This chapter is divided in two sections, both dealing with political philosophy from a libertarian perspective. In section 1, we maintain that statism cannot logically be defended in theory, while anarchism can be. We attempt to buttress both of these claims in this essay. Our main contention is that the statists’ defense of the state is based not on sound theory nor practical evidence, but on a belief structured as an a priori truth. We attempt to show why this is wrong.
What are the specifics? We deny that there are any “market failures” which require statism to overcome and ameliorate. We maintain that taxation is indeed a violation of private property rights and cannot be justified either deontologically or pragmatically. The theory that regards tax payments as club dues is unwarranted. Without taxes, there can be no such thing as government.
As an alternative, there would be, of course, institutions that provide typical public sector services, such as armies, courts, police, but this, too, would be anarchy, of the anarcho-capitalist variety. Moreover, there is presently a state of anarchism between the some 200 nations of the world, in the absence of any over-riding world government. But this situation of anarchy between countries is vastly preferable to an all-encompassing world government. Even an inveterate statist would pause before calling for an end to this anarchistic situation.
Also, secession is justified as an implication of free association. If a person is forced to associate with others against his will, this constitutes a rights violation. However, we take secession to its logical end point: to the individual level. That means, at least potentially, seven billion plus nations, one for each of us. That, in turn, would be equivalent to anarchism. Statists assume that it is inconceivable that a government should not exist. Hopefully, the present essay will enable them to look at the issue via a different perspective.
In Section 2, we try to respond to several criticisms of the Anarcho-Capitalist position. We do so by analyzing Professor Robert T. Miller’s (Abstract, Stetson Law Rev 49: 93, 2019) critique of our perspective. This author offers two main criticisms of our views (Futerman and Block, Stetson Law Rev 49: 73, 2019). He first charges that our “doctrines implausibly assume that the transaction costs of allocating goods and services by means of the market will virtually always be lower than those of allocating goods and services by means of government regulation” (Miller, supra note 303). And second, “[W]hen extreme libertarians make strong normative claims . . . they are implicitly adopting some moral system or other . . . ” (Id.). However, “when these suppressed premises are stated in full, they either become implausible or they no longer support the very strong conclusions extreme libertarians assert”(Id.).
This section of the chapter is an attempt to defend our perspective against these criticisms offered by Miller. By so doing, we are responding to criticisms against Anarcho-Capitalism articulated by many others, too, and thus supplying a stronger foundation for this theory.