review of the Anarchist Handbook

Michael Malice‘s book The Anarchist Handbook is a collection of essays from anarchists of many varieties, each introduced by the author. Ancaps looking at the rest of the present-day anarchist movement might conclude that there is nothing to learn. However, it is instructive to see how close the idols of other anarchist philosophies came to libertarianism, and how their errors led to things like anarcho-socialism, anarcho-communism, and the like.

Malice, of course, includes some of the best essays in anarchist thought. Featured are Lysander Spooner‘s “No Treason #6“, an excerpt from David Friedman‘s “The Machinery of Freedom“, and the entirety of Murray Rothbard‘s “The Anatomy of the State“.

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Review of The Micronation Revolution

William Otey’s book The Micronation Revolution is a showcase of government injustices and an exploration of possible solutions. Otey takes a strong minarchist position, advocating the privatization of “most” government functions. Further, he envisions this happening via the spread of small, independent communities, called micronations, that will compete for citizens by moving closer and closer to a classical-liberal utopia.

This free-market approach to developing a better government is reminiscent of Panarchy, Zach Weinersmith’s Polystate, and other competition-in-government approaches. Unfortunately, Otey never considers anarcho-capitalism. His libertarian instincts bring him close at times, but ancaps will be amused at his calls for “near-complete political freedom” and recoil at statements like, “of course some government and some laws are obviously necessary and desirable.”

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Walter Williams

Walter Williams passed away this morning. He was a well-known professor of economics at George Mason University, having written, lectured, and debated extensively in defense of libertarianism. His contributions to the movement were enormous, and all those who value freedom should be grateful for the ideas he spread and the people he inspired.

If you are not familiar with Williams, please take some time to read his writings and view his media appearances. And if you are familiar, please honor his memory by spreading his wisdom to friends and family.

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Murray Rothbard on Keynes

The Mises Institute has Murray Rothbard’s copy of John Maynard Keynes’ The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money. Rothbard was not afraid to make comments in the margins, so looking inside is like listening in on Murray’s private thoughts. A quite a few thoughts there are:

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If you liked the portrait of Keynes on the top of page 316, you’ll love the doodles on the cover pages:

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One of my favorite comments is Rothbard’s reply to Keynes when Keynes wrote, “Those who are strongly wedded to what I shall call ‘the classical theory’, will fluctuate, I expect, between a belief that I am quite wrong and a belief that I am saying nothing new.”

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To see more, visit the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama.

Who are the great ancaps?

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Walter Block mentions in a blog post on LewRockwell.com that he takes issue with our review of the book Justice. Specifically, this sentence:

Michael J. Sandel‘s book Justice, is a worthwhile read for anarcho-capitalists who have already read the greats in their own tradition: Murray Rothbard, David Friedman, etc., and are ready to hone their thinking by exploring some different viewpoints.

Block says:

Oy vey. I hardly think that David Friedman deserves such praise. Yes, he is a libertarian, and an anarchist, but this is what Murray has written about him

and suggests: Continue reading