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0 votes
Isn't capitalism a part of the state? Arent't anarchists against the state?
edited by
There cannot. My experience is that the term 'ancap' has been used by anarchists to distinguish themselves from those who they consider to have a limited perception of anarchy (one that is still caught up in 'capitalist' thinking). However, the essential quality (for anarchy) of being leaderless (not violently coerced to follow a leader) remains, whatever other's views on how the market functions happen to be. Hence the terms anarchocapitalists and anarchocapitalism are redundant.

3 Answers

+6 votes
Anarchocapitalists and anarchocapitalism can exist because some people confuse capitalism--a system that began when state-funded companies such as Britain's East India company were able, thanks to this funding and to the infamous enclosures of the commons, to accumulate capital and thus come to dominate markets--with free markets--where individuals bring their goods, produce etc. to trade and sell to each other. Though I am and anti-market anarchist, I could see anarchy and this latter form of market as compatible. But capitalism has always required the state and cannot operate without it. Thus, these phenomena exist through a misunderstanding of what capitalism is.
by (1.2k points)
Why does capitalism rely on the State?
Laissez-faire capitalism Means free trade. I think when capitalism became corporatism and kept the same name.. is when it all became tainted.
JaysThoughts: Your comment reflects a common misconception about the historical development of capitalism, and market economies generally. Not only is industrial capitalism the result of specific government policy initiatives (as touched on by apio ludd), but anthropological and historical evidence suggests that formal market exchange between individuals that belong to the same community occurs rarely (if ever) in societies that lack the state. Various systems of informal reciprocity facilitate the economic activity of non-state societies, all of which utilize very different logic than a market economy does. Laissez-faire capitalism didn't BECOME corporatism at some historical moment; capitalism developed FROM pre-existing systems of corporatism entirely based upon state intervention.
"Laissez-faire capitalism Means free trade. I think when capitalism became corporatism and kept the same name.. is when it all became tainted." Not only tainted...  it ceased to be free market capitalism/free trade. The state has nothing to do with free market capitalism.
Agreed. This state funded "croney capitalism" is not the free market I'm talking about.

@apio ludd As an "anti-market anarchist" is there anything you would do (as opposed to expressing an opinion etc.) about anyone who decided to trade in a market?

i don't speak for apio ludd, but i suspect they would agree with me on this.

if people want to conduct their lives through value-exchange transactions using markets - in the most basic sense of that word - that is their own business (pun not intended but appreciated). as long as their activity does not impact the lives of those who choose not to do so, i don't see any problems. whether they call themselves anarchist is irrelevant.

the issue i (and others) have is the fact that living by the logic of value exchange is pretty much guaranteed to impact the lives of others who do not choose that way of living. that is at least partly due to value exchange being inextricably tied to concepts like profit and accumulation, which pretty much by definition impact others in ways they do not choose.

also, markets do not necessarily imply value exchange. see "really really free markets".

there have been lots of individualist anarchist writings about "free exchange", which is a much more liberating and anarchic idea than free-market capitalism. Markets always imply some sort of enclosure, whereas with free exchange there is no third party controlling exchanges between individuals.

The bogus separation between "free market capitalism" and "crony capitalism" is just an extremely defensive way to continue advocating capitalism. Capitalism was always crony capitalism, you need cooperation for it to work. The examples posted by apio ludd of the early corporations is a great example of how it doesn't really matter if corporations work with other capitalists or statesmen, all those early companies definetly contributed to statecraft and took away the ability of indigenous tribes to live anarchically through basic theft and destruction of their habitats.
@funky/nihil: the reasons you have given are why the distinction between 'capitalist' and 'free marketeer' is important. What label can be applied to a free exchange supporting, large scale crony/State Capitalist opposing, anti-authoritarian? I suggest Agorist (or voluntaryist/consentualist).

To be labeled an ancap when one is not creates a straw-man. No-one wants to defend a straw-man of their true position.

Marx wrote Capital to help us discern when the free market had crossed the line from dynamic, wealth creating political economy to exploitative, abusive and alienating, self destructive system. He refrained from prescribing solutions but, unfortunately, the way the ideas were implemented in practice were counter-productive to say the least.

He also adopted broad categorizations: lumpen proletariat, proletariat, petite bourgeoisie,  bourgeoisie, capitalist, ruling class etc. In my experience most people who are actually proletarians or petite bourgeoisie declare themselves 'capitalists' because they believe in the right to free exchange. 'Andeludedproletarian' isn't quite as snappy as 'ancap', but then what happens is that anyone who displays a degree of free market thinking that appears to endorse the capitalist system as a whole is labeled 'ancap' and then conveniently dismissed.

It appears to me that what you've got is anarchists with varying degrees of tolerance for free exchange systems. I can see there are other threads concerning agorism specifically so I will head there and to rrfm, although my initial reaction (to rrfm) is that attempting to remove currency deprives the world of an important tool. I'll address that in that thread. Can someone please tell me what Kism stands for?

