Re: Private armies

Michael Lorrey (
Mon, 14 Dec 1998 17:33:52 -0500

den Otter wrote:

> > From:
> > Emmanuel Charpentier <> asks:
> >
> > >How could an anarcho-capitalist nation deal with an outside
> > >aggression???
> >
> > >Can competing entreprises or individuals offer the same level of
> > >service than a one block organisation, like the army?
> >
> > Remember the American Revolution, Emmanuel? The populace didn't need
> a
> > government to drive off the British aggressors, they took up arms of
> their
> > own volition - and the rest is history.
> >
> > Too bad the revolution has been consistently betrayed by the
> government
> > that was set up specifically to perpetuate it.
> And there you have it: a power vacuum will *always* be filled by some
> new form of government. Anarchy is inherently unstable due to human
> nature (we freedom-loving individualists are a small minority).

Well, its all a matter of what memes are used to sustain the system. Unfortunately, we have had too many people making anti-individualist slogans like "United we stand, divided we fall.", "We must hang together, or surely we shall all hang separately.", "when evil men conspire, free men must associate." into grand patriotic mottos, while individualist mottos like "Give me liberty or give me death", "Live free or die", "a society which surrenders some small measure of freedom for security shall end up with neither", "from time to time the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots." are reacted against as extremist, even though they were stated by the founding fathers (Thomas Paine, General John Stark, Ben Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson, respectively).

While the American Revolution was very broad based, it was not supported by more than a simple majority at the time, so collectivist and feudal serf groupthink was still pretty prevalent even after the most able Tories headed back to England or moved to Canada after the war, and the feds had to work hard to keep the colonies from splitting up after the war anyways, especially when such questions as slavery were debated.

Nor is it a given that any vacuum will be filled by a government. While a primitive anarchy will tend to be colonized by a more advanced government, a high tech anarchy would not necessarily do so, especially when high power, low cost mini weapons give the individual the ability to exert a big punch against a larger enemy, especially in an insurgency environment. Additionally, an established society of PPAs in an ungoverned market is hardly a vacuum of power, its merely distributed, rather than centralized power.

Mike Lorrey