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Thread: Welcome to Free America - An Immigrants Guide to Anarcho-Capitalist America in 2057

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    Default Welcome to Free America - An Immigrants Guide to Anarcho-Capitalist America in 2057

    26 years after the government collapses, America no longer has a government. This new novel, written by a former Fed economist, is an immigrants guide to living and thriving in America's new Stateless society. The author David Barker was just interviewed by Dylan Ratigan, the book sounds like a legitimate look into an anarcho-capitalist society.

    From Amazon:
    Welcome to Free America describes America in the year 2057, 26 years after government has collapsed. The book is written as a guide for new immigrants. Free America is not a paradise, but it is prosperous and free, and manages to function in the complete absence of government. Readers may differ over whether the society described is a utopia or a dystopia.

    Check it out. http://www.amazon.com/Welcome-Free-A...6145951&sr=8-1
    "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." - Thomas Jefferson

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  3. #2
    Member Sentient Void's Avatar
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    Yeah, I *just* saw this on MSNBC (and literally *just* shared this on facebook) and was very, *VERY* surprised to find something like this on there, and also impressed by the author/economist talking about it. Good ol' D-Rat also treated him with respect and seemed genuinely intrigued, although (naturally) skeptical initially.

    Was a very good piece, and I'm definitely buying this book!
    "If men are good, then they need no rulers. If men are bad, then governments of men, composed of men, will also be bad - and probably worse, due to the State's amplification of coercive power." - Ozarkia

    "Big Brother is watching. So are we." - WikiLeaks

    Laissez-nous faire, laissez-nous passer. Le monde va de lui meme.

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    Thanks for sharing it. I first saw SV post about this on FB. Then I went here right away to see if it was posted lol.

    These three facts put together are mind blowing:

    1. A former Federal Reserve economist
    2. On TV (MSNBC)
    3. Promoting his book describing a fully libertarian society

    I am going to buy this to read on my Kindle.

    If there is ever a youtube of this, plz let me know ASAP.

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    $2.99 for the Kindle edition is a steal. Well worth it, IMO. Pretty interesting so far.

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    Just bought it on Kindle, thanks for the post. Look forward to reading it!

    "Remember that a government big enough to give you everything that you want, is also big enough to take away everything you have." - Barry Goldwater

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    Although it is definitely interesting that a former Fed economist wrote this and promoted it on TV, it was not a good book imo.

    I am not sure who the target audience is. It is a bad introduction, and anyone who has read anything about this subject will find nothing new or interesting. If you wanted to give someone a good and short (76 pages) introduction, I would recommend Chaos Theory by Bob Murphy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wesker1982 View Post
    Although it is definitely interesting that a former Fed economist wrote this and promoted it on TV, it was not a good book imo.

    I am not sure who the target audience is. It is a bad introduction, and anyone who has read anything about this subject will find nothing new or interesting. If you wanted to give someone a good and short (76 pages) introduction, I would recommend Chaos Theory by Bob Murphy.
    Can you describe in more detail why you thought the book was offputting?

    Thanks for looking into all this.

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    I am David Barker, the author of Welcome to Free America. In a cab, minutes after leaving the MSNBC set on Monday, I received a Google alert about this forum. It was a real boost to find out that someone was watching!

    Wesker1982 - I hadn't seen "Chaos Theory" before, but it is a fantastic book, thank you for recommending it. I'm sorry to hear that you didn't like my book. I'd love to hear what you didn't like about it.

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    Member asurfaholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barkrich View Post
    I am David Barker, the author of Welcome to Free America. In a cab, minutes after leaving the MSNBC set on Monday, I received a Google alert about this forum. It was a real boost to find out that someone was watching!

    Wesker1982 - I hadn't seen "Chaos Theory" before, but it is a fantastic book, thank you for recommending it. I'm sorry to hear that you didn't like my book. I'd love to hear what you didn't like about it.
    Welcome! Your book is next on my list

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    Quote Originally Posted by barkrich View Post
    Wesker1982 - I hadn't seen "Chaos Theory" before, but it is a fantastic book, thank you for recommending it. I'm sorry to hear that you didn't like my book. I'd love to hear what you didn't like about it.
    I'm also interested in constructive criticism - I'm going to see if I can get it DL'ed tonight and start reading.
    One thing I can address is Wesker's comment about not adding anything new. There are quite a few AC's here and we have something of an echo chamber going on (mainly on the philosophy subforum).

