Crime in an Anarcho-Capitalist Society

Right after they ask you “Who will build the roads?” the next thing a statist will usually ask an anarchist is “What about crime?”

A valid enough question that plenty of people have difficulty answering, so I figure it time I join the long list of people who have already addressed it. I haven’t read or watched every response to this question, so I’m surely going to repeat some of what others have said, but for the purpose of this article I’ll mention that it is heavily influenced by Stefan Molyneux’s “Practical Anarchy“. The rest is just my own reasoning.

Where I do differ with Molyneux is that I don’t think insurance companies are necessarily going to be very directly involved in the rearing of children. I certainly wouldn’t give someone money if they were going to be interfering in my family like that, and I doubt many others would either. I don’t think violence will be bred out of the human psyche, ever, nor do I think it should be. I certainly don’t imagine that happening in our lifetimes, during which I would like to see a free society formed. This going contrary to the multigenerational paths that most of my voluntarist friends imagine. I aim to see this problem solved in the next 50 years, in at least one small geographic area, and that means there will need to be defensive forces ready to deal with all the ills of modern society, including neighboring governments.

Crime In a Free Society
Crime In a Free Society

It should go without saying, that I’m not entirely sure what defense would look like in a free society. Nobody does. Who can predict the innovations that would happen in the absence of the State? Nobody. That would be like predicting oil and electricity and modern machinery prior to the abolition of slavery. What we know from our study of history and economics is that markets provide. If enough people want something bad enough to pay for it, somebody will create it and sell it to them.

So just as easily as I make the case that will follow shortly, I could say there will be some ridiculously cheap, powerful, and easy to use weapon that comes into existence, that makes violence go completely out of style. Just as no nuclear nation has ever been invaded, and just as there is almost no crime in places where the citizenry is armed, one could imagine such a weapon coming into existence and making violence so ridiculously dangerous that almost nobody would dare engage in it, at least not any more than they would jump from a tall building. This of course still happens, people kill themselves all the time. But since statists rarely ask us “Who will prevent the suicides?” I’ll assume they consider these losses acceptable.

Still, rather than write a science fiction novel, I will deal with what we know now.

Common Criminality

Let’s start with the easy part. Murder, theft, rape, assault, vandalism, trespass, crimes with actual victims. These are basically the only crimes I care to see dealt with in a free society. Police are very busy folks these days, because they have to punish speeding, and smoking, and sex, and all sorts of other “victimless crimes”. A free society is based on the idea that people can do whatever they want as long as they don’t harm anyone, so whatever security forces were to exist, wouldn’t need to address these issues.

One could then easily imagine their taxes plummeting even in a statist society should the enforcers simply stick to their stated purpose of protecting and serving. Even while they had ridiculous paychecks and pensions and health benefits and all the weaponry and gear they could ever hope to obtain, simply not chasing down every arguably disagreeable behavior, would slash costs down to miniscule amounts.

We also know that the highest crime rates are in the places with the most restrictive weapons laws, and that no such laws would exist in a free society. Go to a place like New Hampshire, or Vermont, and really almost the only time you hear about shootings, is when police kill somebody, and that’s usually in the process of some ridiculous drug raid.

Let us remove the police from the equation altogether. There are no drug laws, there are no weapons laws. Everybody can have whatever weapons they want, they require no permission to carry them. Even before we begin building private security forces we can presume that more people would carry weapons in the absence of the State than they presently do, even in areas where there are no restrictions on carrying weapons at present.

If we look at places like Vermont and New Hampshire, where pretty much anybody can carry a weapon, but a fairly small minority actually does, there’s already almost no crime. If we were to increase the ownership and carrying of arms, as a stateless society would likely do, we can extrapolate that there would be considerably less crime in these areas. Without the police enforcing their vast lists of politicians edicts, violence is reduced further by the police not out killing people for having plants.

In this context, I see crime as near non-issue already. Before we even involve security cameras, burglar alarms, or locks on doors, much less insurance companies or security agencies, the natural order of things is such that the average person need not think too much about crime.

