Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

April 19, 2007

Anarcho-whatism?

by tarran

I want to thank Brad and the other contributors for inviting me to join their revolution. It is my hope to co-opt their broadly-based revolution so that I can impose my vision of an anarchic paradise, kind of like Castro and the Ayatollah Khomeini, but without the murders, beatings and prison camps. Essentially, I seek to convince everyone that freedom is a good idea, and that central planning or coercive imposed monopolies are bad ones.

Often when I tell someone for the first time that I am an anarchist, they get this scared look. I routinely have to explain that I am not one of those anarchists who march down streets waving paper-mache puppets, smashing store front windows and throwing home-made bombs while demanding free health care.

So what is anarcho-capitalism? It is a form of extremism. Walter Block describes the heart of free-market anarchism as the principle of “free trade between consenting adults”. I actually prefer the term free-market anarchism because the word “capitalism” was coined by Marx to denigrate free trade. Essentially, the free-market anarchist believes that society should be organized such that the peaceful use of one’s property, and the peaceful interactions between people should not be interfered with.

Why is it anarchic? Because the state is, at its heart, incompatible with this principle. The tax collector gets his money not by persuading a person to give it to him of their own free will, but by threat of violence. The state also quashes competition callling it “invasion” or “vigilantism” depending on the character of the competition.

There is a large body of work available on the web which discusses and describes the various flavors free-market anarchism. I particularly recommend praxeology.net. In the coming months, will be discussing some of those essays, as well as the free-market anarchist’s perspective on current events.

As to myself, I am nearly 37 years old. I am married with two children who are 6 and 2 years old. I am a computer programmer who is trying to start his own consulting business. I live just west of Boston.

I have an unusual history: I was born in Turkey to an American mother and Turkish father. When I was 7 years old, my father sent the rest of our family to the U.S. while he worked to purge the Grey Wolves (a fascist paramilitary group) from his university.

I grew up a few miles away from Lexington green, steeped in the culture of the American Revolution. I was a computer and science nerd growing up, but had a classical education rammed down my throat, including 7 years of Latin. My teenage years were spent reading Heinlein, Niven, Livy, Julius Caesar, Horace, Pliny, Herodotus et al.

I spent 5 years in the U.S. Navy, most of them as an nuclear propulsion officer on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln.

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  • Tom Gellhaus

    I am glad to see you join the website as a regular poster ! I have only recently discovered The Liberty Papers, but am glad I did. I myself happen to be strongly sympathetic to the anarcho-capitalist and anarchist viewpoints and philosophy (Benjamin Tucker and Lysander Spooner being two of my personal “Great Americans”). I think it is only for the better that this site is accepting of several ranges of libertarian thought, from “classic liberal” all the way to “anarchism”.
    Looking forward to more posting from you !

  • http://sr2.org sr2

    Here, Here. I’m new to reading the Liberty Papers, but have considered myself to be an anarchist for as long as I can recall. Somehow, at 32 my definition is not much different than when I was 13 and listening to the Ramones, essentially, “leave me be and I’ll leave you be.” Thankfully, after 19 years I’ve realized what “personal responsibility” means and that prevents me from marching down the street with those “anarchists” that smash windows.

    Glad to see another voice that recognizes the value of freedom. I look forward to future articles.

  • http://www.peterofthecosmos.com Peter

    I am also new to “The Liberty Papers”, this blog is golden! I look forward to your future insights, tarran. Cheers!

  • http://www.pubcrawler.blogspot.com/ tkc

    Glad to have an anarcho-capitalist here.

  • http://nothirdsolution.com David Z

    Yeah! What tkc said.

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/ Stephen Littau

    Welcome to The Liberty Papers Tarran! With your unique perspective you will make a great addition to this blog.

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2006/11/22/comrades-i-hereby-declare-the-revolution/ Adam Selene

    Hey Tarran, welcome aboard! This ought to be interesting. We range from (now) anarcho-capitalist to minarchist. There is a wide range of very Liberal thought on this blog, and I think that is all to the good. We will find (and have generally found) that we agree on 80 to 90 percent of our beliefs. Rather than focus on the differences, we work to focus on the far greater areas we agree, to build a big tent front that can promote liberty.

    If we stop and think about it, while minarchy, or an-cap, or whatever may not be the ideal that we individually strive for, it’s a damn site better than any of the non-liberty oriented ‘isms of the other side.

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