capitalist

101 Reasons Why I am not an Anarcho-Capitalist.

Scott F Anarchism, Featured 18 Comments

The charges laid out and listed with particular reference to those of the Mises Institute and Lew Rockwell.com

  1. Anarchism has been defined in ahistorical terms of a thin voluntaryism.Anarchism is just voluntarism in their minds.
  2. Conflation of property and ownership without understand the historic usage of the former. This conflation leads to the fallacious argument that opposition to property means opposition to ownership.
  3. Knee Jerk anti-socialism/anti- leftism. By this I do not mean opposition to statism but I mean to things such as workplace democracy, syndicalism, co-operatives, anti-corporate theory etc. (For example one  Mises forum member said of left libertarianism:Basically communism without the marching bands and statues. or there was “The stuff that Scott posted in his manifesto, is basically the same post hoc, ergo propter hoc rationale for socialism that Communists use.)
  4. False dichotomy of individual ownership or state ‘ownership’.
  5. Failure to consider critically the tragedy of commons and engage with the work and ideas of Elinor Ostrome(though as a concession, I heard Hoppe is re-thinking this issue)
  6. Uncritical reliance of the big figures such as Mises
  7. Tendency towards cultural conservatism
  8. A reactionary tendency to defend the status quo (excepting statism) especially corporations against the state.
  9. Tendency to downplay if not deny social issues making it irrelevant to the poor and non white.
  10. While claiming to not concern themselves with social issues , a tendency to defend culturally conservative positions such as defending discrimination or classism
  11. Classism especially against those on welfare with dismissal of other causes for poverty
  12. Worship of those who are rich and wealthy- functioning as ‘rich white man’s anarchism’
  13. Failure to engage criticism of the meaningfulness of ‘self ownership’
  14. The belief labour unions are inherently violent or state backed(Thomas Dilorenzo is guilty of this)
  15. apologetics for corporations in reply to statism or even other anarchists
  16. apologetics for bosses (often in reply to statism or even other anarchists) for example in Jeffrey Tucker’s piece How to handle getting fired which sides with the employer largely, argues for following the bosses orders even if wrong and omits completely the hardship of unemployment.
  17. dismissal or downplaying environment issues.Opposition to global warming because it’s mainstream
  18. opposition to political correctness as a knee jerk reaction
  19. apologetics for landlords
  20. failure to engage with anarchist history or original anarchist philosophy
  21. Conflation of what would exist in the free market with the current statist quo – Vulgar libertarianism
  22. Failure to seriously engage with LTV defenses or STV critiques
  23. apologetics for rent
  24. Residual support for libertarian political parties/politicians
  25. Horrendous cultic approval of Ron Paul- totally dismissing or ignoring his support for a bill in favour of a tax funded wall to keep out immigrants etc.
  26. Restricted immigrationism especially based on Hoppe
  27. Using Hoppe to argue for ‘Anarcho-Monarchism’ or Feudalism
  28. Authoritarianism and sometimes open support for hierarchy -e.g. Rothbard.
  29. Rothbard and others Anti-egalitarianism.Strawmans of equality such as equality means everyone is identical.
  30. Walter Block’s defense of discrimination.
  31. Walter Block’s argument for ‘voluntary slavery’
  32. Following Walter Block claims to be ‘plumbline libertarian’ and so neither left nor right while leaning strongly right
  33. Some have a Culturally conservative heavy emphasis on respectability in some cases verging on fear of being ‘too extreme’.
  34. Hoppe calling homosexuality an “anti family lifestyle”- “They — the advocates of alternative, non-family and kin-centered lifestyles such as, for instance, individual hedonism, parasitism, nature-environment worship, homosexuality, or communism — will have to be physically removed from society, too, if one is to maintain a libertarian order.”
  35. The attitude of abolish the state and let the market deal with racism,sexism,environmentalism etc
  36. Belief the wage gap currently cannot be due to sexism because women have lower productivity due to marriage and the market would prevent sexism/racism etc(from Walter Block)
  37. Quick to jump on the Gold standard as the solution to all monetary woes.
  38. Tendency to become an echo chamber- less than the cult of organized Objectivism but more so than other anarchist groups.
  39. Unconcern/dismissal of workplace democracy and /or worker self management if not outright hostility.
  40. Quick to side with the south against the north concerning the US Civil war- dismissing the evils of the south almost entirely
  41. Willingness to publish pseudoscience while having no critiques of it or in some cases preventing critiques being aired alongside them
