Was Mises An Anarcho-Capitalist? Good Question

From: D

Sent: Friday, July 19, 2019 2:35 PM

To: Walter Block

Subject: Re: Transfer Update

Dr. Block,

Based on all the reading I’ve done up to this point it seems Mises was not an advocate of Anarcho-capitalism like Rothbard. I know Mises wrote highly of Man, Economy, and State but besides that it seems he never spoke much about it; in fact I recall seeing some fairly critical quotes by Mises on anarchism. Did Mises support the ancap philosophy near the end of his life or am I just misinterpreting his attitude in general towards it?

From: Walter Block [mailto:wblock@loyno.edu]

Sent: Friday, July 19, 2019 2:39 PM

To: D

Subject: RE: Transfer Update

Dear D:

To the best of my knowledge, Mises wrote nothing explicitly about anarchism. Yes, he explicitly supported government financed opera houses, and the military. On the other hand, he also favored secession down to the individual level, which amounts to anarchism. My best answer to your very important question was that Mises was ambivalent about anarcho-capitalism. He spent his entire professional career doing economics, not political philosophy.

When I first met Murry in 1965, I was an Ayn Rand type minarchist.  He converted me to free market anarchism in about 10 minutes, using what I had learned from Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson “against” me: if competition works for shoes and sailing wax, why not for armies, courts and police! I sometimes speculate: what if Murray had tried to convert Mises to anarchism. Boy, I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall when this hypothetical conversation took place!

Here are some good readings on an-cap:

Anderson and Hill, 1979; Benson, 1989, 1990; Block, 2007, 2010, 2011; Block v. Helfeld, 2014; Caplan, Undated; Casey, 2010; Chamberlin, 2017; Childs, 1970; DiLorenzo, 2010; Durden, 2018; Gregory, 2011; Guillory & Tinsley, 2009; Hasnas, 1995; Heinrich, 2010; Higgs, 2009, 2012, 2017; Hoppe, 2008, 2011; Huebert, 2010; King, 2010; Kinsella, 2009; Long, 2004; McConkey, 2013; Molyneux, 2008, undated; Murphy, 2005; Oppenheimer, 1926; Paul, 2008; Rockwell, 2013, 2016; Rothbard, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1998; Spooner, 1870; Stringham, 2007, 2015; Tannehill, 1984; Tinsley, 1998-1999; Wenzel, 2013; Woods, 2014.

Anderson, Terry and Hill, P.J. 1979. “An American Experiment in Anarcho-Capitalism: The Not So Wild, Wild West,” Journal of Libertarian Studies, 3: 9-29; http://mises.org/journals/jls/3_1/3_1_2.pdf

Benson, Bruce L. 1989. Enforcement of Private Property Rights in Primitive Societies: Law Without Government,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. IX, No. 1, Winter, pp. 1-26; http://mises.org/journals/jls/9_1/9_1_1.pdf

Benson, Bruce L. 1990. “Customary Law with Private Means of Resolving Disputes and Dispensing Justice: A Description of a Modern System of Law and Order without State Coercion.” The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. IX, No. 2,” pp. 25-42; http://mises.org/journals/jls/9_2/9_2_2.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2007. “Anarchism and Minarchism; No Rapprochement Possible: Reply to Tibor Machan,” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 21, No. 1, Spring, pp. 91-99; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/21_1/21_1_5.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2011. “Governmental inevitability: reply to Holcombe.” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 22; pp. 667-688; http://mises.org/journals/jls/22_1/22_1_34.pdf

Block, Walter E. and Michael Fleischer. 2010. “How Would An Anarchist Society Handle Child Abuse?” October 13; https://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block167.html

Casey, Doug. 2010. “Doug Casey on Anarchy.” March 31; http://www.caseyresearch.com/cwc/doug-casey-anarchy

May 11, 2014. Walter Block debates Jan Helfeld on anarchism versus minimal government; Jan Helfeld <janhelfeld@gmail.com>; Daniel Rothschild daniel.y.rothschild@gmail.com; http://youtu.be/58-YSENYuVM. https://archive.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/walter-block-debates-anarcho-capitalism-vs-limited-government/; http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2014/05/walter-block-vs-jan-helfeld-on-anarchy.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+economicpolicyjournal%2FKpwH+%28EconomicPolicyJournal.com%29; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hsKmqXy55E

Caplan, Bryan. Undated. “Anarchist Theory FAQ, or, Instead of a FAQ, by a Man Too Busy to Write One.” http://econfaculty.gmu.edu/bcaplan/anarfaq.htm

Chamberlin, Antón and Walter E. Block. 2017. “The case for the stateless society: law.” Acta Economica et Turistica. Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 103-118; https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/aet.2017.3.issue-2/aet-2017-0012/aet-2017-0012.xml?format=INT;

https://www.degruyter.com/downloadpdf/j/aet.2017.3.issue-2/aet-2017-0012/aet-2017-0012.pdf

Childs, Roy. 1970. “An Open Letter to Ayn Rand’ https://www.lewrockwell.com/1970/01/roy-a-childs-jr/objectivism-and-the-state-an-open-letter-to-ayn-rand/; https://archive.org/stream/ChildsOpenLetter/Childs%20Open%20Letter_djvu.txt