To clarify I suggest a robust critique of capitalism and it's effects is an entirely legitimate anarchist position. For me, forcibly preventing free exchange is not (striking, peaceful (unless attacked) picketing, consent withdrawal etc. no problem). I believe that position is consistent with agorism, but not the illegitimate label 'ancap'.
@dns i may not know much, but i know you are wrong about marx.  sorry bud.  he wrote many pieces on what he thought the solution could be.  he wrote the fucking communist manifesto you dolt.  seriously.

also your tendency to just stick 'free' in front of ideas you like is nauseating.  you quite clearly do not pay attention to critiques of economic interactions, instead finding solace in repeating the term 'free exchange' as if that conveys some deep meaning about the nature of the interaction.

but mostly you dont know anything about marx.
@sky: You too resort to name calling. I should perhaps have put it as 'refrained from creating a detailed account of what a future communist society would look like'. His 'solutions' in so far as they were detailed (for e.g. in the Communist Manifesto) were disastrous in practice.

I don't mean to convey any kind of 'deep meaning' to the phrase 'free exchange'. I mean it in the simple, common sense way that it is ordinarily understood.

I don't pretend to be an expert but I have paid more attention than most to critiques of economic interactions. Nothing you have said tells me you have any more understanding of such critiques or Marx than I do.

My ideas regarding freedom may be 'nauseating' to you, but your subjective 'critique' entitles you to nothing more (a point I've made elsewhere). If only Marx's followers had understood that.

" I suggest Agorist "

how exactly is agorism different from anarcho-capitalism (as it has been described on this site by self-identified ancaps)?

leaving "corporatism" aside for the moment, the concepts of profit and accumulation (including, significantly, primitive accumulation) are inherent to "free markets" as you have described them, and those are ideas that inevitably lead to exploitation and imposition on others (both human and non-human) who do not choose to participate.

@dotnetspec: There is a glaring error in your assumption that people who don't like capitalism are trying to "forcibly prevent it", and an even larger issue with your assumption that capitalism is a "free exchange system".

When both leftists and anarchists critique capitalism, the critique is of the entire system and its basic mechanism. To talk about the divide between "crony capitalism" and "free market capitalism" is a moot point, because markets, as they exists in the actual world, are not autonomous or free, they are wholly dependent on the use of force. If some green anarchist group or some leftist group used property destruction, state policy, sabotage, or murder to try and prevent the destruction of a forest, then both sides of the equation are using force, and neither could be said to be morally superior to the other unless you also think that the human race is superior to the rest of the world.

There's also this issue: lets say I own a multi-million car dealership, and some criminal organization stole 10 of my cars and resold them. They didn't harm anyone in the process. I later find out through a private detective about one of the lower-level people who was involved in the car theft, and then mount evidence and lock them away for 10 years. Who is the thief in this situation, me or the criminal organization? I would answer the question by saying both.

i don't have any issue with agorism overall except that it's still an "-ism", systems overall are fragile need some sort of authoritarianism. It's more fun and adventurous to learn to be more flexible in life that to make it about promoting some sort of a system or ideology.

dns: "although my initial reaction (to rrfm) is that attempting to remove currency deprives the world of an important tool..."

that line had me laughing pretty hard....

i've gone to several rrfms and had a great time....the experience felt very freeing, almost surreal a couple of experience people giving and receiving without exchange, to see people take pleasure in taking stuff that i would have thrown away, to receive stuff that others no longer wanted that i now use, people making music together without regard for money or compensation....all of it, in all of its smallness and isolation from the rest of the monetary relationships, gave me joy....

but fuck, i might have deprived "the world" of "an important tool"....yeah, i guess if your project is to control the lives of others and to measure everything in numbers, to control the very survival of people by using it...

i guess when my neighbor gave me 20 pounds of tomatoes without charging me (or keeping a tabulation), he didn't realize how he deprived the world.....or when i made salsa from those tomatoes and gave some to other friends without monetary consideration, i really missed out by not using that important tool.....i think i rather like depriving "the world" while my life and the lives of those folks with whom i interact without money/exchange becomes more creative and fun and intimate. 

@funky: I have already stated that the label ancap is redundant and that I disagree with 'ancaps' for applying that label to themselves for the same reason. There should be no inconsistency between agorism and anarchy. The Agora would be free of any State structures that develop with capitalism. If you are free, as an anarchist, to follow your own judgment and conscience the suffixes are redundant. Being free means free to explore, with an open mind, whatever theories and lifestyles you consider to be consistent with your own judgment and conscience. If those theories lead to an entitlement belief that requires the use of physical violence to be realized (e.g. "I subjectively find you nauseating so I'm entitled to initiate violence against you") that is not my understanding of anarchy currently and/or historically.

