How Anarchism Can Solve Social Problems: Gary Chartier at Freedom Fest 2013


"Once states get a footing, they tend to crowd out alternatives," says philosopher and La Sierra University professor Gary Chartier, author most recently of Anarchy and Legal Order. "Also, I think they tend to colonize people, ideologically." 

Reason Magazine's Matt Welch caught up with Chartier at this year's Freedom Fest to discuss his extensive writings on anarchy and left-libertarianism.

Held each July in Las Vegas, Freedom Fest is attended by around 2,000 limited-government enthusiasts and libertarians. ReasonTV spoke with over two dozen speakers and attendees and will be releasing interviews over the coming weeks.

About 4 minutes.

Produced by Zach Weissmueller. Camera by Paul Detrick and Oppenheimer.

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  1. Youve got to admit the dude makes a lot of sense

    1. EPL starts next week! Every single match broadcast live and on the internet without any need for a “Sunday Ticket” style subscription.

      1. You can watch pretty much everything for free on the internet.

        1. Yes you can get some crappy livestream that could be shut down at any minute but some sports are having a damn hard time getting up to speed on having official high quality streams. MLB does a good job but you have to pay extra and the black out the home team.

    2. Soccer is responsible for the downfall of our society. It is the chief tool of the feminist’s box to further their ultimate goal…

      …the pussification of America!

      Men, I beg you, do not send your sons out to be emasculated by this horrendous ploy. Let them play baseball and football, hell, even basketball…anything but the European scourge.

      1. in

      2. Any sport where the fans get more violent than the teams over the outcome isn’t a game worth watching playing existing.

      3. All team sports turn kids into sheep. It hardly matters if that herd animal has muscle tone or not. Football players are no better than hippies playing hacky sack. It’s no coincidence these sports started getting massive subsidies and media attention during the Progressive Era. Teach them table tennis, tennis, wrestling, fencing, surfing, skeet shooting and lawn darts. Those are sports that made America great.

  2. No one is commenting on the video. This is anarchy!

    1. Left leaning anarchy, with all the soccer talk and all.

    2. Bekuz anarchy is dum.

  3. Was this guy a substitute for Stefan Molyneux? Moly’s recovery from cancer treatment has meant the cancelation of his travel plans. Speaking of which, “” this.

  4. Haven’t markets always required the existence of a state? The stateless societies that have existed successfully have done so without markets, based on a principle of self sufficiency.

    1. Apologist for a mafia boss:

      “Haven’t markets always required the existence of a mob boss? The mafialess societies that have existed successfully have done so without markets, based on a principle of self sufficiency.”

      Markets exist anytime people voluntarily exchange goods or services because they both expect to benefit from the exchange. The only way to avoid having a market is to have a government like North Korea run everything, or live utterly by yourself out in the wilderness.

      1. Markets are one thing, free markets are another. Sometimes the benefit from the exchange in a non-free market is avoidance of coercion.

        You cannot have anything approaching a free market in a densely populated area without a state, or a dominant coercer functionally similar to a state.

        1. [citation needed]

          Anyone who thinks assertion is a suitable replacement for discussion also thinks the state is a suitable replacement for free markets.

          1. Welcome to the Tulpa style of debate!

          2. Your side is the one that is all about assertion, asserting that it is possible to not have a state in a densely populated area, something that has never occurred before. All of Human history supports my argument, what historical even supports yours? Humans are naturally violent and they naturally will try, if allowed, to coerce each other. You are the one making the baseless assertion that humans would be angels without “the state.” How do you think “the state” was originally created?

            1. [citations still needed for more bare-arsed assertions]

              I never said anything about humans being angels without a state. What makes you think freed markets mean no state?

              You aren’t just leaping to conclusions, your are donning a jet pack and boosting until you run out of fuel. It’s a long fall back to reality.

              1. What makes you think freed markets mean no state?

                This sentence, in context of your reply to Tulpa:

                Anyone who thinks assertion is a suitable replacement for discussion also thinks the state is a suitable replacement for free markets.

                So what’s your point? That it IS possible to have no state in a densely populated area and have “free markets?” If that is your point, it’s a baseless assertion that flies in the face of human nature.

  5. Left libertarianism is like an unstriped Zebra. It’s a misnomer. And those left-wing ‘market anarchists’ are what exactly? Libertarians who wish they were liberals?

  6. “Left-wing market anarchism” is as deluded a system as communism because it is based on the same utopian view of human nature. Like communists, they refuse to understand that humans are naturally greedy and lazy. The idea that “private, non-state courts” can be trusted to enforce justice is a great example of this. They about the “state” and “force” as if it is not natural, anyone who understand evolutionary theory understands that force is very natural. Realists understand that humans are not naturally equal or moral.

    1. Communism doesn’t assume that people aren’t greedy. What communists assume is that the wealth-producing nature of the market will eventually lead us to so much prosperity that (after a period of socialism, which, in their view will be capitalism on steroids), there will be so much wealth that rivalry for goods will seem like a thing of the past. In a post-scarcity society, everybody will be able to take what they need and want regardless of ability to produce.

