Freeing the Population

This week I am at the Porcupine Freedom Festival, the Free State Project’s signature yearly event up in Lancaster, New Hampshire. Today I am giving a talk called “Freeing the Population: How to Move to an Anarcho-Capitalist Society Using the Current System”.

The main point of the talk is to introduce libertarians to the logical conclusion of the non-agression principle. The idea that the initiation of force is immoral runs throughout libertarian circles, but many still believe government is a necessary evil. But this is in contrast to the idea that all initiation of force is immoral.

Instead anarcho-capitalism is the organization of society through the free market, without any government. All formerly government services would be market based, including law, education, security, roads etc. In a purely free market government could not exist, because governments hold a monopoly on force in a particular geographic area, which is part of what makes them a government. In an anarcho-capitalist society, initiating force is a universal negative (as in the Natural Rights philosophy), and demand for “the right to not be compelled” would mean protection could be purchased: the market would provide it.

But to move towards this type of society we don’t necessarily need societal upheaval. Our Constitution gives us a method for altering it with amendments. It wouldn’t be easy or likely, but it is possible to abolish the state without violence, just through using the legislative method laid out in the Constitution. A date would be set far enough in advance for state governments and private businesses to take care of any needed formerly government functions like security. Then all government equipment, land, structures etc. would be auctioned off, and rebated to the taxpayers.

This process would repeat at the state level, until all initiation of force is abolished, and businesses take the place of every government function.

Maybe you attended the talk, and have arrived on this page to continue the discussion. Or maybe you couldn’t be there, but would like to join in the discussion here. Either way I’d love to hear from you!

7 thoughts on “Freeing the Population

  1. How would this system deal with prisoners? Law breakers aren’t an equal part of the free market transaction , “I’ll go here instead” isn’t an option and abuse is a potential. Who would control the length of the sentence? The owner? The sentence itself?!

    As far as property, In India they have a dramatic problem with squatters because there are no proper property rights in certain areas so people dont improve on their “property” because it could be taken away by someone bigger, stronger, etc. It could be bought out from under them by someone with more money in a moments notice. Simply by a vote of the “neighbors” because they are judge and jury. I’m a libertarian but I Definately feel there needs to be a uniform system of law and order throughout a given region or country. There should be court to go to to protect the basic rights we are entitled to as human beings.

    And what about a controversial issue like abortion? Some people want it illegal. Who would enforce this? The Taliban could exist freely in certain areas, terrorizing weaker beings because they are organized. These are just some of the many questions I have in a country without a true system of law

    • All these things dealing with prisoners are inconsistently dealt with by governments today. In some parts of the middle east women can be killed for driving a car, while the maximum sentence for anything in some countries is 20 years. Monopolizing force makes it no more likely that prisoners are treated well, indeed it makes it less likely because of the lack of competition. Since the market would decide, it would mean vengeful societies might treat their prisoners worse, and peaceful societies better. But we also need to remember that the system now would not exist, and governments contribute to violent behavior by constantly showing force and claiming it is for good, and stealing through taxation. There would be far fewer prisoners to deal with in a society that empowers the individual.

      Also, private property would have its place, we must remember that rights are not granted by government they are natural, and seeking a peaceful way to exercise those rights without initiating force is very possible. People in India cannot freely interact ti resolve property issues, they must go through a government which uses and monopolizes force. Neighbors would not be judge and jury, that’s how it is now. The system of law would be natural rights, which is essentially just the non-agression principle, and since everyone basically agrees that they don’t want to be attacked, they will likewise not attack. Whoever breaks these rules would be subject to such high scrutiny by friends, neighbors, relatives, and strangers because there is no example set for those actions (by the government who says force in their hands is good), and because the market would supply recourse if someone violated your rights, while the market is much less likely to sanction the initiation of violence (in our crony capitalist society, the market uses government to initiate force for economic means, and this corrupts the entire society).

      And as for abortion it would not be a centralized “illegal” of “legal”. Different communities would have different solutions, and that is fine, because it would be easier for people to move out of communities they disagree with, and into communities they feel apart of. Again the market would show which systems thrive and which don’t; if people were free to move around (no borders in anarchy) then people could easily flee the Taliban controlled area and settle into communities that could repel that force.

      I think these incentives versus the incentives now on how to act would actually means fewer problems to solve anyway. Most of our problems these days were created by government anyway, so to solve them with government seems to me, remiss.

      Kerri you are my best commenter for anarcho posts! I always love engaging, I hope I don’t drive you away… there will probably be a lot of anarchy related issues popping up after spending the week at PorcFest 🙂

      • Thank you! It’s a great topic! It just occurred to me that when the Europeans first settled in America you could probably compare the system at that time to anarcho-capitalism in a sense (The king was across the puddle so they were all creating their own local rules and systems)
        I guess the only problem is that every system seems to evolve and take on a life of it’s own and in the case of the USA we have arrived at the point we are now with a massive central government. So I’m all for starting the process over again. It may be an inevitability anyway based on human history!

      • Yes and actually in Plymouth when they first arrived, they tried a little communist microcosm with to each according to his need, from each according to his ability. That failed, people starved, and then they went all every man for himself, which worked to produce more than enough for the town.

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