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Is anarcho-capitalism an anarchist school of thought?

0 votes
There are many different anarchist schools of thought in anarchism. One that was in the list on wikipedia was anarcho-capitalism. Is anarcho-capitalism really part of anarchism?
asked Jul 19, 2016 by Zer0 (300 points)

funny. in my reading of perlman 'economics' and 'business' didn't appear as the forefront of perlman's critical story, but that which always contextualizes them: the perennially violent process (which many have and do equate this to Progress) we refer to as 'civilization.' you know, that which razed the forests and paved the ground upon which they become workable at all.

Dang it! That post by Marv had me riled up enough to write this, but by the time I finished, the moderators had taken down the post after only 20 minutes. Didn't want my mini-rant to go to waste, so here it is.

Marv, you need to ask a question instead of making a series of statements based on a complete misreading of actual history, and an absurd denunciation of anti-capitalists as "commies." With a few outlying exceptions who have had scant influence on almost every actual anarchist throughout history and contemporarily, anarchists have been explicitly anti-capitalist since the 1840s. Please read about this one-time member of the American section of the First International (not exactly a hotbed of "free trade"...): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysander_Spooner  See especially the problems he had with setting up a private mail service (obviously an example of "free trade") that was crushed by the US government. Even though Spooner is claimed by right-wing so-called Libertarians, his views on capitalism were ambiguous at best, but negative for the most part -- especially as the rich benefited from various interventions taken by the state.
lawrence, the rothbardian influenced libertarians (ex: mises.org) make exactly the same points you do here regarding spooner and his mail service as well as the effects of state interventions into 'the market.' in fact, they often utilize new-left author gabriel kolko's 'triumph of conservatism,' (a history of the progressive-era) to back their assertion of the latter so they can spread the word that what we're living isn't 'true capitalism' and say 'see!? even the new-left agrees with us to some extent!'

by the way, who's marv?
lawrence  please post this information in a way that makes sense to future readers, not as a response to a flash in the pan troll who is already gone.
So, it turns out the consensus is "No" on this question.

1 Answer

+4 votes
For the sake of having an actual posted answer:

Here is what Murray Rothbard, the father of Anarcho-capitalism, has to say on the matter:

"We must therefore conclude that we are not anarchists, and that those who call us anarchists are not on firm etymological ground, and are being completely unhistorical. On the other hand, it is clear that we are not archists either: we do not believe in establishing a tyrannical central authority that will coerce the noninvasive as well as the invasive. Perhaps, then, we could call ourselves by a new name: nonarchist. Then, when, in the jousting of debate, the inevitable challenge 'are you an anarchist?' is heard, we can, for perhaps the first and last time, find ourselves in the luxury of the 'middle of the road' and say, 'Sir, I am neither an anarchist nor an archist, but am squarely down the nonarchic middle of the road.'"

Furthermore, Capitalism requires private property rights (as distinct from personal property) *and* requires a legal or de facto obligation to work for someone else, whether through the prevention of homesteading, slavery, or some other means (see Marx Capital Vol. 1 for the full explanation and extensive historical demonstration) *and* alienated value synonymous with currency, and all these things require a monopoly on force synonymous with statehood to be realized.

So, no, it isn't.

For more information on the need to force people into the wage labor relationship, I recommend Marx's Capital Vol. 1. The whole, iirc, last section is not economic theory but rather actual historical examination of what had to be done in the United States, Australia, and Scotland to make it possible for capitalist farmers and workshops to exist with repeated examples of how time after time capital holders found themselves unable to establish themselves in these places until the State intervened explicitly on their behalf.

For more information on the necessity of the State to establish and maintain currency, see Graeber's Debt: The First 5000 Years.
answered Aug 29, 2016 by StrawDog (1,390 points)
edited Aug 30, 2016 by StrawDog
Well, I don't have a problem with redefining terms so long as the actual work of doing so occurs and equivocation does not. That is, if Zero wants to use the Anarcho-capitalist definitions of property then that is fine to me, so long as it is clear to everyone that such a definition is not what "traditional" anarchists mean by such things and in turn recognize in these differences of definition both political and ontological differences between anarchism and anarcho-capitalism.
I beginning to think Zer0's question wasn't asked in good faith, but to argue for anarcho-capitalism.
I just wanted to add that ancaps don't seem to mind any sort of social hierarchy.
Totally. They're anti-statists, but not opposed to any other hierarchies of which I'm aware.
they seem to me they desire the state out of the way in order to more fully enact their favored hierarchies...with 'natural law' as apologia.