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Minarchists or Anarchists?

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Eugene Posted: Mon, Mar 7 2011 4:18 PM

It seems that on this forum there are no minarchists. Everyone is an anarchist. As far as I know most libertarians are minarchists, and most Austrian school adherents are minarchists. So how come there are so few (if any) minarchists on this site?

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It might be because many minarchists consider the anarachists to be too radical.

To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
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Nielsio replied on Mon, Mar 7 2011 4:27 PM

Eugene:

It seems that on this forum there are no minarchists. Everyone is an anarchist. As far as I know most libertarians are minarchists, and most Austrian school adherents are minarchists. So how come there are so few (if any) minarchists on this site?

I don't think most Austrian school adherents are minarchists. Seems to me that most people who take Austrianism seriously will come to anarchy at one point (hence, what you see @ this forum).

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I know Mises was never explicitly an anarchist, but if you take his philosophical principle of universal and unlimited right to secession then is that not implicitly condoning anarchy?

"I don't believe in ghosts, sermons, or stories about money" - Rooster Cogburn, True Grit.
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Eugene:
So how come there are so few (if any) minarchists on this site?

http://mises.org/daily/3660

I just believe it is taking the NAP to its logical conclusion, and being consistent in its application.  Even in the case of a "very small" government, having a monopoly in anything (be it courts, law, roads, military, police, water, garbage collection, etc):

1. Who decides what is the optimal size of government?

2. What if I disagree about your optimal size of government?

Those who disagree with paying for certain things are going to have to be FORCED to pay for this whether they like it or not.  Or those who want to enter the monopoly market are kept from doing so BY FORCE.

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EPUB requests/News: (Semi-)Official Mises.org EPUB Release Topic

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The more time I spend on these forums, the less libertarian and more conservative I become.

“Remove justice,” St. Augustine asks, “and what are kingdoms but gangs of criminals on a large scale? What are criminal gangs but petty kingdoms?”
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filc replied on Mon, Mar 7 2011 7:26 PM

MrSchnapps:

The more time I spend on these forums, the less libertarian and more conservative I become.

 

In what way?

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Where do you get the idea that most Austrian school adherents are minarchists? Apart from a bunch of Ron Paul acolytes who don't know anything about the Austrian school, besides the fact that Ron Paul is a fan of it, I'd say that the majority of Austrians are anarchists.

I'd say the Mises Institute is strongly anarchist because it was founded by Lew Rockwell and Murray Rothbard - two anarchists.

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We're anarchists because we apply the economic arugements against state intervention to every aspect of society (including law and order).

Sheldon Richman on Minarchists:

The crux of the economic difference between market anarchists and market minarchists is that the minarchists -- a priori -- find a market failure in the provision of law and security. Market anarchists do not. Considering that the minarchists embrace market theory in every other area, it seems they have the burden of showing why their own principles don't apply in those excepted areas. (It is significant that the first market anarchist we know of was an economist, Gustave de Molinari.)

Market anarchists have the theory, the history, and the moral philosophy. What's left?

http://sheldonfreeassociation.blogspot.com/2009/06/anarchists-vs-minarchists-defining.html

 

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I am an anarcho-minarchist.

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Nielsio replied on Mon, Mar 7 2011 8:20 PM

fancyshirtman:

We're anarchists because we apply the economic arugements against state intervention to every aspect of society (including law and order).

Sheldon Richman on Minarchists:

The crux of the economic difference between market anarchists and market minarchists is that the minarchists -- a priori -- find a market failure in the provision of law and security. Market anarchists do not. Considering that the minarchists embrace market theory in every other area, it seems they have the burden of showing why their own principles don't apply in those excepted areas. (It is significant that the first market anarchist we know of was an economist, Gustave de Molinari.)

Market anarchists have the theory, the history, and the moral philosophy. What's left?

http://sheldonfreeassociation.blogspot.com/2009/06/anarchists-vs-minarchists-defining.html

 

Added.

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Eric080 replied on Mon, Mar 7 2011 8:36 PM

Kaju hit the point on the head.  Most libertarians are minarchist for sure (i.e., Reason and Cato Institute) who aren't really in tune with Austrianism.  You may have a Tea Partier here and there who read The Road to Serfdom (because Glenn Beck told them to), but that does not make them Austrian.  The LvMI is the main think tank of Austrianism and just about every one of the scholars involved there are anarchists.

"And it may be said with strict accuracy, that the taste a man may show for absolute government bears an exact ratio to the contempt he may profess for his countrymen." - de Tocqueville
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I'm a left minarchist Republican.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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David. replied on Mon, Mar 7 2011 10:41 PM

I would say that it's because minarchists can't be bothered posting on this forum, especially on topics related to the minarchism vs. anarchism 'debate'. This means that on this forum, minarchists aren't really visible.

