Would Anarcho-Capitalism Be Stable?

From: B
Sent: Friday, July 27, 2018 5:38 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: The possibility of a lasting free society

Walter What is the best response to this argument?

Even if we achieve a libertarian, an-cap, voluntarist society, it will never last. Human nature is such that eventually someone will start arguing for a state and people will be persuaded into trying it again. People will always have the capacity to do evil and commit acts of violence; there will always be lazy people looking for handouts; there will always be people that have the lust to rule, and so we will never fully eradicate the state. Murray said that the great battle of all time is between Power and Market and neither will ever truly win. Even if we achieved a system of competing insurance companies for a time, eventually they would either band together or just accumulate power, and enough people would support it for ‘the common good’. Especially if we consider the inevitability of natural disasters in the long run. There will always be crises in the future, and people will always have some fear regarding the uncertainties of life, and thus they will always retain the inclination to have someone take care of them and to look for leaders to follow. As long as there is scarcity there will always be conflicts over their use and the possibility for states to exist.

I’m very curious to hear your thoughts on this. It’s impossible to know the future, and just because we expect the worst sometimes doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do the right thing.

Your book on the privatization of roads is my favorite libertarian book.

I also wanted to ask you, I’m the co-producer for the xyz show – would you be interesting in being on the show in 2 weeks? You’re Mr. Libertarian these days, so it would really be an honor.

Dear B:

Yes, I’d be delighted to be on your show, provided I get a url for my interview afterward.

You’re asking about the stability of anarchism.

The best short essay I’ve ever read on that issue is this one:

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

I would add to this splendid essay of Bob’s the following consideration:

Right now, a state of anarchy exists between Albania and Argentina, between Brazil and Burundi, between Canada and Chile. There is no world government that rules any of them. All national govts are now in a state of anarchy with each other for this reason. How stable has this anarchistic system been. Very stable. The number of countries has been about the same for lo these many years, decades, even centuries.

So, keep the faith, baby, as they say.

Best regards,



3:53 pm on August 4, 2018