Can we be free with a limited government?
Can we be safe in a stateless society?
Is voluntaryism the answer?
For many awake and aware people, the current state of the world is so dysfunctional that they have gone beyond the point of trying to justify our current governmental structures.
For this growing number of people of all nations and cultures, it's no longer about left vs. right, Democrat vs. Republican, socialism vs. conservatism or all the other false dichotomies that abound on the political spectrum.
For many of us, there's simply no point in investing time and energy into an illusion - the political illusion - while pretending it actually makes a difference.
Why argue who is going to be the better slavemaster or the lesser of 2 evils?
We are really only left with 2 choices:
So which would be better for humanity, minarchy or anarchy?
Thus, anarchy is a society or nation with no rules (i.e. government-sanctioned law), rulers or a ruling class, whereas minarchy is one with a minimal amount of rules, rulers and a ruling class.
Care must be taken not to confuse minarchy with monarchy!
Also, instead of the term anarchy, it may be more apt to use the word voluntaryism, which describes a stateless society where all human interactions are voluntary and where no central authority exists to make or enforce laws.
where every interaction is voluntary?
That is the goal of anarchy or voluntaryism.
Anarchy does not equal chaos!
You can still have organization, cooperation, harmony and trust in a society where there is no central authority. It is up to the individual members to act in such a way to create that society.
You can even have hierarchy in a voluntary society, where members voluntarily choose to structure an organization like that (e.g. for purposes of speed, coherence and efficiency).
However, such hierarchy
would never be forced on anyone, because the organizations
containing it would be voluntary associations.
However, as I will get to later, the point is about humanity evolving in terms of responsibility so that we can face these problems in a different way.
Minarchists believe that we can't do away with government altogether, because it's necessary and fulfills too many vital, essential roles that would be difficult or impossible to otherwise fulfill.
These are the top reasons and justifications usually proposed for minarchy:
Some people also advance the claim that government (and governmentally-approved corporate structures) are the reason that Western nations evolved faster than other nations.
In this entertaining debate at Anarchapulco, Mark Skousen makes the points that we need minarchy to force a criminal suspect to actually come to the courtroom and stand trial, to ensure quarantine in emergency situations, and to enforce eminent domain (the right government takes upon itself to be able to force buy anyone's property for national and municipal organizational purposes).
He points out the following reasons why:
The usual knee-jerk response from people is that we "need" government and we can't possibly do away with it completely.
In all cases, there's no logical reason why we couldn't allow private businesses to perform these functions and services.
Sure, it some cases it's easier to have competing business (utilities) than others where central planning makes it more efficient (road-building), but couldn't people find a fair way to get together and pay for these voluntarily in groups, neighborhoods and associations?
Anarchists such as Stefan Molyneux have developed the idea of a free market of DROs (Dispute Resolution Organizations) who function as private defense agencies and arbitrators, and whom people employ when they go into contract with each other as a trusted 3rd party.
Indeed, big corporations
such as PayPal, eBay and Visa already have such private arbitrators
anyway, preferring to use them than governmental courts.
From a voluntaryist point of view, removing government is a great step towards freedom, but many will be scared of the idea.
The answer is, quite simply, that we all have to face it regardless of the existence of government or not.
There will still be people and groups trying to trick, steal from and control others. Anarchy can't protect against all evil. Nothing can. We have government right now, and such conniving people and groups still exist!
The big problem is that all too often government becomes the vehicle for such evil rather than a protector against it. As Plato said, when the authoritarian comes on the scene, he appeals to people's fears and base needs for safety and security.
At first, he's a savior
and a protector; later, he's a tyrant.
Has there ever been a governmental situation where this did not happen?
As I discussed in the article The Top 3 Reasons Why the System Keeps Perpetuating Itself, you can use the analogy of the ring of power from the Lord of the Rings.
Creating a ring of power (a metaphor for a ruling class, a government and a belief in authority) is dangerous in and of itself, because you are creating an artificial construct which you can never guarantee will be always used for good.
We all know the famous phrase that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
There's no way around it!
What we see in practice, time and time again, is that government ends up enabling the very thing it was supposedly created to stop or protect against!
So many insiders have told us this is exactly how the game works.
For example, remember the
story of Smedley Butler, who exposed how corporations try to
win over the centralized coercive power of government to sanction
their crimes, and wrote how he regretted becoming a "high class
muscle man" for the corporatocracy.
