POL: Anarchism vs Limited Government

Billy Brown (bbrown@conemsco.com)
Wed, 24 Mar 1999 12:59:30 -0600

mark@unicorn.com wrote:
> Sorry? You've kept commenting about how we should stick with governments
> because we don't know what might happen in an anarcho-capitalist society.
> What reason other than fear or a desire for control would you have to do
> that?

Actually, what I said was that we should stick with limited, constitutional government because we can build one that will work fairly well. I am not in favor of an anarcho-capitalist system of government because we have no idea how it will really behave, and the potential for catastrophic problems seems large.

Now, I know you probably think 'anarcho-capitalist government' is an oxymoron, but it isn't. Any entity that makes and enforces laws is a government. A PPA is simply a weak government with completely uncontrolled borders. If the police and the courts are run by different companies, then the whole system is a government (albeit an even weaker one). The only way you can be free of government is to have pure anarchy - and then you are living in a Hobbesian state of nature, from which governments will inevitably arise.

So, my preference is for a single weak government that can be constrained with well-understood tools. I don't favor anarcho-capitalist schemes because I do not believe that the market is capable of constraining violence, and I expect that police corporations of any kind would simply grow into a new kind of police state.

> See, you look on nukes as a problem and universal surveillance or brain
> implants as a solution. I see nukes as a way for oppressed minorities to
> get their freedom. Then you're suprised that people think you're more
> interested in control and safety than freedom.

I see cheap nukes as a problem because all they are really good for is killing millions of innocent civilians. I see universal surveillance and mind control as monstrosities that oppressive states will happily embrace as soon as they are feasible. I mentioned them because I believe in dealing with the world as it really is, not as I wish it to be.

You may be willing to risk your life on a long list of breezy assumptions about how everything is bound to go your way. Feel free. I think your experiment will end in disaster, but you are more than welcome to give it a try.

Meanwhile, my goal is a system that will deliver almost exactly the same degree of freedom as yours, without anything like the same potential for catastrophe. I fail to see what is supposed to be so terrible about that.

Billy Brown, MCSE+I