  42. Certain Organizations desire to cover up incidents and writings which make them look bad or reveal an individuals evils at a certain time.
  43. Major figures willingness to work with an openly admitting theocrat
  44. Bigotry masked by economics talk
  45. Downplaying , dismissal or even outright hostility to feminism
  46. Unwillingness to take seriously other branches of libertarianism/anarchism
  47. Dismissal/downplaying of historic development of Capitalism e.g.Mises defense of the Industrial revolution omitted the oppression occuring then
  48. Knee Jerk Anti-Marxism without engaging it’s truths
  49. Environmentalism portrayed as fascist- George Reisman
  50. Residual Cultic adherence by some to Ayn Rand
  51. The Ron Paul Newsletters incident.
  52. Uncritical thinking of Austrian Economics on Inflation and how it may not always cause price increases
  53. Tendency to dismiss concerns of ordinary working people.
  54. Classism in favour of middle-upper class and classism against working/lower class people especially those on welfare
  55. Ignorant of how much the status quo is due to statism
  56. Failure to engage with the evils of wage labour and what’s called wage slavery
  57. Strong belief in meritocracy in current world
  58. Belief current ‘democracy ‘ is egalitarian(following Hoppe)
  59. Hans Hermann Hoppe’s arguments suggesting monarchy is preferrable to democracy
  60. Domination of rightwing or conventional thinking on organizations ,laws,communities etc
  61. Belief in non state top down hierarchical structures and organizations
  62. Failure to engage with Co-ops and mutual organizations
  63. Anarcho-Capitalism defined more in terms of opposition to ideologies such as socialism,marxism etc than in terms of what it is in favour of.Reactionary.
  64. Tendency to serve as apologetics for rich/ politically connected(linked to vulgar libertarianism)
  65. Failure to engage critiques of Absentee Ownership or Occupancy and Use
  66. Contorsions of logic involved in ‘self ownership’ especially from a reformulation lockeanism.
  67. Failure to even deal with Locke’s Proviso.
  68. Tendency to fall prey to conspiracy mixed with half truths
  69. Non voting,agorism etc often portrayed as doing nothing
  70. Rothbard’s ‘leninist’ political party strategy.
  71. Uncritical belief   economic growth, progress, expansion, technology etc is good
  72. Tendency to focus too strongly on academia to the exclusion of the ordinary person
  73. Tendency to focus on getting qualifications to the exclusion of other routes in life
  74. Related to Cultural Conservatism- tendency to quickly criticize weird behaviours or lifestyles
  75. Tendency to conflate opposition with X with belief force should be used to stop/end X e.g. on the issue of racism or oppression of workers.
  76. Tendency to fail to understand shades of anarchism,socialism etc.
  77. omission of the evils of bosses such as strikebreaking or glorification of them under the rhetoric they were statist/(some libertarian historians are guilty of this)
  78. Residual reliance on conservatism
  79. Tendency to jump into bed with conservatives as if it’s natural
  80. Tendency to deify entrepreneurs and/or businessmen
  81. Distanced from real life concerns and the drudgery of day to day life.
  82. Uncritical reliance of the big figures such as Mises
  83. False dichotomy of individual ownership or state ‘ownership’
  84. Failure to see why corporations are statist
  85. Failure to see why current limited liability is statist
  86. Distortion and selective reading of Mutualism/Individualist Anarchism especially Benjamin Tucker.
  87. Rothbard’s opposition to Jury Nullification in anarchist societies
  88. Rothbard’s belief in a libertarian legal code arising.
  89. Tendency to conflate Capitalism with Free Market so Free Markets are automatically Capitalistic and Anarchism is automatically Capitalist.Ahistorical usage of term Capitalism.
  90. Failure to engage properly critiques of Anarcho-Capitalism such as the Anarchist FAQ e.g. as seen in such people as  Bryan Caplan.
  91. Romantic attachment to founding fathers,constitutions etc.
  92. False dichotomy of ‘anti-market’ socialism vs pro-market libertarianism.
  93. Assumption Communism is inherently statist.
  94. Package dealing such as conflating leftism/socialist concerns with statism.
  95. Few discuss LGBT issues.
  96. Unwillingness to work with other anarchists -even on an issue by issue basis- leading to complete isolation.
  97. Failure to grasp the actual difficulties of being poor.
  98. Failure to grasp the mistreatment workers face often.
  99. More concerned with economics than ethics.
  100. Tendency to wrongly think concern for social issues is overreaching and  a desire to control others-pretty much excluding morality especially from politics.
  101. Some have argued that parents own their children and so have a right to mistreatment or spank/smack them.