It's a problem as old as time itself.
A quote from the ancient Roman author Juvenal.
Government is an idea - nothing more - yet the practical implementation of this idea has caused untold death and destruction.
The term democide was (according to Wikipedia),
In other words, democide means death by government.
Democide was the leading cause of non-natural death in the 20th century, responsible for around 262 million victims according to R. J. Rummel, including genocides like,
Yes, communist and fascist governments may be a worse flavor of evil, but so-called liberal democracies like the UK and US have been drenched in blood for centuries now.
First off, people so inclined would be happy to take charge of their own defense (by owning and using guns, by taking self-defense courses, etc.). But the defense of your person, your property and your family could also be outsourced to a private group or organization that you trusted.
One idea is that, in a free market, DROs could just be like private defense agencies who are vying for your business.
The first thing they would have to do would be to convince you that they aren't a threat themselves and that they are not going to try to seize power over everyone.
They would have to have grand guarantees and promises (e.g. Molyneux suggests something like they have to give all their money to charity and close down business if they are caught lying). They would be subject to the scrutiny of the market.
If they were found to
have deceived people, their business would suffer. People would have
the choice to use or not use them.
For instance, how would a voluntary society deal with domestic abuse within a family?
One answer is that DROs could be called just as cops are now, and while they wouldn't have the "legal authority" to attack or imprison the abuser (because there would be no such thing as legal authority in an anarchist society), they could certainly use force in self-defense just as any other person would, regardless of if they have a badge and uniform or not.
People would have to participate more in forming local groups to resolve conflict and achieve justice for victims.
While this may sound scary to some, remember this:
Again we are left with the awkward realization:
By having the power to make law for an entire area, government can create monopolies (e.g. money issuance) and black markets (e.g. prohibition on alcohol).
The international banking cartel led by the Rothschilds has prospered mostly because the government has given away its own power to create currency, and has made it legal and mandatory for everyone to accept fiat currency or paper money.
Without that governmental decree, the banksters would face more serious competition in the forms of alternative currencies, and people would have more options against them.
This is a classic case where government serves and encourages evil rather than protects us from it. Government itself is a monopoly.
It can be defined as,
Once you have a monopoly, you remove the power of the free market and competition. The end user or consumer no longer has options.
As a monopoly, government
removes itself from the normal pressures that companies face in an
economic environment where companies have to perform well or else
risk going out of business - and therefore has no real incentive to
do its job properly.
Collectively, it forms a network of economic checks and balances which are far better than anything the Constitution could ever protect against.
And after all, the US Constitution is just, "a goddamn piece of paper" [quote from George W. Bush] in the eyes of tyrants.
The above quote is attributed to first US president George Washington.
It all comes down to the belief in authority, to the notion that we have to have a ruling class, or that any ruler can be legitimate in a world where we are all born equal.
A careful analysis shows that government cannot justify its political authority, no matter whether you use the arguments of social contract, implicit consent, explicit consent or consequentialism.
All of these arguments can be overturned with logic to show that government is simply force masquerading in a variety of disguises such as consent, duty or so-called benevolent dictatorship (an oxymoron).
Believing out of fear
that we have to have government (no matter what) is a symptom of
There is no need to do
away with organization and cooperation; there is a need to do away
with the initiation of violence.
Yes, it can be tricky, complicated and difficult to resolve disputes and conflicts, especially when they go into grey areas.
It takes responsibility, effort and skill in dispute resolution.
My answer is that we cannot justify it, nor can we even possibly outsource it, for every government necessarily has within it the seed of power, corruption and violence.
Otherwise, without the power to coerce, it would not be government...
When you put them under the microscope, government and political authority are not legitimate; they are force.
The terms limited
government and government by consent are oxymorons, because there
are no good examples in the real world of a government that stays
limited forever, and a government never really has the consent of
all its citizens, most of whom are simply born into an existing
system of coercion by coincidence of birth (and taught through
indoctrination to never question it).
Yes, there is competition in life, but the greater part is cooperation, symbiosis, trust and harmony. It is possible to find win/win solutions that don't require the need for an outside authority, and to take that model and apply it to a whole society.
To continue to believe in authority is to create a game where you may win or you may lose; it's creating a throne or seat of power which "bad guys" can overtake.
It's well nigh time for
humanity to grapple with the question of anarchy vs. minarchy,
to move beyond the fears which are holding us back from creating a
more free society...