    Personally, I don't think there is much new to add, since (as I like to point out in the chamber) there are actual AC societies in history. It has been tried before. I'm looking forward to seeing if this factors into your book.

    Welcome to the forums! I hope you stick around!
    There are no crimes against people.
    There are only crimes against the state.
    And the state will never, ever choose to hold accountable its agents, because a thing can not commit a crime against itself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by noneedtoaggress View Post
    Can you describe in more detail why you thought the book was offputting?

    Thanks for looking into all this.
    Sure.

    Something I did like was that for the publishing information and stuff he put down these fake addresses and names:

    Free America Immigration Service Press
    3722 Ron Paul Avenue
    Galtville, von Mises (formerly Indiana)
    Printed in Free America, copyright protected by Acme Security


    I love the reference to Ron Paul, Galt, and Mises. It is interesting, though, because the book has barely any Rothbardian (Ron Paul reference) or Misesian influence. I knew it would be more David Friedman-like, but with these references I thought maybe it would have more Austro-Libertarian influence than it did.

    The book is written as a fictional guide for new immigrants to this new "Free America". Although it is a work of fiction, the events that lead to this society are too unlikely for seriously analysis. Basically, the USA collapses and plunges into chaos (highway robbery, vigilante justice, etc.) due to over spending and all that good stuff. It gets to the point where they can't pay government employees etc., and then entrepreneurs take over the services government used to provide.

    This automatically imo gives the wrong idea to anyone who is new to the idea of a libertarian society. The idea being that this free society we envision will arise from chaos, before people understand the nature of the problem (i.e. government). A lot of people wrongfully criticize us on this idea. It is a straw man argument against the Rothbardian theory, but not a straw man against the theory presented in this book. Again, I realize it is fiction, but what kind of understanding is a newcomer supposed to gain from the premise of this book? It won't give them any useful insight on how a libertarian society would actually arise. So already I am asking myself: who is this book for? A newcomer? It is already because of this a bad place to start.

    The next chapter gives the impression that defense agencies are compulsory. It presents the vision that new immigrants will arrive in "immigration complexes", where you have to sign up for defense services before leaving. If you bypass immigrate complexes (and neglect to sign up for defense) while moving to Free America, the author states "You could be picked up and sent to an incarceration facility." He doesn't mention whether or not this person is trespassing, and also leads the reader to assume you will be sent to jail for this offense. I wish he presented alternatives here. Like trespassers would just be removed from the property, but are free to inhabit any unowned areas.

    In these immigration complexes he implies centralization. "Since you have passed a biometric check, as soon as you arrive, you will be as much a legitimate part of Free America as anyone else." Sure, maybe a lot of people in a free society won't intereact with you if they think you are infested with the bubonic plague, but the way he puts it makes it seem like it is compulsory to pass a medical exam before being allowed to enter. It being implied because he says "legitimate". It is implying that if you don't pass this medical exam, then you are not a legitimate part of Free America. I have on idea what he means by 'legitimate', but it would be confusing to anyone new. This again being with the assumption that this is aimed towards newcomers. And I make this assumption because of the shortness of the book, and the lack of depth.

    He describes briefly a theory on how food safety would be provided. This is decent, no major complaints.

    He talks about immigrants signing lifetime employment contracts, escaping their employers, and forming enclaves. Without even getting into the legitimacy of slave contracts, I have a problem with this because I have no idea how this is supposed to be useful to anyone who is exploring this as a new idea. He does mention that firms trying to enforce these slave contracts might be boycotted, but he doesn't go into enough detail about boycotts considering just bringing up slave contracts will have a big impact on the reader.

    He doesn't consider that mentioning slave contracts will open a giant can of worms to mostly everyone reading this book. He goes into way more detail about protection firms hunting down and caputuring runaway employees to be put in cages than he does about the effectiveness of boycotts. The balance is way off.

