The United States was founded on the idea of limited government because it was expected of the citizens to not only know the difference between right and wrong; they were expected to act upon it. In order for there to be a civilization at all, individuals must take it upon themselves to do what is right, or at the very least, not do what is wrong. Civilization is characterized by voluntary interactions between all individuals of that society. When force is initiated, civilization is lost. When individuals act in accordance with objective moral standards, no outside policing entity is necessary. However, when individuals start to act immorally, i.e. they start hurting other people or taking their stuff, an external enforcement institution is necessary. We witness this today as the police, sheriffs, FBI, and myriad of other acronym agencies from state and local governments. In a state of anarchy, the majority of these institutions would not exist, either in their current form, or at all. (I will touch on those ideas in later posts.) So, the question necessarily becomes, why do we have them now, and will we need them once we progress into a state of anarchy? This question is a two parter, so I will answer the questions separately but in order.
As it stands in the United States, we have a high degree of violent crime within urban inner city environments. Property crime is also high within these areas. These are the most dangerous places to be in the U.S. We also have suburban areas where the crime rate is next to zero. Additionally, we have an overwhelmingly large volume of laws and codes governing business interactions and corporate entities coming from state and federal governments. Laws against murder are universal within the country, so the fact that murders occur in some places and not others is evidence to the fact that it is not the law stopping murders from occurring. So, what is it then?
As with all things, it is individual choices. Individuals choose to murder, whether that choice is rational or not. Understanding those motives are beyond the scope of this article, however, it can reasonably be said that those committing the crime are of the belief that committing the act is the best choice they can make given their particular circumstances. (I will write another article on the requirements for human action at a later time.) It is my belief that in a state of anarchy, those circumstances will be dramatically different (again, I will write another article on this topic in its entirety). With different circumstances and better incentives, those that view murder as a viable option now will internalize the consequences of their actions and more than likely make the choice not to initiate harm. So, what then of the other codes and convoluted heaps of laws on the books?
It is my belief that all of these codes written by governments of all levels are attempts to control and manage the actions of peaceful and productive people. If the government can criminalize an otherwise morally neutral action, they can arrest, prosecute and control otherwise peaceful and productive people. The drug war is a perfect example of this. At its base, all you have is people growing, buying, selling, and consuming plants. There is nothing immoral about this. However, because the government has criminalized this, they have overwhelming power and authority to intervene and brutalize otherwise peaceful people. A similar situation arises with anti-trust legislation. There is nothing immoral about having a natural monopoly or almost monopoly within a completely free market system. The only way you achieve such market share is by being the absolute best producer in the market and your customers value your products. When the government writes laws intervening with this, they are expanding their power base in an effort to control and criminalize the actions of peaceful and productive people. The government wants nothing more than to accumulate power and it does that by criminalizing peaceful acts and demonizing peaceful productive people. Make no mistake, the end goal of all governments is complete tyrannical control over the people; a police state. So, how do we escape it?
When individuals act in accordance with objective morality, they do not need external enforcement agencies. Even in a state of anarchy, some enforcement and arbitration agencies will be necessary, however, their services will be voluntary and subject entirely to the will of the consumers. When you need security, you will hire a security company. When you need arbitration, you will hire an arbitration company. (This will be elaborated on in a later post as well. The information is too voluminous for this post at this point, so I ask you to trust that I know what I’m talking about for now.) If you are not satisfied with the services, you will fire them. This forces the companies to do their jobs extremely well, be as respectful to the consumers as possible, and to respect objective morality in all of their dealings. A no-knock raid at 3 A.M. will be out of the question. There is also the power of social ostracism. A person that is not complying with objective morality will be denied services within an anarchist society, thus rending them incapable of surviving on their current path, but incentivizing them to improve their behavior. An authoritarian super-state and violent police state will become ridiculous notions of a barbarous past, but how do we get from where we are to a state of anarchy?
Answering that question is one of the purposes of this blog. I want to present the truth as plainly as possible here, and I want to espouse the virtues of anarchy so everyone can start to appreciate how wonderful such a society could be and what true civilization is. As Confucius said, “The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.” The government is a violent, coercive organization composed of people that want to control you. Taxation is theft. War is murder. Anarchy is peace, freedom, and civilization. It is also the key to human flourishing.