WHITE HOUSE ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENT OF JOHN I. PRAY AS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OF NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL

US Fed News Service, Including US State News January 3, 2008 The White House released the following press release:

Stephen Hadley, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, announced today the appointment of John I. Pray, Jr. as Executive Secretary of the National Security Council. in our site national security council

John Pray comes to the National Security Council after a distinguished military career spanning more than 27 years serving in a wide variety of key operational, staff, and command positions in the United States Air Force. Most recently, Mr. Pray served as the Director, White House Situation Room and was responsible for furthering the facility’s transformation into a state-of-the-art intelligence and information fusion center dedicated to supporting the President and other senior policy-makers. From 2002 to 2003, he served as the Deputy Executive Secretary of the National Security Council. web site national security council

The son of a decorated US Army Officer and World War II veteran, Mr. Pray grew up in Clearwater, Florida. Mr. Pray now lives with his wife, Diane, in Alexandria, Virginia. He has two sons, John and Joshua and a stepson, Ian.

Author:
Visit 's Website - Email
Scott F. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland and soon to return. I try to think through achievable alternatives to Capitalism using Pragmatist philosophy and Analytical( aka 'No-bullshit') Marxism. I attempt to scrip away the bullshit from Marxism and the dogmatism of politics to reveal what can be done. My thinking exemplifies the unease,uncertainty, lack of clarity and problematic nature of this postmodern age. I think what's called for is a pragmatist inspired democratic socialism. .I've long been a dabbler in many political philosophies so I seek to incorporate any ideas into my politics that is useful and oppose all dogmatism as much as is humanely possible. I am a passionate advocate of Scottish Independence, a poet and have also been active in Occupy.
Scott F101 Reasons Why I am not an Anarcho-Capitalist.

Comments 18

  1. Anarchei

    Im not sure which “anarcho-capitalists” you have been hanging out with, but I haven’t seen anything here that defines what real anarcho-capitalism is. So because some people claiming to be ancaps are misrepresenting the philosophy, it’s fair to paint all ancaps with the same brush? Have you heard of Stefan Molyneux?

    1. Anonymous

      I’ve seen many of these attributes from AnCaps, though usually not all in one individual. One merely need subscribe to a Facebook newsfeed of an AnCap to hear them. This is why I crossed over from being a Libertarian minarchist straight into simply being a individualist “market anarchist” or “free market anti-capitalist” without ever going through any real AnCap phase. The only time I ever had sympathies toward them was while I was still a statist because I could tell their “anarchism” wasn’t very sincere. Most of the Misesian authors I read merely use anarchism as a “low-ball” demand to try to negotiate towards a minimal state much like when you make a counter offer on a used car that is well below what you actually plan to pay for it. Do I believe in the free exchange of goods and services based on prices? Yes. Am I an anarcho-capitalist? No. Anyone who really believes in eliminating the state would bolt at hearing the word capitalist anyway. It’s from the 15th or 16th century and therefore predates laissez-faire, and connects the term with mercantilism. It has nothing to do with free markets, and this tendency of AnCaps to defend rent, interest, employees, and racial segregation on the basis of “it’s anarchy, so I can do what ever I want” is suspicious. Yes, I believe you can technically choose to work for an employer in an anarchist society in the sense that I would do nothing to stop you (no “sovereign decree” as Proudhon would say) , but at the same time I’m not going to go around writing apologetics defending it, and would go so far as to say it would put pressure against maintaining a libertarian society.

        1. Anonymous

          Where I would find…. what? I said, “most of the Misesian authors I read”; I never called out Rothbard by name, nor do I wish to. One individual who scared me away from Misesian anarcho-capitalism was not Rothbard, but Jeffrey Tucker in his work, “Bourbon For Breakfast” where he tries to give advice on how employees can be good little slaves to their employers. I’ve also watched many Tom Woods videos. He likes to make references to how great the microstates in Europe were after the fall of the Roman empire were, and I remember he also said once that if the U.S. would truly follow the constitution, he would be ok with that as a compromise. That’s not an exact quote but close enough. I came into anarchism from the right, and I simply have no incentive to misrepresent Misesians. I learned most of my economics from them. There is a reason that certain of Rothbard’s followers call themselves “Left-Rothbardians”. Rothbard’s writings have a different flavor to them depending on when they are from. Also people refer to SEK3 as “more Rothbardian than Rothbard” because of the way he applied the principles and thought of himself as purging some ideas that reflected the “old way of thinking”. Any type of ideology is going to have different ways of applying its principles, and in my opinion, most of the people writing for the Mises institute today are applying them in such away as to lead away from actual individualist anarchism and into “microstatism” posing as anarchism. I don’t need to provide you exact quotes, and I won’t waste my time doing so. Watch lots of Misesmedia channel on youtube, listen to the MP3s at Mises.org, and read other Misesians besides Rothbard. I’m not an anarcho-communist with an axe to grind, why would I make this shit up? The only thing I could add to contradict this article would be that I once listened to a lecture from Hoppe when he actually acknowledged Marx does make some good points as long as you start from the assumption that he is criticizing the way things currently are rather than how free markets work. That’s a feather in Hoppe’s cap, but it’s the only time I’ve ever read or heard him say anything like that.

