I’ve recently read a nice piece of article from Libertarian.org by David. S. D’Amato on the never ending debate between the two factions within the libertarian movement. It is not surprising that we have all personally experienced these types of debates.
Initially, being a die hard Minarchist, I was sceptical of functionality without a central service for military, law enforcement and the constitution. However, after reading works by Murray Rothbard (The beloved hero of Anarcho Capitalism), I began to see the premise of the Non-Aggression Principle being used so efficiently.
In a perfect Anarcho Capitalist environment, there is no state thus it eliminates the need for a centralised military for the nation states, instead, mercenaries could be hired for large scale operations by private business owners. Law Enforcement is unnecessary as there would be no public properties available for sharing, thus police officers are downgraded to security guards who are able to perform the same role within the perimeter of their vicinity. Finally, common laws may be the only law used to establish order as “precedents” are the only determinant for judgement.
I think this is beautiful, but also dreamy, literally. The fact that we do not live in such a perfect society is all too evident for us to see daily. The non-aggression principle is constantly being violated, technology is limited thus far in our human history and private properties are being taken from their owners.
From an objectivist point of view, military is needed, at least for now, because of the dangers in people who do not share our belief of non-aggression. It would be good to have privately crowd sourced development for some form of protection against the threat from foreign invaders. Rothbard has suggested that without a state, it would be difficult to establish order for foreign invaders, but when the foreign invaders do not wish to establish order but to massacre, we then have a problem.
Anarcho Capitalist often omitted the fact that in a Minarchist society people are still able to own weapons for protection, though realistically people would have various degrees of protection or therefore the lack of protection. People should then be able to voluntarily create a protection agency through paying a negotiated fee if they so desires. Others who do not wish to pay such fee can then find their own forms of protection.
Corruption is the main concern of the decentralised court, the main argument is that justice is not served as long as whoever has the most money can find the best lawyers. Yes I am talking about lawyers, not judges as judges have a reputation to keep if they wish to continue their business in the future. Besides, common law is not the best way to solve all problems as each case is fundamentally different to the others, thus it would be unwise to apply the precedent (even if they are bad) to the newer cases. A constitution would be necessary to provide the objective legality.
In saying these, I don’t think Anarcho Capitalism is fundamentally wrong or unprincipled, rather it is too idealistic in its nature. However, I do believe both a Minarchist society and an Anarcho Capitalist society can co-exist. i.e. a Minarchist commune of volunatry minimal authority existing within an Anarcho Capitalist society or vice versa.
What we libertarians need to do is not to segregate ourselves, rather, we should work together to promote libertarianism as a team.