Tag: minarchy

The Minarchism Vs Anarchism Debate: Solved

By Manuel Martin | United States

Most libertarians agree: society should either lean towards minarchism or anarchism. However, there is much dispute about which of these two is preferable. Before reaching either, though, a broad cultural shift must occur so that people may become progressive enough to sustain either system.

For the most part, politics is downstream of culture. This means that a region’s culture will decide what type of politicians and policies are present. In general, politicians react to the people, as they care about getting elected. Though there are always exceptions, many will morph into whatever chameleon necessary to secure election. Of course, the government also has a reciprocal influence on culture. However, the reverse, more often than not, is true. Politics reacts to culture more than vice versa, and a number of examples suggest this.

The Mexican Homicide Problem

Mexico, first of all, has laws against murder. They also have gun laws that would make a straw banner’s dreams come true. To buy a gun in Mexico, one has to obtain a license, a process which requires a background check. That background check looks at criminal history, mental history, physical health, and any past drug addictions. One must then provide a birth certificate, a letter confirming employment, proof of a clean criminal record from the attorney general’s office in the applicant’s home state, a utility bill with current address, a copy of a government-issued ID and a federal social security number. On top of all of that, Mexico has one legal gun store in the entire country. For every hundred Mexican residents, there are 15 guns. But in the United States, there are at least 88 guns per hundred residents.

Despite Mexico having one-sixth as many guns, more restrictive gun laws, one gun store and identical laws making murder illegal, Mexico as a culture has a homicide rate that is 5 times that of the United States. Same laws, fewer guns, yet five times as many murders. The government doesn’t account for this difference: culture does.

Culture, Not Law, Determines Murder

Here’s another example. Guatemala has just 13.2 guns per 100 residents, yet has an average of 386 murders per million residents. The USA is at 42 murders per million. Same laws, one-sixth the guns, but nine times as many murders. Rather than a corrupt government, murder rates are a result of a corrupt culture. When people vote for and tolerate corrupt governments, an equally bad culture is nearly inevitable.

In many Middle Eastern countries, Sharia law is the guiding philosophy of the law. The people’s adherence and submission to Sharia is simply a part of the culture. Thus, politicians seeking elected office must earn the culture’s approval and campaign on the promise of blending the culture with the law. In many Indian states, it’s illegal to slaughter cows. Why is this? In India, 80% of the population is Hindu, and the religion teaches that cows are sacred. As a result, politicians cater to the people and outlaw the slaughter of cows.

Culture and Law

A people in any given region tend to formalize their customs and values by way of political law. Some cultures are highly obedient to authority figures and willingly tolerate corrupt political behaviors.

America’s culture, for example, has always advocated strict adherence to the “rule of law.” While I believe we should adhere to the “rule of human respect,” as respecting the individual should always come before respecting the law, American values are mostly rooted in equality. American culture believes that adherence to the law will keep everyone equal and accountable. In fact, many believe that the “rule of law” will highlight and expose corrupt individuals. Due to this belief existing, politicians capitalize on it to highlight their opponents’ corrupt behaviors.

The Paradigm Shift to Minarchism

Clearly, politics is downstream of culture. How much, then, would America’s culture have to change for the people to embrace minarchism? For the sake of simplicity, I will define minarchism as follows: The government only provides national defense and local and regional law courts.

 For such a system to ever take root and bloom, American morals and values must drastically shift. Today’s people currently depend on the plunder of others for everything from roads to healthcare. Peaceful admiration of minarchism is far from the American norm.

The American people need to learn the injustice of attempting to secure personal gain by voting for a politician to steal the resources of others. Minarchism requires a societal realization that voting for an agent of plunder (politician) or hiring an agent to plunder the resources of others are identical actions. They are equally destructive to a culture trying to maximize human harmony and prosperity.

Minarchist Culture

A minarchist culture would need to progress their understanding of human respect. As such, they would reject the use of coercive power to manage the habits of others. Then, they would transition to one which uses persuasion to influence the habits of others.

Americans would have to evolve and embrace persuasion over coercion in all aspects of life. In a minarchist society, the government will be a reactionary force, only touching you when you violate the freedom and property of others. This, of course, is beyond the minimal taxation to fund courts and defense. But the fact is, our culture is not yet there. We need to love and trust humanity with a level of respect that does not exist. Though libertarians are trying to plant this in society, it is a slow process.

We would need to realize that the private sector can indeed make roads, bridges, schools, dams. Moreover, consumer organizations like Yelp are most efficient regulators than Washington bureaucrats. Where coercion used to be the norm, persuasion must fill in. This includes all aspects of life that currently use coercion: police, education, certification, roads, and many more areas.

