The Anarchist Township

Fight the war, fuck the norm!

Applying Market Anarchism and Libertarianism I: Theory

In the last two series’ that I did forever and a moon ago I discussed the ideas of Market anarchism and Libertarianism as an ethical backing for it but both ideas mean nothing if they can’t be adopted in the real world and translated into some action. But before we get to strategies that should be employed or action that should be taken the theory of market anarchism under libertarian ethics should be reexamined once more to make sure we’re ready to apply our thoughts.

The theory itself

To reiterate market anarchism is a political philosophy that advocates a free society based on free market mechanisms and no government interference in the economic or social sphere of people’s lives. To keep in line with this theory of how society should run (and not run in the traditional authoritarian sense) the market anarchists must make sure to exert as much energy they can to a cause they think will propel society to such an end. This can be done through any method but the theory must be understood first. Market anarchists come in many different stripes and ideas of what’s right, what’s wrong and what’s most important. Some market anarchists oppose capitalism some support a variant of socialism up front like Libertarian Socialism others support the use of the word capitalism, most don’t support politics some support a revolutionary anarchism called agorism.

And so forth, there’s a lot of variants within the market anarchist movement as there in within the larger anarchist movement and it’s hard to separate all the variants within market anarchism let alone anarchism itself. which is why it’s important to keep within the theory and remain radical. Radical ideas come not from the ideas themselves but the consistency in their message, for instance someone who talks of blowing up the world surely has a radical opinion but they’re hardly worth mentioning if they even have trouble hurting a fly or defending themselves if someone tries to attack them. Thus the radicalism of their opinion as with anyone else s is the consistency within the message. And the same goes for the market anarchist, as a market anarchist you want to be as consistent as possible and not only having the theory down but applying it to real life is important.

With that in mind let’s look at some scenarios in real life that the theory of market anarchism may come into play.

Real life scenarios

Scenario 1:

Let’s say a police man is harassing someone who’s not hurting anyone but peacefully protesting something, let’s also say in addition to protesting the person is doing some sort of drug as well and being polite to the officer and telling him to move away while he goes about his business. The police officer then takes offense to this and threatens the man with violence and throwing him in a cage if he doesn’t stop smoking the drug or protesting (If you don’t think people can be stopped for peacefully protesting then you obviously haven’t been paying attention to the G20 protests that took place a few weeks ago) but the protester refuses. The officer then takes the man down to the ground hard and knocks away his drug and arrests him and throws him in a cage for drug possession and “disorderly conduct” as well as resisting arrest because the man went limb once the police officer got him on the ground. Who was in the right here according to the theory of market anarchism?

The part of market anarchism’s theory that applies the most here is the illegitimacy of the state and the self-ownership of your own body, that is to say that no one has a right to tell you what you can and cannot do with your own body whether they’re wearing a blue costume with a shiny badge or a chicken suit for all it matters. It’s your body and you should be able to list your grievances against whatever system you want and use your body in whatever way you want as long as you’re not violating the equal liberties of others. Not only that but the state is just a bunch of individuals like any other organization, the difference is that they claim they can violate the people they allegedly benevolently rule and do so through coercion as shown int his example. What would be the market anarchist solution to this problem in the immediate future? Well there’s a few solutions and I won’t try to say which one is right but here are a few:

1. Show solidarity with the person just arrested and pick up where they left off and get more people to support the person’s action, bring attention to the wrong the state just committed.
2. Get support in another way, get people to donate for the guy’s bail and help him out with anything he’ll let you when he’s up against the system. This is also another way of showing solidarity.
3. Set up a social network to make sure situations like this happen less because people are in groups and helping each other out in times of protest.

And that doesn’t even include direct action, taking up other civil disobedience of your own or supporting the guy through black market transactions to help fund his bail and so forth. All of these things fall in the place of peaceful, voluntary, market and social transactions that lead society to be a bit more free.

Scenario Two:

The US invades a country based on intelligence that they think the people in said country are going to attack them even though there’s been no record of them attacking before and when they get there and start killing people and overthrow their leaders and replace it with a “democratic one” there doesn’t seem to be any indication of any attack planned (sounds familiar doesn’t it?). How would the market anarchist respond?

First of all any anarchist of any stripe should know the horrible thing called war, something propagated directly by the state and scarcely if ever by individuals within other organizations like a business or what have you, businesses only get involved when they can get a profit through government privilege to cover the costs of risking such an endeavor into a war zone. Any anarchist should oppose war as it is almost always directly the result of the state’s tendency to grow in size and strength and therefore the anarchist should be just strictly out of principle against war. But there are more reasons than that, what gives the state the right to make decisions based on intelligence that may end up being wrong just to risk a few thousand lives?

And besides all of that the principle of the NAP is also being broken, the collective has no right to do what the individual himself does not have a right to do. It makes no sense that if I went over to Iran and tried killing terrorists that that I would be prosecuted as a terrorist but if the US government does it they are propagated as making the world more free and more secure for people everywhere.

Scenario 3:

And finally let’s say that two spouses are in an argument and the husband tries to beat his wife should this be a private matter? Surely according to the market anarchist the government shouldn’t get involved so what should be done?

Well just like in political manners, in social matters the government should have no say, arbitration could help as well as counseling or a neighborhood watch group to make sure that if violence occurs between partners that restitution can take place. Even though it is a private conflict that doesn’t mean that the violence should keep going just because they’re in a private relationship, violence is violence and a violation of ethics of self-ownership, the NAP, property rights, and basic fundamental human rights should not be violated either on a governmental basis or on a private one. This is something that both libertarian minarchists and libertarian anarchists miss at times just because the event is a bit more private than a government using the strong arm of the police to come into a house for a drug raid.

Taking the theory further

The theory can go even further though, but how? Well through writing primarily, talking about it, discussing it with others and getting the message more and more consistent and as a result more and more radical. Even though some may say that a too radical message will make people drift away from the theory this only isolates the people not really dedicated to the ideal market anarchists are working towards anyways. It sort of nullifies your message to begin with if a good portion of the people involved in the movement aren’t really dedicated to either? Now this is not to say such people should be shunned, ostracized or laughed at or some other things used against them. That means that they are workable on a singular issue such as perhaps war or more equality in society through direct action and not asking for government privileges and so on but not good to work with to the eventual end of freedom.

With a radical message people will be shown what is being advocated up front and make no hesitations and calling things as they are. After all playing with words and distorting language is a government program as Stefan Molyneux said at the lastest Porcfest.


Blog Roll Call for the week of 6/28/10 (Special Secession Day edition!)


Applying Market Anarchism and Libertarianism II: Strategy


  1. Feel free to add others as you see fit, like it says above I only listed a few examples of what to do and they all don’t require violence of any kind and can still be very effective I find no use for violence except if no other options are practical.

  2. “What would be the market anarchist solution to this problem in the immediate future? Well there’s a few solutions and I won’t try to say which one is right but here are a few […]”

    Um, what about using force? I don’t remember having ever read that market anarchism was pacifistic,

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