Here is a very good analysis and criticism of anarcho-capitalism. I’ve made pretty much the exact same arguments, but this video offers precise real world examples to back up these arguments.
Info from below the video on YouTube:
I read this article in the original magazine but I see that you have to pay online. Fucking capitalist!!! Sorry.
Somali Business Council
See how this meeting took place in 2003 before the reEMERGENCE of the state.
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Since posting the above, someone linked here in an anarcho-capitalist forum:
The opening comment asked about the issue of what if corporations want a state government. The whole argument of anarcho-capitalism rests on the belief that state governments corrupt capitalism and that corporations as we know them wouldn’t exist without state governments.
I think this is a moot point in that corporations and state governments develop together. Both are simply related forms of centralized power and hierarchical organization. The only type of capitalism that is even close to anarchism is bartering which is only found (as an economic system) in pre-industrial tribal societies. However, what made those pre-industrial tribal societies work was two factors:
1) They didn’t have to compete with industrialized nation states.
2) They were traditional communities probably with traditional theocratic political systems.
These societies wouldn’t fit the utopian vision of a modern anarcho-capitalist who wants to implement the Enlightenment ideals of classical liberalism. These tribal societies are egalitarian to some extent for the simple fact they were small close-knit communities and so they could operate according to direct democracy or community councils.
My point is that we moderns wouldn’t recognize these societies as being capitalist in any aspect. And, for damn sure, a modern corporation or anarcho-capitalist DRO couldn’t be run according to the traditional theocracy of a pre-industrial tribal society. Modern capitalism goes hand in hand with modern statism. It’s just a fact. I realize that an-caps would prefer it not to be so, but it doesn’t change the facts.
In the forum thread, the first response was of course a Stefan Molyneux devotee telling the person to read Molyneux’s holy books and all would be revealed. The person who started the thread said the following:
I’ve listened to it in audiobook when I first started getting into stateless capitalism. i should check it out again. But i don’t remember him covering the subject of business actually WANTING a governement.
I’m not talking about DRO’s becoming governments. That is highly improbable for many reasons that have been explained countless times.
I remember stef saying that once violence is out of the equations, life will work “however the hell people want them to work”.
Now if big business “wants it to work” with a government that they set up. What’s preventing them? DROs?
I really don’t see why it’s improbable that a DRO might become a government other than the fact that a society based on DROs is itself highly improbable (that is assuming the DROs lived up to anarcho-capitalist ideals of non-aggression). But, ignoring that, this commenter brings up the same point again which no one in the thread has yet answered. What if states don’t force themselves on corporations and instead corporations choose to create states?
This is sort of like the conundrum of a democratic country like Germany leading to an un-democratic leader like Hitler. What if people freely want to give up their freedom? Similarly, what if corporations freely want to givt up some of their freedom for the stability and security of a state? What if a free market doesn’t actually benefit big businesses? Why would big businesses support anarcho-capitalism if it decreased their profit? Also, in landlord anarcho-capitalism, what if the landless peasants decided to end their contracts and take the land for themselves or create a new government? Most governments that exist were once created or supported by the masses. If the masses rose up, how would the anarcho-capitalist feudal landlord non-aggressively maintain his power and property?
One other commenter countered such criticisms with the following:
the examples and theory have to do with societies that have simply rejected the previous form of government, not by accepting anarchy for the NAP. This is why the business leaders that remain are still reaching for the gun.
Morality is the reason for Anarcho-Capitalism, not utility. As Stef and the Mises and Libertarians try to point out; the moral solution is also the most efficient solution as well.
Violence is not a reason for having a government, it is the reason to not have one.
His first point is that it doesn’t count because the corporations didn’t accept anarchy despite no government keeping them from accepting anarchy. Isn’t that the point of the criticism? Why would a wealthy and powerful corporation ever choose anarchy? He tried to avoid the criticism by somehow arguing real world examples don’t count.
His second point that the moral values are noble even if they contradict reality. That is the same kind of argument a Christians make. Religious fundamentalists argue that teaching abstinence is worthy even though it fails in the preventing of teen sex, teen pregnancy, and teen STDS. Religious fundamentalists argue that making abortions illegal is the morally correct action even though countries with illegalized abortions have higher rates of abortions. The sentiment is that if somehow we could change all of society and culture to fit some specific set of beliefs then the world would be a better place. Sure. Every true believer says that. Every utopian dreamer thinks his vision is worthy. So what? Reality is still reality.
Basically, people like this would prefer to live in a dream without violence than a reality with violence. It sounds nice. The only problem is that dreams don’t feed your belly. Nor do dreams protect your family from threats.
Filed under: Sociopolitical | Tagged: an-cap, anarchism, anarcho-capitalism, capitalism, free market, NoMoreSunsets | 9 Comments »