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A Minarchist Criticism of Anarchism – Freedom Philosophy




There’s a concept in investment that seldom gets discussed and it’s by far the most important determining factor in the success of failure of a business – execution. Does a manager have a history of implementing ideas and bringing them into being? Can they make the dream a reality? And, if so, then they have strong execution.

There’s a further issue – ideas themselves can have poor execution. Homer Simpson quipped that in theory, communism works. I don’t believe he’s right, but whether or not it works in theory, is irrelevant. The implementation of communism was repeatedly atrocious and as such it’s not an executable concept.

This translates into politics. The most accomplished politicians don’t attempt to accomplish too much. There is only so much time to deal with issues. Justin Trudeau made far too many promises in his campaign, and as a result, most of them have been broken and his government is largely viewed by the Canadian left as a failure.

Barack Obama had promised to eliminate tax loopholes, to create a foreclosure fund to protect homeowners, to forbid companies in bankruptcy to give bonuses to CEOs, to import foreign prescription drugs, to reduce healthcare costs for families, to close Guantanamo Bay, create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, to increase the minimum wage, to redirect offshore fossil fuel extraction revenues to hurricane relief funds, reduce oil consumption, to end the war in Afghanistan, to create new manufacturing jobs, to reduce federal surveillance, and have a more peaceful Middle East. In short, he’s accomplished none of these; some of them have been colossal failures.

In attempting to accomplish too much he accomplished nothing. Less is more. He who is last shall be first. By focusing on fewer things, more goals can be achieved.

Canada’s Maxime Bernier, a libertarian who attempted to run for the leadership of the Conservative Party (and came in a narrow second place), proposed privatizing our postal service. This sounds fantastic – more effective mail delivery without costs to the taxpayer. The only difficulty is that while Canadian taxpayers lost $22 million with Canada Post, this only costs every Canadian on average, a population of 36 million, $0.61 every year. He would have been a far more effective politician to focus on the new $76 billion infrastructure program, something that costs Canadians $2,100.

The 61 cents I’m hardly concerned about, the $2,100 is a different matter. Governmental portfolios under $1 billion are rounding errors on a national level and to tackle all of them is a task beyond the scope of reasonable execution.

There’s something beautiful to ideological purity and the consistency of non-aggression. There’s only so much that can be executed within a parliamentary system in a four-year term, there’s only so much that can be accomplished within a congressional system.

We ought to free ourselves from the superstition that any politician is the Messiah. Government officials that can’t accomplish anything don’t deserve the vote. Politicians that promise the world but will predictably under-deliver have to be spotted in order for progress toward liberty to be accomplished.

In the absence of a bloody revolution, anarchism doesn’t have any executional merits. There are undoubtedly arguments from ethics against any governance whatsoever, just as it would be ethical for me to give $5 million to the homeless, but I don’t have $5 million so this isn’t an executable concept.

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Brandon Kirby

Brandon Kirby is a philosopher, financial adviser, a founder of a local investment club, and he hosts regular symposiums in philosophy. He is also a member of Canada’s Libertarian Party.




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