Over the years, I’ve found that all political ideologies tend to be extremist, and are never considered complete unless a substantive victory has been won. For a constitutional conservative, they won’t find themselves there until they have a constitution hung on their wall, a massive gun collection and sign saying “Murica!” tattooed to their chest right below the pocket bible they keep at all times. With a socialist, they aren’t quite there until they’ve spent at least one night locked to a 1940s jazz theater stoned off their wits quoting Marx. For libertarians, we have the tendency to ask the question of being so libertarian that we are no longer really libertarian anymore. This being the question often found when talking to a libertarian: “Well, are you an anarcho-capitalist?” which 99% of the time will be asked by a guy with a hipster beard, glasses and hoodie.
I’d always answer “kind of”, “more or less”, “not really” or something else equally vague. Yet I need to write more articles for this website, so why not go into a bit more of detail on it?
Short answer? Yes, I do believe it should be the mission of people to take out the role of government like the horse drawn cattle.
Government and governments are systems designed to fail from inception. It starts with groups coming together to form order by the people. It becomes leaders becoming legends, evolves into leaders becoming celebrities, changes into leaders becoming the corrupt, makes the step into leaders becoming the useless and finally takes on with leaders becoming the tyrants. It’s simply what happens. Every single government has witnessed it and there is no reason that people selling themselves on the notions of fear or hate can’t make overwhelming majorities into people bringing in terrible and abusive governments. It’s something anyone from an economic, historical, philosophical or moral stance could link as a path towards hate and tyranny. It’s a joke – and even Gilbert Gottfried couldn’t make it. So yes, of course I believe in anarcho-capitalism, and everyone else should too.
And now time for the long answer which can piss off many Rothbardians who were reading this cheering and waving their hands.
Long answer: I’m an anarcho-capitalist, but do not believe avoiding government at this point in time or in the near future would do anything to stop abuses, tyranny or create a better standard of living.
Why is that? Governments are in the basic nature of humanity. Problems exist where people face everything from hunger to rivalry to oppression. These people will join with others and set up a series of rules between them and use those rules to create an order.
The vast majority of humanity has agreed to this for centuries, even those who disagree end up agreeing to participate due to the lack of options and well, like nine months after prom night, it just happens. All the good, bad and things people can just call crazy (Donald Trump) happen. Even in Nazi Germany, the case to flee the government and just ship up while moving to another nation was seen as semi-irrational. It only takes a government flocking down on people to kill them in cold blood, for them to just move it and abandon ship.
So, why be an anarcho-capitalist at all if it’s human nature to answer problems with government or collectivist-type solutions?
The simplest answer: because eventually those problems won’t exist and acting as a body of people will not serve as the answer.
In time, governments will not be able to prohibit any substances due to 3D printing and other innovative technologies. It will be so that in a period of just fifteen years, the average person can make their own AK47 and do so completely unnoticed within 48 hours. It will be so a person can in three decades produce Walter White-approved crystal meth from basic raw ingredients in under an hour and have a machine do all of the work.
In time, governments will not be the first thing that comes to mind for human protection. People will have access to private security services on their cellphones which can send in drones within 10 seconds that can stun while never killing someone and do things more rationally, cost effectively and safely, as compared to the police.
In time, governments will not be thought of with regards to war, due to the fear of promised destruction with nuclear weapons leading to fast-term resolutions of conflicts.
In time, governments will not be what the people think of as an answer for food, energy, water and other essential services. GMOs will make food abundant. Solar and other innovations in nuclear energy will make energy cleaner and cheaper. Water, due to lower cost energy, will be easier to filter to purity and be managed off-grid. Services such as roads, the grid and more can all be done with lower labor forces or minimums on it.
In time, governments will not be able to control the supply of currency, banking or even taxation due to digital currency. It’ll essentially make them useless.
In time, government will almost certainly end and it should be something every engineer, inventor, creator and entrepreneur thinks about before going to sleep. The idea of fundamentally changing human principles to end the same bodies which have created nearly all war, discrimination and other conflicts. Ending the bodies which allow people to justify their fears, hates and misunderstandings collectively into one body and bulk forming the worst of humanity. It’s going to end.
With that said, there are still about a thousand and one reasons for anarcho-capitalists or people with visions of anarcho-capitalism to support certain politicians and care about events in that space.
2 million Americans are locked up in jail – 80% are there for crimes related to drugs.
The big debate of this election cycle being whether America should enter Iraq for a third time and still forgetting why they invaded the first two.
The fact governments enact many ugly laws applying to consumer products and services which regulate out small players.
The monetary policy in America needing massive reform where vital things such as interest rates become poll numbers over actual math.
The fact the American government will tax 30% of GDP for the year 2016 and it will go to bureaucrats sitting there waiting for their pensions, weapons which just sit there, retirement funds that the market could get better returns on and various other sprees of waste and corruption.
Another thing to point out which makes many libertarians and ancaps upset to say. And this for myself writing must be written with taking a deep breath beforehand:
Governments can actually get better.
The government ended Prohibition.
The government ended Jim Crow.
The government ended many of the bad regulations they started.
The government cut many of the absurd FDR era spending programs.
The government became more open to groups such as LGBT.
The government cut tax rates from 70% to 28% in one decade due to elimination of the corruption in deductions.
The government has removed some terrible politicians from power.
While frustrating, long and meeting many failures, there are many instances in history where a government did manage to improve. In post-WWII Germany, there was a free market revolution that began with the elimination of price controls. Chile in the early 1980s transformed their economy from being almost on par with the evils of today’s Venezuela and became the free market nation of South America. China went from an isolationist nation in poverty with communism to now the most booming economy in the world. Even the United States came very close to electing free market non-interventionist Robert Taft in 1952.
With that said, there are tomorrow and today for anarcho-capitalists. There is a future where government will end and it will be a proper end which leads to the menace of collective rule finally dying. Yet that said, there’s a world today with billions living under oppressive governments that keep them poor, two million Americans in jail, bad economic policies and many more things which can have a short term solution. Simply abandoning politics over frustrations and remaining a creature of the Internet is just not a real answer.
This article was edited for grammar, style, and spelling, but not for content. The views expressed are that of the author, Charles Peralo, exclusively, and do not reflect that of BeingLibertarian.com or Being Libertarian LLC
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