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Are "anarcho"-capitalists really Anarchists?

by KOBE KENOBI Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 7:26 AM

Because "anarcho"-capitalists embrace capitalism and reject socialism, they cannot be considered anarchists or part of the anarchist tradition.

Are "anarcho"-capitalists really Anarchists?

In a word, no. While "anarcho"-capitalists obviously try to associate themselves with the anarchist tradition by using the word "anarcho", their ideas are distinctly at odds with those associated with anarchism. Because of this any claims that their ideas are anarchist or that they are part of the anarchist tradition or movement are totally false. They are merely trying to exploit the movement for capitalist gain.

"Anarcho"-capitalists claim to be anarchists because they say that they oppose government. As such, they use a dictionary definition of anarchism. However, this fails to appreciate that anarchism is a POLITICAL THEORY, not a dictionary definition. As dictionaries are rarely politically sophisticated things, this means that they fail to recognize that anarchism is more than just opposition to government, it is also marked a opposition to capitalism (i.e. exploitation and private property). Thus, opposition to government is a necessary but not sufficient condition for being an anarchist. One also needs to be opposed to exploitation and capitalist private property. As "anarcho"-capitalists do not consider interest, rent and profits (i.e. capitalism) to be exploitative nor oppose capitalist property rights, they are not anarchists.

So, in what ways do "anarcho"-capitalists differ from anarchists? There are three main ones:

First, unlike both Individualist and Social anarchists, "anarcho"-capitalists support capitalism (a "pure" free market type of capitalism). This means that they reject totally the ideas of anarchists with regards to property and economic analysis. For example, like all supporters of capitalists they consider rent, profit and interest as valid incomes. In contrast, all Anarchists consider these as exploitation and agree with the Individualist Anarchist, Benjamin Tucker when argued that:

"Whomever contributes to production is alone entitled. What has no rights that who is bound to respect. What is a thing. Who is a person. Things have no claims; they exist only to be claimed. The possession of a right cannot be predicted of dead material, but only a living person." [quoted by Wm. Gary Kline, The Individualist Anarchists, p. 73]

And this, we must note, is the fundamental critique of the capitalist theory that capital is productive. In and of themselves, fixed costs do not create value. Rather value is creation depends on how investments are developed and used once in place. Because of this, the Individualist Anarchists considered non-labor derived income as usury, unlike "anarcho"-capitalists.

Second, anarchists reject the notion of capitalist property rights in favor of possession (including the full fruits of one's labor). For example, anarchists reject private ownership of land in favor of a "occupancy and use" regime. In this anarchists argue that "property is theft".

These ideas are an essential part of anarchist politics, and they cannot be removed without seriously damaging the rest of the foolish anarchist theory. This can be seen from Tucker's comments that "Liberty insists. . . [on] the abolition of the State and the abolition of usury; on no more government of man by man, and no more exploitation of man by man." . He indicates that anarchism has specific economic and political ideas, that it opposes capitalism along with the state. Therefore anarchism was never purely a "political" concept, but always combined an opposition to oppression with an opposition to exploitation. The social anarchists made exactly the same point. Which means that when Tucker argued that "Liberty insists on Socialism. . . - true Socialism, Anarchistic Socialism: the prevalence on earth of Liberty, Equality, and Solidarity" [Instead of a Book, p. 363] he knew exactly what he was saying and meant it.

This combination of the political and economic is essential as they mutually reinforce each other. Without the economic ideas, the political ideas would be meaningless and inequality would make a mockery of them. As Kline notes, the Individualist Anarchists' "proposals were designed to establish true equality of opportunity . . . and they expected this would result in a society without great wealth or poverty. In the absence of monopolistic factors which would distort competition, they expected a society largely of self-employed workmen with no significant disparity of wealth between any of them since all would be required to live at their own expense and not at the expense of exploited fellow human beings."

