form of coercive violence used to oppress non-owners. Anarcho-capitalists, on the other hand, 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. There are several critical responses and counter-responses to these arguments and others.


Some of these conflicts are the result of debates over fundamental perspectives on issues of social organization, justice systems , property, self-defense, and so on. Many anarchists approach these from a socialist standpoint, whereas anarcho-capitalists consider any kind of collectivist politic as oppression of the political minority by the political majority. In response, collectivist anarchists tend to argue that anarcho-capitalism would involve the oppression of the political majority by the economic minority, and that collectives based on consensus would by definition not be able to oppress a political minority.

Other anarchists, like the individualists, are also wary of collective arguments, but critique anarcho-capitalism on other grounds. For example, some individualists argue from the labor theory of value to conclude that capital enforcement, and thus the institutions of rent and interest, are destructive of free market relations. Others argue that wage labor is exploitative and thus incompatible with individual freedom. Still others, like the egoists, deny the validity of property claims altogether, arguing that they are mere "spooks," nothing more than figments of the mind that serve no essential purpose.

These debates, in turn, are often seen as fruitless by anarchists who view the "left-right spectrum" as an irreconcilable and artificial abstraction that simply institutionalizes debate about an existing property rights system, as opposed to examining the life-purposes fulfilled by such entities. One such example is "Greens and Libertarians: the Yin and Yang of our political future", in which Dan Sullivan , a Libertarian from the United States, explores common attitudes about monopoly and draws a new bottom-to-top spectrum, claiming that the Green and Libertarian political movements disagreed on the appropriate scale of solutions, but that they generally saw many of the same problems and disdained left-right arguments. The common belief in natural law made it at least possible to debate differences amiably, in a way that the traditional worker-manager divide did not permit.

Crypto-anarchism

The development of the internet and cryptographic methods raises a new possibility for achieving some aspects of anarcho-capitalism on the internet (or 'in cyberspace'). Pseudonymous communication allows services, especially information services (e.g. consulting, translation, programming, etc.), to be provided without revealing the physical identity of the person providing a service in exchange for anonymous electronic money. As laws can not be enforced without knowing the identity of people, the relevant laws become irrelevant. (As even the location (country) of the individuals are unknown, it is not even clear which country's laws will be ignored. In a sense, 'cyberspace' can be regarded as an independent territory.)

See also: libertarianism, anarchism, panarchism, capitalism, classical liberalism, crypto-anarchism, Ama-gi, Libertatis ∆quilibritas.

Anarcho-Capitalism in fiction

Anarcho-capitalism has been examined in certain works of literature, particularly science fiction. Vernor Vinge's short story "The Ungoverned" depicts anarcho-capitalists defending against an invading government. Example contract corporations in this story include Big Al' Protection Racket (a police service) and Justice, Inc. Anarcho-capitalism is also discussed in Vinge's novels The Peace War and Marooned in Realtime , which both occur in the same literary milieu as "The Ungoverned". The short story "Conquest by Default" depicts an anarcho-capitalist alien race which prevents monopolistic groups via antitrust religious customs.

Anarcho-capitalism also plays a major role in Neal Stephenson's novels Snow Crash and Diamond Age. In Snow Crash, territory is primarily controlled by corporate franchises, such as "Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong" and "Nova Sicilia," with privately-operated police forces and justice systems. Robert Heinlein's novel The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress also contains some descriptions of an anarcho-capitalist society.

External links

Anarcho-Capitalism Websites

Opposing Views




Last updated: 12-15-2004 11:39:34