    The story elaborates on exclusive neighborhoods that discriminate in various ways. Gender,race,religion,wealth, sexual preference, etc. Admittedly such communities could exist. However, I think there would be relatively few. The economic incentives of the division of labor would incline most people to open and free trade, and in general most people simply aren't extremely racist or sexist, etc. The problem here is that the average reader is unlikely to take this into consideration and is likely to envision a society full of secluded racist hillbillies and elite businessmen.

    In his story he does address concerns in regards to protection firms fighting eachother and why they have incentives to get along. But there is nothing new, nothing that hasn't been said before. His answers to the common objections are not good enough to make up for the many giant cans of worms he opens.

    It is a work of fiction, but is supposed to be analyzed seriously. Problems arise instantly becauase the premise of the whole book is unrealistic. I don't see a point in analyzing a free society arising from chaos when no one expects this, and no one advocates it.

    I understand I am criticizing this from a Rothbardian viewpoint and this book is not meant to be Rothbardian. I am not criticizing it because it is not Rothbardian or Austro-Libertarian, but because I don't think it is a good introduction at all, even for people who lean towards Friedman's vision. I think it is likely to scare the hell out of people who don't already have some sort of existing foundation for the idea of a stateless society.

    This book is bad for beginners, and offers nothing new for everyone else. If you want a short intro, I recommend Chaos Theory by Robert P. Murphy. If you want more detail, read For a New Liberty by Murray N. Rothbard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by barkrich View Post
    I am David Barker, the author of Welcome to Free America. In a cab, minutes after leaving the MSNBC set on Monday, I received a Google alert about this forum. It was a real boost to find out that someone was watching!

    Wesker1982 - I hadn't seen "Chaos Theory" before, but it is a fantastic book, thank you for recommending it. I'm sorry to hear that you didn't like my book. I'd love to hear what you didn't like about it.
    I was busy typing and posted my review before I had even realized you posted. I definitely didn't expect the author to post here while I was writing it! If I would have known, I probably would have been more detailed. It is awesome that you are here. I would love to discuss anything about your book or my review if you want.

    Thanks for posting!

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    Thanks for the review.

    A problem that I see with treatments of private-property-anarchy that are more utopian than mine is that non-libertarians find them unbelievable. I believe that the net effect of government is negative, but there are things that it does that I would miss, probably because I am part of the elite whose tastes are reflected in a lot of government policy. I tried to lay out an honest account of what a society of ungoverned real people might be like.

    I am not hopeful that a libertarian society will be created through education and gradual shrinkage of government. (for some reasons why, see http://libertarianpapers.org/2009/29...ad-to-paradise) I do think that government as an institution is in serious trouble. There is a tendency to become more democratic over time, and voters want lots of services and no taxes. This is a recipe for eventual economic collapse.

    The result of economic collapse might be dictatorship and a stronger state, but I think there is some chance that market institutions could take over first. In the book I tried to describe a temporary paralysis of government in which private firms take over roads, then security, etc.

    I doubt that there will be any "unowned areas" for more than a day or two. Think of the Oklahoma land rush. If so, immigrants will either go to areas to which they have been invited or they will be trespassers. I predicted that private firms will cater to immigrants, and that they will want to build reputations as low crime, high quality facilities, so they will screen immigrants, just as I screen tenants in the apartments that I own. Of course, there will be vigorous competition between immigrant centers.

    Slavery and discrimination are, I agree, giant cans of worms. But the cans aren't properly sealed, so we are forced to deal with them. When I discussed my book on a black radio station in Chicago, slavery was one of the first things to come up - with no government, why won't we have slavery?

    My view is that we own ourselves, and that part of the bundle of rights we receive with ownership is the right of alienation. If I want to sell 1% of my future income to finance my education, why shouldn't I? More importantly, if there is no government, what is to stop me from doing so? If I can sell 1%, why not 51%? And if I sell 51%, my investors will demand some say about my location, occupation, drinking habits, etc. Similarly, I could offer myself as collateral for a loan, and I believe that people would do so in the absence of government. The idea of "slaves" in a libertarian society may be disconcerting, but I think we need to think it through.

    I disagree with your point that "most people simply aren't extremely racist or sexist." Furthermore, it doesn't take much discriminatory behavior to result in extreme segregation. Economists have produced simulations that show how much societies will divide with relatively weak preferences for living near similar people. There is a reason why governments have had to work so hard to enforce anti-discrimination laws.