Of course, people will certainly be a little bit nervous when there are no police. They will demand some sort of protection whether they need it or not, and as we mentioned before, markets provide. With all those taxes they used to pay now kept in their own pockets, they’ll have plenty of money to purchase these services. However, since the services would so rarely be required, and the cost of hiring a team of security personnel after a crime has occurred would be high, one might expect that this would come in the form of an insurance policy. Paying a small monthly fee to be protected against harm or loss would seem like a bargain compared to the current tax codes, and would easily provide a higher level of service.

Just as a health or life insurance policy charges less for non smokers, or a car insurance policy offers discounts for vehicle safety features, one could imagine a security policy coming with discounts for the aforementioned security cameras, burglar alarms, and locks on doors. The prevalence of such security measures would drive crime down even further. Since we know that drugs are involved in a lot of criminal activity, we can imagine that sober people would be cheaper to insure than drug addicts, disincentivizing drug use, lowering crime further. Through this model, any number of destructive behaviors could be disincentivized, without intruding on the rights of others.
With crime so low and so many people paying for services, you can imagine quite the market for protection services arising. One could take their pick from any number of policies, from any number of companies, each policy offering different costs and benefits and obligations.This could evolve into a more complex system of private law, dictating contracts and all manner of activity. You could engage in commerce with anyone you liked, but only transactions approved by the protection agency would be covered by the policy. Think of eBay, where if you buy something and the seller does not provide it, eBay refunds your transaction. Sellers are regulated by reputation, through a ratings system, and disreputable sellers are expelled from the system. eBay doesn’t prevent you from doing business with that person, they just won’t help facilitate it, as covering that seller’s transactions would increase their costs.

A Crime Occurs Anyway

No system being perfect, we can presume that all these efforts to reduce and prevent crime would from time to time fail. We should first take notice that this is no argument against a free society. Crime happens in statist societies all the time. We can directly place the blame for many of these crimes on the State itself, since they facilitate crime with their bans on weapons, prohibitions on deploying defensive force, and since so many of the crimes libertarians see in this world are actually carried out by State agents.

Let us further address the reality that the crime may never be solved. Again, no argument against a free society, since crimes go unsolved in statist societies all the time. When a crime occurs in a statist society, police show up after the fact and take a report. In many cases, no investigation even takes place. The State has little to no incentive to solve crimes, because they are not responsible for reimbursing their victims. In fact, the more crime happens in a given place, the more the State gets paid in the form of tax increases, all while never being held responsible, and since no competition or non payment is permitted, it is not as if you can just drop your statist protection services.

The insurance company on the other hand has motivation. Even today, if your home was burglarized, your home owners insurance would likely cover the damages. The insurance market being regulated as it presently is, there’s little competition though. Insurance in a State society is really more of a cartel than anything. So today there is usually a high deductible, you risk losing your policy for making the claim, and the insurance company is forbidden from pursuing the perpetrator on its own, so usually you just eat the loss.

A market based protection service in the absence of the State would have more incentive to actually provide protection and reimburse losses. Since anybody could be an insurance company in the absence of the State, competition would compel service. If someone got robbed, and you dropped them for making a claim, while hundreds of other insurers from all over the world were waiting for the chance to pick up your client, you could imagine dropping one client could lead to hundreds of clients switching insurers to prevent being put in the same predicament.

Since there is no public police force, insurers would have incentive to become, or work with, private security forces. Reimbursing one client for goods lost in a burglary is no big deal for the insurance company, but they would likely want to recover the goods from the perpetrator and prevent him from victimizing other clients. You might even see insurers pooling resources to hire security forces so that all their clients might be protected at a lower individual cost.

Modern investigative techniques are not unique to the State. Anybody can lift fingerprints, view video surveillance, question witnesses, take plaster molds of footprints, DNA samples, put up wanted posters, and what have you.

The Rights of the Perpetrator

This one jammed me up for awhile when I was still clinging to the US Constitution. “What about trial by jury?” I would ask anarchists, and nobody would answer me for the longest time.

