Re: POLI: Forest fire amendment

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Thu, 20 Feb 1997 15:50:14 -0800 (PST)

> ...if anarchists were forced to acknowledge the necessity (one way
> or another) of some government...

I think the terms "anarchy" and "anarchocapitalism" do a disservice
to the cause by emphasizing what isn't really the point. No A-C wants
the complete lack of those things we now call government; indeed, an
A-C society would operate day-to-day pretty much as a young republic
would. The point is monopoly by force: we don't oppose government
per se, just forcible monopoly government. We want government to be
competitive and voluntary.

How about a better term: "agoriarchy"? Rule by the free market. This
emphasizes not the absence of rules, but the moral justification for
those rules--voluntary agreement. It's interesting that your sentence
above explicitly uses the word "forced"; necessity is its own argument,
and needs no advocates. If something is truly necessary, belief or
disbelief won't change that. What I find particularly puzzling is the
firmly-held mystical belief that there is something magical--some inner
"governmentness"--that makes a forced monopoly better at providing
certain services than the marketplace. What is a government but an
organization that provides a product (defense of rights), and why
should that organization not operate like any other in the marketplace?

> So a fair midpoint might be to pass an amendment with
> language like "one year from today, all laws enacted prior to today will
> be null and void." (The overlap is to allow continuity between
> re-enactments, although testing the effects of a gap in the law could be
> interesting.) It would also provide for the re-occurence of this sweep
> on some 10, 20, or 30 year cycle. It should also include term limits
> for legislators, now easily justifiable as it makes no sense to get rid
> of laws if the exact same people who passed them originally are still in
> office. A bumper sticker could be "Term limits for laws, not just
> Congressmen!".

I like the flavor of that idea as a step in the right direction. You
might even be able to pass a more limited version. Say, "all laws
expire 30 years after they are first passed, and must be explicitly
renewed to continue". That's less like a forest fire and more like
thinning the old from the population.

Lee Daniel Crocker <>