Minarchism can never occur without a cultural shift towards trade over tariffs, property rights over political borders, common law over political law, customer-driven education over politically monopolized education, persuasion over coercion, consumer regulation over political regulation, and trust over suspicion. People must become self-sufficient and wise. Freedom comes with blessings and responsibilities, where political action breeds traps and division. But, the former can only work when the people are aware of its power.

A Natural Transition to Anarchism

A culture with values strong enough to transition to minarchism will not stop there. A people progressive and principled enough to elect politicians who actually follow through with surrendering their celebrity would never keep those politicians in power. If society is honorable enough to shut down the 7 trillion dollar government scam, it will do so entirely.

A society which trusts the freedom of others will not stop at minarchism. They will, instead, realize that minarchism is a false ideology, and nothing more than a stepping stone. Peace and justice cannot arise from the mass political injustice necessary for minarchism.

So minarchists, welcome to anarchism. Our cultures share the same values.  Now let’s work together to make your minarchist state a reality. Once the people and culture are ready for minarchism, we can swiftly abolish what’s left of the state and move to a voluntary society.


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The Fallacy of Limited Government and Classical Liberalism

By Ryan Lau | @agorisms

Since the founding of America, countless individuals have used the doctrine of classical liberalism to define the American way. More often than not, this leans towards ideas such as limited government and a protection of natural rights. After all, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is one of the most well-known phrases in the Declaration of Independence.

Since 1776, politicians have uttered the words as a call to action for the people. After all, the protection of these three critical rights is what sets the United States apart from the rest of the world, right? In the modern day, the usage has shifted slightly: more advocates of limited government use the phrase as a rallying cry, hoping to return to an age of freer markets and freer people. However, everything about the expression is simply a lie. The very idea of a government that naturally limits itself to these basic functions is simply impossible.

Negative Rights vs Positive Rights

First and foremost, what sets limited government and classical liberalism apart from other modes of government is a belief in negative rights. Basically, this means that the people only have protection against other people harming them. The right to life does not mean that a sick person can demand free medicine. Instead, it merely means that someone else cannot kill him against his will.

The same idea follows for liberty and property. An individual may act freely, as long as his actions do not prevent another person from also acting freely. Driving over the speed limit, for example, is an act of liberty. But, as soon as that driver hits another car, he has damaged the other person’s property. If he inflicts injury or death, he also has, of course, taken away that person’s negative right to life and liberty. To summarize, the idea of negative rights suggests that individuals have rights to their lives, liberties, and property, but only insofar as that right does not prevent another from also owning their own lives, liberties, and property. To each his own.

Positive rights, on the other hand, require the use of force against another person to bring about. So, a positive right to life would create an obligation for others to defend the life of an individual. If someone was sick, for example, he would, under a positive protection of life, be entitled to any medicine that may aid or cure him. In terms of property, a person may be entitled to a house, even if it means someone else must buy and build it.

The Classical Liberal Viewpoint

Of course, the classical liberal viewpoint is one that rejects positive rights. A number of practical reasons exist for such a dismissal. In the event of life, for example, let us imagine that same sick patient. A doctor may be able to find a cure if he labors for a thousand hours and abandons all other work. However, this doctor is also a mother. By fulfilling the positive right to her patient’s life, she may not be able to fulfill her duties as a mother. Moreover, she may have multiple patients with different needs, each requiring full attention. She cannot feasibly fulfill her obligation to every person involved, but cannot realistically be at fault. So, the classical liberal argues, there is an obligation to protect rights negatively, but not positively, as such creates unjust duress on the individuals doing the protecting.

The Fallacy of Negative Rights

Clearly, a government cannot adequately or justifiably protect positive rights. In reality, though, the same is true about negative rights, too, especially in a democracy. What breaks the soundness of the argument? Two things: taxation and voting.

On a surface level, a government can claim to only protect negative rights. Specifically, what comes to mind is the minimalist state. As many limited government advocates have outlined, such a government would only control the police, military, and courts. Yet, it appears that this notion cannot come true without taking from others. All of these organizations require the tax dollar, and this, of course, comes from the people, who may or may not have consented to give up a portion of their income. Regardless, the second that the government forces the money from the people, it becomes a positive right. Thus, a limited government cannot truly protect only negative rights: taxation turns this on its head.

A Vote for Change?

In a functioning democracy or republic, many citizens vote, either for laws or representatives. Yet, it is clear that the vote itself is also an example of a positive right. When a citizen votes in an election, he or she is exercising power, albeit small, over the electorate in order to influence political affairs. In other words, they are telling the government to use its force over other people.

