Anarcho Capitalism

John K Clark (
Tue, 24 Jun 1997 08:27:52 -0700 (PDT)


On Mon, 23 Jun 1997 Hagbard Celine <> Wrote:

>Where there exists a law, there must exist coercion, otherwise what
>is its point? And where there exists coercion, there exists something
>doing the coercing.

A society without coercion is impossible, I would never be so foolish as to
say otherwise. After all, force is what private protection agencies (PPA's)
are all about, but it's in their own self interest to keep it at a minimum.

>Why not just make an all encompassing contract (say, a Constitution)
>which one may choose to sign or not.

That would be fine, the trouble is I never signed it and have no desire to do
so, yet they say I am bound by it and I am. I don't have a death wish and
the government has much bigger guns that I do so when they say give me your
wallet, I do.

>We can name an arbitrator (say, a Supreme Court) which will
>interpret the terms of the contract.

If you and I are in a conflict with each other and even if we both agree that
we don't want the Supreme Court to be the final arbiter and we want somebody
else, it doesn't matter, we're stuck with those bozos.

>Anyone who signs the contract (we can call them "citizens")

Then I am not a citizen of any country, of course you will say that my heart
is beating and that is my implicit signature.

PPA's are not euphemisms for states because PPA's do not claim powers that
individuals do not have. There are only 3 ways to get somebody to do something
you want, love, trade, or force. I like to encourage the first two and keep
force to a minimum. Everybody agrees that force is justified in self defense
but government claims far more rights than that, more than any sane individual
or corporation would dream of. If government needs money they take it, if I
object to them stealing my property they will use force to get their booty,
as much force as they need to, up to and including a bullet in my brain.
They will NOT take "no" for an answer. If government needs labor to fight a
war or be on a jury they feel justified in enslaving me until the task is
accomplished. They'll make me an offer I can't refuse because I know that if
I do armed men will come to my house and drag me away. I don't think
government should not have more rights than individuals, but then of course,
it wouldn't be a government.

>are also allowed to live in a certain geographical area

You can join a PPA and live in any geographical area you want.

>Anarchy in the traditional sense is an absence of government.

Exactly, it is not the absence of law.

>Just look at the world prior to WWI. Treat each country as an
>individual person.

Treat horse manure as ice cream and you could have strawberries and ice cream,
if you had some strawberries.

>The history of international relations until WWI is a study in
>anarchy. Accordingly, the history of humanity is the history of war
>between nations in an anarchic system.

If there were no nations there would be no war between nations.

>While I see that it is anarchic, in some sense, to have all people
>contracting singly with all others in order to protect themselves,
>how can this be desirable? You can't make a contract with every
>single person you come into contact with.

Don't be foolish, nobody is saying make a separate contract with everybody on
earth, you just sign up with a PPA of your choice. The PPA makes contracts
with other PPA's about what laws to follow and how arbitration is to be
handled. You won't have total freedom of choice about what laws you want to
live by and who you want to judge you, but you'd have a lot more choice than
you have now.

>What about fraud, duress, or unconscionability?

Yes, those are problems unique to Anarchy, fraud and duress and
unconscionability are impossible today.

>It is similarly inane to attempt to treat each specifically. There
>must some things that are just "understood" as common to all and
>decent for all.

Obviously. If it was possible for law to be completely spelled out like a
theorem in Geometry then there would be no need for courts or arbitrators,
but it isn't so there is.

>I point to the only example I can of true anarchy -- the world at
>any point before WWI.

What about the Internet?

>the profit-motive is the final arbiter. In this situation, what does
>one measure one's profit in? Not dollars or francs or rubles, because
>a currency would require a large group contract which would "govern"
>its value.

"Money" is just something that is easy to transport, fungible, and a large
number of people think is valuable. Exactly the same thing would be true in a
world of Anarchy, except you would not be forced to use only the currency of
the nation you were living in. If somebody tried to tax you by inflation,
a great favorite among politicians today, you could just switch to a currency
that was more stable.

>What happens when a party declares his rubles to be worth more
>than the contract stipulates? Send a PPA after him?

I have no idea what that means.

>So then a weapons race among PPA's? Small tactical nukes built from
>the Anarchist's Cookbook?

Today we don't have small tactical nukes, we have huge multi-megaton doomsday
H- bombs.

>I foresee a very convoluted, and profitable weapons industry

I don't know what you mean by "convoluted" but yes, I expect it would be about
as profitable as the industry is now.

>not exactly world peace, and a waste of valuable resources which
>might be used for more transhuman pursuits.

It's true, a world without crime or war where everyone lived together in
peace love and happiness would be better than anything I described, so would
a world where the tooth fairy was real.

>But in the U.S. republic, there's nothing one idiot can do in four
>years that the next idiot can't undo in four years.

It takes far less than 4 years to kill you dead as a door nail. Only about 25
years ago the U.S. republic forced millions of its citizens to leave their
home and fight and often die in a idiotic war 12 thousand miles away that
they didn't believe in.

John K Clark

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