Free Capitalist Network - Community Archive
Mises Community Archive
An online community for fans of Austrian economics and libertarianism, featuring forums, user blogs, and more.

Mises on Minarchism

rated by 0 users
This post has 13 Replies | 5 Followers

Top 150 Contributor
Posts 752
Points 16,735
Sage Posted: Sun, Mar 7 2010 4:27 PM

"Economics, as such, figures all too sparsely in the glamorous pictures painted by the minarchists. They invariably explain how, in the cloud-cuckoo lands of their fancy, government will in some way have a monopoly on force and yet be constrained to the protection of rights, but they omit to show how this miracle is to take place."

- Ludwig von Mises (paraphrased slightly)

Original quote here.

AnalyticalAnarchism.net - The Positive Political Economy of Anarchism

  • | Post Points: 50
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 2,956
Points 56,800

lol utopians bro

"Economics, as such, figures all too sparsely in the glamorous pictures painted by the Utopians. They invariably explain how, in the cloud-cuckoo lands of their fancy, roast pigeons will in some way fly into the mouths of the comrades, but they omit to show how this miracle is to take place. Where they do in fact commence to be more explicit in the domain of economics, they soon find themselves at a loss--one remembers, for instance, Proudhon's fantastic dreams of an "exchange bank"--so that it is not difficult to point out their logical fallacies."

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 150 Contributor
Male
Posts 518
Points 9,355

bloomj31:

lol utopians bro

"Economics, as such, figures all too sparsely in the glamorous pictures painted by the Utopians. They invariably explain how, in the cloud-cuckoo lands of their fancy, roast pigeons will in some way fly into the mouths of the comrades, but they omit to show how this miracle is to take place. Where they do in fact commence to be more explicit in the domain of economics, they soon find themselves at a loss--one remembers, for instance, Proudhon's fantastic dreams of an "exchange bank"--so that it is not difficult to point out their logical fallacies."

Yeah figured it was false, considering Mises himself was a minarchist and the term 'minarchist' itself was originally coined by Sam Konkin.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 2,491
Points 43,390

Here he is.

Liberalism is not anarchism, nor has it anything whatsoever to do with anarchism.
The liberal understands quite clearly that without resort to compulsion, the existence
of society would be endangered and that behind the rules of conduct whose
observance is necessary to assure peaceful human cooperation must stand the threat
of force if the whole edifice of society is not to be continually at the mercy of any
one of its members. One must be in a position to compel the person who will not
respect the lives, health, personal freedom, or private property of others to acquiesce
in the rules of life in society. This is the function that the liberal doctrine assigns to
the state: the protection of property, liberty, and peace.

  • | Post Points: 65
Top 150 Contributor
Posts 752
Points 16,735
Sage replied on Sun, Mar 7 2010 9:52 PM

Mises:
Liberalism, consistently applied, is anarchism, and has everything to do with anarchism. The liberal understands quite clearly that without resort to compulsion, the existence of society would be endangered and that behind the rules of conduct whose observance is necessary to assure peaceful human cooperation must stand the threat of force if the whole edifice of society is not to be continually at the mercy of any one of its members. One must be in a position to compel the person who will not respect the lives, health, personal freedom, or private property of others to acquiesce in the rules of life in society. This is the function that the liberal doctrine assigns to the market: the protection of property, liberty, and peace.

Wink

AnalyticalAnarchism.net - The Positive Political Economy of Anarchism

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 4,985
Points 90,430

If Mises had only written in math we'd never have to deal with all these issues of interpretation. 

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows"

Bob Dylan

  • | Post Points: 35
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,939
Points 49,110
Conza88 replied on Sun, Mar 7 2010 11:07 PM

scineram:

Here he is.

Liberalism is not anarchism, nor has it anything whatsoever to do with anarchism. The liberal understands quite clearly that without resort to compulsion, the existence  of society would be endangered and that behind the rules of conduct whose  observance is necessary to assure peaceful human cooperation must stand the threat  of force if the whole edifice of society is not to be continually at the mercy of any  one of its members. One must be in a position to compel the person who will not  respect the lives, health, personal freedom, or private property of others to acquiesce  in the rules of life in society. This is the function that the liberal doctrine assigns to  the state: the protection of property, liberty, and peace.

