Author Archives: rothbarddotcom

Package Forwarding

shoppingPicture this. You find something you would like to buy online. You try to place the order, but the retailer informs you that they cannot ship the item to your address. Why? The local government banned that item and won’t let them send it to your home. What can an libertarian do?

Leave it to the free market to find a solution. Package forwarding services let you ship a package to one their warehouses located in places where the government has not banned the item you would like. Once the package arrives, they will then Continue reading

Anarcho-capitalism in Short

no_capitalism_but_anarcho_capitalism

There’s no capitalism, but anarcho-capitalism.

When I explain anarcho-capitalism to the average person, I usually say that it is a philosophy that combines the peaceful society advocated by libertarianism with the rapid technological progress and high standard of living produced by capitalism.

Saying that anarcho -capitalism produces the most peaceful world, the best technology, and the most wealth is true.  However, those are really just the effects of anarcho-capitalism. They are a kind of a hook to show how appealing ancapistan would be, but they do not really explain what it is.

To dig deeper, we need to define two things: freedom and liberty. Continue reading

Sapiens

sapiens_coverSapiens is a high level summary of human history. It takes a look at not just our species of humans, but also the human species that our ancestors drove into extinction. While this book is not written from an anarcho-capitalist perspective by any stretch of the imagination, it should still be an enjoyable read for most ancaps for two reasons. First, without really intending to, it nicely summarizes the progress humans have made in our never-ending quest for freedom. Second, though the author cannot seem to help occasionally giving undue credit to government, the book conveys enough skepticism towards the state that an ancap can still appreciate the good parts.

From an anarcho-capitalist perspective, Sapiens is a book about capital accumulation, though it does not really  know it. It begins 70,000 years ago Continue reading

Assassination and Anarcho-Capitalism

Leon: the Professional

Leon: the Professional

In Ancapistan, only things that violate the non-aggression principle are illegal. Normally assassination violates the NAP, but there are important exceptions. For example, suppose someone commits a crime so heinous that the private court system decides that his death would be appropriate recompense for the victim. However, before he is executed he escapes and moves to some state-controlled territory where nobody has any interest in bringing him to justice.

In this case, it is ethical to hire someone to go find him and kill him. So, Ancapistan would likely have assassination companies. In the long run it would not be a big market, but in the short run it might be big business. Continue reading

Libertarianism and Property

private property

Private Property

Libertarianism says that people should not cause conflict. It wants everyone to get along. That’s why the non-aggression principle, which libertarianism is based on, is so simple. It does not tell you how to live your life. It just says not to cause problems in the lives of other people. This rule is great in theory, but not in practice. Not because libertarianism isn’t practical. It is. However, applying the non-aggression principle to everyday situations can be quite difficult.

The reason is that people do many different things each day. They make choices and take chances that can potentially affect the lives of other people. Trying to evaluate whether any particular thing you might do will cause conflict, and thus violate the NAP, could take a long time. Try doing that for everything you might do in a day and you won’t have time to do anything else.

So how do we protect liberty without bringing life to halt? Continue reading

David D. Friedman on Problems with Libertarianism

In this video from 1981, David D. Friedman lists some unresolved problems with libertarianism and also tells some funny stories about Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, and Ayn Rand. In general, he thinks that libertarians are too confident in their ability to answer all real world problems given the current state of libertarian ethical theory. For anyone interested in the fundamentals of libertarianism, this video will be a lot of fun.

 

TL;DW: First, he is concerned that there is no pre-defined rule for quantifying the kind and quantity of punishment and restitution that is appropriate in response to crimes. Continue reading