It's difficult in practice to exploit and impose upon those who choose not to participate, without initiating violence.
@nihilist: I did a search on this page and throughout the site. I can't find the phrase 'forcibly prevent it'. Where is this assertion from? But it is true, whether anyone on this forum said it or not, that it is the (physically) forceful prevention of my free activities that concerns me. Arguments we can listen to all day. I may be convinced and change my behaviour, I may not. Similarly I'm not making assumptions about capitalism. You're making assumptions about my beliefs about capitalism. I suggest that when free exchange develops to the point that it becomes the kind of exploitative capitalism you dislike you withdraw your consent and function outside of it, as I have done.

Remove the use of force and the markets that are wholly dependent on it will collapse. Good, that is consistent with my perspective.

What/who do you consider from the 'rest of the World' is superior to the human race?

The thief in that situation is the criminal organization that took your cars in the first instance. There could be many ways the theft is handled and I suggest locking one lower-level guy up would not represent a fair and just resolution.

Labels often entail a degree of encapsulation/reduction and the pay-off is convenience etc. I agree that any ism can become coercive. As long as we're free to ignore/withdraw our consent from whatever ism we live under I don't mind subscribing to one as a short hand for where I'm basically coming from.

"i've gone to several rrfms and had a great time."

I'm not suggesting that you don't.

You're suggesting that I don't use currency because my "project is to control the lives of others and to measure everything in numbers, to control the very survival of people by using it"

that line had me laughing pretty hard....

I just sold a vehicle I own ... I'm ashamed and guilty to admit I insisted he gave me several currency notes for it. I guess when he handed them over he didn't realize his very survival was at stake. He even smiled and shook hands with me ... some people eh?

If I hadn't taken his currency notes I would have missed out on all the things I need to pay for to survive (before I even get to create/have fun and intimate). The buyer doesn't need to concern himself as to whether he should reciprocate in some fashion because he's already adequately compensated me for the exchange. It's a win/win using a tool you appear to dislike. Why?

Does anyone think I should be physically forced to refrain from using this tool? If not then who cares if people are using it or not?
i dont think anyone is suggesting you dont use currency.  nobody cares cares, quite honestly.  most of the anarchists on the website are far more interested in manifesting anarchy in there own lives right now as opposed to creating 'systemic anarchy'.  not that that means we dont have opinions on systems and proposed forms of systemic anarchy.

currency is a necessary evil for most of us, but i for one am more interested in disentangling myself from the market economy at large.

also you keep talking about 'removing force' like its easy.  or maybe you realise how difficult it is.  either way, i dont really care to worry about the state of the market economy past how i can slowly move myself away from it and all that it entails.

Removing force, taking it out of the hands of the State and into the hands of ordinary people, is a difficult issue that has to be addressed if the State is going to stop justifying itself in the minds of most people as the great 'protector'. Interesting possibilities lie in using private security, insurance and mediation services, but I'll leave those for other, more relevant, threads.

Whatever efforts you make to 'get past the market economy and all that it entails' will be hampered not least by State agents physically forcing you give up a proportion of your material wealth.

Rather than get past the market economy my approach would be to embrace the counter-economy. I accept that would still leave the kind of economy (and society) that you wish to leave behind. However, bankrupting the war mongering extortion racket of today would be such an advance that I would settle for the relatively free market economy that would be left behind, in the short term at least. After that we'd all be free to pursue whatever avenues we consider to be best ...
removing force... with private security.  genius! XD  bahahahhaha
and actually, yes, probably least of all by the state taking some of the stuff i earn.  im not even sure i get taxed for income given how little i make in a year.  its certainly not even close to making an appreciable difference to how much i have to work when compared to having to rent my body as a market commodity in the first place.  especially considering how interwoven the market and the state are, its not like you could just get rid of one and everything thing else would run smooth, the fucking goods i buy to keep myself alive are predicated on states and nations and the infrastructure they bring, and on ghettoized third world labour to keep prices down.  again, wanna disentangle, and the state doesnt really seem to care all that much, to be honest.
dns, you seem to keep missing the point that anarchy (at least for me) has nothing to do with some end result for "the world"...thus your comment about not using currency as "depriving the world of an important tool. for me, it's all about creating life and relating in a way that i want to....and you create it in the way you want how does "the world" come into play? how have i deprived your ability to use money by me not using it?

you were the one who brought up that things like rrfm's or not using money as some sort of deprivation of the world....i don't care if you use money 50 times a day, go right ahead. i still use money many days myself. but i don't concern myself with what "the world" may get deprived of....i simply want to relate in the way i want to....which for me, means not using a "tool" (created by the state) that you find so appealing. no one has ever suggested that they would want to physically restrain someone from using money. that might be the most ridiculous thing i've heard.

and no need for you to point out to me how money works....obviously i know how things are bought and sold very microsecond of the day. it's not like some sort of unheard of concept that i need to understand.

