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Debunking Statist Myths

July 10, 2012

Since I come across these all the time, I thought I’d create a compilation of some of the main arguments of my critics. It’s incredible what years of government school and overwhelming statist discourse can lead people to embrace. But here we go. One by one.

Anarchy would lead to chaos.

This is by far the most popular. It’s funny actually, because once you hear this argument, pragmatism suddenly becomes a priority over morality. There’s no acknowledgement of the moral superiority of non-aggression over the alternative. And yet, my critics immediately take a hard lined stance on the practicality of what I’m saying. The problem with that is that once you accept pragmatism, you throw morality out altogether. You can’t go halfway with morality – once you cross the line, you’ve given up on promoting virtue on a universal level. And suddenly, stealing from people through taxation becomes perfectly acceptable.

A few centuries ago, slavery was considered an absolute necessity in agriculture production. In fact, the prevailing thought of the time was that the freeing of slaves would send society to the doldrums. How would plantations be operated? How would agriculture be produced? How would the economy continue to flourish? Questions of pragmatism clouded the scene, especially in the south. But just because you can’t predict impeccably the direction society will take following an upheaval of such human rights violations doesn’t justify pursuing such depravity. Look where we are today. No slavery, and unbelievable agriculture. Could anybody back then have even fathomed of the technology? Of the completely shifted distribution of labor in our society? And yet, take a moment to admire the monumental changes that have occurred. No, I can’t predict with absolute certainty where anarchy is going to lead. I don’t know how the security agencies and arbitrators will be structured, nor can I anticipate the remarkable ingenuity that will begin to dominate our economy. But it can happen. And rough conjectures of what an anarchist society would look like have shown that chaos would not cloud such a society.

Finally, imagine a society where government has been producing food since as long as its citizens can remember. Almost anybody coming out of such a society would be astounded at the prospect of change. They’d ask, how would the food get from one place to another? What if the food was poisoned? What if there was a drought? Isn’t government the only entity that can properly coordinate it’s production process? Anybody embarking on the task of refuting these concerns would only be met with more frivolous questions. And yet, we know what food doesn’t have to be produced by the government. We know that the demands of the consumers are acted upon in a free market. So assuming the demand for security is there, it will be provided for. Of course, we know the demand is there – people have already opted for the government’s social contract. So why exactly can’t it be provided by the private sector?

That’s it for today. Anybody looking for some rough visions of how private security would work would be well benefited by checking out the great Robert Murphy here. I’ll talk about specifics soon myself.

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From → Ideology

4 Comments
  1. reidhardaway permalink

    The belief that anarchy would lead to chaos ignores the chaos of State violence that we have been living in for centuries. Nice post.

  2. Exactly. It’s as if the State hasn’t needlessly murdered millions upon millions of people over the past century alone. Thanks.

  3. For a similar take on the correlation between government and slavery, check out this excellent article by Robert Higgs: http://www.thefreemanonline.org/columns/our-economic-past/ten-reasons-not-to-abolish-slavery/

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