A Few More Observations on Binswanger

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare

I’ll add a few additional arguments against Binswanger’s position that are raised by e-mailers and that I omitted due to length of the earlier blog. This still fails to make a complete case. To do so, I’d have to look elsewhere for stronger objections than his to anarcho-capitalism and I’d have to answer those objections.

Binswanger implicitly assumes that everyone under a government consents to that government. This assumption is false.

Binswanger assumes that a government is united in aims and means, i.e., monolithic, indivisible and uniform. This is certainly not true. There is competition even within a given government among various branches, agencies, departments and people. This intra-government kind of competition is unlike market competition which depends on the voluntary purchases of buyers, thereby shaping economic activity according to their preferences. The intra-government rivalries are for power and position. They aim to attain the power to impose upon and take from specific groups of citizens. They do not compete to make the citizens better off, but to have the power to decide which ones to rob and which ones to reward.

The neat little picture he draws of a government aiming to keep the peace and devoting itself to that aim is therefore far, far from reality. Government is actually a robbery and spoils system. It is actually a locus and means of property taking (economic warfare) among groups within a society.

In my opinion, the key issue in all these discussions of government vs. no government is that property rights need to be defined, and this involves more than existing property and property conflicts. New property rights issues arise where rights need to be defined because new kinds of property arise. Who will settle these matters? The issue of using force to defend property rights is secondary. First must come the definition of those rights.

The privately-built modes of family, child-rearing, education, law, justice, transportation, movement, health, communication, manufacture, agriculture, language, customs, civility, trust, defense, trade, science, art, literature, music and so on all produce orders of various kinds and an overall social order. They do this without government being necessary. Government interferes with these orders, sowing confusion, frequently mobilizing its citizens into warfare or material support of warfare. Government replaces or stems or controls the natural orders, thereby disrupting them and producing chaos.

10:30 am on January 27, 2014
  • LRC Blog

  • LRC Podcasts