          1. Misfit

            1. “Most” means more than. Therefore, because I’m not mind reader, I’ve imply assumed that you disliked, or did not read Rothbard.

            2.I’ve read a bit from the book [Bourbon for breakfast]. Thus far, I do not enjoy much the way it’s written. But I did not had any problem with the content. Could you please name the page in which Tucker mentions that?

            3. Woods is great. My experience with his writings have been quite positive. I’ve never actually seen/hear any advocacy for minarchism.

            4. Sam’s Kolkin writings are terrific. I’ve read all of them, and I agree with him to some degree. I’m also aware of his relationship which he had with Rothbard, regarding the Libertarian Party, the “Kotchopus”, and Rothbard’s response to his writings. And the term “more Rothbardian than Rothbard”

            5. Well, it is evident that everyone takes their own interpretation for any ideology. In this case with Individual Anarchism. I completely disagree with you here. I really can’t see why would you come with this conclusion? I don’t want to assume anything, because I may be wrong on my assumptions. Then please explain yourself.

            6. Anyone can misinterpret, take things out of context, or maybe use vain generalizations. That’s why I would like you to give me some sources of your claims.

            Thanks for the polite comment anyhow.

          2. PunkJohnnyCash

            I’m falling away from an-cap thinking myself, but I do still respect SEK3 & Rothbard a great deal. I do however see Rothbards perception of socialism as skewed. There is little I see for voluntary socialism or libertarian socialism. I think his faith in markets is a bit too much. I do however pretty much love the first two thirds of For a New Liberty. I think most of it is right on.

          3. Anonymous

            I would be doing you a disservice if I gave you exact quotes…I don’t care to debate you. We can dissect stuff back and forth all day. I’ll give you an example: “I’ve never actually seen/hear any advocacy for minarchism.” Ok, I never made that allegation. In context, what I said about many (not all) Misesian anarchocapitalists is, “The only time I ever had sympathies toward them was while I was still a statist because I could tell their “anarchism” wasn’t very sincere. Most of the Misesian authors I read merely use anarchism as a “low-ball” demand to try to negotiate towards a minimal state much like when you make a counter offer on a used car that is well below what you actually plan to pay for it.” That’s what Tom Woods does, rather than make any sort of “advocacy” for minarchy.

            Let me say that I used to identify myself as a conservative, and I was constantly offering up apologetics towards the allegations of racism, corporatism, trying to ram religion down everyone’s throat, etc. because all I knew was that I wasn’t like that, and I took that stuff very personally and no one was gonna convince me that stuff was true. Now that I am outside that “box”, I can see all stuff IS true. But yes, it can be hard to nail it down. It’s that way on purpose… My point is not about conservatism here, but rather I am using that analogy to say that sometimes you also have to look at the way things are “flavored” rather than parsing individual sentences…
            You’ll either see it or you won’t if you read/listen to Mises institute material long enough. The only advice I can offer you, is that if you see/hear something that seems authoritarian, don’t be in such a hurry to explain it away. I don’t know about you, but I have a tendency to do that with authors I like, and I like the material from the folks at Mises.org. Misesians are good economists, but tend to be not-so-great anarchists, and part of the problem is they try to explain everything in economic terms. Anarchism certainly has an economic angle to it, but it’s also a social and moral philosophy.

            So, respectfully, I request that you simply store what I said, and what this article says, “on the back burner” as you keep reading/watching material from the Mises institute– I don’t think anyone can convince you of anything…you’ll either see it or you won’t. I also would have pointed you to a guy on youtube called BrainPolice, but some shitbag hacked his account some months ago and deleted his videos. Also, I would repeat what I said at the beginning about facebook posts: just observe the disdainful attitude many AnCaps have towards other kinds of anarchists for example (e.g. Mike Shanklins page).

