Sunday, August 23, 2015

The background of anarcho-capitalists

The following is in response to "Isn't anarcho-capitalism a contradiction?"  However, I found I was answering a different issue so I decided not to post it.

Thanks to /u/AnCom9 and /u/figgycal for some recognition of potentially murky waters with respect to the term "property".  I'd like to expand this a bit, because even Proudhon used "property" in a positive way:

"Where shall we find a power capable of counter-balancing the... State? There is none other than property..." (found at )

"Property" rights in (my US) culture may be looked at either way:

1) It is a weapon of control or self-centered accumulation.

2) It is a foundation of respect for the possessions of others.

This second viewpoint is the viewpoint of most ("good") people around me; our education system expands property to an unnatural application in social organizations, so it's hard to get people to draw the appropriate lines and value that idea of possession rather than the absolute ownership of shared resources, but that foundation isn't a bad start.  It's very hard for me to understand and apply... it takes real focus to adjust our conceptual models.

BTW, one thought on that education: it's thought-provoking to fight property in private conversations, but it's mostly unhelpful to just declare that property is totally evil in a one-sided forum without the back-and-forth.  (... for people with my background, of course.  Always a caveat!)

I work in the computer-programming arena where there is a strong sentiment that we should all be rewarded for our contributions (as opposed to rent-seeking).  This even extends into the community (of makers) where we want to share freely the fruits of our labor so that others can benefit.  So I believe the underlying sentiment is there, and people just need the extended education about the problems extending these ideas to capital.

In short: anarcho-capitalism has many things wrong, but most anarcho-capitalists (with whom I interact) are, at heart, sympathetic to the the large-scale capitalist problems while dedicated to a respect for the small-scale freedoms... and motivated to help find solutions.