why does my line about "controlling the lives of others, measuring everything in numbers, and needing money for survival" make you laugh? selling a car for money obviously measures it in numbers. and you said yourself that you need that money for your survival before you can concern yourself with creativity or intimacy. that sounds like life controlled by this abstract concept that gets created, maintained, and monitored by the state.
dns: "It's difficult in practice to exploit and impose upon those who choose not to participate, without initiating violence."

i would replace "initiating violence" with "coercion" (which does not necessarily imply violence, but is often every bit - if not more - effective), but other than that i agree. the perpetrators of that imposition and exploitation are almost always adherents to the religion of value-exchange, profit and accumulation. often - but not always - in collaboration with the state, without which they could never even exist.

private security and insurance...?!?! seriously? wow. private security is just police/military sans state sanctioning. and insurance...? that is one of the biggest capitalist scams EVER! talk about exploitation, accumulation of wealth and abuse of power. jeez.

your take on anarchy is truly fucking bizarre to me. you want value exchange, currency, policing, insurance, industrialism, .... it seems like you want to recreate the capitalist state, just in your preferred way (NO TAXES!!!! they are EVIL!)

but, as several have already pointed out, nobody here is talking about preventing you from living the life you want, as long as you do not impose on those who choose to live differently. hard to envision how exactly you are going to maintain economic systems, industrialism, wealth accumulation, profit, etc, without imposing on those others.

but i know i am just beating my head against a wall here. as are you. we have very different ideas about the world and our place in it. there is no way we will ever reconcile our differences there. so... how's the weather where you are?
@dotnetspec: ill reiterate that nobody here is trying to take away your ability to live the way you want to live, my life is also dependent on capitalism and money, and i have a good life and at the moment there isn't much i want to change about it. Nobody here thinks it's "wrong" to exchange money for a used car or vice versa, people on here are just as opposed to morality as they are capitalism.

However, you talk about private security, and as funky states, a wealthy person hiring security to protect their assets really isn't any different than the state extorting money from people to fund police. An anarchistic alternative would imply self-defense rather than hiring someone to take a bullet for you, or within a community the physically stronger and volunteers could train themselves for warfare similar to a militia to protect that communities interests. "Private security" definetly implies some sort of an enterprise with a rigid hierarchy. Insurance companies are just a waste of money and resources, the whole point is that most of the time you won't need to get coverage or the insurance company won't insure you most of the time, which is why insurance companies go hand in hand with the state
just the word "insurance" makes me feel nauseated.

creating force by paying for it whether you agree with how it's used or not ... genius!

I pay relatively little tax as well. I know wealthy people who tell me they are 'happy taxpayers', even though any taxpayer will admit some, at least, of what they pay for goes towards things they don't want/need or are opposed to. There's nothing to stop anyone supporting/creating a charity if so inclined. The best way to determine the rental value of your body (and mind) is, I suggest, the market. If it's not determined by the 'invisible hand' it will be by the conscious thought processes of a bureaucrat (and he has his own agenda). Without taxation the wealthy have more to spend on whatever goods/services you provide (which you choose). This is not ideal (nothing I've heard of to date is). However, giving money/power to other people and limiting our own choices is not an improvement from a freedom perspective. The State, as an entity, doesn't care at all. Never has, never will. It doesn't really even exist outside of people's minds (like Santa Claus).

"The best way to determine the rental value of your body (and mind) is, I suggest, the market. "

feeling even more nauseated.


I was responding to the initial objections (which surprised me) regarding the use of currency. It seemed I had to defend my use of currency, which, I agree, is ridiculous. Whether you choose to use it or not is up to you. When I'm faced with State violence through the use of this tool I personally won't reject the tool, but rather pick it up and attempt to use it, insofar as I can, against that State violence. I suggest not doing so is a mistake if you want to resist State violence, but, of course, you may disagree.

Your line about "controlling the lives of others, measuring everything in numbers, and needing money for survival" makes me laugh because you appear to be stating that's somehow my project and I pursue it by using ... currency!

I am suggesting that anarchy (as I understand it) would deliver a better end result, for myself personally and, by extension, "for the World". Anarchy is a political philosophy. Political in this sense. 'Society' by implication relates to more than your own personal existence. The strength of anarchy as a political philosophy imo is that it puts greater emphasis on 'relating the way' you want to than any other (I agree with you in that sense). If you don't believe that is a better way of relating for the 'world' generally why post ideas/opinions on a forum or state them anywhere? I suggest we do it because we're proposing it to others, hoping to influence to some degree, because otherwise, for example, people who believe in the State will visit their violence upon you unwittingly thinking they are working for the 'common good' etc. That's politics. We are subject to other people's dangerous delusions. I suggest attempting to correct them is in our own interest. Doing so with truly decentralized crypto is one potential way to do it because part of the problem is that the currency tool as fiat is, as you stated, "created, maintained, and monitored by the state" but most people see no way to extricate themselves from the fiat system that has them tied in on so many levels. However, it's not so hard to appreciate that it's difficult to be taxed when you work for and exchange untraceable cryptocurrency.


