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Thread: Anarcho-Capitalism

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    Senior Member Ederico's Avatar
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    Post Anarcho-Capitalism

    The subsequent text and extra text are found at:
    http://www.wikipedia.org/w/wiki.phtm...pitalism&go=Go
    Anarcho-capitalism is a synthesis of individualist anarchism and classical liberalism (see libertarianism), that considers all forms of government unnecessary and harmful, including (or especially) in matters of justice and protection.

    Anarcho-capitalists promote individual property rights and free markets, as a way to organize all services, including all those that governments claim as their natural monopoly, such as police, justice and the army. They see the definition of property rights through contracts and common law as a universal mechanism to solve conflicts. They consider capitalist corporations based on voluntary contracts as a legitimate and efficient way for people to organize; and they see freedom to choose a competitor or to enter competition as the universal way to preserve and promote quality in services. They reject any kind of government control, taxation or regulation.

    Anarcho-capitalism is thus a form of anarchism, but it is radically different from the form of anarchism which may be known as libertarian socialism. Anarcho-capitalists and libertarian socialists think that each other are seriously misled as to the nature of power, and thus as to the nature of anarchism. Neither the former nor the latter have anything to do with anarchy in the sense of chaos and disorder.

    Anarcho-capitalism has been also called private-property anarchism, free market anarchism and anarcho-liberalism.


    Anarcho-capitalism as part of the classical liberal tradition
    Anarcho-capitalism is a variety of classical liberalism, and anarcho-capitalists consider themselves as an anarchist flavor of classical liberalism rather than as a capitalist flavor of anarchism: they consider non-anarchist libertarians as friends who make the relatively minor (but nonetheless significant) mistake of accepting some form of government, but they consider left-anarchists as dangerous collectivists with which they share little in common.

    As part of classical liberalism, anarcho-capitalism is based on the notions of individual liberty and natural law. Libertarian scholars have, since the inception, studied society from the dynamic point of view of emerging order, which in recent times has been explicitly associated to cybernetics. Their tradition can be traced back to John Locke and the seventeenth century English Levellers, as well as to earlier French and British economists and philosophers; some even count Lao Tse and Aristotle as early classical liberals, and some even interpret Lao Tse as an anarchist.

    Anti-statism is an essential part of the classical liberal tradition -- maybe its characteristic part -- but either by pessimism with respect to the inevitability of government, or by lack of the proper theoretical economic background, or by fear of governmental repression and censorship, the question of full anarcho-capitalism has not been explicitly and openly discussed until the nineteenth century. All classical liberals believe in 'as little government as possible'; anarchists among them believe governments can and must be done without completely, whereas minarchists believe or accept that some government is necessary or desirable for e.g. enforcing laws. Some classical liberal thinkers, such as Ayn Rand, have vehemently opposed anarcho-capitalism. Probably most classical liberals haven't considered the question of government at all, considering governments as something inevitable, if not in theory, at least in practice, for the foreseeable future -- to them, anarchism, good or bad, is but an irrelevant dream.

    The earliest classical liberal thinker who has developed a complete theory of anarchism is Gustave de Molinari in 1849, although some classical liberal English and American revolutionaries have claimed anarchy without theorizing it, and some French economists had begun theorizing it without claiming it. There was an anarchist liberal tradition in Europe and in the US after Molinari, but it would never attract a large audience as such - still can be named Paul Emile de Puydt, Henry David Thorsborne, Auberon Herbert, Lysander Spooner, Benjamin Tucker and Albert Jay Nock.

    It was not until the 1950s that anarcho-capitalism flourished, notably with Murray Rothbard, when classical liberal thinkers from Austria, having fled Nazism, found themselves teaching in the USA, and a new generation of thinkers was born from the meeting of the European and American traditions. Beside Rothbard, other prominent anarcho-capitalists include David Friedman, Jan Narveson, Anthony de Jasay, Gary Greenberg, Walter Block and Hans-Herman Hoppe.


    Anarcho-capitalism as part of the Individualist Anarchist tradition
    Anarcho-capitalists consider themselves as part of the individualist anarchist tradition. From a moral and natural law point of view, they are convinced that government is inherently evil, and that individuals should be free from any form of collective coercion. However, from an economic point of view, they disagree with some individualist anarchists about whether capitalism being the economic system that would arise naturally or not in a free society. In any case, they agree that in a free society, people should be free to organize in any economic way they like, whether in capitalist businesses or in collectivist cooperatives - they merely defend capitalism as a legitimate choice among these organizations, which choice they personally believe is the most efficient (but won't impose upon others). Many socialist anarchists consider the socialist views of some individualist anarchist as essential to individualist anarchism, and reject anarcho-capitalist claims to belong to the individualist anarchist tradition. But individualist anarchists don't care for authorities who decide who has the right to declare oneself an anarchist.