            Lastly, I want to make clear that my purpose is more to talk about ideas than people. I read LewRockwell.com often, I’ve actually donated money to keep Mike Shanklins youtube channel going, and about 95% of the books on my Kindle reader are free EPUB books from Mises.org that I converted to MOBI format. I want to eventually read Man, Economy, and State as well as Ethics of Liberty. Basically my point is that we anarchists need to get away from the vulgar forms of professed anarchist thinking, which contain elements that put one on a direct course back to reviving the state. These tendencies can be found both in the “red” kind of anarchism as well as the “gold”. Anarchism is “voluntary association” but it doesn’t follow that everything that is done voluntarily is in line with what anarchism is.

            P.S. When I was still on the fence about the whole anarchist/minarchist thing, I once riddled PunkJohnnyCash with a bunch of questions about anarchism. He didn’t directly answer a single one which left me scratching my head, and kind of disappointed. Looking back, he did the right thing because I eventually figured out the answers on my own….it was through my efforts of trying to figure out the answers to my own questions about whether anarchism is even possible and how sustainable it is that led me to realize that a lot of the problems I had in my head came from leftover statist thinking that AnCap-ism did nothing to purge…I eventually realized the real problem it was my understanding of anarchism that was lacking, and it was because of Scott F’s point #1. The philosophical underpinnings of many AnCaps are quite “thin” and tend to lead right back to a state (though out of denial, they’ll probably call it something else). I’ve also known AnCaps that aren’t so “thin”, but in all honestly they would do well not to call themselves AnCaps but simply “market anarchists”. I could call myself an AnCap if I really wanted to, but I don’t because I intentionally try to distance myself from those who exhibit the above 101 attributes.

          4. Misfit

            “…the Mises institute today are applying them in such away as to lead away from actual individualist anarchism and into “microstatism” posing as anarchism.” <<< Well you did certainly said that. If it isn't minarchism what you meant. I really don't know what it is.

            Anyway, I was also a statist conservative before, until I saw Stefan Molyneoux's videos. After my fully conversion per say. I started reading mises.org. Which pretty much reinforced my anarchist views. I didn't just found good economic thinking, but also many philosophical, and ethical thinking. Then I started reading Rothbard, and SEKIII, whom sealed my beliefs regarding Libertarianism. Currently, I read a lot from everywhere, disagree here and there. Thus far, I haven't noticed what you mention. But I surely disagree with many of the positions of mises.org, or other anarcho-capitalist sites/people. Yet I do not disregard the whole movement, or make vain generalizations. That kind of talk does not help with the freedom movement. It rather creates more enemies, and more separation. Just gonna point at this article. It's nothing more than wasteful attacks, without a backup. Disagreeing isn't bad. The bad thing is the way some people do it. And this list of "reasons" is certainly not the way.

            Whatever is the case, I respect your opinion, and I will keep looking carefully through the mises or other ancap sites. Just as I will do with sites such as this one. I just hope that the Libertarian movement becomes a little more united, rather than separated by vain generalizations, or some disagreements here and there.

  2. Dust

    This is laughable and not even worth engaging in. Sounds like every caricature, conflation, strawman, ad hominem, and confusion one can think of and then repeat them again to make the list get to 100.

  3. Misfit

    I enjoy reading this blog, so as I do reading Mises, Lew Rockwell, and many other pro Liberty sources. I personally disagree in many issues, with both sides of the Libertarian spectrum.

    You give me the feeling that you have become a one sided minded person. And because of your disagreements, you will place the whole ideology as something evil, racist, and a fallacy. That sir, is no better than Democrats, or Republicans. In which they think that their ideology is 100% right, 100% of the time.

    Both Libertarian sides of the spectrum, have indeed their errors ( I personally think the Left more than the Right). No one is perfect. However, instead of naming some “reasons” just out of no where. Why don’t you first, name sources, and second justify your disagreements to us (the readers) . If you do, I will assure you that the reader will at least obtain something meaningful from you. Instead of obtaining a sourceless/wasteful rant.

    With all due respect, Misfit.

  4. Anonymous

    This list is quite a resource, and an accomplishment.  Good show.  It’s clear that a huge amount of experience is distilled into this list.  I can attest to having witnessed roughly 80% of these items in my own communications with right-libertarian types. To explicitly list them in this fashion is an impressive feat.

  5. BobRobertson

    What’s wrong with leaving people alone?

    That means if you want a commune, go have one.

    Want to interact in a gift society? Go right ahead.

    Want to run a business with an iron fist, firing anyone who displeases you? Go right ahead.

    Public vs. Private ownership is not a false dichotomy. That’s why they’re different words.