I agree that it is really coercion rather than physical violence the vast majority of the time. I refer to physical violence for the sake of clarity. Coercion can take so many subtle forms that it can be easy to be drawn into protracted debate about at what point one has actually been coerced into behaving in a particular way. Once the State has dropped the PR 'common good' front, those who are able to see through it are still left with a very real problem - the physical violence that is it's true face and the threat of which that enables the coercion in all it's forms.

But now we're back to 'the perpetrators of that imposition and exploitation are almost always adherents to the religion of value-exchange' (the ubiquitous use of currency - the denial of which is, according to ba and myself, 'ridiculous'). I know it's the 'religion' you dislike rather than the tool that's used to express it, but then, to me, you can just as easily express a different 'religion' (gifting, charity etc.) if you so choose via the same tool. There would still be a value exchange, it's just that the values behind that exchange are different. It's the freedom to choose that's key and I believe value-exchange (and the currency associated with it) improves the choice and options.

"private security is just police/military sans state sanctioning". "Just" ... "sans state sanctioning". Like it's a small, inconsequential, difference. As an anarchist you're opposed to the State, but it's sanctioning of the entire physical violence (and coercion) apparatus is 'just' a detail? I suppose it's sanctioning of trillion dollar wars around the world and a security apparatus that makes Orwell seem like an optimist is 'just' a detail as well? I have not yet heard of a private company that physically forces me to buy it's products/services (unless indirectly via the State). Similarly with insurance. The problem isn't insurance (it makes sense to spread risk). It's the State forcing you to take their (state sanctioned) insurance (e.g. Obamacare).

My preferred way is for me, and everyone else, to have a choice without being violently (ultimately) coerced by others deluded into believing they know what's best for me and by their ideas about the 'common good'. That may seem bizarre to you.

Necessary facets of life can either be mediated through a free system of value exchange, currency, policing, insurance, industrialism in which I choose those products/services that I consider to be of value or I have them imposed on me according to someone else's conception of 'evil' and their 'preferred way'.

Let's say I choose a life insurance policy that has relatively low premiums because I have no children and no dependents. Someone else chooses a more expensive one because they have greater responsibilities. Is that so hard to envision? Am I imposing on others by making such a choice?

Not necessarily among those here, but among Statists generally they are absolutely "talking about preventing [me] from living the life [I] want". If I don't contribute to their security, insurance etc. they will send men to collect. This is not just one-to-one experience, it's reality for most people on the planet.

If we can agree that I should be free to choose my own security, insurance etc. and not have it imposed upon me by the State we actually share more common ground than I do with the vast majority of people I meet in 'ordinary' life (who often passionately believe in 'democracy', taxation , the "common good" etc.), even if we differ in many other respects.

"a wealthy person hiring security to protect their assets really isn't any different than the state extorting money from people to fund police." Big difference - one chooses, the other is violently imposed. 'A wealthy person' isn't a good analogy for the State.

Maybe one day we could become 'wealthy people' and have the luxury of being able to afford the security services of our choice (including all our moral/value preferences etc. (mine would include freedom, tolerance, the NAP and wouldn't include invading foreign countries for no reason)). Who am I to say what yours would be? Until then ...

Militia/self-defence - great, it would help if the State didn't take all your arms before you start.

'"Private security" definitely implies some sort of an enterprise with a rigid hierarchy.' - don't like rigid hierarchies? Hire a firm that doesn't have one.

"Insurance companies are just a waste of money and resources" - I agree in that they are experts in exclusion. The 'choice' includes not choosing one at all. Fair enough. Manage your own risk if you want to. In some limited areas I might use some insurance if I felt it was beneficial and I appreciate there are others who might find it very beneficial to their own lives.

There are probably many reasons why "insurance companies go hand in hand with the state". The State's involvement distorts markets, removes genuine choices and creates enormous confusion which again plays entirely into it's hands and those of the politicians who feed off that confusion.

The State   "i will take your money and your arms, and maybe your legs too!"

@dotnetspec: the problem i'm still having with your line of reasoning is that the entire basis for your discussion is a hypothetical anarchist capitalism. Nobody throughout the entire discussion was plotting to take away your ability to spend money and exchange resources, every single person on here participates in the capitalist system to a certain extent like you do, and realizes that living without the system now adays is either extremely difficult or impossible.

The system we participate in has implications and even though anarchists would not use force in our daily transactions except in certain circumstances, the system does use force and coercion.

That's extremely comical that your plan to make the world more anarchistic is to propagate crypto-currencies. How is anyone going to buy cryptocurrencies without getting a job and paying taxes into the statist system?!

yeah, dns, i think we've had this conversation before...

bottom line to'll pursue cryptocurrencies while i look to give and receive without any form of currency.

not much more to say....unless for dramatic or poetic effect.
anti-state capitalists hate the state so much because they understand very well that the state is their primary and strongest competition for control of resources. and despite the rhetoric, no capitalist really likes competition.