      1. Post-scarcity = Purple unicorns that fart rainbows.

        Until you have AGI, you ain’t got shit.

        (Part 1 of 3)

    2. Suppose that there were a standard capitalist economy in which a class of wealthy capitalists owned the means of production and hired the rest of the population as wage laborers. Through extraordinary effort, the workers in each factory save enough money to buy out their employers. The capitalists’ shares of stock change hands, so that the workers of each firm now own and control their workplace. Question: Is this still a “capitalist society”? Of course; there is still private property in the means of production, it simply has different owners than before. The economy functions the same as it always did: the workers at each firm do their best to enrich themselves by selling desired products to consumers; there is inequality due to both ability and luck; firms compete for customers. Nothing changes but the recipient of the dividends.

      1. (cont)

        This simple thought experiment reveals the dilemma of the anarcho-socialist. If the workers seize control of their plants and run them as they wish, capitalism remains. The only way to suppress what socialists most despise about capitalism – greed, inequality, and competition – is to force the worker-owners to do something they are unlikely to do voluntarily. To do so requires a state, an organization with sufficient firepower to impose unselfishness, equality, and coordination upon recalcitrant workers. One can call the state a council, a committee, a union, or by any other euphemism, but the simple truth remains: socialism requires a state.

        – Bryan Caplan…..onomy.html

  7. “Once states get a footing, they tend to crowd out alternatives,”

    Indeed, because the “alternatives” are unable to prevent the formation of a state without becoming states themselves.

  8. Ten people are living near each other in the wilderness of North Carolina (pretend there is no official state government).

    These ten people know about each other, all have different skills, and all happily trade with one another for goods and services.

    One day the woodcutter and the corn farmer get into a fight about the trade value of wood versus corn. The beat each other up, and water-gatherer and donkey-poo-collector pull them off of one another.

    The ten people get together and decide that hole-digger should adjudicate disputes from now on. And big-stick-maker makes him a big stick with which to beat the unholy hell out of anybody that tries to get violent again.

    Is this still a free market?

    I say yes. None of these ten people have to trade with one another. Each can, if they desire, figure out or find a way to be taught how to do the others tasks. If they can’t do that, they can always trade in circles with the other eight to get the goods or services of the one they happen to be in a dispute with.

    They can always go without the service as well. The presence of an adjudicator, even one with the authority of the community to use force, does not prevent people from obtaining what they want.

  9. What causes the problem, EVERY SINGLE TIME, is when hole-digger-with-big-stick decides that his personal views on how things should be trump how everyone else feels they should do business. He’s only SUPPOSED to keep people from killing one another. But one day donkey-poo-collector and tree-knot-humper are haggling over the price of a freshly used tree knot when hole-digger walks up, hits them both, and tells them that the price will be set THUSLY, or else the stick.

    It’s no longer free at that point. It was free before the stick. And it was free after the stick, as long as everyone was allowed to do as they liked. It stopped being free the moment the stick poked itself where it didn’t belong.

    There. Free markets can exist without the state. they CAN’T exist WITH the state, in the state it’s in. I should make a childrens book out of this.

    1. Yes, exactly.

      For that matter, an anarchy with substantial coercion makes it difficult to operate under free market conditions.

      The closer states (or, to be fair, some sort of anarchistic framework) come to approximating the stick-maker the freer the markets.

      1. The stick-maker in the first example, that is.

    2. I’m no sure what you are getting at. It’s in each party’s best interest to do business peacefully. I believe Hans Hermann Hoppe covered this in “Argumentation Ethics”.

      A similar concept is sometimes referred to as the “discipline of constant dealing”.

      1. “It’s in each party’s best interest to do business peacefully.”

        Except when it’s not. Why do you think Kings have always lived so well? Coercing people pays.

        1. Kings had power from God.

          But you try running a business by ripping people off. Let me know how far you get.

        2. Even the crack dealers in Camden, NJ know it is in their best interest to not rip people off. They make more money when people come back. If they rip them off, they won’t come back.


          1. “But you try running a business by ripping people off. Let me know how far you get.”

            Some con men have been very successful, people’s lives have been ruined. I’m talking about organized bandit gangs. The corn farmer and eight others get sticks and start beating the crap out of people who don’t pay their “taxes.” Some locals might try to fight back, but individually they will be outnumbered and outgunned. So either the locals form a “state” to counter the corn farmer or the corn farmer becomes the state.

            1. Two things.

              1)You’re both the same person trying to make the same point like a typical internet troll.

              2)You’re “both” wrong.

              A market is two people making a transaction. Once something has a value to another person, bam, there’s a market for it.

              In any transaction in a free market, the purpose of the seller is to sell that item for as much as possible. The purpose of the buyer is to obtain that item for as little as possible, down to free.

              The only way to be ripped off is if you CHOOSE to purchase that item, or the person selling it is the only one who has the item in question. Choosing to buy it is your own damn fault. The lack of other sellers is not the fault of the seller.


              The moment one of you tree hugging hippies gives me the “but it’s not fair!” line and starts waving your hands in the air like an inflatable arm flailing tube man, I’m going to punch you.

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