Market Anarchism

I find that many people that I know on social media call themselves “libertarian” and yet seem to miss the whole point of the thing. To be a libertarian means that you reject the coersive aggression into the lives of the people by the entity called “The State” that claims a monopoly on the legitimate use of force within its geographical boundaries. In other words, a libertarian is a “live and let live” kind of person who thinks voluntary cooperation among people is the standard we should strive for.

What is a libertarian? From the Mises Wiki we see:

Libertarianism is a political philosophy[1] that views respect for individual choice and individual liberty[2] as the foundation of the ideal society, and therefore seeks to minimize or abolish the coercive actions of the State as that is the entity that is generally identified as the most powerful coercive force in society.[3][4] Broadly speaking, libertarianism focuses on the rights of the individual to act in complete accordance with his or her own subjective values,[5] and argues that the coercive actions of the State are often (or even always) an impediment to the efficient realization of one’s desires and values.[6][7] Libertarians also maintain that what is immoral for the individual must necessarily be immoral for all state agents, and that the state should not be above the natural law.[8][9] The extent to which government is necessary is evaluated by libertarian moral philosophers from a variety of perspectives.[10][11]

The “libertarian” label is now used since the “liberal” of “Classical Liberalism” came to mean the opposite of liberty after the socialists started calling themselves “liberal” decades ago. If one looks at the liberals of the 18th and 19th century he will see where the libertarians came from; their heritage. I once saw a writer claim that it all boils down to the assertion that all libertarians believe in the Non-Aggression Principle. I think that is a fair litmus test, after all, the only way to minimize coercive actions in society is to try to make everyone adhere to the non-aggression principle.

There has developed over time the notion that the very nature of the state prevents the state from being able to follow the non-aggression principle and therefore we must reject it. That leaves anarchism which is defined as having no monopoly ruler. So very many then ask us, “what in the world happens then”? They think that gangs of roving bands will rape, rob, and pillage the people of every town. What force will keep the peace?

There are various labels for the nature of the society that we envision, but “market anarchy” is as good as any and some say it is better than most. It is the doctrine that the legislative, adjudicative, and protective functions should be entirely turned over to the voluntary, consensual forces of a market society. These functions are now unjustly and inefficiently monopolized by the brutal, coercive, aggressive State. The term “market” turns a lot of people off as they are trained to hear “Wall Street Banksters” when they hear “market”. But here we just use the term “market” as in “free market” to mean the voluntary exchange of goods and services among willing trading partners free of coersive intervention.


Market Anarchy can be defined as “the doctrine that all forms of government are unnecessary, oppressive, and undesirable and should be abolished.” In its essence anarchism is a negative in that it holds that the state (some say “government”) is evil and should be abolished. Other than this doctrine it would be difficult to list the many various beliefs that all anarchists hold. What will come after the state is defeated could take many different forms and there have been various groups predict or advocate various ideas.

Anarchists see a common thread behind most of mankind’s problems, namely the state. After all, we saw a hundred million people murdered by various governments around the world during th 20th century. This is an endless historical pattern. The state arises and then the rulers and their minions live by looting and enslaving the population. These ruling classes have tended to use their ill-gotten gains to build armies and then wage wars for various reasons … mostly false ones. Even when not at war with some other state a nation’s government is continually looting the people and making their lives poorer than they otherwise would have been.

Market anarchy has been more broadly known as “anarcho-capitalism” and I use the two terms as synonyms. Market anarchists believe that in an anarchist society people would expand private property to encompass the entire social realm. While no anarcho-capitalist has ever denied the right of people to voluntarily pool their private property and form cooperatives, jointly owned land, worker-owned firms, or communes — they believe that these attempts at private socialism will fail as they always have in the past.  Market anarchist see private property as the bedrock of an anarchist society. They also believe that several property, including business organizations like corporations, are not only perfectly legitimate but likely to be the predominant form of economic organization under anarchism. Market anarchists generally place little value on equality, believing that inequalities in income and wealth are not only perfectly legitimate, so long as the means of getting the wealth was legitimate under the non-aggression principle, but are the natural consequence of human freedom. They believe that different people have different beliefs, habits, talents, and desires — there are vast natural differences among people.

Many people such as Benjamin Tucker, Lysander Spooner, Murray Rothbard, Butler Shaffer, Bob Murphy, and Walter Block have written about the free market’s ability to provide legal and protection services as all market anarchists believe. Most of the recent prominent market anarchy (or anarcho-capitalist) writers have been academic economists and have tried to spell out the workings of their preferred society in rather great detail but the simple message is that the state’s government is now abusing you to a great extent and that only by eliminating the state may we live in peace, prosperity, and voluntary cooperation.

The bedrock of freedom and liberty is the right to own and control property. If the state or the collective can tell you what you can and cannot do within the privacy of your home then you are not free nor do you really own your home since “ownership” means control over the use and disposition of a thing. At the present time government agents of the state can invade your home by breaking down your doors, kill your dog, tear up the house, and terrorize your family all at their whim. What, you still think the 4th amendment means anything? Your property belongs to the state and so do you yourself. The state owns you: you are enslaved.

Market anarchists can not tell you exactly how a world without a monopoly on force and brutality called the state would look like; but we can tell you that it would be vastly better than the evil we are living under today.

Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance. ~H. L. Mencken

Withdraw your support of the state.


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