Re: POL: Anarchism vs Limited Government

Bryan Moss (
Thu, 8 Apr 1999 18:24:13 +0100

Billy Brown wrote:
> Since I can see I'm not having much luck getting my point
> across, I'm going to go back to square one in this post.
> I'd like to start by briefly outlining the kind of scheme I
> would actually be in favor of. This will hopefully serve
> to reassure those of you who have decided I'm some kind of
> closet fascist, and it should also serve as a reference
> point for comparing what is possible under anarchy to what
> is possible under a minimal State.

When you propose 'limited government' as compromise between anarchy and another quantity of government you're bound to have problems convincing anarchists. This is for a very simple reason; a coherent anarchist viewpoint comes from considering ever more minimal forms of government and then being hit by the sudden realisation that no government is the only viable option. Thus when an anarchist comes across a proposal for a limited or minimalist government it is all too easy to discard the idea - been there, done that.

Government breads government. Any government will be imperfect. Given that there are certain things (a constitution, for instance) that the government cannot challenge, the only way for the government to 'fix' an imperfection is outward growth. Anarchy does not have this problem, it is not ideologically driven, and there are no base morals or ethical imperatives inherent to the system. All the ideology, morality and ethical imperatives are left to the people.