"don't like rigid hierarchies? Hire a firm that doesn't have one."

lol!!!!  as if any "firm" could lack hierarchy. but a security firm...? like every form of policing/military, hierarchy is an essential component of their makeup.

I've set out why free exchange != capitalism and I won't repeat here. The only thing I suggest that is hypothetical is the removal of a meta-physical (i.e. Santa Claus like entity called the State).

Any system (including the one I outlined above) will use force and coercion. The question is who wields that power. Should it be monopolized by the State?

Is it really 'extremely comical'? 'My' plan? I'm just suggesting ideas I came across from reading/listening to other people's work and personal life experience. The anarchy is already there within people, it's just suppressed out of existence. That question reminds me of 'who will pick the cotton without slavery?' Fixed in the paradigm of the current social order. Unable to imagine the slightest social/technological advance. You can be paid in crypto. Whether you pay tax may ultimately depend on how many people believe in the myth of the inevitability of taxation. Do you?

The question for this thread is - "How can there be anarchocapitalists and anarchocapitalism?"

I commented on it as succinctly as I could 'There cannot' and set out why. However, I'm still being referred to as advocating 'anarchist capitalism'. It appears that sticking to my position equates to 'repetition' here.

Nihilist stated: 'every single person on here participates in the capitalist system to a certain extent like you do, and realizes that living without the system now adays is either extremely difficult or impossible.' Crypto, used correctly (ie. untraceably (e.g. Monero)) combined with the willingness of people to stop paying tax by seeing it for what it is can start to address that problem. This thread isn't really focused on the crypto question though.

"no capitalist really likes competition", true. I don't like the competition, but I like the choices it creates. There can be other reasons for disliking the State (e.g. wasting all our money on their wars etc.).

More laughing. How did the anarchists fight the Spanish Civil War? Organization isn't antithetical to anarchy. It's having the moral authority to say 'no' at any point that counts. When was the last time you said 'no' to the State? See if you're still laughing when you try...

yeah, i don't have much interest in this question...i don't care much about labels in general.

i just jumped on your sentence about rrfms potentially depriving the world of an important tool because i feel very differently than you, and it bothered me to the point i wanted to comment. so i did.

til next time.
'any system will use force and coercion'.  that is exactly the conclusion i have come to as well @dns, and it is that conclusion that led to my interest in non-systemic ways of approaching my life.

also im not certain on how exactly youre using the term 'metaphysical', but im going to take it to mean something like 'abstract' and 'imaginary' in the same way santa claus is.  santa claus is a pretty good example for that, imma steal it in future, as like the state i would argue at the same time that santa claus does not exist, and that santa claus does exist.  in the way that children and storybooks tell it, santa claus does not exist.  and yet last december, under the light of a scorching new zealand summer sun no less, i saw him in all his cozy bulk floating in a parade down the middle of riccarton road.

and it also shows the issues i have with your analysis of the state.  to negate santa -i love that i just wrote that down- the most effective thing i can do is just to not believe in santa, to not interact with santa as if it is a real corporeal being.  this is no too dissimilar from my current attitude towards the state.  though certainly not the same

edit;  that is not to say that i think everyone should do this, this is just what i have decided is most beneficial for me atm, given my current situation.  i understand that some to some people the state asserts itself in a way that cannot be ignored, i just am lucky enough not to be in that situation right now.  but i do not think that many people are in that situation, at least not near me.  the state seems to operate mostly on a psychological level in the bourgie sections of new zealand i move in.

"When was the last time you said 'no' to the State? See if you're still laughing when you try..."

let's see... every year when i do not pay taxes. with every wanky structure that i build in complete non-compliance with their rules and regulations. every time i grow medicine that they say i cannot. every time i take a shit in my outhouse that they say is illegal. every time i refuse to submit my canine friends to their absurd licensing and leash laws. ...

bwahahahahahaha!!!! still laughing....

but actually, i see all that much more as ignoring the state, than saying no to it. of course i cannot ignore the state in every situation. because i know i can't take the state head on, and i seriously doubt anything in my lifetime is going to do away with it, i do my best to minimize my interactions with it. instead i spend most of my energy creating my life in ways that continuously decrease my need to interact with it (and all its interdependent institutions). and when i do have to interact, i try my best to make it on my terms.

on another note, please tell me how exactly a non-technical person - especially a poor one - is supposed to use monero (or any crypto-currency) for the basic necessities of life (to the extent they need currency to meet their needs)? or do they get left out of your anti-state techo-capitalist world?

@sky: that's about the closest we've come to agreeing on something so far ...
@ba: fair enough ...


So far so good; and I'm pleased they haven't tried it on with you for whatever reason. Not so lucky for Ross Ulbricht and others they decide to make an example of (trouble is it works to keep most people in line).

