Murray Rothbard continues to be an inspiration, even 28 years after his untimely death. Here are some of the kind words written in honor of his memory.
Category Archives: editorial
Who are the great ancaps?
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.
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
When I commute to work, I usually ride a bike. It is nice to get a little exercise, and it is also the cheapest way to get there. Also, the town I live in has bike lanes on some of the streets, which makes it a very relaxing way to travel.
Unfortunately, my stress-free commute was interrupted a few weeks ago by a police officer. He shouted at me that, “you have to ride in the bike lane.” To which I responded, “Okay.” He then gave me a ticket for riding outside of the bike lane.
I was annoyed, until I saw what he did next. He proceeded down the street handing out tickets to anyone who rode their bike near him. No bell, have a ticket. Headphones in the ears, have a ticket. Reflector cracked, have a ticket. Clearly he had some sort of directive to ruin the day for as many people as possible.
The penalty for my victimless crime was not too high. It was just low enough that most people would choose to mail in payment rather than taking the day off from work to fight it.
I was still a little angry, though, so I thought about trying to fight the ticket. Continue reading
What is Capital?
The term capital is used in different ways in different contexts. In investment, it is how much wealth a person has. In business, it is the sum of your assets, or assets minus liabilities. In some economic contexts, it is any durable good that is used to produce other goods. In certain economic contexts, capital consists of anything that enhances your ability to perform economically useful work. So, anything that makes you productive would be considered capital. Some people prefer other definitions that exclude things like land and labor.
The common theme is that capital is something that people can use to do what they want to do. Continue reading
Anarcho-capitalism is not Right Libertarianism
Some like to describe ancaps as alt-right or right-wing libertarians. The reason is that in the American political spectrum, right-wing politicians occasionally use rhetoric that is somewhat close to what an ancap would think and say. For example, the technically-true but misleading “taxes are too high” or an insincere variant of “property owners should get to decide how to use their property”.
With friends like that, who needs enemies? Yet, the American-left’s hysterical call to follow Venezuela into the 9th level of hell is so abhorrent that Continue reading
Picture 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
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
Star Trek Voyager: Tuvix
In the television series Star Trek, characters are often challenged with new and interesting ethical dilemmas. One of the best such challenges occurs during the episode “Tuvix” from the second season of Star Trek: Voyager.
Assassination and Anarcho-Capitalism
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
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