    Utilitarian vs. Natural Law Approaches
    Libertarians in general, and Anarcho-capitalists in particular, have developed two different approaches to their theories, from a utilitarian point of view, or from a point of view of natural law. Some of them defend one approach and dismiss the other, whereas some of them, like Bastiat, claim an inherent harmony or correspondence between the two complementary approaches.

    The Natural Law approach (see for instance Murray Rothbard and his book Power and Market) argues that the existence of the state is immoral, and that unlimited capitalism is the only ethical political system, or rather anti-political system. The Utilitarian approach (see for instance David Friedman) argues that abolition of the state in favour of private businesses is economically more efficient. The Harmonic approach argues both as equivalent statements.

    The notion of property rights is a fundamental element of anarcho-capitalism. The Natural Law approach argues for the natural right of humans to own their body and the result of their work, that they can use or refuse to use as they like, as long as they do not attempt to use the property of someone else. The Utilitarian approach argues that defining property rights in this manner is the most efficient way to prevent destructive conflicts between individuals and to foster productive efforts. Actually, ownership of one's body together with the respect of earlier claims naturally entails ownership of the results of one's marginal work, since someone who own's one's own body could withhold work if refused the ownership of its results.

    Anarcho-capitalism rejects every and all kind of "positive right" (such as the "right to be protected by others", the "right to be fed by others", the "right to receive a minimum salary from others"), and defends every and all kinds of "negative rights" (such as the "right not to be attacked by anyone else", the "right to not have one's food stolen by anyone else", and the "right not to have any part of one's salary confiscated by anyone else"). It differs from minarchist libertarianism only in that it considers that "being protected by others" is also a positive service that must be rejected as a right, and that one can't claim protection by government, but must take personal steps or organize with others, so as to enforce the respect of one's property.


    Anarcho-Capitalism, Corporations, and Contracts
    While anarcho-capitalists believe that private businesses, born out of voluntary contracts, are the best (most moral and most efficient) way to conduct human affairs, they do not support corporations as currently are supported by governments. Most notably, they consider that limited liability for corporations is a great harm done to all those people who are denied the right to sue them for damage or debt. Other undue privileges include various subsidies and regulations for official 'workers' and 'employers', particular protection given to official work contracts as opposed to other private contracts, etc.

    To anarcho-capitalists, contracts in general, and employment contracts in particular, are but a particular case of voluntary exchange of property (property of one's time and work, of one's goods and capitals, etc.), that individuals may freely get involved in. Individuals may take any legitimate steps within their property, to protect whatever they gained from such contracts; but they do not deserve particular protection: just because two (or more) individuals agreed something together at some time does not mean everyone else suddenly owes them protection from each other, from third parties, or from the accidents of life.

    More generally, anarcho-capitalists refuse to acknowledge to anyone the monopolist authority to declare anything 'official' as opposed to other 'unofficial' things - anyone can declare anything 'official' as far as he's concerned, and is free to choose whether to give value or not to the 'official' status declared by other individuals. Thus 'official' marriage, contracts, employment, etc., deserve no particular legal status for anarcho-capitalists - although of course more common forms of them may have more extensive jurisprudence than less common forms, and thus lower enforcement costs that make them attractive.


    Anarcho-capitalism and violence
    Anarcho-capitalists, like classical liberals in general, think that violence should be reserved purely for self-defense. They tend to loathe violent action and revolutions as a "normal" way to promote or impose their views, even against the governments they hate. Indeed, most anarcho-capitalists think that education and modification of the public opinion is the only possible way to promote anarcho-capitalism; a few believe in establishing a libertarian society in some territory uncontrolled by statists.

    A few anarcho-capitalists are outright pacifists, though most of them defend the necessity of violent action against criminals, and that sometimes war itself against dangerous imperialist or terrorist foreign states. However, even though they might approve of violence as necessary in certain cases; even though they may concede that governments, having monopolized the means of violence, are the ones who currently are to enact this violence; they believe that governments should yield this monopoly of violence, and let individuals organize freely to better handle such situations.

    There is no history of violence, terrorist or otherwise, perpetrated by anarcho-capitalists to impose their system upon others. However, many anarcho-capitalists display appreciation for the American Revolution, that precisely consisted of individuals sharing common views fighting together against people trying to impose their views upon them; though they have reserves as to some of the means used (taxes, conscription, inflationary money), and as to the result achieved (a government that slowly became the biggest government in the world).


