Thursday, August 3, 2006

Market Anarchy: What's the Point?

This is a fairly common point brought up by people- what's the point of being a Market Anarchist? After all, it's not like we can bring down the state overnight. To answer this common point, I'd like to point out some things that becoming a Market Anarchist does give you.

1. Personal understanding and awareness.

First of all, Market Anarchy provides a solid understanding of society and politics. It really cuts through the rhetoric and propaganda that we constantly hear, starts from first premises, and show us what the truth of the power relationships and the moral principles are about a situation. With this understanding, you can become more aware of the morality of your own beliefs and actions, and of what the incentives are. In short, it makes you more aware and more honest.

I'm not going to waste time voting, because voting is a sanction of state coercion. I'm not going to do anything for the state unless I can't get away with it. I'm not going to waste my time thinking about "immigration", or nationalism, or even the supposed intractable debates like gun control or abortion, because I understand the moral principles involved. If the state is just a gang of armed thugs cloaked with legitimacy, there's just no reason for me to take ANY statist issue seriously.

2. Personal growth.

An understanding and awareness of power relations can bring about personal growth as well. This has not happened to me, but some Market Anarchists, when grasping the fact that parenthood is just one giant power relation, can much more easily come to grasps with what has been done to them in their childhood. An individualist view of society can also help to divest oneself of unhealthy relationships, although this would be more of a moral point than a political point per se. But if you accept Market Anarchy, then you are likely to adopt the moral standpoint as well.

3. Building a network and helping to further the cause.

If you want to do more, you can help the cause by explaining to your friends what Market Anarchy is. Some people just won't understand, some people will. I find that it mostly depends on how open they are to break their conditioning- atheists, for example, tend to be much more likely to grasp the moral concepts involved.

One common criticism I get is that we shouldn't complain because our society is okay. Okay compared to what? Iran? Yea, sure. But compared to a Market Anarchy equivalent? That's ridiculous. I could go on and on about all the things that the state does to the economy, people and society, and how it fails miserably at every single "service" it supposedly provides, but just think about this. If the state is only sapping 2% of our economy every year- which is an extremely generous assumption, given that the state controls a huge chunk of our economy and wastes a large proportion of it- then that represents 22% per decade. Without the state, we could be 22% richer at the end of that decade, in real terms, actual things you can buy, not by inflation of their stupid paper money. Indeed, just by inflation you lose more than that every decade off your savings, sometimes up to half of your savings.

It's completely ridiculous to think in that way. People don't say "oh, the mafia is not so great, but they're not as oppressive as those in Italy so we shouldn't try to get rid of them". The mafia does not force you to pay taxes or dictate every single aspect of our lives. The state is the most dangerous force in our society, so why shouldn't we want to get rid of it? We want to get rid of kidnapping, extortion, theft, slavery, and political power, and in all those areas the state is our enemy #1. We have no chance to ever live in a free society unless we promote Market Anarchy. So... why not?


ryan e said...

When I became a market anarchist(and an atheist), I became much more rational.

Those were the best decisions I've ever made.

Delta said...

The people will never fight a revolution against the state, the church, and corporations in order to allow private property to continue.

Aaron Kinney said...


Why the need to "fight"? Why not just disengage with the state? Apathy is the most powerful weapon against the state IMO.

You cant beat the state with MORE guns and MORE violence anymore than the state can beat terrorism with MORE violence.

Aaron Kinney said...

And I think that when it comes down to it, most average Joes perfer having private property.

Andrew Greve said...

It's really hard for me to imagine going about my day without looking at every human interaction I see from the MA perspective. Awareness makes me happy :)

Delta said...


Do you believe that if you simply ignore the state that it will wither away? You cannot willingly disengage from the state since it is the intruding force.

You can't defeat an instrument of oppression by a minority over the majority with apathy. When has apathy done anything productive for any social or political movement in history?

Francois Tremblay said...

"When has apathy done anything productive for any social or political movement in history?"

1. Ghandi.
2. Finland under the Nazis.

Point, set, match.

Delta said...

Point, set, match

Cute, but unfortunately your examples have nothing to do with apathy.

1). Gandhi was not apathetic. He led mass demonstrations and did a great deal of civil disobedience. That is not apathy.

2). Finnish troops fought the Germans during WW2. How is that apathy?

Francois Tremblay said...

"1). Gandhi was not apathetic. He led mass demonstrations and did a great deal of civil disobedience. That is not apathy."

What? How is it NOT apathy? He sure didn't try to use the system for his own ends.

"2). Finnish troops fought the Germans during WW2. How is that apathy?"

Obviously I was talking about AFTER they were defeated, not BEFORE.

Delta said...

He sure didn't try to use the system for his own ends

I do not consider civil disobedience to be apathy. Apathy is simply not doing anything about the situation. From AK's comment, I got the impression that he meant apathy in terms of my understanding of the word.

If by using the system for one's own ends, you mean political elections, then yes, I agree. The state and other exploitation cannot be ended by becoming a participant in it. As Emma Goldman once said, "If voting changed anything they'd make it illegal"

Francois Tremblay said...

Okay, that's not what I mean at all. I mean disengaging from the system as much as possible. Whatever you do from there is your decision. said...

It seems to me that the case for anarchy ("Market anarchy" is the only defensible variety of anarchy, as I see it) is the case for freedom as well as the case for human beings as designed. So instead of starting with the answer, it seems the key point is to get people to 1) use rational thought 2) draw conclusions from their thoughts 3) adhere to reality. Once equipped with these three factors, individualism and anarchy ultimately result. At least, that's how it happened for me, a former Bible-toting Baptist, statist, and unelightened dufus. Once I started following steps 1 - 3, everything - and I mean, everything - in life has slowly fallen into meaningful place.

Aaron Kinney said...

When I said "apathy" i meant disengagement from the state system as a peaceful protest/rejection of the state system.

I sure as hell wouldnt support a violent (non-defensive violence) revolution against the state!

I am all for apathy as an offensive weapon, and use of violence only when necessary to defend oneself from direct state violence.

For example, imagine if apathy became a popular idea and in the next Presidential election, only 5% of the voting population evn cast a vote? Would there be a more powerful anti-state message than that?

And wouldnt that be the very definition of apathy? Wouldnt it also simultaneously by a very clear action of anti-state sentiment?