Here we go. (HT: Nir)

Hoppe:

    Rothbard's anarchism was not the sort of anarchism that his teacher and mentor Mises had rejected as hopelessly naive, of course. "The anarchists," Mises had written,

contend that a social order in which nobody enjoys privileges at the expense of his fellow-citizens could exist without any compulsion and coercion for the prevention of action detrimental to society. . . . The anarchists overlook the undeniable fact that some people are either too narrow-minded or too weak to adjust themselves spontaneously to the conditions of social life. . . . An anarchistic society would be exposed to the mercy of every individual. Society cannot exist if the majority is not ready to hinder, by the application or threat of violent action, minorities from destroying the social order.[10]

     Indeed, Rothbard wholeheartedly agreed with Mises that without resort to compulsion, the existence of society would be endangered and that behind the rules of conduct whose observance is necessary to assure peaceful human cooperation must stand the threat to force if the whole edifice of society is not to be continually at the mercy of any one of its members. One must be in a position to compel a person who will not respect the lives, health, personal freedom, or private property of others to acquiesce in the rules of life in society.[11]

     Inspired in particular by the nineteenth-century American anarchist political theorists Lysander Spooner and Benjamin Tucker and the Belgian economist Gustave de Molinari, from the outset Rothbard's anarchism took it for granted that there will always be murderers, thieves, thugs, con artists, etc., and that life in society would be impossible if they were not punished by physical force. As a reflection of this fundamental realism—anti-utopianism—of his private-property anarchism, Rothbard, unlike most contemporary political philosophers, accorded central importance to the subject of punishment. For him, private property and the right to physical defense were inseparable. No one can be said to be the owner of something if he is not permitted to defend his property by physical violence against possible invaders and invasions. "Would," Rothbard asked, "somebody be allowed to 'take the law into his own hands'? Would the victim, or a friend of the victim, be allowed to exact justice personally on the criminal?" and he answered, "of course, Yes, since all rights of punishment derive from the victim's right of self-defense" (p. 90). Hence, the question is not whether or not evil and aggression exist, but how to deal with its existence justly and efficiently, and it is only in the answer to this question that Rothbard reaches conclusions which qualify him as an anarchist.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,939
Points 49,110
Conza88 replied on Sun, Mar 7 2010 11:12 PM

Here we go again. (HT: Kinsella)

"How far would Mises push the principle of secession, of self-determination? Down to a single village, he states; but would he press beyond even that? He calls the right of self-determination not of nations, “but rather the right of self-determination of the inhabitants of every territory large enough to form an independent administrative unit.” But how about self-determination for the ultimate unit, for each individual? Allowing each individual to remain where he lives and yet secede from the State is tantamount to anarchism, and yet Mises comes very close to anarchism, blocked only by practical technical considerations:

If it were in any way possible to grant this right of self-determination to every individual person, it would have to be done. This is impracticable only because of compelling technical considerations, which make it necessary that the right of self-determination be restricted to the will of the majority of the inhabitants of areas large enough to count as territorial units in the administration of the country.

That Mises, at least in theory, believed in the right of individual secession and therefore came close to anarchism can also be seen in his description of liberalism, that “it forces no one against his will into the structure of the State.” - MNR


Liberalism
pp. 109-10:

The right of self-determination in regard to the question of membership in a state thus means: whenever the inhabitants of a particular territory, whether it be a single village, a whole district, or a series of adjacent districts, make it known, by a freely conducted plebiscite, that they no longer wish to remain united to the state to which they belong at the time, but wish either to form an independent state or to attach themselves to some other state, their wishes are to be respected and complied with. This is the only feasible and effective way of preventing revolutions and civil and international wars. … However, the right of self-determination of which we speak is not the right of self-determination of nations, but rather the right of self-determination of the inhabitants of every territory large enough to form an independent administrative unit. If it were in any way possible to grant this right of self-determination to every individual person, it would have to be done.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 1,649
Points 28,420

hayekianxyz:

If Mises had only written in math we'd never have to deal with all these issues of interpretation. 