Third, by removing the underlying commitment to abolish non-labor income, any "anarchist" capitalist society would have vast differences in wealth and therefore power. Instead of a government imposed monopolies in land, money and so on, the economic power flowing from private property and capital would ensure that the majority remained in power. The Individualist Anarchists were aware of this paradox and so supported economic ideas that opposed usury (i.e. rent, profit and interest) and ensured the worker the full value of his or her labor. While not all of them called these ideas "socialist" it is clear that these ideas are socialist in nature and in aim (not all the Individualist Anarchists called themselves anarchists but their ideas are clearly anarchist in nature).

Last, Because "anarcho"-capitalists embrace capitalism and reject socialism, they cannot be considered anarchists or part of the anarchist tradition.

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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 106 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
You left out the part where they are MORONS, Kenobi KOBE SBM Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 7:28 AM
A couple of points. nonanarchist Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 7:44 AM
KOBE knows nothing about anarchism. Rational Anarchist Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 8:42 AM
Deep thinking is not a KOBE trait. Zip Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 8:47 AM
Not on the left Meyer London Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 1:00 PM
Ananarchism is not about "being in power." @ Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 1:07 PM
Plagiarism by KOBE. @ Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 1:08 PM
As I printed at Boston Indymedia, you are a walking oxymoron. KOBE SBM Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 1:51 PM
Wrong again, Ned Lyle. @ Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 2:39 PM
Ned Lylle is the owners of Computers NLA. I am not. KOBE SBM Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 3:56 PM
He didnt sign his name at all. Anna Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 3:58 PM
There is no valid argument for anarchy, and he knows it. KOBE KENOBI Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 4:04 PM
What constitutes an argument "FOR ANARCHY"? @ Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 4:26 PM
As for Ned Lyle... @ Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 4:33 PM
Correction @ Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 4:48 PM
Repeatedly? How about TWICE? KOBE SBM Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 5:19 PM
learn to think for yourself leftys @ Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 5:37 PM
Forget it SBM you have printed that shit too many times already! KOBE KENOBI Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 5:45 PM
KOBE SBM Penelope Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 6:14 PM
Nice job Penelope! You sure debate well, and such eloquence. Sigh. KOBE KENOBI Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 6:44 PM
Proof the KENOBI is a coward. @ Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 7:43 PM
Come out, KENOBI. @ Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 7:48 PM
I already have come out to face you. KOBE KENOBI Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 8:19 PM
I challenge you again. @ Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 8:26 PM
If Nick is representative, then Im not surprised. KOBE KENOBI Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 8:33 PM
Back to topic. nonanarchist Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 9:04 PM
Well Vince, you are a coward. @ Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 9:54 PM
You do NOT know who made the complaint, because I did not give my name. KOBE KENOBI Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 10:24 PM
BWAHAHAHA! So you get to be "Vince"? KOBE SBM Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 10:31 PM
I have spies in Harvard Square. @ Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 10:41 PM
By the way... @ Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 10:43 PM
Good for you. nonanarchist Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 10:45 PM
nonanarchist - I don't answer your questions. @ Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 10:48 PM
Thanks for admitting... nonanarchist Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 10:52 PM
I told you he wasnt up to it. Its beyond his intellect. KOBE SBM Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 10:56 PM
I should begin recording what he tells passers-by for the web. KOBE KENOBI Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 11:01 PM
Why havent you contacted HQ with the information you said you could get? KOBE SBM Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 1:17 AM
I hope DeVoy attempts a "Citizen's Arrest" on me KOBE HAL Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 2:30 AM
I've found additional information on kobe Hex anon w/ encryption Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 5:59 AM
Hey HAL and KENOBI, dont respond to this "Hex" retard. KOBE SBM Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 11:41 AM
kobe = ned ="we" Hex anon w/ encryption Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 12:39 PM
We're still waiting for an answer, Stevie Dee KOBE SBM Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 12:55 PM
hahaha kobe wants to "get the thread back on track" Hex anon w/ encryption Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 6:26 PM
Hex nonanarchist Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 6:41 PM
does not constitute proof Hex anon w/ encryption Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 7:38 PM
Question for Hex. Interested Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 7:41 PM