Negative rights do not change. They always include, exclusively, the right to life, liberty, and property. So, if a society was to truly protect only these rights, there would be no need for a figurehead. After all, if nothing is to change, why should someone have the power to make changes? If a society ever was to only guard negative rights, any change in policy or executive order must necessarily be a violation of these rights. The only things a government could justifiably do is determine the salaries of its troops and judges, and carry out other business matters.

Theoretically, we could vote on these matters. But, as long as taxation was the end result to obtain them, the majority is still inflicting its will on the minority. If one person does not consent to the collection, then it becomes unjust. Alternatively, the collection of funds could be entirely voluntary, through donations. But, at this point, it is no longer a state, as it is neither coercive nor compulsory.

A Logical Impossibility

Thus, the notions of classical liberalism and limited government appear to be at odds with the principles they claim to safeguard. The logic works in a bit of a circle. In order to protect these rights, the limited government must become no government at all. But, by becoming no government at all, it no longer has the power to safeguard these negative rights.

Therefore, a government cannot both exist and solely protect negative rights. Every action is ultimately some form of force, whether it comes from voting or taxation. Even in the early days of the United States, citizens voted on which figures could use power over others. Eventually, these figures levied higher and higher taxes, increasing the coercion. The world’s great thought experiment has failed, and it is clear that a government cannot exist to guard negative rights. Only through the absence of government can a society exist without widespread force.


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Minarchy and the Defense of Society

By Nate Galt | United States

Minarchy is the true protection of the inalienable rights granted to the populace. If the state ceased to exist tomorrow and an anarchist society stood in its place, there is a high possibility that two groups would be formed- the collectivists and non-collectivists. The collectivists would live in communes and would live off of their own work, similar to Kropotkin’s ideal visualization of anarcho-communism. The other group would try to live life as they did before. This society could potentially last, however; corporations could have their own military, police force, and justice system. This would be much worse than if these services were held in the public’s hands. 

There will always be some semblance of power in the real world. Ever since the dawn of time, hierarchies have dominated the social structure of the human race. Abolishing the state is possible, but a new authority will take its spot in the hierarchy. In an anarchic society, this could be the man with the most followers or money. This, in turn, would lead to an oligarchic or monarchic de facto state. The only thing that would differentiate this state from a dictatorship would be that it calls itself a corporation. Minarchy would keep liberty at a maximum and governance at a minimum while preventing any sort of takeover by private armies. A minarchic society would minimize the government to its basic functions while still protecting the public. 

Furthermore, it would support a much fairer justice system. A privatized system is not the true administration of proper justice. We need to reform the justice system and to move it forward, not push it back by means of privatization. This system would have an unfair bias against the poor and the interests of rivals. Those who cannot pay would fare much worse than those who could afford to do so. Therefore, the best system of administering fair justice should be in the hands of the public. It would make everyone equal in the eyes of the law, regardless of gender, race, or socio-economic status. 

Minarchy also prevents people from being sold like goods on the open market. In an anarcho-capitalistic society, the only way to help prevent the sale of living people without using force is a boycott.  A supporter of anarcho-capitalism might reply that the N.A.P., or Non-Aggression Principle, allows someone to step in to defend a person if their rights are infringed. However, the N.A.P. has no limits or extent to which someone could retaliate. I do not want to live in a society where someone who does minor damage to a home could be shot. 

I believe in the prevention of child slavery and other such vile acts. In a minarchic society, there are laws enforced by a public law enforcement agency which stops them from happening. This agency will be watched by the eye of the people and all their actions will be a public matter.

In all, I firmly believe that the concept of minarchy is the best way to preserve individual rights. The state will be shrunk to its minimal functions while still protecting the public from certain crimes. It prevents a complete takeover by corporations by having a certain set of laws in place. However, it does so while maximizing individual liberty. 


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Government Should be Contained to Minarchy

By Nate Galt | United States

The federal government has dramatically overstepped its already lenient boundaries granted to it by the Constitution of the United States of America. It has consistently wasted the stolen money of hardworking Americans on its wars six thousand miles from home. It has not invested properly in helping its own people but instead has put a lot of money in killing foreigners who pose no danger to the security and stability of our nation. It has conducted reprehensible drone strikes, killing civilians and children without killing anyone who has just a sliver of a chance of attempting to harm this country. One might view these souls as “collateral damage,” but if their own lives were to be viewed as an object or as merely “collateral damage,” they would protest.