DiLorenzo, Thomas J. 2010. “The Culture of Violence in the American West: Myth versus Reality.” The Independent Review, v. 15, n. 2, Fall 2010, pp. 227–239; http://www.independent.org/pdf/tir/tir_15_02_4_dilorenzo.pdf

Durden, Tyler. 2018. “Is Anarcho-Capitalism Possible?” March 25; https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-24/anarcho-capitalism-possible

Gregory, Anthony. 2011. “Abolish the Police.” May 26; https://www.lewrockwell.com/gregory/gregory213.html

Guillory, Gil & Patrick Tinsley. 2009. “The Role of Subscription-Based Patrol and Restitution in the Future of Liberty,” Libertarian Papers 1, 12; http://libertarianpapers.org/2009/12-the-role-of-subscription-based-patrol-and-restitution-in-the-future-of-liberty/

Hasnas, John. 1995. “The myth of the rule of law.” Wisconsin Law Review 199;

http://faculty.msb.edu/hasnasj/GTWebSite/MythWeb.htm

Heinrich, David J. 2010. “Justice for All Without the State.” The Libertarian Standard. May 6; http://www.libertarianstandard.com/articles/david-j-heinrich/justice-for-all-without-the-state/

Higgs, Robert. 2009. “Why We Couldn’t Abolish Slavery Then and Can’t Abolish Government Now.” August 20; https://www.lewrockwell.com/higgs/higgs128.html

Higgs, Robert. 2012. “What is the point of my libertarian anarchism?” January 16;

https://archive.lewrockwell.com/higgs/higgs180.html

Higgs, Robert. 2017. “Is a National Government Necessary for National Defense?” March 23; http://www.targetliberty.com/2017/03/is-national-government-necessary-for.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TargetLiberty+%28Target+Liberty%29

Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. 2008. “Reflections on the Origin and the Stability of the State.” June 23; https://www.lewrockwell.com/hoppe/hoppe18.html

Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. 2011. “State or Private Law Society.” April 10;

https://www.lewrockwell.com/hoppe/hoppe26.1.html

Huebert, Jacob. 2010. Libertarianism Today. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger

King, Seth. 2010. “Daily Anarchist Interviews Walter E. Block,” September 9;

https://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block165.html

Kinsella, Stephan. 2009. “The Irrelevance of the Impossibility of Anarcho-Libertarianism.” August 20; http://www.stephankinsella.com/2009/08/20/the-irrelevance-of-the-impossibility-of-anarcho-libertarianism/

Long, Roderick. 2004. “Libertarian Anarchism: Responses to Ten Objections” https://www.lewrockwell.com/long/long11.html

McConkey, Michael. 2013. “Anarchy, Sovereignty, and the State of Exception: Schmitt’s Challenge.” The Independent Review, v. 17, n. 3, Winter, pp. 415–428. http://www.independent.org/pdf/tir/tir_17_03_05_mcconkey.pdf

Molyneux, Stefan. 2008. “The Stateless Society: An Examination of Alternatives.”

http://www.mail-archive.com/libertarianenterprise@yahoogroups.com/msg02056.html

Molyneux, Stefan. Undated. “’Practical Anarchy.” http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/anarchist_archives/practicalanarchy.pdf; http://cdn.media.freedomainradio.com/feed/books/PA/Practical_Anarchy_by_Stefan_Molyneux.mp3.

Murphy, Robert P. 2005.  “But Wouldn’t Warlords Take Over?” July 7; http://mises.org/story/1855; http://mises.org/library/wouldnt-warlords-take-over

Oppenheimer, Franz. 1926. The State. New York: Vanguard Press

Paul, Ron.  2008. “On the Inner Contradictions of Limited Government.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7o4kiWpqoeg&feature=PlayList&p=9645F6A68683F679&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=4

Rockwell, Lew. 2013. “What Would We Do Without the State?” March 31;

https://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/134782.html

What Would We Do Without the State?

Rockwell, Lew. 2016. “The Trouble With Politics.” November 8;

The Fatal Flaw in Politics

Rothbard, Murray N. 1973. For a New Liberty, Macmillan, New York; http://mises.org/rothbard/newlibertywhole.asp

In the view of Rothbard (1973, emphasis added by present author): “For centuries, the State (or more strictly, individuals acting in their roles as ‘members of the government’) has cloaked its criminal activity in high-sounding rhetoric. For centuries the State has committed mass murder and called it ‘war’; then ennobled the mass slaughter that ‘war’ involves. For centuries the State has enslaved people into its armed battalions and called it ‘conscription’ in the ‘national service.’ For centuries the State has robbed people at bayonet point and called it ‘taxation.’ In fact, if you wish to know how libertarians regard the State and any of its acts, simply think of the State as a criminal band, and all of the libertarian attitudes will logically fall into place.”