Yeah....and also FOIA LGF....Loud Gay Female? Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 7:49 PM
little green footballs (hateballs) Hex anon w/ encryption Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 7:57 PM
KOBE SBM is an idiot savant. Doug Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 7:57 PM
Poor deluded Hex... nonanarchist Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:03 PM
he's not even that Hex anon w/ encryption Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:04 PM
Hex, you couldn't be more wrong... nonanarchist Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:13 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:15 PM
Just checked out LGF. Doug Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:15 PM
charles is a first class asshole Hex anon w/ encryption Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:22 PM
As a matter of fact, Chicken Boy nonanarchist Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:24 PM
Prove it, Hex? nonanarchist Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:29 PM
Untried technique. Fountain of ideas. Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:32 PM
one of their main tactics Hex anon w/ encryption Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:34 PM
Does anyone know where these LGF people live? Nothing is better than the real world. Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:36 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:37 PM
Net addicts often forget about the real world. Sledge Hammer Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:38 PM
but here in this universe... Hex anon w/ encryption Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:38 PM
Perhaps we should organize a massive campaign to prompt an investigation. The Pen is Mightier than the Sword Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:41 PM
Hex, you've never even been... nonanarchist Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:42 PM
nonanarchist seems very defensive about LGF. hater of nonanarchist Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:43 PM
Chicken Boy nonanarchist Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:45 PM
nonanarchist, what race are you? La Raza Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:46 PM
hater nonanarchist Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:47 PM
La Raza nonanarchist Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:48 PM
Your race, nonanarchist, your race? La Raza Bonita Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:49 PM
nonanarchist, are you ashamed of your race? La Raza Mas Bonita. Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:50 PM
No, I'm not ashamed. nonanarchist Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:52 PM
never been to - my butt handed to me Hex anon w/ encryption Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:52 PM
Stand and deliver, nonanarchist. La Raza Mas Bonita No Es Mia. Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:53 PM
You're not keeping up, Hex. nonanarchist Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:55 PM
nonanarchist, no need to be ashamed of your race. La Raza Mas Bonita No Es Tuya Tambien. Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:55 PM
La Raza nonanarchist Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:56 PM
how does the word good even escape you ? Hex anon w/ encryption Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:56 PM
No, nonanarchist. La Raza Mas Bonito Es La Humanidad. Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:59 PM
Hex has convinced me. La Raza Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 9:03 PM
Now, Hex. nonanarchist Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 9:04 PM
Big difference. La Raza Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 9:06 PM
Hex has convinced you, La Raza? nonanarchist Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 9:07 PM
"Beware hypocrisy" HaHaHaHa Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 9:07 PM
"I am not a KOBE" nonanarchist Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 9:08 PM
La Raza nonanarchist Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 9:11 PM
Convinced nonanarchist is a worthless troll. La Raza Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 9:12 PM
backpeddling now are we ? Hex anon w/ encryption Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 9:12 PM
Once more, with feeling. nonanarchist Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 9:12 PM
No, nonanarchist, I'm not Hex. La Raza Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 9:15 PM
Hex, you are persistant, I'll give you that. nonanarchist Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 9:16 PM
Especially that short chick La Raza Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 9:20 PM
I'd say you see the world through the eyes of a spoofer Hex anon w/ encryption Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 9:20 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 9:20 PM
Really, DeVoy? nonanarchist Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 9:21 PM
Chicken Boy nonanarchist Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 9:25 PM
132 - is that collectively ? Hex anon w/ encryption Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 9:26 PM
Glad I waited. @ Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 9:27 PM
I'm signing off. @ Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 9:29 PM
Ode to KOBE KOBE IS DOOMED Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 11:16 PM
Yeah whatever.... From Red, White and Blue. Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 11:20 PM
Hex and Stevie nonanarchist Saturday, Oct. 04, 2003 at 8:00 AM
Hey nonanarchist, I am making you an honorary KOBE! KOBE SBM Saturday, Oct. 04, 2003 at 12:09 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Saturday, Oct. 04, 2003 at 3:21 PM
Chicken Boy nonanarchist Saturday, Oct. 04, 2003 at 6:10 PM

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