Let’s just start off assuming statists are right, that mere suspicion of a crime in an anarchist society would result in summary execution on the street. No rights, no trials, just “Hey you! BANG!“. I think this is extraordinarily unlikely, but let’s just go ahead and entertain this idea. Still no argument against a free society. Police have killed more people in the United States since 9/11 than all the soldiers lost in Iraq combined. About 400 per year are killed, per FBI statistics, in what they judge to be “justified” shootings. The FBI does not collect statistics on excessive force, but we can bet plenty more are killed in that fashion. Police raid houses on drug warrants, and sometimes they get the wrong house and kill innocent homeowners.

Then there’s the fact that millions more are wrongly imprisoned and have their lives completely destroyed, even if not ended, in statist societies. Whether it be for a “victimless crime” they actual did engage in, or as the result of a wrongful conviction for something they did not do, this “land of the free” we’re all so fond of here in America has the highest per capita incarceration rate on Earth. Some people will disagree on this, but if you ask me, decades in a cage and a bullet through the head are roughly equivalent to one another, trial or no trial.

Eliminating “victimless crimes” and the reduction in actual crimes due to increased gun ownership and personal security measures, would reduce the number of people who even had to enter any sort of justice system to such a number, that no matter how said justice system handled the matter, it would still be superior to statist “justice”. To execute a suspected rapist with no investigation, would surely be a terrible thing that none of us would want to be responsible for and would do everything in our power to avoid, but even if accusation was all that was required for an anarchist society to execute an offender, it would still destroy far fewer lives than statist justice does complete with constitutions, trials, and appeals.

With that in mind, let us move forward onto reality. A protection agency has incentive to find criminals and stop them from perpetrating crimes, because crimes drive up costs for the protection agency. Attacking innocent people does not serve this function. It may serve as advertising to some extent, to say that they are tough on crime, but of course, should their clients and potential clients find out they got the wrong guy, this would serve the exact opposite purpose. Again, the protection agency is not the State, its clients can go to competitors, and so they actually have to make some effort to do a better job than someone else, or go out of business. The State by contrast will just put you in prison next to the other offenders if you don’t pay them, regardless of their performance.

Furthermore, we can presume most accused perpetrators of crimes have their own protection agencies, heck, the accused and the victim may even have the same protection agency. In the event of both accused and victim being under the same umbrella, the agency must tread carefully as to not risk public perception of wrongly harming its own clients, and losing business. In the event of competing agencies, they have to be even more careful, as provoking conflict between two security forces could trigger a very costly violent conflict that would allow both of their competitors to swoop in and snatch up customers.

No agency is incentivized to protect criminals who victimize others. Those kind of people build up enemies very rapidly, and protecting them is both costly, and harmful to one’s reputation. If you wanted to secure your home against burglary, you probably wouldn’t hire the company that protects the burglar. There is a lot more demand for defending against burglary than there is for supporting it, and so you can expect that defense agencies working for good in a market environment would be better funded, and therefore more well armed and having access to superior manpower.

There are an infinite number of ways this could go, but let’s imagine a market based justice system at work in the aftermath of a crime.

So Bill owns a house, and has stuff inside of it. He hires Acme Security to protect his property. He pays $100/month for protection.

John is a scumbag, he rents an apartment and has some substance abuse issues. He hires Contoso Security to protect him and what little property he has, but he pays $150/month even though he doesn’t have much to protect due to his substance abuse issues.

Bill accuses John of robbing his house, and tells Acme he wants Justice. First things first, Acme reimburses Bill for his losses and apologizes for failing to prevent the crime. Acme then seeks restitution from the perpetrator, and approaches their primary suspect, John.

John informs Acme that he is protected by Contoso. Kidnapping or harming John without consulting with Contoso would trigger a serious conflict between Acme and Contoso, so Acme’s agents tell their dispatcher they suspect a Contoso client of a crime. Acme’s dispatcher contacts Contoso, and Contoso agents arrive on the scene to represent their client.

