Thursday, February 14, 2019

Which "minarchy"?

I understand the appeal of minarchy. After all, it's where I came from; what I used to advocate. Even though I knew I was an anarchist personally, I used to imagine minarchy as the most practical way to be as liberated as possible.

But minarchy-- keeping a little bit of cancer around and under control to prevent a different cancer from getting a foothold-- is an unsustainable Utopian fantasy. Much more so than anarchy could ever be.

And, it's confused.

As a minarchist, which "minimal government" would you pick? Only things such as government fire protection, government policing, military, government-controlled roads, and government courts? Other minarchists might have other preferences. Some would include "securing the borders" or other Big Government welfare programs. Any version includes the "taxation" to pay for it all, along with the bureaucracy to collect and distribute the money and find and punish the opt-outs.

Does every minarchist get to impose the particular flavor of "minimal government" they want? If so, it is no longer "minimal".

Do you use v*ting to decide which bits of government you get to impose on me? Then it's mob rule-- "might (through superior numbers) makes right".

Through v*ting and "taxation" you've cut the brake line on anything holding back government growth.

As I say, I understand, but a "little bit of statism" is still evil.


Reminder: I could really use some help.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.


  1. yup. Minarchy is a mess. And it requires a "common culture" among the community to agree on fundamentals. And it requires vigilance and decisive action against corruption and growth of gov.

    BUT... anarchy is not even possible, without ability to defend against roving gangs and organized invasion. any created wealth is ripe for the picking. so it's not even a realistic option (except for small communities protected within a minarchy).

    certainly, moral individuals should aspire to anarchy.
    but to survive, communities must take on minarchy.
    "minarchy, or death."

    1. "...without ability to defend against roving gangs and organized invasion"
      Yep. That's why you organize. Voluntarily. Unanimous consent. Organization doesn't require statism. Once you mix in statism you've already lost to the gangs.

  2. anarchy is logical and moral.
    crooks, gangs, and invaders- are not. yet, they are.
    history. the brutish reality of humanity.

    1. Joining together in defense, to kill the crooks, gangs, and invaders, is logical and moral AND ethical. So do it without becoming just as bad as they are. No need to adopt statism. You don't have to become a rapist to defend against rape.

  3. regarding: "...holding back government growth..."

    every association requires vigilance. anarchy requires association and vigilance too.
    within every association- man up, or become a slave.

    1. there is a responsibility to actively participate in "the animated contest of freedom".

      "If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!”
      - Samuel Adams

    2. "...every association requires vigilance"

      True But when you start off on the wrong foot you've already doomed yourself. Statism poisons your organization before it even has a chance. You've made the death of your group a foundation of the group.

      "...there is a responsibility to actively participate in "the animated contest of freedom"."
      I agree. But playing the statists' game by the statists' rules isn't participation. It is surrender. If you're not fundamentally different from them, why bother? You certainly won't make a difference that matters.

    3. it takes a gang to defeat a gang.
      it takes an army to defeat an army.
      armies need organized, trained, fed, equipped, kept on alert; funded.
      that's not "the wrong foot", rather it is necessary for survival.
      reality is messy, because the aggressors are not using your reason.

      how would an impromptu "anarchy army" be organized, trained, fed, equipped, kept on alert, funded? voluntarily? how?
      such limited capability works sometimes for small threats; not narco gangs or invading states.

    4. If you fund your militia (which is what we are talking about here) through theft, you've already capitulated.

      You can organize without becoming indistinguishable from the bad guys. Don't archate, or you're no different (and certainly no better) than them. In that case you don't deserve to survive.

      And you seem to be falling for the "Warlord" trap.

  4. why is "my gang/my army" any different from them?
    'my gang' uses reason and are moral- except when being ruthless.
    and 'my community' of like thinkers defines reason and morality.
    if others do, then I am their slave.

    1. Morality is "situational ethics". Actual ethics is better. But if you archate, you are not different then them. You are fooling yourself. You can have an ethical gang. You can not have an ethical state, no matter how much you pretend to limit it.

