Tag Archives: anarcho-capitalism

Review of Seasteading by Joe Quirk

seasteadingJoe Quirk‘s book Seasteading is a valuable addition to your ancap library. It explores the potential of the ocean to solve some of the world’s greatest problems. While written for a mainstream audience, it has a solid anarcho-capitalist undertone, referencing Patri Friedman, Milton Friedman, and Bryan Caplan.

This book is also recommended for ancaps because of its purely capitalist approach to solving problems. In short: privatize the ocean and develop business models that make use of its enormous untapped resources.

It is often corny, wasting no opportunity to use terms like blue-topia, aqua-preneur, etc. However, the humor often hits the mark. For example, when Quirk talks about “politicians embracing their kinship with pondscum.”

The book is highly business oriented, discussing real people doing real work right now. It tells of some of the latest companies and technologies created around ocean resources. Examples include healthcare tourism, improved fish farms, medical access companies, financial services provided by island nations, and, of course, seasteads.

Despite this, it manages to get across that libertarianism is very environmentally friendly, so it is a good book for your friends who care about saving marine life and habitats. It tries very hard to be inclusive of environmentalists, socialists, progressives, anyone who might want to get involved in seasteading. But it never sacrifices libertarian principles to make the case.

In fact, more than making the case for seasteads, it makes the case for freedom. It makes the case that charity is not scalable, and only profits can bring improvements to the whole world for the long term. That alone makes it a worthwhile read for libertarians. But the fun ideas, new technologies, and gentle approach make it a good book to have for handing out to potential libertarians who just need a little inspiration.

Quirk also implicitly makes the case for libertarianism by pointing out important historical examples of freedom causing massive wealth (South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore). He also goes over some revisionist history and provides nice explanations of how freedom has been essential for progress in Europe, China, and the US. For the United States, he argues that success came not from the constitution, but competition among the states. Even more interesting, Quirk relates the tale of 18 farmers and bureaucrat who resisted the government and set the stage for the capitalist revolution in China.

With a wide range of topics, and a very different flavor from most libertarian books, ancaps should read Seasteading and keep it on hand. It has good lessons and good ideas that can be shared with those excited about the sea. Quirk says that the greatest evil is the superstition that people belong to governments that they didn’tchoose. He states that people should be able to opt out of governments. And he places great emphasis on having a diversity of experiments, testing, and breaking away from the bloody military empires of the 20th century.

An informative and occasionally hilarious book about bringing anarcho-capitalism to the high seas. Five Murrays.

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Review of What is Anarchism? by Donald Rooum

what_is_anarchismDonald Rooum’s What is Anarchism? is a mishmash of excerpts from a small range of anarchists combined with seemingly unrelated cartoons. The prose are equally incongruous, often relating irrelevant stories or showcasing parts of longer books and essays that are useless out of context.

Some of the chapters are worthwhile reads, and even the bad ones have the occasional gem that gets to the heart of anarchism. But the book as a whole is a confusing mess. There is no theoretical foundation, or common thread that binds the various parts together. Instead, it piles on every idea that has ever associated itself with anarchism, such that anyone who finishes reading the book is sure to wonder, “what is anarchism?”

Anarcho-capitalists may still find the book useful or entertaining, as they already know what anarchism is and are unlikely to be led astray. It could also be interesting to those ancaps who Continue reading

The Weapon Shop by A. E. van Vogt

the_weapon_shopA member of both the Science Fiction Hall of Fame Vol. 1 and the Prometheus Award Hall of Fame, The Weapon Shop is short story that anarcho-capitalists will love.

Though it was published in 1942, the sci-fi aspects of the story have aged very well. More importantly, the libertarian themes continue to be strong and relevant, even though libertarianism itself has evolved over the same period from classical liberalism, to minarchism, to anarcho-capitalism.

You can read the short story here (epub, mobi), though the audible version is recommended if you like audio books.

Spoilers below.

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Libertarian Strategy: Reply to Mr. Katz

Murray Rothbard was a prolific writer. Thanks to the Mises Institute, much of his work can be found online, but there are still many articles that anarcho-capitalists have never read because only physical copies exist. For one such article, that changes today.

Simon Franek sends along this article that he found in the FEE archive. It is from the May 1973 edition of New Libertarian Notes. Click the image below for the PDF.

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Review of Libertarian Quandaries

libertarian_quandriesJakub Wisniewski‘s book Libertarian Quandries is a thoughtful and accurate account of the libertarian ethical system. Though the language is a bit academic at times, the chapters are short and pithy. This makes the book an excellent choice for those who are familiar with libertarianism and want to take their understanding and arguments to the next level.

Wisniewski addresses a wide range of objections to libertarianism, be they economic, ethical, or simply a question of what is practical. Similarly, he mounts a calm but relentless attack on arguments in favor of government. Ancaps will appreciate his consistent anarchist message, while libertarians who are still holding on the idea of limited government will find some interesting food for thought.

That said, there are a few things that call for clarification: 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

Review of A Spontaneous Order: the Capitalist Case for a Stateless Society

spontaneous_order_chase_rachelsIn his book, A Spontaneous Order: The Capitalist Case for a Stateless Society, Chase Rachels does an excellent job conveying insights from both libertarianism and economics. He uses clear explanations of basic concepts and persuasive examples for applications. He relentlessly identifies aggression as the root cause of society’s problems, and the state as the primary source of aggression. Most importantly, the book is permeated by a Rothbardian hatred of the state, which will make it an enjoyable read for any ancap.

Rachels makes frequent use of long passages quoted from other works. Thankfully these are drawn from some of the best sources on libertarianism and economics: Continue reading