Category Archives: editorial

Traffic Court

bike_laneWhen 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?

bull_dozerThe 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

ancap_gadsdenSome 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

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

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