    Thanks again for your comments on my book! I look forward to more discussion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by barkrich View Post
    Thanks for the review.
    You're welcome

    Quote Originally Posted by barkrich View Post
    A problem that I see with treatments of private-property-anarchy that are more utopian than mine is that non-libertarians find them unbelievable.
    Could you specify which theories you are talking about? Rothbards?

    I have spent literally hundreds of hours talking to family, friends, strangers in person, strangers on forums, etc. and probably the most common objection is that warlords will take over, or another State will arise. And this is why they find the whole idea utopian. Society is in chaos and then virtuous private companies arise to save the day sounds crazy to them.

    I don't think your vision will be any less utopian to non-libertarians, anyways. Either perspective sounds crazy to the vast majority of people. But from personal experience, I have had a lot of success convincing people from a Rothbardian perspective. I am just speculating, but I think my success rate would be far lower than it has been if I were to argue from the ideas presented in your book.

    People are very skeptical about the whole idea of justice and law being at the mercy of whoever is paying the most. I am not implying that this what you were proposing in your book, but I think it will be the impression a lot of people will walk away with. And without Rothbard's answer to this problem, I honestly don't imagine I would have changed anyone's mind.

    I think you did well on the "Who Keeps Protection Firms Accountable" part, but I think it is lacking an explanation of what stops a wealthy businessman from buying and enforcing their own justice. Again, I understand the answers to these problems. What I find problematic is that the detail is lacking for people who these ideas are new to.

    Of course no relatively short book can go into detail about everything, but I find Chaos Theory to be less frightening to the average person than some of things you say in your book.


    Quote Originally Posted by barkrich View Post
    I am not hopeful that a libertarian society will be created through education and gradual shrinkage of government.
    In a society where people still believe in the myth of government, that a violent monopoly is necessary for people to peacefully exist, then this is what society will produce. I see no way to avoid this unless people in general change their minds. The rise of the libertarian movement and the Ron Paul campaign lead me to believe that although it might be a slow process, the truth will become evident and people will change their minds. And with the internet, I think this process will progress more rapidly than in the past.

    Quote Originally Posted by barkrich View Post
    The result of economic collapse might be dictatorship and a stronger state, but I think there is some chance that market institutions could take over first.
    I agree. But if market institutions took over, I think it would be very temporary if society believes in the myth of government. If the government collapsed tonight, I see people overwhelmingly putting their faith in the first charismatic leader who denounces the evil free market that lead to this catastrophe and who promises them the recovery of America. And this would be because people do not yet understand the nature of the problem (government), which is why I think education is a necessary precondition.

    Quote Originally Posted by barkrich View Post
    I doubt that there will be any "unowned areas" for more than a day or two.
    The State arbitrarily claims ownership to a lot of abandoned land. I do not see people legitimately homesteading all of it very fast.

    But the main thing about the book is that I think when people read it, they will just imagine a small group of elite businessmen doing exactly what the State does now since you did not even mention the possibility of there being unowned land.

    You didn't say why the immigrants would be picked up when landing outside of an immigration complex. I assume it would be because they are trespassing on private land, but someone who is new to these ideas will not make that assumption.

    Quote Originally Posted by barkrich View Post
    Slavery and discrimination are, I agree, giant cans of worms. But the cans aren't properly sealed, so we are forced to deal with them.
    I agree that we need to deal with them. What I am saying is that the amount of attention given to dealing with them was not proportionate to how big of cans of worms they are, if that makes any sense lol.

    What I mean is that if this book is target towards people new to this idea, then mentioning these things are likely to scare them away. So I think including it in an introductory work is a bad idea unless there is a lot of attention dedicated to concerns raised by it.

    Quote Originally Posted by barkrich View Post
    My view is that we own ourselves, and that part of the bundle of rights we receive with ownership is the right of alienation. If I want to sell 1% of my future income to finance my education, why shouldn't I?
    I agree with self-ownership but I don't think you can detach your exclusive control over yourself. People can compel you to do this or that, but you ultimately still have the exclusive control over your body.