Aside from a potential for costly violence, if Contoso refuses to allow Acme to investigate the crime, then Acme might no longer insure transactions between their clients and Contoso’s clients. Contoso’s non cooperation in an investigation would make it difficult for them to assure good conduct in trade. This would result in economic problems for the clients of both agencies, which would again allow competitors to come in and snatch up business. Both agencies are thus incentivized to cooperate to reach a determination that serves their stated purpose of protecting their clients from loss or harm.

Contoso determines for whatever reason that there is probable cause for an investigation, they tell John that in order for them to continue protecting him, he has to provide his fingerprints, shoe prints, and a DNA sample to them, to compare against evidence Acme acquired  from their investigation at Bill’s home. They may also require a search of his home by Contoso agents for Bill’s stolen property, as a condition for continued protection.

If Contoso concludes that John is guilty of the crime, it is not in their interests to have John go uncorrected, as his continuing to victimize others increases their cost of doing business with John. Nor are they incentivized to just drop John as a client altogether and throw him to the wolves, as John has been giving them money every month and can presumably continue to do so if his behavior is corrected and restitution is made. We can also presume Contoso has some sort of contractual obligation to get him through this event, as there isn’t much point in paying an insurance company that ceases to help you as soon as you run into trouble.

Contoso informs Acme that they have determined their client is guilty, and would like to make restitution in the matter. They offer up the stolen property they found in John’s home, and some additional money to cover Bill’s trouble and the cost of Acme’s investigation. This satisfies Bill, and Acme, and for them, the matter is closed.

John now owes a debt to Contoso, and has violated his contract with them by committing the crime. Contoso has several options, depending on whatever contract they made with John in the beginning of their arrangement. Perhaps they punish John with imprisonment or some violence. Perhaps they demand John enter a rehabilitation program. Perhaps they drop his coverage and John is left unprotected unable to engage in most business contracts until he finds someone willing to insure a convicted criminal. Any of these outcomes serve as serious deterrents to others who might commit crimes in the society.

Again, this could go any number of ways, and outlining even half a dozen of them would likely make this document longer than most would be interested in reading. I do hope however that it addresses the feasibility of a market based protection system, and draws stark comparison to the millions of lives being ruined by statist “justice” today. The basic idea here being that in a market environment people respond to incentives, as opposed to a statist society where there is no accountability, just lots of popular opinion and force.

This article originally started off as a larger piece on defense in general, which was originally to include invasion by a foreign government. 3200 words in, I realized I would be better off addressing common criminality separately from that sort of defense. Subscribe below to be notified when the follow up “Defense in a Free Society” is published.

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Christopher Cantwell is a former political prisoner, and current host of the Radical Agenda. The most entertaining podcast of the Alt Right.

  • miseshayekrothbard

    This is actually an interesting new take on it and probably very likely to occur. This even preempts private courts that others have suggested would exist. Ive heard of crime insurance before, but the way you present it with the agencies working together is novel. I doubt imprisonment contracts would be signed by anyone unless they were substantially cheaper than other insurance contracts. Most likely, John would just be forced to reimburse his agency or be dropped.

    • Christopher Cantwell

      I too think imprisonment unlikely. Imprisonment is the most inefficient thing the State has come up with since warfare.

      • state hater

        There may be “imprisonment” in the sense that those who commit serious acts of violence would make restitution by performing forced labor in a secure facility of some sort.

        • Spectrm

          It would be interesting to consider:
          What about a lucrative market investor or, better yet, a wealthy manufacturing magnate, is convicted of killing his mistress. Even imprisonment in a forced labor camp would be horrendously inefficient. It would be better to put him under a lien and recoup whatever decided upon compensation from his salary and share of corporate profits. Hell – his assets – or some measure of them – could even be seized and held in trust to the benefit of the victims family – whatever the case may be.

          • state hater

            A psychotic wealthy individual may decide to spend half of his enormous wealth murdering ten random people, and then pay restitution and move on to another hobby. If forced to pay restitution via decades of forced labor, perhaps only one person would have been murdered. Certainly the free market would factor in this reality.

