Anarcho-Capitalism

Anarcho-Capitalism is a system devised to promote liberty without the need of a government. In the place of an agency designed to protect individual rights, Anarcho-Capitalism involves the competition of several such agencies. The belief that this will promote liberty and efficiency stems from economics, where competition of companies produce better products at a lower price.

Anarcho-Capitalism misunderstands one of the most essential goals of government. Any particular use of force must be judged by others in society as either an initiation of force or retaliatory force. Any initiation of force is a threat to everyone, not just the particular victim. Anarcho-capitalism assumes that only the two agencies (criminal's and victim's) would be involved. In reality, the primarily role of government is to judge this use of force. In practice, whichever force is dominant in the region will make their judgments stick. This is called government. It is not only necessary, but unavoidable.

Anarcho-capitalism rests on the several flawed notions. First, that putting force on the marketplace will produce positive results. Since markets only produce positive results when the use of force is banned, it is a non-sequitor to say that competition will produce better government. Also, the results of the market are good by the standard of the value-judgments of individuals. It is impossible to say that liberty is what they value.

A second flaw is that it requires a single rule to be followed by all the protection agencies. That they do no bar competition through the use of force. But this is absurd. Today we have governments that do not allow competition. Why do anarcho-capitalists think they can count on this?

Another basic assumption is that if people don't like a particular agency, they can give their money to another instead. Well, if this were true, why don't they do it today? The fact is, an agency, since it deals in force, can force people to be its "customers". Anarcho-capitalists evade this fact.

Anarcho-capitalism is an imaginary construct that cannot exist in reality. It is based on flawed understanding of government, society, and economics.


Copyright 2001 by Jeff Landauer and Joseph Rowlands