 

I know of minarchist libertarians interested in AE that can't be bothered with the forums here, calling the forums the 'rothbard institute', with all that enrails. It's not that people who have read the works of Mises, Menger, Bawerk(sp), Weiser, Hayek (or whoever else) all become anarchists, it's just that the minarchist adherents of AE tend not to post here. Mostly, minarchists think that you're just a bit hilarious. I have read this forum a bit, over the years. And it's a very small forum in the very big internet, so don't take it too seriously. I expect some one(s) to take exception to this post, but I'm simply not interested, so don't expect a reply - arguing on the internet being like competing in the special olympics etc..

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Drew replied on Mon, Mar 7 2011 10:46 PM

This isn't a small forum.

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filc replied on Mon, Mar 7 2011 11:41 PM

Eugene:

It seems that on this forum there are no minarchists. Everyone is an anarchist. As far as I know most libertarians are minarchists, and most Austrian school adherents are minarchists. So how come there are so few (if any) minarchists on this site?

There are generally two types of people here. Those who understand markets and those who don't. Those who don't are minarchists and/or some type of socialist. Those that do are generally more market(anarchy) leaning.

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"I'm a left minarchist Republican."

 

 

No offense but what does that mean?

 

I'm just trying to learn.

Enemy of the state
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filc replied on Mon, Mar 7 2011 11:55 PM

LibertarianCowboy:

"I'm a left minarchist Republican."

 

 

No offense but what does that mean?

 

I'm just trying to learn.

 

I am fairly certain he is making fun of the whole thing.

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Eric replied on Tue, Mar 8 2011 12:19 AM

There are generally two types of people here. Those who understand markets and those who don't. Those who don't are minarchists and/or some type of socialist. Those that do are generally more market(anarchy) leaning.

I don't think so. Remember the posters Hayekianxyz and Lam? They clearly knew more about markets than most here, yet they were not anarchists. Personally, the more I learned about markets, the more I lost faith in anarcho-capitalism.

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filc replied on Tue, Mar 8 2011 12:40 AM

Eric:
I don't think so. Remember the posters Hayekianxyz and Lam? They clearly knew more about markets than most here, yet they were not anarchists. Personally, the more I learned about markets, the more I lost faith in anarcho-capitalism.

He displayed an excellent ability in rhetorical speech. I never got the impression that he was overly knowledgable about markets. He seemed more concerned with other things.

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Eric:
Personally, the more I learned about markets, the more I lost faith in anarcho-capitalism.

Why would you substitute faith for reason?  Ancap is a position based on reason, not on belief.

 

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LibertarianCowboy:
No offense but what does that mean?

I'm just trying to learn.

Sorry if I confused you.  I was making a joke.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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Bert replied on Tue, Mar 8 2011 1:40 AM

A radicalanarchocapitalisttraditionalist.

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
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David.:
I would say that it's because minarchists can't be bothered posting on this forum, especially on topics related to the minarchism vs. anarchism 'debate'.

Oh they can be bothered, and there have been loads of minarchists posting here over the years.  Many of them became anarchists, some went away happy to stay in denial that the state is necessary or that a lesser evil is not evil.

David.:
I know of minarchist libertarians interested in AE that can't be bothered with the forums here, calling the forums the 'rothbard institute', with all that enrails.

The world is full of stupid, self-defeating people.

David.:
Mostly, minarchists think that you're just a bit hilarious.

Humor probably comes easier to the delusional.

David.:
I have read this forum a bit, over the years. And it's a very small forum in the very big internet, so don't take it too seriously. I expect some one(s) to take exception to this post, but I'm simply not interested, so don't expect a reply - arguing on the internet being like competing in the special olympics etc..

I agree.  It is a small forum on a very big internet, although that's not actually an argument for anything, so I don't know why you said it.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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skylien replied on Tue, Mar 8 2011 2:05 AM

I am considering myself still a minarchist in best case an agnostic anarchist out of 2 reasons:

1: Still lack of studying the necessary issues enough (defense, law and order) (So according to filc's classification I would count as someone who still doesn't get how markets work..)

2: I believe that we will not be able to brush away the government with one sweep peacefully, and that an anarchist society needs a much broader awareness of how it works. I don't say that everyone needs to read MES etc but a lot more people should in fact. So that it’s general ideas are spreading more broadly and are generally discussed also among ordinary people to reach a critical mass. And this means only a step by step procedure is thinkable that goes hand in hand with the spreading of the ideas of anarchism. So first there will be a minarchist state, before we will have the chance to see anarchism working here. (Maybe but very unlikely some anarchist communists overthrow the state by force, and then the new anarchist state turns out to work quite differently as they thought.. )

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James replied on Tue, Mar 8 2011 2:26 AM

So first there will be a minarchist state, before we will have the chance to see anarchism working here.

I think they already tried that in 1776.  It didn't work out.

Governments are like malignant tumors.  They grow.

Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro
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I am an anarcho-capitalist.