  • Matthew Reece

    “Again, this could go any number of ways, and outlining even half a dozen
    of them would likely make this document longer than most would be
    interested in reading.”

    Actually, that would be a good follow-up article.

    • Spectrm

      I agree. I could actually read thousands of pages of potential examples. They would be infinitely useful in adding to my own musings. I have conversations explaining this stuff all the time.

      One of the things I think about: what if we just use the state, as it is, as scaffolding. Obviously, there are elements that are just useless – the drug war, war in general, canada (:-p – no really, though. And australia too – the queen still rules those roosts) – but I’ve no doubt that parking enforcement, road maintenance, beautification, (obviously) policing, pollution controls, &c. would be needed or desired in a free society.These things improve commerce, deter coercion, and limit interpersonal damages and could simply be ‘privatized’ until government is a shell, or kernel, of it’s former self. Then…what the hell would we imagine we need such an insignificant thing for? I envision some people donating annually just to keep the building open, people elected, and recommendations made to local business and citizens, upon request or notification, on all manner of things – or simply for ceremonial purposes and amusement (like hiring actors once a year, or taking volunteers among convicts, to be pelted with spoiled food or foam bats or whatever in effigy of the evil that was the state).

      Ah…I’m getting creative in my old age.

  • Juan Nightstand

    Devil’s Advocate: “What about the people who cannot afford or choose not to purchase security protection?”

    • Christopher Cantwell

      In this example it’s $100/month, that’s less than rent or food, or any number of other expenses in society today. It’s likely a lot less than your tax bill presently is, and if you rent an apartment it’s surely less than than the property taxes built into your rent. I really don’t see any reason for not having it except choice.

      If you choose not to have it, well, that was your choice. I could go into a long list of things I think the accusing protection agency *should* do, but if you have nobody to protect you, then you’re on your own in this world and there ain’t a whole lot I can do to change that.

      • state hater

        Basically, the only thing restraining a DRO/protection agency/security firm from mistreating an individual who does not subscribe to any such business, would be the decency of its subscribers (and more generally, the decency of the population as a whole), since although people may look askance at those who do not subscribe to any firm, there would almost certainly be a nearly universal desire that innocent people are not harmed.

        • Spectrm

          At the very least, people wouldn’t like to think that, should they lapse in payment for a month, any random accusation could end their life or worse. I’m sure there would be policies developed. The only issue that might exist is that the security agency, in such cases, would be responsible for it’s own oversight and reporting to their clients. You could work out where your security agency agrees to audit by another corporation specializing in such matters, but there would be cahoots, I would think.

          The more I think about it, the more I’m sure that in a truly anarchic society, any security corporation (and possibly many others) would have to keep their books open to anyone and everyone at all times, save, perhaps, redacting names to protect identities.

          Actually, now, I can think of a number of agencies that would spring up. Maybe I want my video and monitoring systems watched by a different company than provides security as an insurance against my insurance. Surely this is just a formalization of the protections we erect around us daily to protect our interests and insulate ourselves from potential mistakes or accidents.

      • Linnea Mintzer

        What about child abuse? Even if to be a member of an “insurance” company you had to agree to a code of ethics, what business incentive would there be to protect the children of the irresponsible (no insurance) or down right nasty?

  • Don Duncan

    In a stateless society there would be many new businesses spring up to provide for protection. Most would eventually go out of business. People will change their mind as they become less fearful and stop paying. I had that experience twice. I bought a car alarm. It was more trouble than it was worth. I turned it off and when I buy cars with an alarm I don’t use it. I would rather have a location device. I bought a new house with an alarm. I contracted with a company and turned it on. After a year I was not sure it was worth the trouble and money considering the low crime area I had chosen to live in. Then we got a dog. He kept setting it off. I turned it off and after two decades I am sure I made the correct decision.

    People’s wants change with experience with direct feedback. The desire for a ruler is changing, abet very slowly. This is because of the lifelong indoctrination by govt. and misunderstanding of the feedback. Either govt. will be “turned off” or the society that supports it will.