You're laughing because you're refusing to accept their 'services' (which is understandable since you never asked for them). If you don't like any of the other 'security service providers' because they use a hierarchy, fine. I hope you don't mind if I choose to (don't worry I won't expect them to extort from everyone else on my behalf, or invade anyone)(if it really amuses you that I do choose to employ them ... ok, I'm pleased you're so amused).

Yup, most the time simply ignoring is the reality. When I have the energy and the opportunity presents itself I try to be more pro-active and say 'no' to their constant power grabs. Counter-economics is kind of ignoring the State and being pro-active, against it, at the same time, but that's a discussion for another thread.

On the crypto: Whatever potential it has there will be poor people trying to make the most of it, and the State interfering 'to protect them'. I tend to think back to the early days of the Internet. Did anyone 'need' it then? Most I spoke to didn't. Do they need it now?  Most say yes, in one way or another. The mechanics might seem daunting currently to a non-techie, but it's just lack of familiarity. As it becomes more ubiquitous it's easy to imagine it becoming used for necessities as well as everything else. This writer sees developing countries 'leapfrogging' developed with the help of crypto. Maybe ... or not, but it's happening to a greater extent than some realize and these are still early days...

"Whatever potential it has there will be poor people trying to make the most of it, and the State interfering 'to protect them'."

So in other words, you are a ramen-noodle anarcho-marxist, one of those people who manufactures cheap stuff in order to phase out the state and end poverty?

dns: As it becomes more ubiquitous it's easy to imagine it becoming used for necessities as well as everything else. This writer sees developing countries 'leapfrogging' developed with the help of crypto. Maybe ... or not, but it's happening to a greater extent than some realize and these are still early days..."

Yep, and 'it' only takes a few eggs to make an omelette. Optimism: the carrot which always sounds so good until the tumors form...

dns: " you're refusing to accept their 'services' "

no, that is not what i said at all. i said i do my best to ignore/avoid the state. since they do exist and i cannot fully avoid them, i will "use their services" anytime it suits my needs.
@Amor: Should be addressed in an environment thread imo.

I've been called a few things in my time ... that one's certainly ... original.

Freedom is good for everyone, rich and poor (except those who feed off the 'State').

I don't manufacture anything, I'm a service provider. It's not my job to 'end poverty' and I don't have a 'plan' to do it (so not much of a 'Marxist'). If it involves forcing people to hand over their wealth I would argue against it.

If you think that makes me cheap, what alternative do you propose?

I put 'services' inside quotes. i.e. how they themselves see what they do. If you ask a Statist bureaucrat "why do I need a dog (or any) license?" they'll tell you it's a 'service' they provide to 'protect' the public. By not conforming and turning up to make a license application you're effectively refusing to accept their 'services'. There's always the possibility they will extort from you for not having that license. We can't do it with everything all the time. I see attempting not to as an expression of anarchist/agorist ideas and what I was alluding to, perhaps you see it differently?

i was talking about services the state provides that might occasionally be useful to me (and others), like food stamps, medicaid, or roads. my refusal to follow rules that don't make sense to me can surely be seen as an expression of anarchic thought, and years ago that was probably a huge motivating factor for me. these days, it is simply what makes sense in the context of creating my life - practicality.

i guess i have long since given up the idea of living "in revolt" for the sake of revolt. i contrast my own ignoring of state laws (which is of course far from complete) with the ideology of "illegalism". i don't do/not do shit just because it goes against the state. (well maybe once in a while, but that's more for shits and giggles....) i do it because it is what makes sense for my life.

+6 votes
yea, the tag sophistry gets to it.
i agree with apio ludd's explanation and will merely add to it a bit...

@capitalists refuse to release the term capitalism. just as marxists have spent their time working the word communist, and anarchists have a million different prefixes for anarchist, @caps are attempting to reclaim (or hold onto) capitalism as a term that can have a place in a liberated society. they do this by using a definition that is very constrained (compared to how most political people talk about capitalism - which is as not just a market or economic system, but a model of how to see the world) and use other words (see corporatism) to describe what most people call capitalism.
i would argue that @caps are closer to marxists than to anarchists, because of their focus on how the market and economics relates to free societies, and because from what i can tell they fundamentally accept the current definitions of market and economics.
by (53.1k points)
@dot: From what I have seen on this forum anarchists appear to be quite focused on how the market and economics relates to free societies as well. Marxism was a critique of the (then) current definitions of market and economics which suggested an alternative. If what distinguishes anarchy from Marxists and 'ancaps' is non-acceptance of the current definitions of market and economics, what alternative is it proposing?
different anarchists propose different things: barter, gift economy, gifting, and communism, for example.
0 votes
I think these "anarcho-capitalists" adhere to a convenient vulgar simplistic definition of anarchism. Mainly I think their definition of anarchism is "opposition to the state" when anarchism has meant opposition to authority and hierarchy in general and not just bureaucracy, politicians and other components of the state. Wage work and having bosses are obvious forms of hierarchy and authority and they are main features of capitalism and it is a main reason why most anarchists donĀ“t include "anarcho-capitalism" within anarchism alongside the obvious fact that anarchism has been historically alongside marxism a furious anti-capitalist position.

