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

Starting book to the Anarcho-capitalistic mind

rated by 0 users
This post has 18 Replies | 4 Followers

Top 50 Contributor
Posts 1,711
Points 29,285
SkepticalMetal Posted: Sat, Dec 22 2012 8:26 PM

My parents are both libertarians (I'm pretty sure I've gotten them to Minarchists at this point) but I'm having trouble getting them to go full anarcho-capitalist. I thought Anatomy of the State would be an approprate book to get them to make the final push, however I have heard from some that it may be...well, not the right one. Anyone have any suggestions? Remember - this isn't to get someone down the libertarian path, it's to get two libertarians down the anarcho-capitalistic path.

  • | Post Points: 65
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 232
Points 4,905

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,439
Points 44,650
Neodoxy replied on Sat, Dec 22 2012 8:54 PM

For a New Liberty. No doubt.

It does a great job of calmly escorting one to more and more radical forms of libertarianism and then you suddenly end up at anarcho-capitalism.

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 1,711
Points 29,285

Thanks guys. I think the main problem is that they like the idea of anarcho-capitalism, however the excuse every time to not convert is "I just don't think it's in human nature to have a stateless world." Sometimes, I just can't even get to the root of their resistance, it's almost as if the idea of not having a state is just too radical, as this thing has been there their whole life, unlike me, who was fortunate enough to get involved at an early age.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 232
Points 4,905

David Friedman's The Machinery of Freedom might be good too. I haven't read it, but I've heard good things about it.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 2,258
Points 34,610
Anenome replied on Sat, Dec 22 2012 9:50 PM

I'd second For a New Liberty.

I have some problems with Friedman's utilitarianism.

Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 200 Contributor
Male
Posts 429
Points 7,400

There is a major problem with the term "state," because in the minds of many, the state is the law. Thus to them, to abolish gov't is to abolish law. What you need to do is slowly disintergrate the two. You have to redefine law and explains its purposes, i.e. to provide an alternative to violent confrontation. When you do this, they will realize state law does nothing of the sort. It sanctions violence, and allows it to be used to the benefit of the "law makers" under the guise that they are providing order and a means of reducing conflict. 

Clayton's posts on a praxeological account of law are good for this, as are other resources mentioned before me. The less magical you make law, and the more you relate it to daily life an interaction the easier time you will have converting them to anarchy.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 4,987
Points 89,745
Wheylous replied on Sun, Dec 23 2012 12:01 AM

You can never go wrong with The Law :P

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 4,987
Points 89,745
Wheylous replied on Sun, Dec 23 2012 12:01 AM

The book, I mean.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,439
Points 44,650
Neodoxy replied on Sun, Dec 23 2012 12:35 AM

I think that you could in this case because it basically endorses a minarchist government

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 2,679
Points 45,110
gotlucky replied on Sun, Dec 23 2012 1:00 AM

NonAntiAnarchist:

 

There is a major problem with the term "state," because in the minds of many, the state is the law. Thus to them, to abolish gov't is to abolish law. What you need to do is slowly disintergrate the two. You have to redefine law and explains its purposes, i.e. to provide an alternative to violent confrontation. When you do this, they will realize state law does nothing of the sort. It sanctions violence, and allows it to be used to the benefit of the "law makers" under the guise that they are providing order and a means of reducing conflict. 

Clayton's posts on a praxeological account of law are good for this, as are other resources mentioned before me. The less magical you make law, and the more you relate it to daily life an interaction the easier time you will have converting them to anarchy.

QFT. Another good resource for separating law and the state is The Myth of the Rule of Law by John Hasnas. Another useful resource but not on the subject of law is Roderick Long's Libertarian Anarchism: Responses to Ten Objections.

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 1
Points 50

I agree with your parents. A-c is not possible without law and law is not possible without the state.

The word 'anarchy' means no rulers - not 'no state.' The only way to possibly attain an a-c society is to base it on a state with laws that promote a-c.

What is required to achieve a-c is to create a state without a government - i.e. a state which has a reactive non-preemptive authority to enforce laws that are based on a-c principles such as the NAP.

Such a state would be voluntary thus the arrangement is fully compatible with the 'no state' proposition but is itself a state... If we insist on saying the state is a coerced arrangement then what I'm proposing would not be a state per se but since it functions like a state it should be called one. And many more people will accept the notion of 'voluntary state' over 'no state' - so if freedom is the goal, then it's best to abandon the 'no state' argument in favor of a voluntary a-c oriented state.

