Re: BASICS: Anarcho-capitalism

Max More (
Mon, 23 Jun 1997 10:27:02 -0700

At 10:15 AM 6/22/97 +0000, Mark wrote:
>On Sun, 22 Jun 1997, Hagbard Celine wrote:
>> What?! I interpret this to mean that you can subscribe to what people
>> call "legal systems" and still be an anarchist. If I'm wrong, tell me.
>Uh, yes. I think you need to read David Friedman's work; try

Seconded. Friedman's book is surely the best single source. My own
introduction back in 1981 was Murray Rothbard's For a New Liberty. I'd
still recommend Rothbard as a secondary source. Where he goes wrong is in
expecting all agencies to enforce his libertarian constitution. Friedman
instead applies economic analysis to argue that the agencies would have
incentive leading them to a highly (but not 100%) libertarian result.

>Read 'The Machinery Of Freedom'; it will do a much better job and avoid
>cluttering the list. You also might like to consider changing your
>pseudonym, since 'Hagbard Celine' was a confirmed anarchist.

I was surprised at Hagbard's unfamiliarity with anarcho-capitalism. I took
it that the original Hagbard Celine (my favorite character in Shea and
Wilson's Illuminatus!) was an anarcho-capitalist. That book has a special
place with me, since it's the first place I ever heard of libertarian
ideas. I thought, to my frustration, that they were only fictional until I
came across an ad for The Alternative Bookshop in London. In 1981 I sent an
inquiry to them and received a bunch of leaflets with titles like "Taxation
is Theft". I bought For a New Liberty, then Nozick's Anarchy, State, and
Utopia and was hooked! (At that time the number of libertarians in England
probably didn't exceed 300.)

Apart from introducing me to anarcho-capitalism through the fictional
Hagbard, I have to thank Robert Anton Wilson for first showing me that
cryonics was done for real, through the sad story of his daughter Luna's
suspension in Cosmic Trigger. Anyone else find their way to these ideas
through Wilson?



Max More, Ph.D.
President, Extropy Institute:,
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