    That debate will fill pages. My point in regards to your book is that it is alarming to people when it is brought up, so more attention should have been given to explaining it.

    Quote Originally Posted by barkrich View Post
    I disagree with your point that "most people simply aren't extremely racist or sexist."
    I said "extreme" in the sense that I don't think most people feel so strongly about their bigoted views that they would be willing to seclude themselves and give up the benefits of the division of labor. So while I think there would be a secluded communities, I think they would be in a big minority.

    Quote Originally Posted by barkrich View Post
    There is a reason why governments have had to work so hard to enforce anti-discrimination laws.
    I would say that is mostly because you can break one of the thousands of discrimination laws without actually discriminating.

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    Anarcho-capitalism... is this similar to laissez faire capitalism? If not, how is it different? I was exposed to laissez faire many times in college, but not anarcho-capitalism.
    Indianensis Universitatis Alumnus

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    Quote Originally Posted by AFPVet View Post
    Anarcho-capitalism... is this similar to laissez faire capitalism? If not, how is it different? I was exposed to laissez faire many times in college, but not anarcho-capitalism.
    Somewhat comparable, somewhat incomparable. LF capitalism is an economic theory. Anarcho-capitalism is a political ideology, rooted in economic theory. Where An-Caps part with LF capitalism, IMHO, is in a visceral understanding of the immorality of the state as an institution, summed up nicely by one of my favorite articles of all time:

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard75.html

    Do You Hate the State?
    by Murray N. Rothbard


    Originally published in The Libertarian Forum, Vol. 10, No. 7, July 1977.

    I have been ruminating recently on what are the crucial questions that divide libertarians. Some that have received a lot of attention in the last few years are: anarcho-capitalism vs. limited government, abolitionism vs. gradualism, natural rights vs. utilitarianism, and war vs. peace. But I have concluded that as important as these questions are, they don’t really cut to the nub of the issue, of the crucial dividing line between us.


    Let us take, for example, two of the leading anarcho-capitalist works of the last few years: my own For a New Liberty and David Friedman’s Machinery of Freedom. Superficially, the major differences between them are my own stand for natural rights and for a rational libertarian law code, in contrast to Friedman’s amoralist utilitarianism and call for logrolling and trade-offs between non-libertarian private police agencies. But the difference really cuts far deeper. There runs through For a New Liberty (and most of the rest of my work as well) a deep and pervasive hatred of the State and all of its works, based on the conviction that the State is the enemy of mankind. In contrast, it is evident that David does not hate the State at all; that he has merely arrived at the conviction that anarchism and competing private police forces are a better social and economic system than any other alternative. Or, more fully, that anarchism would be better than laissez-faire which in turn is better than the current system. Amidst the entire spectrum of political alternatives, David Friedman has decided that anarcho-capitalism is superior. But superior to an existing political structure which is pretty good too. In short, there is no sign that David Friedman in any sense hates the existing American State or the State per se, hates it deep in his belly as a predatory gang of robbers, enslavers, and murderers. No, there is simply the cool conviction that anarchism would be the best of all possible worlds, but that our current set-up is pretty far up with it in desirability. For there is no sense in Friedman that the State – any State – is a predatory gang of criminals.


    The same impression shines through the writing, say, of political philosopher Eric Mack. Mack is an anarcho-capitalist who believes in individual rights; but there is no sense in his writings of any passionate hatred of the State, or, a fortiori, of any sense that the State is a plundering and bestial enemy.

    Perhaps the word that best defines our distinction is "radical." Radical in the sense of being in total, root-and-branch opposition to the existing political system and to the State itself. Radical in the sense of having integrated intellectual opposition to the State with a gut hatred of its pervasive and organized system of crime and injustice. Radical in the sense of a deep commitment to the spirit of liberty and anti-statism that integrates reason and emotion, heart and soul.

    Furthermore, in contrast to what seems to be true nowadays, you don’t have to be an anarchist to be radical in our sense, just as you can be an anarchist while missing the radical spark. I can think of hardly a single limited governmentalist of the present day who is radical – a truly amazing phenomenon, when we think of our classical liberal forbears who were genuinely radical, who hated statism and the States of their day with a beautifully integrated passion: the Levellers, Patrick Henry, Tom Paine, Joseph Priestley, the Jacksonians, Richard Cobden, and on and on, a veritable roll call of the greats of the past. Tom Paine’s radical hatred of the State and statism was and is far more important to the cause of liberty than the fact that he never crossed the divide between laissez-faire and anarchism.


