Anarchy in the U.S.A.


This Associated Press story (from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer Web site) on left-anarchism (identified merely as anarchism) is pretty thin, though it undoubtedly does recognize a growing trend among anti-globalism, anti-capitalism activists. An interesting irony is that the one talking head the reporter goes to to disparage anarchism is Reason contributing editor and Cato Institute trade policy maven Brink Lindsey. Brink is a man (and an old friend) who is decidedly unsympathetic to anarchism, to be sure, but he is associated with ("linked," as the Justice Department might put it) institutions that have historically harbored and been sympathetic to devotees of anarchism—though an anarcho-capitalism that this story unfortunately doesn't recognize as existing.

Dumpster diving anti-capitalists who want to turn life into one long consensus-building meeting like the AP story's stars give anarchism a bad name. For copious links to Web resources on anarcho-capitalism, look here, and for an annotated bibliography on some of the tendency's leading strains and thinkers, both contemporary and historical, look here.

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  1. Anti-capitalist anarchists wave red flags and throw rocks.
    Anarcho-capitalists sell red fabric and old bricks near IMF meetings.

  2. I tend to agree with SF author Ken MacLeod that extreem libertarianism (‘anarcho-capitalism’) is not properly anarchism, but a subset of classical liberalism. Of course classical liberalism and classical anarchism are related and share many roots, and many anarchists have influcenced libertarians (and vice versa) – so it isn’t cut and dry.

  3. Here is another useful anarcho-capitalism page I found yesterday after reading the AP’s story:

    I note that it has links to some of Jan Narveson’s rather interesting explorations of the subject.

  4. blah, blah, blah. Since anarchy is inherently unenforceable, it’s a pipe dream anyway.

  5. Be quiet!



  6. Although anarcho-capitalism may be a “pipe dream” do confess I have a soft spot in my heart for the philosophy. I guess it comes from reading one too many L. Neil Smith novels.

  7. Yes, that’s true Jesse, and in fact there’s a long exposition on (can’t find it now) on ANSWER. Somewhat interesting read.

  8. Ken MacLeod rules!

    On another note, I’ve found the term “Market Anarchist” gets a more favorable reception than “anarcho-capitalist”.

  9. Bryan Caplan, who teaches economics at George Mason University, has a long FAQ on anarchism.

    Here’s the link:

  10. If those idiot anarhcists knew ANYTHING about the history of their own movement they wouldn’t be associating with Stalinists.

  11. Your average anti-globalism, anti-capitalist World Bank / IMF protester:
    -From Suburban America
    -Grew up in a wealthy household, never had to work for anything
    -During High School, most likely college, after hitting the bong and attending a few Grateful Dead-sque Shows or Punk Rock Shows (the stench
    of pouchuli links both social sects) develops an ultra-liberal point of view
    -Is reinforced by belief system by surrounding their self with others, never questions beliefs AKA Group Think
    -Wants to tear down the system, but does not really understand what exactly they are trying to tear down
    -If he/she could actually graduate from college, would enjoy joining the peace corps
    -Hates Mom and Dad but loves their credit card
    -Thinks Bill Gates is evil but loves using MS Windows
    -Is a pacifist, but willing to get violent with anyone that opposes their views
    -Vandalizing is OK as long as it’s in America
    -Enjoys the image of driving a Volkswagon
    -Against the domination of Western Technology and economic system, but if you take their cellphone, playstation, and ATM card will easily bust a cap in yo’ @ss

  12. “If those idiot anarchists knew ANYTHING about the history of their own movement they wouldn’t be associating with Stalinists.”

    To be fair, the left-anarchists have been attacking ANSWER for much longer, and much more credibly, than liberals like Eric Alterman have. The most articulate anti-ANSWER polemics I’ve heard came from a prominent Black Blocker.

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