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Anarcho-capitalism and minarchism

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Title: Anarcho-capitalism and minarchism  
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Subject: Minarchism, Libertarian perspectives on revolution, Walter Block, Patri Friedman, David D. Friedman
Collection: Anarcho-Capitalism, Issues in Anarchism, Libertarian Theory, Minarchism
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Anarcho-capitalism and minarchism

Anarcho-capitalism and minarchism are two distinct strains of libertarianism.[1][2][3][4] Although anarcho-capitalists and minarchists agree on most political issues, they are sometimes hostile towards each other, particularly because most adherents of both philosophies support the non-aggression principle and see the opposing philosophy of misrepresenting its political implications.


  • Philosophical disagreements 1
    • Interpretations 1.1
  • History of debate 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Philosophical disagreements

Anarcho-capitalism advocates abolishing the state. Minarchism has been variously defined by sources. In the strictest sense, it is the political philosophy which maintains that the state is necessary and that its only legitimate function is the protection of individuals from aggression, theft, breach of contract, and fraud, and the only legitimate governmental institutions are the military, police, and courts. In the broadest sense, it also includes fire departments, prisons, the executive, and legislatures as legitimate government functions.[5][6][7] Minarchist states are called night-watchman states.

Minarchists generally justify the state on the grounds that it is the court firms would tend to represent the interests of those who pay them enough.[8] Anarcho-capitalists generally argue that the state violates the non-aggression principle by its nature because governments use force against those who have not stolen private property, vandalized private property, assaulted anyone, or committed fraud.[9][10] Many also argue that monopolies tend to be corrupt and inefficient.

Anarcho-capitalists generally argue that court agencies would have to have a good reputation in order to stay in business. Furthermore, Linda & Morris Tannehill argue that no coercive monopoly of force can arise on a truly free market and that a government's citizenry can’t desert them in favor of a competent protection and defense agency.[11]


Libertarian philosopher Moshe Kroy argues that the disagreement between anarcho-capitalists who adhere to Murray Rothbard's view of human consciousness and the nature of values and minarchists who adhere to Ayn Rand's view of human consciousness and the nature of values over whether or not the state is moral is not due to a disagreement over the correct interpretation of a mutually held ethical stance. He argues that the disagreement between these two groups is instead the result of their disagreement over the nature of human consciousness and that each group is making the correct interpretation of their differing premises. These two groups are therefore not making any errors with respect to deducing the correct interpretation of any ethical stance because they do not hold the same ethical stance.[12]

History of debate

The debate over which philosophy is preferable has been most notably debated by anarchists Murray Rothbard, David Friedman, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Walter Block, Bryan Caplan, and Roderick Long, and minarchists Ludwig von Mises, Ayn Rand, Tibor Machan, and Robert Nozick.[13][14][15]

The U.S. Libertarian Party sought to be a "big tent" party when it was founded by welcoming both factions into its midst. The 1974 Libertarian National Convention adopted the Dallas Accord, which made the platform of the Libertarian Party purposefully ambiguous on the desirability of the state's existence. This involved using such phrases as "where governments exist, they must not violate the rights of any individual" in the statement of principles. In 2006, delegates to a national convention added the following language to the section on "Crime and Justice": "Government exists to protect the rights of every individual including life, liberty and property." This led some to conclude that anarchists were no longer welcome in the party.[16][17]

See also


  1. ^ Stringham, Edward (2007). Anarchy and the Law. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers. p. 504.  
  2. ^ Christensen, Karen (2003). Encyclopedia of Community. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. p. 859.  
  3. ^ Heywood, Andrew (2000). Key Concepts in Politics. New York: Macmillan. p. 63.  
  4. ^
  5. ^ Gregory, Anthory.The Minarchist's Dilemma. Strike The Root. 10 May 2004.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Holcombe, Randall G. "Government: Unnecessary but Inevitable". 
  9. ^ Long, Roderick, Market Anarchism as Constitutionalism, Molinari Institute.
  10. ^ Plauché, Geoffrey Allan (2006). On the Social Contract and the Persistence of Anarchy, American Political Science Association, (Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University).
  11. ^ Linda & Morris Tannehill. The Market for Liberty, p. 81.
  12. ^ Kroy, Moshe Political Freedom and Its Roots in Metaphysics
  13. ^ "Anarcho-Capitalism".  
  14. ^  
  15. ^  
  16. ^ Antman, Less. "The Dallas Accord Is Dead". May 12, 2008.
  17. ^ Knapp, Thomas, "Time for a new Dallas Accord?", Rational Review.

External links

  • Anarchism/Minarchism: Is a Government Part of a Free Country? Roderick Long and Tibor Machan
  • Market Anarchism as Constitutionalism Roderick Long
  • Libertarian Anarchism: Responses to Ten Objections Roderick Long
  • "Anarchism and Minarchism. A Rapprochement", Journal des Economists et des Estudes Humaines, Vol. 14, No.4 (December 2002), pages 569–88 Tibor R. Machan
  • What It Means to Be an Anarcho-Capitalist "Libertarian opponents of anarchy are attacking a straw man" argues Stephan Kinsella
  • Chaos Theory: Two Essays On Market Anarchy Robert P. Murphy
  • [1] Robert Nozick and the Immaculate Conception of the State Murray Rothbard
  • Tom Woods Is An Anarchist on YouTube "Where are you on limited government or anarchy?" A 1-minute argument for anarchy by Thomas Woods
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