    And closer to our own day, such early influences on me as Albert Jay Nock, H. L. Mencken, and Frank Chodorov were magnificently and superbly radical. Hatred of "Our Enemy, the State" (Nock’s title) and all of its works shone through all of their writings like a beacon star. So what if they never quite made it all the way to explicit anarchism? Far better one Albert Nock than a hundred anarcho-capitalists who are all too comfortable with the existing status quo.


    Where are the Paines and Cobdens and Nocks of today? Why are almost all of our laissez-faire limited governmentalists plonky conservatives and patriots? If the opposite of "radical" is "conservative," where are our radical laissez-fairists? If our limited statists were truly radical, there would be virtually no splits between us. What divides the movement now, the true division, is not anarchist vs. minarchist, but radical vs. conservative. Lord, give us radicals, be they anarchists or no.

    To carry our analysis further, radical anti-statists are extremely valuable even if they could scarcely be considered libertarians in any comprehensive sense. Thus, many people admire the work of columnists Mike Royko and Nick von Hoffman because they consider these men libertarian sympathizers and fellow-travelers. That they are, but this does not begin to comprehend their true importance. For throughout the writings of Royko and von Hoffman, as inconsistent as they undoubtedly are, there runs an all-pervasive hatred of the State, of all politicians, bureaucrats, and their clients which, in its genuine radicalism, is far truer to the underlying spirit of liberty than someone who will coolly go along with the letter of every syllogism and every lemma down to the "model" of competing courts.

    Taking the concept of radical vs. conservative in our new sense, let us analyze the now famous "abolitionism" vs. "gradualism" debate. The latter jab comes in the August issue of Reason (a magazine every fiber of whose being exudes "conservatism"), in which editor Bob Poole asks Milton Friedman where he stands on this debate. Freidman takes the opportunity of denouncing the "intellectual cowardice" of failing to set forth "feasible" methods of getting "from here to there." Poole and Friedman have between them managed to obfuscate the true issues. There is not a single abolitionist who would not grab a feasible method, or a gradual gain, if it came his way. The difference is that the abolitionist always holds high the banner of his ultimate goal, never hides his basic principles, and wishes to get to his goal as fast as humanly possible. Hence, while the abolitionist will accept a gradual step in the right direction if that is all that he can achieve, he always accepts it grudgingly, as merely a first step toward a goal which he always keeps blazingly clear. The abolitionist is a "button pusher" who would blister his thumb pushing a button that would abolish the State immediately, if such a button existed. But the abolitionist also knows that alas, such a button does not exist, and that he will take a bit of the loaf if necessary – while always preferring the whole loaf if he can achieve it.


    It should be noted here that many of Milton’s most famous "gradual" programs such as the voucher plan, the negative income tax, the withholding tax, fiat paper money – are gradual (or even not so gradual) steps in the wrong direction, away from liberty, and hence the militance of much libertarian opposition to these schemes.


    His button-pushing position stems from the abolitionist’s deep and abiding hatred of the State and its vast engine of crime and oppression. With such an integrated world-view, the radical libertarian could never dream of confronting either a magic button or any real-life problem with some arid cost-benefit calculation. He knows that the State must be diminished as fast and as completely as possible. Period.

    And that is why the radical libertarian is not only an abolitionist, but also refuses to think in such terms as a Four Year Plan for some sort of stately and measured procedure for reducing the State. The radical – whether he be anarchist or laissez-faire – cannot think in such terms as, e.g.: Well, the first year, we’ll cut the income tax by 2%, abolish the ICC, and cut the minimum wage; the second year we’ll abolish the minimum wage, cut the income tax by another 2%, and reduce welfare payments by 3%, etc. The radical cannot think in such terms, because the radical regards the State as our mortal enemy, which must be hacked away at wherever and whenever we can. To the radical libertarian, we must take any and every opportunity to chop away at the State, whether it’s to reduce or abolish a tax, a budget appropriation, or a regulatory power. And the radical libertarian is insatiable in this appetite until the State has been abolished, or – for minarchists – dwindled down to a tiny, laissez-faire role.

