As a foreword, I have nothing against Charles Peralo personally, nor do I disrespect his beliefs. This article is merely apologetics to try and articulate some answers to his questions. Charles is a brilliant writer and I appreciate his criticisms. Hopefully this piece will give him something to think about. The article that I am responding to is called “Three Questions for Anarcho-Capitalists and why the idea can’t work”.
1. How Do We Achieve Anarcho-Capitalism?
Peralo seems to insinuate from this that there is no practical way to achieve an anarchistic society due to the fringe nature and small following of the movement. This consequently results in small poll numbers for those wanting to rid the government of a monopoly and restore a pure equity among citizens. This is undeniably true, however, as noted in The Crowd by Gustave Le Bon – revolutions take time. That’s not to rule it out as a possibility, but simply to say that it won’t be happening in the next few decades. Revolutionary Catalonia, although anarcho-communist, is a prime example of a revolution gone right, in which the people gain the monopoly on power over the state and are able to overthrow the government due to strength in numbers. It is important to note that overthrowing the government does not in turn also overthrow businesses by default, nor does it create a lack of law. Peralo then goes on to conclude that the following methods of anarchism are not viable.
He dismisses internet trolling as being a ‘stupid’ practice that ‘makes you a loser’. As Stefan Molyneux would say, though: “Not an argument”.
Internet trolling is, as it stands, one of the greatest forms of anarchism alive in today’s day and age. Whether you’re stuck on 8chan posting the most offensive thing in the world (Pepe the Frog, as it would seem) or simply spamming ‘cuck’ into the comment section of a Hillary Clinton speech, you are exercising civil liberties beyond the realms of government through proxies and anonymity. It is you that has the power. Being able to do what you like and shout your opinions loud without the fear of totalitarian titans stamping the discourse until it is but a snuffed candle flame, is anarchism. A rejection of state and of ridiculous laws for ‘hate speech’ is the most powerful form for the people at the moment. Furthermore, many of these ‘troll’ sites such as 8chan have boards devoted to anarcho-capitalism and through creating mobs with a cohesive set of ideals, you establish the first step towards a revolution: Congregation and communities.
Peralo then goes on to state that direct anarchy would never work due to displacement, which, due to the boom of private services would easily allow police, firemen and et cetera to find new jobs in a new system, with an even greater need for employees. Is temporary confusion and displacement too much to ask for a new society built upon personal liberty and meritocracy?
Furthermore, he states that if we plunged into minarchy before anarchy, no one would want to rebel because they’d all be perfectly content with the system and live happily ever after. Newsflash: No matter what the system, people will still feel cheated due to the massive array of political views.
2. Why is Anarcho-Capitalism Even Better?
The reason why anarcho-capitalism is better than the current system is because it focuses more on the individual than it does on the collective. This means that all consensual exchanges between parties are no longer regulated or interfered with from a government platform. No longer will money be coerced and forced from your wallet by a government with a monopoly on power.
“… operating in a collective with more people in it contributing, can actually make it cheaper due to cost of purchase”.
Whilst this is true to a certain extent – market competition between rival businesses can also drive money down and give people a choice in preference. This also allows people to opt out of certain services such as paying for roads, if a person never so much as leaves their house.
“But without slavery, who will pick the cotton?”
It’s not a matter of efficiency but it’s instead based upon what is morally justified for a party to do and with democide on such a large scale (262,000,000 people killed by government in the past century) it’s clear that the money forcefully extorted from innocent civilians isn’t going towards any sort of a good cause.
“This isn’t market principles, but with other companies, they focus on getting better and more well-handled for the purchase of people. This would be the same, but it also involves companies making more promises on the types of security offered, likely purchasing more weaponry and likely doing immoral things like basically becoming gangs. This would end up as far worse than a government, and very, very quickly lead to less efficiency”.
A statist making a random assertion about anarcho-capitalism? What an absolute shock!
It is irrefutable that governments have displaced, subjugated and killed more people than companies, so to blindly assert (without any sort of factual basis) that corporations will resort to immorality is sheer hypocrisy. Ronald McDonald won’t become a warlord and stockpile weapons because it’s not good for public relations and as a result, social consequences will largely keep them in line to keep their companies going. Hence why McDonald’s runs one of the most charitable organisations in the world. A defender of the government calling out corporations for their hypothetical behaviour is the pot calling the kettle black (African-American, sorry).
3. Why Would It Sustain Itself?
“This is the easiest reason to not go ancap. The fact is that it will never be able to sustain itself”.
Historically, ancient Iceland was home to a voluntarist society (as close to anarcho-capitalism as one could possibly get) and lived in consistent prosperity for longer than the United States has been around. Once again, blind and historically inaccurate assertions about something that you hate don’t constitute fact. Here’s a link regarding Ancient Iceland for educational purposes.
“Anarcho-capitalism is just radicalism for the sake of being radical”.
The government takes from people and wastes money extensively, be it the gay marriage plebiscite in Australia (a national poll that will waste roughly 200 million dollars in total without any legal binding) or the Pentagon “misplacing” 6.5 trillion dollars of taxpayer money. People hate the government for the water-boarding, the torture, the bombing, the elitists governing the peons, the restrictions, the abstractions, the murder and the absurdity. People are fed up with the government and they turn to the corporations that provide exactly what they must provide to make a profit. People choose choice. People choose meritocracy. People choose equity.
People choose anarcho-capitalism.
“With that though, anarcho-capitalism is a very, very dumb idea”.
If it’s truly a ‘dumb’ idea than please try to substantiate your claims with something more than general assertions.