Rothbard, Murray N. 1975. “Society Without a State.” The Libertarian Forum, volume 7.1, January; https://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard133.html

Rothbard, Murray N. 1977. “Do you hate the state?” The Libertarian Forum, Vol. 10, No. 7, July; https://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard75.html

“…there is no sign that David Friedman in any sense hates the existing American State or the State per se, hates it deep in his belly as a predatory gang of robbers, enslavers, and murderers. No, there is simply the cool conviction that anarchism would be the best of all possible worlds, but that our current set-up is pretty far up with it in desirability. For there is no sense in Friedman that the State – any State – is a predatory gang of criminals.”

“The radical cannot think in such terms, because the radical regards the State as our mortal enemy, which must be hacked away at wherever and whenever we can. To the radical libertarian, we must take any and every opportunity to chop away at the State, whether it’s to reduce or abolish a tax, a budget appropriation, or a regulatory power. And the radical libertarian is insatiable in this appetite until the State has been abolished, or – for minarchists – dwindled down to a tiny, laissez-faire role.”

Rothbard, Murray N. 1998 [1982]. The Ethics of Liberty, New York: New York University Press. http://www.mises.org/rothbard/ethics/ethics.asp

Paul, Ron. 2008. “On the Inner Contradictions of Limited Government.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7o4kiWpqoeg&feature=PlayList&p=9645F6A68683F679&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=4

Shaffer, Butler.

www.mises.org/books/wizards/pdf

Spooner, Lysander. 1966[1870]. No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority and A Letter to Thomas F. Bayard, Larkspur, Colorado: Rampart College; http://jim.com/treason.htm

Stringham, Edward, ed. 2007. Anarchy and the Law: The Political Economy of Choice, Somerset, NJ: Transaction Publishers.

Stringham, Edward. 2015. Private Governance: Creating Order in Economic and Social Life.  Oxford University Press

Tannehill, Morris and Linda Tannehill. [1970] 1984. The Market for Liberty, New York: Laissez Faire Books; https://www.lewrockwell.com/orig11/tannehill1.html

Tinsley, Patrick. 1998-1999. “With Liberty and Justice for All: A Case for Private Police,” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 14, No. 1, Winter, pp. 95-100; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/14_1/14_1_5.pdf

Wenzel, Robert. 2013. “Robert Ringer’s Strawman Anarchist.” February 2;

https://archive.lewrockwell.com/wenzel/wenzel211.html

Woods, Tom. 2014. “Four things the state is not.” July 29;

4 Things the State Is Not

private police: private army:

Gregory, 2011; Guillory, & Tinsley. 2009; Hoppe, 2011; Huebert, 2010; Murphy, 2005; Rothbard, 1973, 1975, 1998 [1982];  Stringham, 2007;  Tannehills[1970] 1984; Tinsley, 1998-1999; Wiśniewski, 2014; Wollstein, 1969; Woolridge, 1970.

Gregory, Anthony. 2011. “Abolish the Police.” May 26; https://www.lewrockwell.com/gregory/gregory213.html

Guillory, Gil & Patrick Tinsley. 2009. “The Role of Subscription-Based Patrol and Restitution in the Future of Liberty,” Libertarian Papers 1, 12; http://libertarianpapers.org/2009/12-the-role-of-subscription-based-patrol-and-restitution-in-the-future-of-liberty/

Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. 2011. “State or Private Law Society.” April 10;

https://www.lewrockwell.com/hoppe/hoppe26.1.html

Huebert, Jacob. 2010. Libertarianism Today. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger

Murphy, Robert P. 2005.  “But Wouldn’t Warlords Take Over?” July 7; http://mises.org/story/1855; http://mises.org/library/wouldnt-warlords-take-over

Rothbard, Murray N. 1973. For a New Liberty, Macmillan, New York; http://mises.org/rothbard/newlibertywhole.asp

Rothbard, Murray N. 1975. “Society Without a State.” The Libertarian Forum, volume 7.1, January; https://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard133.html

Rothbard, Murray N. 1998 [1982]. The Ethics of Liberty, New York: New York University Press. http://www.mises.org/rothbard/ethics/ethics.asp

Stringham, Edward, ed. 2007. Anarchy and the Law: The Political Economy of Choice, Somerset, NJ: Transaction Publishers.

Tannehill, Morris and Linda Tannehill. [1970] 1984. The Market for Liberty, New York: Laissez Faire Books; https://www.lewrockwell.com/orig11/tannehill1.html

Tinsley, Patrick. 1998-1999. “With Liberty and Justice for All: A Case for Private Police,” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 14, No. 1, Winter, pp. 95-100; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/14_1/14_1_5.pdf

Wiśniewski, Jakub Bożydar. 2014. “Defense as a private good in a competitive order” Review of Social and Economic Issues, Vol. 1, No. 1, Summer, pp. 2-35;

http://rsei.rau.ro/images/V1N1/Jakub%20Bozydar%20Wisniewski.pdf

Wollstein, Jarret B. 1969. Society Without Coercion. In Society Without Government. New York: Arno Press

Woolridge, William C. 1970. Uncle Sam the Monopoly Man, New Rochelle, N.Y.: Arlington House

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5:26 pm on July 23, 2019