    Many people have wondered: Why should there be any important political disputes between anarcho-capitalists and minarchists now? In this world of statism, where there is so much common ground, why can’t the two groups work in complete harmony until we shall have reached a Cobdenite world, after which we can air our disagreements? Why quarrel over courts, etc. now? The answer to this excellent question is that we could and would march hand-in-hand in this way if the minarchists were radicals, as they were from the birth of classical liberalism down to the 1940s. Give us back the antistatist radicals, and harmony would indeed reign triumphant within the movement.

    Reprinted from Mises.org.


    Murray N. Rothbard (1926–1995) was dean of the Austrian School, founder of modern libertarianism, and academic vice president of the Mises Institute. He was also editor – with Lew Rockwell – of The Rothbard-Rockwell Report, and appointed Lew as his literary executor. See his books.

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    I'm a fan of David Friedman's vision of anarcho-capitalism in "The Machinery of Freedom". But I hate the term. Most people think of anarchism as lawlessness, not simply statelessness. Moreover, I think that a better way to sell these ideas is rather as the logical conclusion of classical liberal ideas. Think about federalism which is intended as a form of competition between different governments as a way of keeping their power in check. Well, anarcho-capitalism is, in essence, just a radical form of federalism where instead of having to move states to change jurisdiction, you just change your jurisdictional service provider. My favorite article explaining the legal framework of this system is Tom Bell's "The Jurisprudence of Polycentric Law". Another really good one if you want to go back to the first person to really think through the logical conclusion is Gustave Molinari's "The Production of Security".

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    Could you specify which theories you are talking about?
    Actually I was thinking of some books that have been sent to me after the authors read mine. They are fine books, but I think they paint too rosy a picture of the libertarian future.

    I don't think your vision will be any less utopian to non-libertarians, anyways. Either perspective sounds crazy to the vast majority of people... I think my success rate would be far lower than it has been if I were to argue from the ideas presented in your book.
    You might be right. But being a conscious proselytizer is a good way to lose an audience. I think one reason my book has gotten a little bit of attention is that I deal with the dark side. Radio and TV producers need something that will grab attention. I am a capitalist, and I want to sell books and entertain audiences, but a side benefit is that I have exposed 500,000 people to the idea of anarchy - maybe spreading that many seeds and letting them grow on their own will do as much as carefully tending a few plants. Of course, there is room in the world for both strategies.

    people do not yet understand the nature of the problem (government), which is why I think education is a necessary precondition.
    Experience is the best education, and the experience of the last 50 years has convinced a lot of people that government doesn't have all of the answers. The decline of confidence government over this time has been astonishing, but it has not been the result of deliberate education. Similarly, communism collapsed because of its obvious weaknesses, not because people in communist countries were taught about capitalism.

    The State arbitrarily claims ownership to a lot of abandoned land. I do not see people legitimately homesteading all of it very fast.
    This is an excellent point that I have not considered carefully. But I still think immigrants would rather come to an immigrant center than plunk themselves down in the middle of a desert.

    I agree with self-ownership but I don't think you can detach your exclusive control over yourself.
    It certainly is possible to detach control over yourself - suicide being the most extreme example. Some people might want to give up control over their own life, and others might want to gamble it away. But I agree that this is a long debate which we can have later. Rather than scaring people away, however, I see the debate as a way to gain attention. If freedom is best its arguments will prevail, and the best way to speed the process is to gain attention and get the debate started.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Apollonius of Perga View Post
    I'm a fan of David Friedman's vision of anarcho-capitalism in "The Machinery of Freedom". But I hate the term. Most people think of anarchism as lawlessness, not simply statelessness. Moreover, I think that a better way to sell these ideas is rather as the logical conclusion of classical liberal ideas. Think about federalism which is intended as a form of competition between different governments as a way of keeping their power in check. Well, anarcho-capitalism is, in essence, just a radical form of federalism where instead of having to move states to change jurisdiction, you just change your jurisdictional service provider. My favorite article explaining the legal framework of this system is Tom Bell's "The Jurisprudence of Polycentric Law". Another really good one if you want to go back to the first person to really think through the logical conclusion is Gustave Molinari's "The Production of Security".
    I don't think it will ever be possible to overcome the colloquial definition of anarchy.