  5. failure of responsibility to limit bad behavior:

    an anarchy would fail if/when the community does not vigorously counter aggression, corruption, and theft.

    similarly, minarchy fails if/when the community does not vigorously counter aggression, corruption, and theft.

    point being: it's not the 2nd amendment that guarantees rights. It's the guns, and the will to use them.

    lack of responsibility leads to the end of anarchies, minarchies, ...the end of any civilization.

    “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
    - John Adams

    the challenge of all 'organizations': sustaining the will to deal with bad situations and bad actors. anarchy has a miserable record.
    minarchy has a poor record; just much better than any other form of organization to date.

    1. "minarchy fails if/when the community does not vigorously counter aggression, corruption, and theft.

      So how do you square this with the fact that aggression and theft are inherent conditions of all states, "minarchies" included?

      You ought to read this latest post from Eric Peters, if you still believe that minarchies are desirable. link.

      As I've said, I understand why you want what you say to be true. That doesn't change the reality. Minarchy is just a baby tyranny, and it grows faster than you can deal with.

  6. re: "So how do you square this with the fact that aggression and theft are inherent conditions of all states, "minarchies" included."

    I cannot square it. aggression and theft are inherent conditions of ALL associations that involve humans. that's history, and my experience as well. that's why anarchy never works: people are irrational and aggressive. many aspire to be rational and moral, but too too many remain at the evolutionary base, irrational and aggressive.

    Minarchy acknowledges that reality. minarchy is a baby tyranny, significantly less so than every other alternative.

    1. anarchy is reasoned and moral.
      yet anarchy groups always fall apart for similar reasons.

      minarchy sucks, but it attempts to address the core shortcomings of reality.
      minarchy sucks much less than any other sustainable alternative for a society.

      just my observations during my travels, and reading of history.

    2. good links above, to the Warlord trap, and the Eric Peters article.
      The reasoning seems sound. The state sucks. always.

      Yet, anarchist communities keep failing.
      And the few that last any time at all- get gobbled up by outside aggressors.
      anarchy is not sustainable among actual people. it is not a viable option.

      that leaves minarchy. minarchy sucks the least.

    3. If you establish a minarchy, I will not fight you as long as you leave me alone and don't rob me or force me to be subject to the counterfeit rules of a society I don't belong in. Until it violates me (or someone who requests my help) you can do what you want. I will not participate in governing others, though. That's the best I can do.

  7. within my own sphere of personal interactions, i also "do the best i can" not to aggress against others, and to discourage others against aggressing.

    with experience, i have come to understand that reason has limits when confronted with aggression and mother nature; so i shoot, move, communicate, plan, and react. and i wish there was a realizable, ethical, moral, rational, organizing principle for human societies .

    meanwhile, despite what we may want- we both also pay (sales, property, income) taxes which directly fund the aggression, corruption, and theft we abhor.

    1. [edit]
      wish there was a realizable, ethical, moral, rational, organizing principle for human societies ... still searching and questioning

    2. Maybe the problem is when people try to organize something which should be left to self-organize. It's like if a committee were established to design and distribute snowflakes-- it would fail.

      "...despite what we may want- we both also pay (sales, property, income) taxes..."

      I don't blame mugging victims for being mugged or for what the mugger uses the stolen money for. I keep all the money I can out of the hands of muggers, professional or freelance.

  8. have you seen any articles or books that discuss why the attempts at "anarchist communities" always fail so quickly (either from internal strain or external aggressors)??

    understanding and resolving those challenges seems the key to making anarchy actually possible.

    1. See my reply above about "organizing societies".

      The thing is, nothing ever works... until it does. Not airplanes, lasers, the wheel, or an anarchist society.

      I know what works for me. I don't need theft or aggression, and I don't believe anyone else does either. Yes, some people will choose that path, but that's their weakness, not mine. I'm not going to let them force me to do things I know to be wrong.