Peace Requires Anarchy


Dispelling the Myth of Violent Chaos with the Truth of the Free Market

One of the most common objections people make regarding a free market anarchist society is that such a society would be violent, chaotic and lawless. As economist Bryan Caplan writes in his Anarchist Theory FAQ, “The most common criticism, shared by the entire range of critics, is basically that anarchism would swiftly degenerate into a chaotic Hobbesian war of all-against-all.”

Economist Robert Murphy, in his article But Wouldn’t Warlords Take Over? writes, “On two separate occasions in the last couple of weeks, people have asked me a familiar question:  ‘In a system of “anarcho-capitalism” or the free-market order, wouldn’t society degenerate into constant battles between private warlords?'”

Caplan and Murphy are two people among many market anarchists who have attempted to dispel this myth. Unfortunately, most people remain apathetic and thus go on believing that monopoly governments are “good” and “necessary” institutions despite the countless evils that each and every one of them have been responsible for throughout history. Most people imagine that there is no alternative to government that can be peaceful, orderly, and just. They falsely presume that Society Without a State must be violent and chaotic when in reality observation of The Anatomy of the State reveals that this is the nature of societies ruled by governments, not the nature of societies with voluntary, consensual (and thus necessarily anarchical) social orders.

Unfortunately, most people don’t care enough about peace, justice, and prosperity to bother doing a little reading and thinking, to bother paying attention to the thinkers before them who have already shown the myths to be false, beginning with Gustave de Molinari who first described in 1849 how market mechanisms could lead to the production of “governmental” services of security and justice in a free society and continuing ever since with people like Robert Murphy who continue to show today how The Market for Security is an efficient, just and realistic alternative to the coercive monopolistic governments that necessarily violate peoples’ rights rather than secure them.

If only people cared, the world would be a far better place. As abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison said in 1831, “The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and hasten the resurrection of the dead.”


A Reply to Orygyn’s “A Society Without Mandatory Tax”

The following is my reply to Orygn’s blog post A Society Without Mandatory Tax:

This is great to see. Far too many people just say “Society wouldn’t be able to function without government,” and then go on to continue supporting immoral initiations of force (taxation, etc) rather than put in the effort to learn about voluntary solutions to societal problems.

While Orygyn did say, “…if you posit that mandatory taxation is immoral, it falls to you to posit a society that can function well without it,” he also made a good effort to try to think of ways that various problems might be solved without coercive taxation, so I give him credit. Before I provide some information on this topic, however, I would like to correct what Orygyn said (quoted previously). Anarchists, libertarians, or other opponents of coercive taxation, do not have the burden to provide voluntary solutions to every societal problem that people hand them (see this brief article). You are right, however, that until voluntary solutions to social problems are widespread (and if they are not spread by lovers of peace, who will they be spread by?), there will be little chance that people will, on a large scale, stop supporting things like coercive taxation.

Note that I do not have answers to every question you might have about how people will be able to provide solutions to every societal problem without resorting to aggression. Before I became an anarchist I had a long debate with my friend for several months on this issue of how to solve certain social problems without government force. I was confident that certainly some aggression was “necessary” to deal with at least some problems. My friend, an anarchist, disagreed and he persevered for an unbelievable long time in our debate. I don’t think that I would have had the patience or dedication to make the intellectual journey myself. I only managed because I did not want to let my friend down by stopping answering his arguments, so I argued against him for months.

It wasn’t until I one day decided to go back and read some of our discussion from months earlier that I realized that many of the problems that I had previously believed to be unsolvable without government coercion, I now had answers to. Soon after that I decided that despite still having many unanswered questions, I knew enough that I could let go of my support of violence. Since that day I have learned a great deal more about ways in which problems can be solved peacefully rather than violently, but I still am far from having all of the answers. You can’t expect any one person to have answers to every problem that society faces. In reality, everyone in a free society would be working to come up with the best solutions to particular problems. No one person or small group of people can design a whole society. Once you become aware of voluntary solutions to a certain number of problems that you previously believed to be unsolvable without coercion, however, then I think you (Orygyn as well as anyone else reading this), like me, will be able to drop your belief that violence is necessary to solve problems. Government is not a necessary evil.

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