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Are anarcho-capitalists anti-war?

by Hogeye Bill

If you take war to be violent conflicts between States, then anarcho-capitalists are ardently anti-war. Anarcho-capitalists do not see global politics with the conventional statist paradigm - as a collection of competing States, with every man on a State team. Anarcho-capitalist understand that rulers and subjects have very different interests. The rulers stand to gain power, prestige and popularity from war, whereas the subjects pay the costs, in lives and in money, and in standard of living and quality of life. Wars should be thought of as disputes between petulant power-maddened politicians. Thus rulers get the benefits of militarism, but shove the costs on others. They also seize upon war as an opportunity to ramp up power. Finally, they use the war as a propaganda tool to gain support for their rule.

Since the land area of the globe has been parcelled out among particular States, one of the basic doctrines of the State was to identify itself with the territory it governed. Since most men tend to love their homeland, the identification of that land and its people with the State was a means of making natural patriotism work to the State's advantage. If "Ruritania" was being attacked by "Walldavia," the first task of the State and its intellectuals was to convince the people of Ruritania that the attack was really upon them and not simply upon the ruling caste.

— Murray Rothbard, The Anatomy of the State

So far we've discussed traditional State on State wars. What about non-traditional wars, such as the "war" on terrorism? Anarcho-capitalists don't see the "war on terrorism" to be a bone fide war. Terrorism is criminal activity, and should be treated as such. It is justified to arrest the actual perpetrators of terrorism, but it is wrong to violate non-combatants. Terrorist acts should be handled as a criminal justice matter using peace officers, not as an inter-State war, with bombings and invasions and civilian casualties.

Most anarcho-capitalists believe that the modern State, by the very nature of way it fights wars, cannot possibly engage in a just war. Modern weaponry makes it impossible for a State to wage war without murdering innocent people. An obvious crime like the "9/11" attack is framed, not as a multiple homicide requiring police investigation, but as an act of war mandating military violence. And the flag-humping public bought it.

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What Is Anarchism? What Beliefs Do Anarchists Share?

Why Should One Consider Anarchism In The First Place?

Don’t Anarchists Favour Chaos?

Don’t Anarchists Favour The Abolition Of The Family, Property, Religion, And Other Social Institutions Besides The State?

What Major Subdivisions May Be Made Among Anarchists?

Is Anarchism The Same Thing As Libertarianism?

Is Anarchism The Same Thing As Socialism?

Who Are The Major Anarchist Thinkers?

How Would Left-anarchy Work?

What Criticisms Have Been Made Of Anarchism?

What Other Anarchist Viewpoints Are There?

What Is Anarcho–Capitalism?

What Is Anarcho–Communism?

What Moral Justifications Have Been Offered For Anarchism?

What Are The Major Debates Between Anarchists? What Are The Recurring Arguments?

How Would Anarchists Handle The “Public Goods” Problem

Are Anarchists Pacifists?

Are Anarcho–Capitalists Anti–War?

Have There Been Any Historical Examples Of Anarchist Societies?

Isn’t Anarchism Utopian?

Don’t Anarchists Assume That All People Are Innately Virtuous?

Aren’t Anarchists Terrorists?

How Might An Anarchist Society Be Achieved?

Why Should One Consider Anarcho-Capitalism?

Do Anarcho-Capitalists Favour Chaos?

Is Anarcho-Capitalism Utopian?

What Justifications Are There For Anarcho-Capitalism?

Are There Different Types Of Anarcho-Capitalism?

How Do Anarcho-Capitalists Compare With Other Anarchists?

Is Anarcho-Capitalism The Same Thing As Libertarianism?

How Would Anarcho-Capitalism Work?

How Would Anarcho-Capitalists Handle The “Public Goods” Problem?

What Will A Stateless Society Look Like?

Have There Been Any Anarcho-Capitalist Societies?

Can Anarcho-Capitalism Work?

How Might An Anarcho-Capitalist Society Be Achieved?

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