If only Man operated like the lifeless particles of physics and you could easily quantfiy his servomechanistic bounds, the breadth of your study in "economics" wouldn't have been in vain.

Democracy means the opportunity to be everyone's slave.—Karl Kraus.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 2,491
Points 43,390

hayekianxyz:

If Mises had only written in math we'd never have to deal with all these issues of interpretation.

No, they would just replace the symbols.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 2,491
Points 43,390

Conza88:
This is impracticable only because of compelling technical considerations, which make it necessary that the right of self-determination be restricted to the will of the majority of the inhabitants of areas large enough

That's pro-aggression 101.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,939
Points 49,110
Conza88 replied on Mon, Mar 8 2010 10:32 PM

AEN: Was Mises better than the classical liberals on the question of the state?

HOPPE: Mises thought it was necessary to have an institution that suppresses those people who cannot behave appropriately in society, people who are a danger because they steal and murder. He calls this institution government.

But he has a unique idea of how government should work. To check its power, every group and every individual, if possible, must have the right to secede from the territory of the state. He called this the right of self determination, not of nations as the League of Nations said, but of villages, districts, and groups of any size. In Liberalism and Nation, State, and Economy, he elevates secession to a central principle of classical liberalism. If it were possible to grant this right of self-determination to every individual person, he says, it would have to be done. Thus the democratic state becomes, for Mises, a voluntary organization.

AEN: Yet you have been a strong critic of democracy.

HOPPE: Yes, as that term is usually understood. But under Mises's unique definition of democracy, the term means self rule or self government in its most literal sense. All organizations in society, including government, should be the result of voluntary interactions.

In a sense you can say that Mises was a near anarchist. If he stopped short of affirming the right of individual secession, it was only because of what he regarded as technical grounds. In modern democracy, we exalt the method of majority rule as the means of electing the rulers of a compulsory monopoly of taxation.

Mises frequently made an analogy between voting and the marketplace. But he was quite aware that voting in the marketplace means voting with your own property. The weight of your vote is in accord with your value productivity. In the political arena, you do not vote with your property; you vote concerning the property of everyone, including your own. People do not have votes according to their value productivity.

AEN: Yet Mises attacks anarchism in no uncertain terms.

HOPPE: His targets here are left-utopians. He attacks their theory that man is good enough not to need an organized defense against the enemies of civilization. But this is not what the private-property anarchist believes. Of course, murderers and thieves exist. There needs to be an institution that keeps these people at bay. Mises calls this institution government, while people who want no state at all point out that all essential defensive services can be better performed by firms in the market. We can call these firms government if we want to.

AEN: The strongest evidence against Mises as a radical anti-statist is the passage in Human Action that endorses conscription.

HOPPE: This passage is very peculiar. It, and the several paragraphs that precede it and the one that follows it, is not in the first edition. It makes its first appearance in the 1963 edition. It comes out of the blue, and has no foundation in his overall thinking. To me, this addition appears completely ad hoc.

You just have to remind yourself about his general position on government. Every group and, if it can be technically done, every individual, can secede from the government. Accordingly, conscription, in this sense, is completely illegitimate. If you read the 1949 edition of Human Action, there is nothing at all that would seem to lead to these particular funny conclusions.

AEN: Perhaps the Cold War explains it.

HOPPE: But the likelihood that he would make a statement like this is the greatest in prior editions. In 1940, he was in Switzerland, surrounded by Nazi forces. In 1949, he had just seen the old Europe smashed by war and imperialism; what better time to endorse the draft so it could be used to stop this type of thing in the future? But he did not. Why, then, does he do this in 1963? There is no major war going on. Vietnam was in its early stages. The Cold War is not at a peak, and the Soviet Union was in its post-Stalinist period. These passages cry out for explanation.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 2,162
Points 36,965
Moderator
I. Ryan replied on Tue, Mar 9 2010 9:24 AM

Conza88:

AEN: Was Mises better than the classical liberals on the question of the state?