  26. #25

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    Well, government is a necessary evil. Now it may be theoretically possible to survive with only local governments; however, there has to be some kind of government... whether that is your neighborhood electing township leadership.... Historically, anarchy has resulted in tyranny due to some group which presents itself as leadership. While the intent may be good, government is something which we cannot dodge. Whether we like it or not, someone has to make the rules and enforce them... or you could have mob rule and chaos.

    All of this boils down to the question... how much government do we really need?
    Indianensis Universitatis Alumnus

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by AFPVet View Post
    Well, government is a necessary evil. Now it may be theoretically possible to survive with only local governments; however, there has to be some kind of government... whether that is your neighborhood electing township leadership.... Historically, anarchy has resulted in tyranny due to some group which presents itself as leadership. While the intent may be good, government is something which we cannot dodge. Whether we like it or not, someone has to make the rules and enforce them... or you could have mob rule and chaos.

    All of this boils down to the question... how much government do we really need?
    We need law, the collective organization of the individual's right to self defense. We don't need a monopoly on law funded via coercion - the State.



    Thanks for the review Wesk.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by noneedtoaggress View Post
    We need law, the collective organization of the individual's right to self defense. We don't need a monopoly on law funded via coercion - the State.


    A flawed video. As Milton Friedman told Donahue:

    "Who exactly are these angels who are going to organize society?"

    Meaning that the dispute of conflict in this video ignores human nature, by assuming that individuals acting in their own self interest will be objective. There also can be no means of guaranteeing conflict resolution, or participation in the role of third party arbitration. What this video does is explain why Cosmopolitan law does not work, and why we need the Rule Of Law.

    Here is a better explanation:
    Last edited by RickBelmont; 01-12-2012 at 01:48 PM.

  29. #28

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    Here's a video of David Friedman explaining a possible system of private provision of law and how it makes economic sense.
    Last edited by Apollonius of Perga; 01-12-2012 at 02:39 PM.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by RickBelmont View Post
    A flawed video. As Milton Friedman told Donahue:

    "Who exactly are these angels who are going to organize society?"
    Um, you do realize this was an argument against state power, right? He's asking where you are going to find the "angels" who are going to use the violence of the state to organize society, "without greed". He promoted markets (voluntary trade) as the best way of organizing society, but didn't take it as far as his son has, as the previous poster pointed out.

    Quote Originally Posted by RickBelmont View Post
    Meaning that the dispute of conflict in this video ignores human nature, by assuming that individuals acting in their own self interest will be objective.
    I'm not sure what you're trying to say here.

    Quote Originally Posted by RickBelmont View Post
    There also can be no means of guaranteeing conflict resolution, or participation in the role of third party arbitration.
    That was addressed in the video, and the state doesn't change that. (Also, war is costly and unpredictable).

    Quote Originally Posted by RickBelmont View Post
    Here is a better explanation:
    Not really. It's actually pretty sloppy.
    Last edited by noneedtoaggress; 01-12-2012 at 02:18 PM.

  31. #30

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    Based on just what I have read on this thread - have not yet read the book. I'd go with the author as having the better view.

    I have been fortunate to have had conversations with some serious free market economist now at and formerly with George Mason University - awesome experience to be able to chat with such brainpower. Basically Rothbard does not get much influence in the economic community, and my reading of him re-enforces why this is. He has sever internal contrdictions that were never resolved, and that hurts credibility.

    Finally, I think the chaos and violence scenario is the more realistic. The real question is whether the anarchistic society has the ability to last over time, as even the most ardent advocates should recognize that absense of some type of govermental structure ends up being a vacuum that is expolited by some other entity that the society is unable to defend against encroachment.
    Out of every one hundred men they send us, ten should not even be here. Eighty will do nothing but serve as targets for the enemy. Nine are real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, upon them depends our success in battle. But one, ah the one, he is a real warrior, and he will bring the others back from battle alive.

    Duty is the most sublime word in the English language. Do your duty in all things. You can not do more than your duty. You should never wish to do less than your duty.

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