Life's Better Ideas

Occasional links to, and comments on, ideas that I think will make this a better world, and remarks about things that need fixing, too.

Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Sunday, October 30, 2005


James C. Bennett's The Anglosphere Challenge has this to say about anarcho-capitalism (p 139).

We do not know for sure whether something like anarcho-capitalism would work, because it has never been tried, but I uspect that even a strong and advanced civil society would falter if anarcho-capitalism were tried today. It would be like the experience of Albania or Russia in trying to implement Anglo-American capitalism in the 1990s. It would fail not because the concept itself was invalid but because civil society was not yet strong enough and the habits and expectations of the people had not developed sufficiently to support it. Advocates of anarcho-capitalism would thus be best occupied not in undermining government but in strengthening civil society and trying to increase the level of trust among people. Being antinomians by nature, however, they tend to do the opposite today. Silly conspiracy theories and black-helicopter fantasies spread the idea that all governments are equally evil and all government personnel are corrupt and totalitarian. This cynicism has historically paved the way for fascism, not libertarianism.

I think there's some real truth here about the direction the libertarian movement, and the Libertarian Party, should take in trying to build a libertarian society.

I would disagree with the author's use of antinomian, although maybe he's referring specifically to anarcho-capitalists and not libertarians.


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