Oh boy, here we go. I've got some personal investment in this. It's no secret for people who have followed me that I used to be an Objectivist. While I was definitely never of the Randian variety (and despised them more than anyone), much of my philosophical thinking was (and is still) guided by a strong commitment to reality and reason, and by extension individualism. Nowadays, "Objectivist" seems to be a slur word, and I don't know why that is. I think people just hate consistency- after all, if someone is perfectly consistent, how can you convert them to your own belief system?
I have realized, over the course of the years, that some elements of Objectivism were actually less than rigorous- its theory of knowledge, the disputes about moral sanction, and political morality (even before I deconverted). It would be rather improbable for an Objectivist to be a market anarchist, so that makes me wonder why people still accuse me of being one. I guess it's an easy cheap shot.
Is Capitalism.org the kind of site I admired? Actually, it's been around for a long time, and I did like the site, even though it was run by Randian cultists. But it does not pain me to discuss why their view of anarchy is completely and utterly wrong, devoid of any comprehension whatsoever- just what you'd expect from a cultist.
They leap off the gate screaming and raving, in a big font:
Anarchism is not a form of capitalism; anarchism is a form of collectivism, where individual rights are subject to the rule of competing gangs
Now, this is a common criticism- that we advocate the existence of armed gangs or "warlords". But if they're warlords, then what is a president or prime minister? This is yet another case of Special Pleading. If a person who gives orders to thousands of armed men is a gang leader, then what is a person who gives orders to hundreds of thousands of armed men?
Are they gang leaders because they can decide to use force at any time? Then what about the leader of an army? Declarations of war are not even needed any more... just a suitable blanket of propaganda for a couple months and you can do pretty much anything.
There is no more reason to call a protection agency a "gang" than there is to call an already existing security company a "gang". Both are groups that exist because of their customers. They have no incentive to start shooting people up and encurring both costs to their customers and the ire of the law. And they offer services in a more efficient way than any government organization.
And Objectivists believe in natural rights, so how can individual rights be "subject to" anyone? I assume they mean "the expression of individual rights...", as that would at least make sense. But the statement still doesn't make sense. Are they saying that "competing gangs" take away people's rights? No, that would be the state, which inevitably expands against individual rights because of its inherent incentive system. Why would a private company want to alienate its customers, when it has no state to rely on? This remains unanswered.
We continue with the Special Pleading at the end of their first question:
What you purpose are multiple agencies (what you incorrectly accuse to be private corporations) in the same geographic area, that have the power to use force subject to no rule of law...
Well of course they are not subject to "the rule of law". There is no law! Rather, "the law" is replaced by freely chosen codes of conduct, which are enforced by the protection agencies. This does not mean that the agencies can do whatever they want and shoot up whoever they want. If they did so, their profit would dwindle, and they would be considered rogue by other, more reputable agencies, with the associated consequences.
This specious "no law = no order" reasoning permates the whole page. To wit, the answer to the next question, which is "Why can't corporations exist without government?" (!)
Under capitalism, corporations are the result of a specific contractual legal framework (provided by government), based on the principle of individual rights. Without government, the distinction between public (state owned) and private no longer exists. Corporations cannot exist without individual rights, and governments to protect those individual rights.
Now how exactly is the state necessary for a "specific contractual legal framework"? I wouldn't expect the Randians to know this, but... international businesses and international transactions completely demolish their argument. There is no international government, and yet corporations get along just fine using private arbitration- a specifically market anarchist feature. And corporations have done the same for most of history! The history of business law is one of agreed-upon rules, not of government fiat.
We see some more basic ignorance of anarchy in their next answer:
Have you ever thought what happens when one 'corporate protection agency' disagrees with another? By what method do they solve their dispute? They do it by competition not with dollars, but with guns. They seek to solve their dispute by resorting to force against each other, i.e., a perpetual state of civil war.
Actually yes, we have thought about what happens when a protection agency disagrees with another. It's called "arbitration". Two agencies have no interest in the costly use of violence, when they can settle disputes in advance by establishing a single code to be used in cases involving both agencies. That way, the simplicity of the system remains, and the use of violence is in fact not needed at all.
What the Capitalism.org crew is describing here, is international relations. "Countries" do not compete with dollars, but with guns. They seek to solve their disputes by resorting to force against each other. Given the incentive system of the state, that is what we should expect as well!
And it is not what we observe in international business. Corporations do not declare war on each other. Why not? Because war is costly and uncertain, and they also face judicial and retaliative complications even if they win. Instead, they settle their disputes through arbitration. Just like we say agencies will in a market anarchy.
And we end with a laugh-out-loud bluster:
For those who want an illustration of what happens when two 'competing-governments' are arguing with each other in the same geographical area, I give you the libertarian ideal: Bosnia. This is the result of the anarcho-capitalist's ill-thought out nightmare: a species of collectivism, where one is subject to the whims of the tribe or gang in power.
On a micro-level one can observe anarchism in black markets, where drug dealers compete with each other on the same "turf" to "protect" their interests.
I am laughing so hard... do I even need to answer this at all? These imbeciles are stating that a war fought between TWO STATES, and a black market that exists BECAUSE OF THE STATE, are anarchic scenarios! How plain stupid can you get? This is your brain on a cult, ladies and gentlemen.
What you have to understand about Objectivists, is that they are not capitalist in the same sense that anarcho-capitalists are. What they propose is State Capitalism: a system where the wealthy and powerful can exploit the state for their own ends. These people have more in common with right-wing buffoonery than with real economics.