There are more efficient ways to combat terrorism than to just conduct random drone strikes and not feel any shame because the victim’s name was Mohammed. War hawks consistently back these wasteful conflicts. They believe that it is the fault of Middle Eastern countries for being too close to the military bases that the Americans put an ocean away from their home. Through coercion and the thought of going to prison, the government has taken money from people who would not fire missiles themselves and from those who are strongly opposed to war and has used it to advance their own interests. 

In a society, there will always be some semblance of power. Therefore, there ought to be a state to prevent violent crimes and protect the country. I do see a lot of irony in this statement, but this will not be ironic if we shrink the state to become minarchic. Minarchy prevents corporations from controlling government and thus controlling the people. It lowers taxes to just the basic functions of government and stops thirty percent of Americans’ money being stolen.

If consent makes a transaction not robbery and if consent makes sex not rape, then what makes taxation not theft?

Minarchy also prevents the federal government from stripping away rights that Americans are granted by the Constitution. Some people on the left wing want to repeal the Second Amendment while some on the right wing want to repeal the Fourth. The left and the right wing belong to the same bird-those that wish to gradually install an Orwellian state. Many do not think they would back this, but by slowly voting away the rights to self-defense, bodily autonomy, or the protection against warrantless search and seizure, they help this nightmare become a reality.

People say we have freedom, but they will be in grave peril. All of the Constitution ought to be recognized as a document which protects the liberties and rights that we prize and will fight to the death to maintain. Washington has no right to take any of these away and has no business declaring a certain few of them obsolete or suspendable. This will become a reality if we will keep blindly obeying everything that we are told and assuming that every government measure taken is for the better.

Jefferson wanted everyone to fight for their own rights and to be armed in case the government overreaches its bounds by means of surveillance or unconstitutional behavior. Obedience and blindly trusting government isn’t American. Fighting for rights is certainly a value that the Founding Fathers had. That is a quintessential American value. 


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Government Could Be Funded Without Taxation

By Jack Parkos | United States

The libertarian ideology is made up of various factions and ideologies, a major one being Minarchy. Minarchists advocate for a small state whose sole purpose is to protect natural rights, including our right to life, liberty, and property. This state would only provide basic functions of government: courts, police, military to protect from crimes such as theft, breach of contract, or aggression.

A common issue brought up with a Minarchist state is of how it should be funded. As libertarians, we are opposed to income tax, capital gains tax, property tax etc. But we also believe in a small state to protect rights. So there appears to be a conflict in funding the state and keeping our principles. However, there are many solutions.

In the early days of the United States, the government was funded through lottery revenue.  The first of these lotteries was held during the Colonial area in Boston Massachusetts in 1745. The revenue from the lotteries was used to build bridges, fix roads, and fund other projects. This would be an efficient way to fund a Night-Watchman state.

Just like in Colonial America, a government lottery would be completely voluntary to participate in. People would purchase lottery tickets from the government and put money into a pool. Then, the winner would be drawn and would keep a certain amount of the prize money, and the rest would go towards funding the state. The amount going to the state may vary, but this would be an efficient way to fund. The lotteries would run similarly to raffles at fundraisers. Skeptics of a lottery system may counter that the government would not be able to function with these means of funding. But it must be remembered that this is a nightwatchman state with a small budget, requiring less revenue.

Fundraising, in general, could be a good way to fund the state. Many parents participate in fundraisers for things like kid’s sports teams, and it would make sense  they would do these to fund police or courts. If a service is good enough, people will be willing to pay for it. Perhaps the people or the government could do silent auctions on items and raise money like they do now. These could be run by the people and have the government funded via a donation or the government itself could run an auction.

Another way the government could function is fining people who commit crimes. Of course, a minarchist would never advocate a fine for a victimless crime, but rather for actual crimes; theft, breach of contract, assault etc. Let’s say, for example, someone damages another man’s property and is found guilty in court. In addition to paying for the damages, he may also pay a small fee to cover court costs. Some may scoff at this idea thinking of it as enforced taxation. But it must be remembered that this is the guilty party paying. This person chose to commit a crime that harmed another party knowing the consequences, this being one of them.

This is a system already used. Instead of abolishing fines, we have them only be put in place for actual offenses. So a person would not be fined or even punished for using drugs, but if they broke a contract or harmed someone and is found guilty by a jury, the guilty party would have to cover court costs. This system would be a great way of keeping courts running, ensuring justice, and protecting rights.

The minimal state will require funding, but this funding does not have to be taken from your income. There are plenty of ways to fund a basic government that do not require such a system. In the past civilizations have had systems similar to these. It worked well to fund a small, more localized government in early America. If we can shrink the government and reduce budgets, there is no reason it would not work today.


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