  • Peter Hauer

    The problem of violent crime is where the LIbertarian theory breaks down. We need a state to punish criminals. Most honest citizens will NOT pay for “crime insurance.” But even if they did, most CRIMINALS will not pay for it. The whole system described in this article breaks down due to this fact,

    And violent crime will only be slightly reduced by letting people carry arms for defense. I did a study on this back in 2010. The average murder rate among states which DID NOT permit “right to carry” was 6.48 However, the average murder rate among states which DID permit right to carry was 4.01. This represents roughly a one third reduction in murder. That means violent crime is still a major problem, even if we permit “right to carry.”

    • Christopher Cantwell
      • Peter Hauer

        I will gladly send you my research paper which includes footnotes to the USDOJ/FBI Uniform Crime Reports. I did not rely on a second hand (third party) source like Wikipedia for obvious reasons. Please tell me your email address and I will gladly send my paper to you.,

      • Peter Hauer

        Here is the raw data: According to
        the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, the American jurisdictions which do NOT permit
        citizens to carry guns have an average murder rate of 6.18.

        This includes
        California (4.8), Delaware (5.7), the District of Columbia (21.8), Hawaii (1.8),
        Illinois (5.5), Maryland (7.4), Massachusetts (3.3), New Jersey (4.2), New York
        (4.5), and Rhode Island (2.8).

        In contrast,
        jurisdictions which DO permit citizens to carry guns have an average murder
        rate of 4.01, which is 35% less.

        This includes
        all the other states, i.e. Alabama (5.7), Alaska (4.3), Arizona (6.4), Arkansas
        (4.6), Colorado (2.6), Connecticut (3.7), Florida (5.2), Georgia (5.7), Idaho (1.4),
        Indiana (4.2), Iowa (1.2), Kansas (3.4), Kentucky (4.3), Louisiana (11), Maine
        (1.8), Michigan (5.9), Minnesota (1.8), Mississippi (6.9), Missouri (7),
        Montana (2.5), Nebraska (3), Nevada (5.8), New Hampshire (1.1), New Mexico (6.8),
        North Carolina (5), North Dakota (1.5), Ohio (4.2), Oklahoma (5.2), Oregon (2.5),
        Pennsylvania (5.1), South Carolina (5.7), South Dakota (1.5), Tennessee (5.6),
        Texas (4.9), Utah (1.9), Vermont (1.1), Virginia (4.7), Washington (2.3), West
        Virginia (3.1), Wisconsin (2.7), and Wyoming (1.4).

        • Hal Gailey

          I just want to mention a lot of those rates are skewed far beyond the simple question of gun rights. Poverty, drugs, the state, gangs, etc. You cannot point to a single criteria as the sole influence behind a complex issue.

          • Peter Hauer

            Agreed. In my paper I mentioned that there are many additional relevant factors beyond the scope of my research.

    • Spectrm

      As far as I see it, criminals often come into contact or live around other criminals. Anyone of those criminals might act against each other. I think it behooves anyone to pay for such insurance or find themselves at full liability should they get caught committing a crime.

      In the system described, there’s clearly opportunity for someone to be a career criminal, if they’re good enough. But it would clearly be more difficult, and potentially costly, to do so in anarchy.

      As to your ‘right to carry’ BS – one might think that if people are no longer programmed since birth to think “gun bad”, more would carry (a point he makes in his article). This assuredly has some impact on the 4.0 vs 0.0 murder rate, but you’re also entirely ignoring all other types of violent crime. How dishonest of you.

      • Peter Hauer

        Wow. So it was “dishonest” of me to not consider all other types of violent crime??. Don’t assume the worst about your fellow man. There were about 20 different categories of crime (both violent and non-violent) listed in the FBI data. I am only one human being with only a limited amount of time. Therefore I focused on the most serious violent crime of all, MURDER> Does that not make sense to you?

        Besides, if you read my post carefully, you would see that I clearly stated crime would be REDUCED with right to carry laws. (I strongly support gun ownership) However, the amount of the reduction is not nearly as much as some libertarians assume. Crime will not be reduced to de minimus levels.