-- --- English I not so well sorry I will. I'm not native speaker.
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Merlin replied on Tue, Mar 8 2011 4:23 AM

I’ve actually noted very few ‘Misesians’, in the sense of advocating free secession rights for small communities, and not anarchy or minarchy themselves. They seem to be rare indeed. Pitty, it's a very congenial and practical position which many can understand.

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.
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skylien replied on Tue, Mar 8 2011 5:30 AM

I think they already tried that in 1776.  It didn't work out.

Governments are like malignant tumors.  They grow.

Therefore I wrote that a critical mass of people who really support at least minarchy or anarchy is a precondition. Even if you had the power to remove the government with clicking one's finger at this very moment, the state of anarchy would not last long, and probably would cause some severe turmoil. Without changing people’s minds you would accomplish nothing with it.

In a way people get exactly the government they want, so let’s change what they want by friendly explaining and showing how things work. We cannot do more. And I think mises.org and its forum do a great job. Even if it sounds overblown: I think in the long run Truth and Honesty will prevail! ;)

"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes, qui custodes custodient? Was that right for 'Who watches the watcher who watches the watchmen?' ? Probably not. Still...your move, my lord." Mr Vimes in THUD!
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Renboy replied on Tue, Mar 8 2011 7:02 AM

I'm an Anarco Communist.

:-)

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jay replied on Tue, Mar 8 2011 7:35 AM

With my amateur-level knowledge I generally consider myself ancap but I wouldn't mind living in a minarchist state.

A friend of mine said the choice so far removed from what we have now, it's like choosing to live on Neptune or Jupiter.

"The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -C.S. Lewis
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It's cause all the minarchists turned into anarchists.

Freedom has always been the only route to progress.

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Eric replied on Tue, Mar 8 2011 11:42 AM

Why would you substitute faith for reason?  Ancap is a position based on reason, not on belief.

Well I disagree, I believe for one to be an ancap a degree of faith is required. At the time however, it was my reason which led me to anarchism, and my reason which drew me away from it. After reading Hayek, I concluded that anarchism suffers from the fatal conciet, and I haven't turned back since.

That and telling chicks I was an anarchist usually didn't pan out well. :)

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Eric:
Well I disagree, I believe for one to be an ancap a degree of faith is required.

Faith in what?

Eric:
After reading Hayek, I concluded that anarchism suffers from the fatal conciet, and I haven't turned back since.

How does anarchism suffer from the fatal conceit?

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Most of the libertarians on these forums are deontologicals(libertarian moralist). The absence of minarchists who are more consequentialists, probably has to do with how cult like it can seem at times as Dave implied. Some of the reponses in here being a good example. I rarely come here because of it.

 

 

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It's only a [sic] cult if people have their ideas challenged, and they are unprepared for it.  I welcome a blood thirsty fascist dictator to the forum if he can be honest about his choices and what the consequences of them are.

So-called "consequentialists" tend to want to discuss everything in the abstract, nothing in the specific.  The minute a "consequentialist" is asked to justify violence, which in some cases they do support, they immediately throw their hands up and start crying about how the moralizers and Rothbardians are so unfair and irrational.

If one isn't willing to touch the fundamental question of who owns who, then libertarian ethics, and specifically politics can't be meaningfully discussed.  Consequentialists want to work towards THEIR ends, but they are ok with denying someone else THEIR ends.  And that's fundamentally NOT libertarian.  If people like that don't want to hang out on these forums, I am sure there are statist forums where people can make might makes right and greater good arguments that would better suit that style of libertarianism.

Again, I can love you if you're honest about your position, I absolutely cannot stand when someone knows their position is uncomfortable (by their own standard) and they won't address it sincerely.  People who wimp out on honesty suck, whether they claim to be for peace or violence.

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It's funny to call a bunch of mostly amoral irreligious anarchists cult-like.

It's much easier to argue that slavery is immoral then to get into an argument about how "beneficial" it is.

Freedom has always been the only route to progress.

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Consequentalists don't CARE about justfying their positions based on whether they think it's moral or not because of the NAP.

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You should at least have some kind of ethical beliefs. I support minarchy, it's most likely that minarchy will lead to anarchy. If anarchy were to occur, and it didn't work, then I would call for minarchy. However, I still have the NAP as a principle to guide my political values. How do you know what will or won't work until it's been done, how do you know it would provide the highest utility? You need some principles. The NAP breaks down the main difference between political/state actions and regular actions.

Ethics without understanding utility is dumb, only praising utility without having ethics is blind.

Freedom has always been the only route to progress.

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a.began replied on Tue, Mar 8 2011 1:25 PM

I'm a closet anarcho-capitalist, openly a minarchist. I never try to argue the an-cap position with people who are totally ignorant of it. I fear it might scare them off completely and label me crazy. I always start off making an argument for capitalism and then end up arguing for minarchism, but never go too far as to suggest anarcho-capitalism. I just hope to plant a seed.

I live in Holland. "Capitalism" is a radical idea here.

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