    Arguments for and against Anarcho-Capitalism
    Anarcho-capitalism being a radical version of libertarianism, the same general arguments for and against libertarianism, laissez-faire capitalism and capitalism usually apply, except as regards the justice system, in which anarcho-capitalism is more specific and different from the usual kind of classical liberal ideologies.

    A common misunderstanding about libertarianism in general, and anarcho-capitalism in particular, is to consider them as economic or political theories. They are not. They are theories of Law - of what is or isn't legitimate to do. This in particular defeats the gross affirmations according to which today's society or any society is already libertarian, since everyone is ultimately free to obey or disobey and chooses to abide by the rules of the system: indeed, libertarians have a theory of natural law, and as long as positive law doesn't match natural law, the society is not libertarian. In particular, the right of anyone to secede from a government he considers unfit should be respected.

    Thus, for instance, considering either moral or utilitarian arguments, libertarians are not opposed to de facto monopolies (companies that happen to currently be the only provider of some service), only to de jure monopolies (companies whose monopoly is guaranteed by law and whose competitors will be prevented and chased by public force). To libertarians, de facto monopolies or quasi-monopolies can exist but transiently, due to some recent technical or organizational innovation that hasn't been copied by competitors yet; they have no power to abuse, because their customers can always stop buying from them and be supplied by a competitor, that will raise from poverty to affluence they day the monopolist starts having 'excessive' claims. "Voting with one's feet and one's dollars" rather than "voting with one's voice and everyone else's dollars" - individual choice rather than collective choice - is the motto of libertarians in general, and of anarcho-capitalists in particular. Applying this reasoning to the protection of individual property rights, anarcho-capitalists do not fear local monopolies or oligopolies in the justice market, as long as the individual right to secede and choose one's own defense agency or start a new one is respected.

    Also, misunderstanding about the nature of private (or public) protection and justice systems is often the source of ridiculous claims by opponents to anarcho-capitalisms. For instance, left-anarchists consider all property as government-enforced privilege, but fail to even consider the possibility of armed individuals defending their own property, either alone or cooperating in groups. More generally, when talking about governments, justice systems, etc., they often think in collectivist terms, and are unable to even understand the individualistic stance of anarcho-capitalists and individualist anarchists, who consider any kind of collectivist decision as oppression of the political minority by the political majority.

    I still have to read all of this and I'll be doing it soon. Those that have any input or opinion regarding Anarcho-Capitalism please expose it.

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    Senior Member Jack's Avatar
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    An interesting site which explains and promotes Anarcho-Capitalism is www.anti-state.com

    Personally, while finding AnCap (shortened form of Anarcho-Capitalism) very interesting, I find it almost impossible to work in accordance with our desire to promote the survival, enhancement and expansion of the white race. In an all-white world, AnCap could work well, though I anticipate that once we leave this world Anarcho-Capitalism will be the only feasible system to operate in outer space, simply because there is just too much freedom for white humans to be held back and conditioned by an Empire. This doesn't exclude the possibility of a white empire expanding into space, just that such an empire would have to allow anarcho-capitalism free reign because there would be no way to control it.
    All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream at night, in the dusky recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams, with open eyes, to make it possible.

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    Senior Member cosmocreator's Avatar
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    I'm against anarcho-capitalism. Money and control would tend to concentrate in the hands of a few. It would cause dependence.

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    Senior Member Ederico's Avatar
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    I think what you mean is that Anarcho-Capitalism would eventually develop into Plutocracy, with the wealthy Capitalists gaining control of the Anarcho-Capitalist Society and eventually controlling the economic lives (and thus the lives in general) of the populace through their Economic Wealth, Power, and Control.

    Eventually do Anarcho-Capitalists hinder the creation of big businesses which drive out of business the smaller ones resulting in a Monopoly or at best an Oligopoly or Cartel? Because that is probably what happens through Capitalism, and probably what would evolve out of an Anarcho-Capitalist Society. How do Anarcho-Capitalists claim that their system denies such an evolution through Anarchic (that is, uncontrolled) means?