        I support most aspects of LIbertarianism, However, the libertarian idea that criminals would be rational enough to purchase insurance is ridiculous. I worked with criminals for twenty years. They don’t think beyond their next heist.

        • Shivank Mehra

          The whole point of this article was that as long as most people fear crime, market will find ways to tackle it. A criminal might not want to purchase insurance, but if an insurance firm or even a random group of vigilantes have evidence against him they have every right to arrest him. I think the market model of the “not so wild” wild west during its “anarchist years” sheds some light on it. Vigilante groups were well organized with their own constitutions.

          Another point regarding “the State HAS to punish criminals”. Given the impossibility of economic calculation by the State, I think the very statement that the government is responsible for order cannot bear the burden of proof. Order, to whatever extent, exists despite the government not because of it. There is no shortcut to a population that respects each others’ rights.

          • Peter Hauer

            Good Points…I hope Mr. Cantwell sees your post..

    • Waldetto

      ” Most honest citizens will NOT pay for “crime insurance.” But even if they did, most CRIMINALS will not pay for it.”
      —The reason you are wrong is because most if not all businesses would REQUIRE one to have a “rating” to enter! Much like how no one on Ebay will buy from or sell to someone without any feedback, stores and even toll roads would require one to prove they are reputable before entering. If one does not have a “bond rating” they will not be allowed to even travel or shop! The fancier the place, the higher the rating required to enter, but even a biker bar would require a policy!

      • Peter Hauer

        Well that is a very interesting idea. If Mr. Cantwell ever mentioned it, then i simply missed it.

  • Hal Gailey

    Very good article, enjoyed it in itself, and enjoyed reading another take on this subject. I really hope to see a lot of people read this and reduce any anxiety they had from these sorts of quibbles with an anarchic society.

  • Ian Sean

    Anarchy and capitalism never belong hyphenated together. Anarchy allows markets. Capitalism is just fascism lite, the way socialism is communism lite.

    • Christopher Cantwell

      Fuck off leftard

      • Ian Sean

        Maybe I’ll quit reading you, great first comments.

    • Spectrm

      Check your definitions.

      Communism is a flavor of socialism, and when the term is used it usually connotes international socialism

      Fascism is state corporatism – more properly, national socialism, as the corporate interests are usually bound to or own/influence arms of the state. Communists and fascists are usually allies until the revolution is won and ‘international’ comes up – this was the reason Hitler ditched the communists after their use had expired.

      Capitalism – that is, market-based trade on stored or invested capital (capital can usually be defined as ‘labor, commoditized’) – is the natural state of trade in anarchy. People must trade goods with one another for mutual gain. This is how wealth is generated in the first place. On person trades something they value little which their partner values highly for something they value highly that their partner values little. In anarchy, this exchange could only occur if both parties agreed to the exchange (no coercion) and both parties benefited from the exchange (mutual profit). In this way, two items with initial value (15 + 15) becomes two items with current value ( (n>15) + (m>15) ). This is how wealth is created.

      Anarcho-capitalism is the natural state of economy amongst men.

      And you need a new dictionary.

      • Ian Sean

        Capitalism *sounds* like it means a state-enforced political ruling elite, it’s what we call the current system, it’s the system we fought the Cold War over, and the current system *is* a state-enforced ruling elite. The dictionary can fuck off at this point if it says anything different!

        • Manley Caughell

          So because something sounds bad to you, and has been misused by ignorant fucks like you who refuse to call fascism fascism, and instead would rather whine and bitch about capitalism, the definition of capitalism should be changed?
          You’re a cunt. This entire world is far more socialist than capitalist. You fucking cunt.

          • Ian Sean

            I’m saying that capitalism, as a term, is at best a useless buzzword, and at worst a red herring whose components sum to fascism. Market is less ambiguous, free market far more, and neither suggests elite supremacy the way “capitalism” does. Remember, you’re not trying to convince me to be a market anarchist (redundant but whatever). You’re trying to convince fed-up folks who think they’re statists but know something’s wrong, that you’re not an elitist oligarchist, nor a violent terrorist, since they’ve been told anarchists are these things, and not the establishment.

