I frequently make a mistake which may seem small or even intentional to other anarchists, but in fact it is not. I say I oppose government. But, if we are being more rigorous, is it necessary for an anarcho-capitalist to oppose government or authority per se?
I think and hope not. I think it is more accurate to say I oppose statism, the state, geographic monopoly, or even the usual modern implementation of government which is a geographic monopoly nation-state. I don’t think we as ancaps oppose government and/or authority per se on principal for the following reasons:
- Under decentralized or polycentric law, which is Friedmanian Anarchism, there is still law. The producers and enforces of law could be considered government, although they are decentralized private agencies rather than a state.
- Isn’t self ownership the same as self governance? If we really don’t believe in any entity which commands or directs us, aren’t we denying that we can legitimately own, command, or direct ourselves? Clearly, however, we can legitimately do such things.
- I think God and Natural Law including things like gravity can be considered government in that they restrict us, direct us, command us, and so on. Basically, they can be considered governments because they govern us, but they are not states. Are we really opposed to these things? I think we are not opposed to these things, or if we are it is not related to our ancap ideas.
- Authority on the market is de facto rather than a priori, but it exists nonetheless. A person who would have market power on the free market has that measure of legitimate authority according to the anarcho-capitalist.
What do you think?
This relates to Greg Koukl’s discussion How Do You Engage in Conversation with a Christian Anarchist? I previously responded this way to Greg’s video:
imho Koukl, a great guy btw, merely demonstrates a lack of understanding of the tenets of Christian Anarchy.
Properly founded Christian Anarchy is a theonomy. It is the idea that a anarcho-capitalist society is the ideal arrangement, but that such an arrangement would be even better with a Christian culture.
It has nothing to do with God as government. God is an exception. Christian anarchists, perhaps a bit counter-intuitively, look forward to the day of God’s government.
I would also add that I agree that government is ordained by God, but that God:
- Withdrew his support for government in the past. So he may withdraw it from today’s governments.
- Added his support to governments of different structure in the past (Priest-Kings, plain Kings, allegedly Presidents.) So he may add support for a polycentric government.
- May act as the market’s invisible hand. In which case he is gradually shifting preference to polycentric government as we speak.