People (even those who accept a-c like me) will not accept the 'no state' proposition. The fundamental logical problem is that 'anarcho-anything' in absence of law cannot possibly work out as envisioned. Without law by definition there is no definition. Anarcho-whatever in a stateless society will be what it will be - capitalism, communism, tribalism, whateverism... - no matter how much academic hand-waving preceeds it. A fallacy of wishful thinking.

IMO the voluntary a-c state is the only way a-c can be realized. At least stateless a-c is not possible until humans fully evolve into moral beings and that's not possible from our current condition. We need to transition to the 'stateless' society meaning there must be intermediate steps meaning some form of free state model prior to full fledged 'no state' is possible. Or you can spend the rest of your life fantasizing about freedom...

"... we possess a “Moral Sense,” the duty of which is to dictate rectitude in our transactions with each other; which receives gratification from honest and fair dealing; and which gives birth to the sentiment of justice.” - Herbert Spencer
  • | Post Points: 50
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,051
Points 36,080
Bert replied on Sun, Dec 23 2012 8:46 AM

The Law.  Even though not drenched in theory it does shed some light on human action in regards to end goals and the idea of rulers/being ruled.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 1,711
Points 29,285

Thanks, guys. What about The Rise and Fall of Society by Chodorov? From everything I've read of it, it does a good job explaining the deterioration the state has upon society.

  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 38
Points 655
SoNowThen replied on Mon, Dec 24 2012 10:13 AM

plenarchist:

A-c is not possible without law and law is not possible without the state.

The word 'anarchy' means no rulers - not 'no state.' The only way to possibly attain an a-c society is to base it on a state with laws that promote a-c.

What is required to achieve a-c is to create a state without a government - i.e. a state which has a reactive non-preemptive authority to enforce laws that are based on a-c principles such as the NAP.

Such a state would be voluntary thus the arrangement is fully compatible with the 'no state' proposition but is itself a state...

Great post. The only time I have had any success getting a positive reaction from non-fellow travellers in public, when bringing up anarchy, is to ask for a true opt-out state. I got him to admit that there were problems with democracy, and he got me to admit that still a lot of people want "the govt" to take care of them. We compromised that, given technology and proper "true" ownership of property, individuals who cared to do so could opt out of all state services. In that sense the state would mostly satisfy the condition of being voluntary. Nevermind that I still believe the natural inclination of any state is to expand/conquer, and that the very near future would see (perhaps under a different set of leaders) calls to bring the lost sheep back into the fold, it was surprising how my interlocutor was willing to comfortably concede what basically amounts to individual succession, so long as the state remains as-is for him.

On topic, the Hasnas essay that GotLucky recommended is certainly one of the most well laid out progressions I have ever seen, and short enough to read in one sitting.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 4,987
Points 89,745
Wheylous replied on Mon, Dec 24 2012 1:08 PM

A-c is not possible without law and law is not possible without the state.

Law has historically arisen from court systems, not legislatures - this is, in my recent opinion, one of the Great Lies that we're taught in school that most people will never figure out.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 4,987
Points 89,745
Wheylous replied on Mon, Dec 24 2012 1:10 PM

Neodoxy - He says that we need government which respects all of people's rights. Taking his statement about collective vs. individual rights to the logical conclusion, then we must demonopolize provision of justice.

His definition is simply different (like my dad's) - government is a rights-protection agency. It just so happens that almost all governments historically have been tyrannical.

If it so pleases you, you may call private defense agencies "governments" even if they act completely within the free market and don't coerce people.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 6,953
Points 118,135

From here:

z1235 has been plugging the hell out of Beyond Democracy.  Says he's gotten a lot of positive results by recommending it.  $0.99 on Kindle (or even borrow it for free if you have a Prime account.)

Other recommendations for good short ones would be The Law and Anatomy of the State.  For more recommendations, I'd check out the One Book for Capitalism thread...but it seems like BD is going to be the ticket.  It's short and (evidently from z's experience) is quite effective in bringing people around.

You might also check the Courts/Law, Security/Defense (Free Society reading list & threads) from the meta thread.

 

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,439
Points 44,650
Neodoxy replied on Mon, Dec 24 2012 9:24 PM

Wheylous,

Yes, but nontheless "The Law" was used to justify a form of statism for over a century and it still is. People don't necessarily interpret "government" in the way that you do and instead argue that it means a minarchist state. You can argue about the "logical conclusion" as much as you want but I could argue that the logical conclusion of the golden rule is anarcho-capitalism and this hasn't caused most Christians to become anarchists. For a New Liberty and some of the other works proposed are explicit in this respect. Nonetheless, "The Law" certainly takes the cake in terms of brevityy.

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
  • | Post Points: 5
Page 1 of 1 (19 items) | RSS