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    Senior Member Stríbog's Avatar
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    I am becoming increasingly pessimistic about government and human nature in general. I do not trust authoritarian governments, because even when formed under the best of intentions, they inevitably are corrupted or decay into tyranny within a few decades. This is human nature; men will come to power and exploit the system for themselves. Likewise, with Libertarianism/Anarcho-Capitalism, we will end up with monstrous corporations and private organizations running everything purely for profit. Monopoly is an inevitable consequence of unrestricted capitalism, and the Gilded Age in the United States showed just how much we can trust barons like Rockefeller to demonstrate any kind of ethics. There is no system for those of us that oppose both big government and big business, so I find myself adrift ideologically. I'm not sure I can even find a 'best' system of government anymore, unless I can settle for a 'least evil' system that delays the inevitable for as long as possible.

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    Senior Member NatRev's Avatar
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    I'm probably more authoritarian-socialist.

    I don't see this as CONTROL of individuals, more in the essense of ensuring the maximum or near enough social productivity of each citizen. I also think this more in tune with PURPOSE than CONTROL.

    People don't like being CONTROLLED but they like the idea of them having a PURPOSE. This can be achieved through work, art and other forms of progressive social interactions.
    "Only through a re-integration of Humanity into the whole of Nature can our People be made stronger."

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    Originally posted by Anarch
    An interesting site which explains and promotes Anarcho-Capitalism is www.anti-state.com

    Personally, while finding AnCap (shortened form of Anarcho-Capitalism) very interesting, I find it almost impossible to work in accordance with our desire to promote the survival, enhancement and expansion of the white race.
    I'm an anarcho-capitalist, i.e. market anarchist. I see no contradiction between ancap and white survival, enhancement and expansion. I think ancap is the best way to make e.g. segregation possible because in the current system it isn't possible to form all-white city states or other enclaves, but it would be relatively easy to do that in ancap.
    Neither assimilation nor integration will solve the problems. The only thing that would work from my point of view would be separation. And this separation should be done on a global level, not on a communal level. The western countries here, the islamic countries there. And a very tall border between the two worlds please.

    -- Valkyrie

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    Senior Member Ederico's Avatar
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    Anarcho-Capitalism allows (supposedly) total freedom in Economic Affairs to Individuals and Organisations, more over it is against any form of State. This is most probably against Nationalism/Racialism, but since you are an Anarcho-Capitalist it is up to you to explain to us the System you support and how this is compatible with European Nationalism and Racialism. So please go on.

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    Originally posted by Iovvs Optimvs Maximvs
    Anarcho-Capitalism allows (supposedly) total freedom in Economic Affairs to Individuals and Organisations, more over it is against any form of State.
    True.

    Originally posted by Iovvs Optimvs Maximvs

    This is most probably against Nationalism/Racialism, but since you are an Anarcho-Capitalist it is up to you to explain to us the System you support and how this is compatible with European Nationalism and Racialism. So please go on.
    If your definition of nationalism necessarily includes the existence of a nation-state, then of course that is incompatible with anarchy by definition, but if by "nationalism" you mean love for your own national culture and a desire to promote its success, you should realize there is no reason why a society based on maximum individual liberty would be opposed to European nationalism and racialism.

    After all, if you believe in the Darwinian survival of the fittest, why should Europeans be afraid of laissez-faire capitalism? Nonwhite immigrants might have problems in Europe without the welfare state, but white Europeans would be better off than today because they would save a lot of money because there would be no taxes. Useful services like health care can be provided more efficiently by the market than by bureaucrats. The absense of welfare state services would also disencourage nonwhite immigration, so for this reason alone white racialists should be in favour of libertarianism/anarcho-capitalism. Another reason is the one I mentioned previously: in anarcho-capitalism it would be relatively easy to establish all-white neighbourhoods by building gated communities or by having all real estate owners of an area sign a restrictive covenant, but in the current system this is impossible because of zoning laws, anti-discrimination laws etc.
    Neither assimilation nor integration will solve the problems. The only thing that would work from my point of view would be separation. And this separation should be done on a global level, not on a communal level. The western countries here, the islamic countries there. And a very tall border between the two worlds please.

    -- Valkyrie

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    Senior Member Stríbog's Avatar
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    I tend to agree more with Susisaari than with Iovvs. It's very simple to SAY that "I don't like the way things are now, I will make an authoritarian state that will fix everything." It's impossible to do so. Even if an authoritarian state that is initially racialist comes to power, how are you going to prevent the inevitable tyranny?. It's quite easy for someone to usurp authority in a system designed for autocracy. Where are the safeguards? The government would be able to get away with ANYTHING by claiming it was 'for the good of the people.' As Lord Acton said, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Are YOU going to decide what books should be read? What plays should be performed? Which end of the boiled egg should be opened first? I don't trust anyone to make those decisions for me, racialist or not. Every single government that has attempted to increase its control over the lives of its citizens 'for their own good' was in fact a tyranny.

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