But also I think "anarcho-capitalists" are conscious entrists (see wikipedia article on the political phenomenon called "Entryism") inside anarchism who want to parasite its history and in the meantime also get a certain rebel edge which comes with the word anarchism. And so for example they have spent time on ridiculous maneuvers in places like wikipedia where they have tried to appear as an important part of anarchism mainly through obscuring anarchism history and through trick conceptualizations.

Since "anarcho-capitalism" adheres to a kind of neo-liberal economics called "austrian economics" it is clear that they are just a more radical form of neoliberalism, and the mainstream form of neoliberal ideology being mainly what is known as "minarchism". In real activism and debate they spend their time alongside conservatives and so called minarchists but nevertheless somehow decide to call themselves "anarchists". It seems that this "anarcho-capitalism" phenomenon anyway is mostly a USA thing and so anarchists outside the US like me became aware of this thing through the Internet but it looks like in the USA they exist within the neoliberal "Libertarian Party" which is a party which has people who also act in the right wing conservative Republican Party. This shows "anarcho-capitalism" is clearly a radical section of the neo-liberal right wing which means it has almost no relationship with anarchism and anarchists and so even a famous US anarchist like Bob Black has said that these "anarcho" capitalists "seem to have no noticeable presence except in the United States, and even there they have little dialog with, and less influence over the rest of us."

From what I know "anarcho-capitalism" is not the only contemporary case of strange mixing of strongly contradictory ideologies. In a somewhat similar case in Russia there are some guys who came up with a thing they call "National Bolshevism" apparently trying to mix marxist-leninism and fascism. It seems to me this phenomenon just as the USA "anarcho-capitalism" thing obey to specific historical and local political situations.
by (3.3k points)
edited by
One of my biggest issues with trying to discuss things with @caps is their apparent insistence on discussing things only on a person-to-person level.
This may have quite valid reasons, but limits the conversation to a kind of presumption of the status quo.
My issue with capitalism isn't just that many people have insanely too much for their needs, it is the way that capitalism makes people think about the world. the quantification of everything, the atomization, the abstractions, the reductionism. that is not something that gets discussed when the only examples that can be used have to do with how one person treats another person.
@iconoclast: You are using  a redundant term ("anarcho-capitalists") and then deriding it as a 'convenient vulgar simplistic definition of anarchism'. In other words a straw man argument.
if the term "anarcho-capitalist" is redundant, aren't you saying that anarchy == capitalism?

The Agorist perspective does not only see the world in personal one to one relationships. It promotes the market permeating all aspects of society, some of which we may personally dislike or not approve of (or find nauseating). It appears to me to encapsulate the quite common sense idea that what people say (in forums/public etc.) and how they actually spend in free exchange can be quite different and that the market, society wide, will come to reflect who we really are as humans (personally chosen compromise, exploitation and all) rather than some moralist's (or intellectual's) ideal that is imposed (ultimately via the initiation of physical violence).

There is nothing (in Agorism, at least) to stop you reflecting your concerns regarding "the quantification of everything, the atomization, the abstractions, the reductionism" in your market choices and personal interactions. Many may well agree with you and exchange accordingly.

Bringing this simple logic into the 'real world' is not at all a presumption of the status quo. It would involve a revolutionary change in thinking. Far from what we currently have with every individual encouraged to be a petite moralist imposing his/her ideas on the rest of the world via 'democracy'.

We are all limited in that we can only personally interact generally in one-to-one situations (like an exchange) at any one time. Viewing situations that we may find ourselves in, through that lens, can often help to reflect the broader agorist perspective in my experience. Very often what makes sense to the individual makes sense for the broader society despite all the politicians pleas that we should abandon our individuality to the 'common good'.

ask capitalists like high level bankers, industrialists and their political allies if their views match my understanding of anarchy (from what you have read here). For example, how many of them reject 'democracy' in the way that it is currently formulated and exported around the world. The only ones to come close (that I'm aware of) are the Koch Brothers which resulted in the self-defeating 'Kochtupus'. Anarchy != Capitalism.
oh for sure, surveying capitalists about alt-capitalists is exactly how i want to spend my time.
@dns, you didn't explain how anarcho-capitalism is redundant term. Writing a vague, non-sequitur wall-o-text concerning agorism isn't an explanation. I'm curious for your explanation. It will help me understand your understanding of anarchy.  Please keep it short and to the point if you can.

I will ask Gordon Gekko type slimeballs that work in financial institutions the question you wanted funkyanarchy to ask based on your explanation. It will be soOoO much fun.