HOPPE: Mises thought it was necessary to have an institution that suppresses those people who cannot behave appropriately in society, people who are a danger because they steal and murder. He calls this institution government.

But he has a unique idea of how government should work. To check its power, every group and every individual, if possible, must have the right to secede from the territory of the state. He called this the right of self determination, not of nations as the League of Nations said, but of villages, districts, and groups of any size. In Liberalism and Nation, State, and Economy, he elevates secession to a central principle of classical liberalism. If it were possible to grant this right of self-determination to every individual person, he says, it would have to be done. Thus the democratic state becomes, for Mises, a voluntary organization.

AEN: Yet you have been a strong critic of democracy.

HOPPE: Yes, as that term is usually understood. But under Mises's unique definition of democracy, the term means self rule or self government in its most literal sense. All organizations in society, including government, should be the result of voluntary interactions.

In a sense you can say that Mises was a near anarchist. If he stopped short of affirming the right of individual secession, it was only because of what he regarded as technical grounds. In modern democracy, we exalt the method of majority rule as the means of electing the rulers of a compulsory monopoly of taxation.

Mises frequently made an analogy between voting and the marketplace. But he was quite aware that voting in the marketplace means voting with your own property. The weight of your vote is in accord with your value productivity. In the political arena, you do not vote with your property; you vote concerning the property of everyone, including your own. People do not have votes according to their value productivity.

AEN: Yet Mises attacks anarchism in no uncertain terms.

HOPPE: His targets here are left-utopians. He attacks their theory that man is good enough not to need an organized defense against the enemies of civilization. But this is not what the private-property anarchist believes. Of course, murderers and thieves exist. There needs to be an institution that keeps these people at bay. Mises calls this institution government, while people who want no state at all point out that all essential defensive services can be better performed by firms in the market. We can call these firms government if we want to.

AEN: The strongest evidence against Mises as a radical anti-statist is the passage in Human Action that endorses conscription.

HOPPE: This passage is very peculiar. It, and the several paragraphs that precede it and the one that follows it, is not in the first edition. It makes its first appearance in the 1963 edition. It comes out of the blue, and has no foundation in his overall thinking. To me, this addition appears completely ad hoc.

You just have to remind yourself about his general position on government. Every group and, if it can be technically done, every individual, can secede from the government. Accordingly, conscription, in this sense, is completely illegitimate. If you read the 1949 edition of Human Action, there is nothing at all that would seem to lead to these particular funny conclusions.

AEN: Perhaps the Cold War explains it.

HOPPE: But the likelihood that he would make a statement like this is the greatest in prior editions. In 1940, he was in Switzerland, surrounded by Nazi forces. In 1949, he had just seen the old Europe smashed by war and imperialism; what better time to endorse the draft so it could be used to stop this type of thing in the future? But he did not. Why, then, does he do this in 1963? There is no major war going on. Vietnam was in its early stages. The Cold War is not at a peak, and the Soviet Union was in its post-Stalinist period. These passages cry out for explanation.

Awesome. Thanks.

If I wrote it more than a few weeks ago, I probably hate it by now.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,209
Points 35,645
Merlin replied on Wed, Mar 10 2010 9:24 AM

scineram:
Liberalism is not anarchism, nor has it anything whatsoever to do with anarchism.
The liberal understands quite clearly that without resort to compulsion, the existence
of society would be endangered and that behind the rules of conduct whose
observance is necessary to assure peaceful human cooperation must stand the threat
of force if the whole edifice of society is not to be continually at the mercy of any
one of its members. One must be in a position to compel the person who will not
respect the lives, health, personal freedom, or private property of others to acquiesce
in the rules of life in society. This is the function that the liberal doctrine assigns to
the state: the protection of property, liberty, and peace.

Lu seems to have been just as good with anarchy as he was with cars.  

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
  • | Post Points: 5
Page 1 of 1 (14 items) | RSS