          • Swapster_com


  • Sheri Brearcliffe

    Interesting take on a stateless society.

    The thought that came to mind reading about crime insurance was the mafia/gang style (?) insurance that exists (existed?) A strong arm tough comes around to your business and demands that you pay for protection or your business suffers (or you suffer a few injuries) until you are coerced to pay.

    What would stop forced “insurance” protection? Personal use of a firearm? Would non-criminal insurance protection arise before or after the criminal
    element took control?


  • Swapster_com

    I truly hate the state, but I can’t bring myself to embrace the anarchist model. People need to be regulated because there will always be a few who wind up with large amounts of cash that let them do anything they want (sort of like what we have now). I don’t want to jump out of the pot in into the fire. I want a much smaller Federal government, more local control, better laws governing the police, legalize all drugs and just do things that create a better society.

    • Waldetto

      “Sort of like what we have now” But you like what we have now! People can be self regulated more justly and economically, you just need to do lots more thinking and studying!

  • Difdi

    Smoking can be a form of trespass, and therefore not victimless.

    How, you ask? The same way building a factory next to someone’s recreation area can be. Pollution drifts across the property line.

  • eric

    The huge problem with the arguments here are they’re almost exclusively based on the two wrongs make a right argument that a society that doesnt even try to stick to the basic rights vindicates no public protection of rights whatsoever. Its all highly optimistic and doesnt even begin to talk about the most serious threat of crime without government incentives which is rape.

    I wish I could buy the idea that only only benevolent and pragmatic would own the big guns and would help the poor when they’re victims out of self interest, but I’ve lived on this earth long enough to know the ignorance of applying rational thought to human action.

  • ssemans

    I was hoping to find something a little more convincing here, to help me in my evolution toward pure anarchism.

    Competing defense and justice organizations? I’m up for that. I’ll call mine Self Interest Security and here’s my plan:

    1) All property belongs to SIS subscribers and they are justified in taking and keeping it by any means, but not from each other.

    2) SIS will protect and support that right as necessary to preserve credibility of the business model without endangering it, and

    3) Membership will be free, and fee paid for service, to all individuals having shown both propensity and skill at either targeted or random violent behavior or larceny. Others pay.

    Now I’ve created the roving mob of murderous looters everyone thinks of when they hear “anarchy” and I’ll sit back and rake in fees from the Mundanes. You want to tell me the service set up by the Boy Scouts will outcompete me? Not likely. You say I’ll last only as long as my top lieutenants take to figure out they don’t need me, or somebody hires more killers than me? Maybe, but how does that help the general public?

    There has to be law, a final arbiter, and a superiority (not monopoly) of force. That’s why we need some institution within society that we would call government.

    Though counter-intuitive, government must operate on mirror principles from society. Profit, competition, and growth are the lifeblood of civil institutions, but must be rigorously prohibited to government. Individuals must accept as duty the identification & removal of those in government who pursue these goals, just as it is the sole duty of government to restrict or remove individuals who harm others.

    That big A must stand for both Anarchy and Angels. Not humans.

  • Jeysoos!!!

    none of this works in the real world. a smart man would stockpile weapons and manpower and form his own army and then storm other places for their wealth. Who dares challenge him? He is in the business of conquering and business is good. One has to imagine there would be many people who see the value in this sort of business, so they’d do the same thing. They’d give those they conquer the chance to join them or be executed. liking the idea of being alive, most would join and before too long, you just have a feudal warlord system. This, IMO, is the fatal flaw of anarcho caps as a practical system. In the long run, it’s entire premise is based on this delusional idea that people are nice. when we aren’t, when given the slightest chance, we will eat each other.

  • juan carlos Villarreal

    que estupidez elemental. tengo miedo que una virosis altere el psiquismo masivo. tanto hablar para nada todo palabrerio inutil y sin base. es lo que se ve ahora. palabrerio sin semantica . estan destruyendo al mundo occidental con artilugios guiados de descompsicion pensante

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