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What is anarcho-capitalism?

by Hogeye Bill

Anarcho-capitalism is the political philosophy and theory that:

  1. The State is an unnecessary evil and should be abolished, and
  2. A free-market private property economic system is morally permissible.

The first is simply the definition of "anarchism," and the second is soft propertarianism, known more generally as "a free market" or "laissez-faire." Let's look more closely at each of the two parts of our definition. Moral permissibility is a "minimum" position. Almost all anarcho-capitalists believe also that a laissez-faire economic system is generally better than alternatives. Some strong propertarians, such as objectivists, go further and claim that laissez-faire is the only moral economic system.

A typical dictionary definition of anarchism is: "The theory or doctrine that all forms of government are oppressive and undesirable and should be abolished." This definition follows the etymology of the word: "Anarchism" is derived from the Greek αναρχία meaning "without archon" (ruler, chief, or king.) This is the core meaning of the term - against the State. This means against it in principle, as an institution, not merely against certain policies or personnel.

Murray Rothbard coined the term "anarcho-capitalist" in the winter of 1949 or 1950. "My whole position was inconsistent [...], there were only two logical possibilities: socialism, or anarchism. Since it was out of the question for me to become a socialist, I found myself pushed by the irresistible logic of the case, a private property anarchist, or, as I would later dub it, an anarcho-capitalist."

Some prefer the term "market anarchism" to avoid the negative connotations some people have with "capitalism."

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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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