The Prime Directive

As longtime readers of LRC well know, I have been a Rothbardian anarcho-capitalist since 1970. I consider myself one of the skinniest of ‘thin libertarians’ in my adherence to the non-aggression principle as the prime directive to a free, just, and humane society. Following in the path blazed by my mentors Murray N. Rothbard and Walter E. Grinder, my principal area of focus at LRC has been on exploring libertarian class analysis. An understanding of libertarian class analysis is the ‘litmus test’ separating real libertarians from alternative lifestyle dilettantes dabbling in free market theory. Sometimes labeled power elite analysis or ‘Establishment Studies,’ this examination of causal relationships regarding the coercive nature and scope of political power, who has it and how it is exercised, is crucial to understanding the criminal and exploitative structure of the State — and why the non-aggression principle is the solution to the State question and societal violence.

In the above edition of the Roundtable, James Corbett, Sibel Edmonds and Peter B. Collins welcome Andrew Gavin Marshall for a discussion of his recent podcast on ‘Anarchy, Socialism and Free Markets.’ They talk about anarchism as a philosophy and what it really entails, as well as how it links to socialism, libertarianism and other political philosophies. They also delve into some of the questions and critiques that many raise to the idea of anarchism such as the ‘Iron Law of Oligarchy’ (although they do not label it as such) and the Hayekian notion of an imposed versus a spontaneous order as the basic structure of society. It is quite instructional and edifying to watch. One only wishes that the initial discussion had focused on the primacy of the non-aggression principle as the societal foundation of social interaction instead of other somewhat ancillary or peripheral issues. Perhaps once they have carefully read Lew Rockwell’s eagerly-awaited new book, Against the State: An Anarcho-Capitalist Manifesto, this problem will resolve itself.


1:03 am on May 18, 2014