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How Would An Anarcho-Capitalist Society Prevent Societal Disorder?
in Politics

By DeatheyeDeatheye 22 Pts
Assuming that an anarcho-capitalist would not want total societal chaos, what would be the anarcho-capitalist answer to preventing societal disorder with the absence of governance?
I am Deatheye, an Orc of the Horde of the Azerothian realms of Herod. 



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  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 1951 Pts
    Anarcho-capitalism does not imply absence of governance, it implies absence of government. Private land owners are still free to set any rules of governance on their territory they want. Public land, if exists, would not be a free-for-all battlefield either, as private arbitration, as well as social and economical ostracizion, are still a thing, and someone who regularly riots is unlikely to be very popular among people.

    Societal chaos occurs when a critical mass of people is deeply unhappy with something. Now, in a system with a centralised government or communal rule, those who are unhappy with something do not have a choice but put up with it, or try to fight it by force - hence chaos arises.
    But in a decentralised system, like anarcho-capitalism, those who are unhappy with something in the place where they currently reside are free to move to a different place. Every micro-region has its own rules, and there is a good chance that everyone will find a place where they feel comfortable. If all else fails, they can retire to their own land and only interact with those who accept their rules.

    Please do not confuse anarcho-capitalism with animal kingdom type of anarchy, where, indeed, everything goes. In anarcho-capitalism, there are still laws, there are still courts, there are still rules of economical exchanges. The difference from the traditional statist system is that, first, those are extremely decentralised and voluntary, and second, they are between the interacting people themselves, without bureaucrats deciding what people they have never met can or cannot do.
  • AlofRIAlofRI 304 Pts
    All you have to do is look at the largest anarcho-capitalist country in this world, Russia, to know your answers. They don't WANT "societal chaos", they just "put it down". The chaos leaders have "accidents", become ill (from, possibly, a radioactive isotope, or just a mysterious disease that gets a mysterious autopsy ;-), or suddenly commit suicide. Some may even get cut up in small pieces and, maybe, fed to hogs?? (Or camels? Do camels eat meat?? :yum: )

    It seems, after those anarchists get their comeuppance, the perpetrators are then praised by the other anarcho-capitalist wannabes, and, so,  get stronger. 

    I can live without THAT kind of "governance". It seems that, in the U.S., we have a steady 30+% that kind of like the thought of that kind of leader. Go figure. :frowning:
  • @MayCaesar

    There are a lot of points I could address here, but the most glaring one I feel is so massive that it deserves the spotlight all by itself. If private legal entities make laws, they must be able to enforce them. This necessarily means that wrongdoers must be involuntarily brought to justice, and if these things are involuntary and thus mandated, that means you’ve just created a government. Since you don’t want government and want everything to be voluntary, how do you efficiently answer this?

    I am Deatheye, an Orc of the Horde of the Azerothian realms of Herod. 
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 1951 Pts
    @Deatheye

    Enforcement on one's own land is fairly simple: either they do it themselves, or they pay to a third party to protect their property. It is not a government, any more than internal rules for Google workers constitute a government.

    As far as enforcement on others' territory goes, this depends on the system. I favor the system where it is not allowed without the owner's consent. If a criminal fugitive is hiding on someone's territory and the territory's owner is okay with that, then nobody has the right to invade and take the criminal into custody. However, as I said, a known criminal is likely to have a very miserable life while on the run, because almost nobody will want to have anything to do with them.

    I do want everything to be voluntary, but if someone violates someone else's right for purely voluntary exchange, then that someone else has the right for self-defence and restitution, as necessary. I do not see how the government is required to guarantee that; private security companies, as well as simple weapons and, in the future, defensive autonomous systems should do the job just fine.
  • @MayCaesar

    I truly fail to see how a government, which is a body that conducts its rules and actions and has the capacity to apprehend transgressing individuals, is different from a ‘private entity’ which is a body that conducts its rules and actions and has the capacity to apprehend transgressing individuals.


    I am Deatheye, an Orc of the Horde of the Azerothian realms of Herod. 
  • @MayCaesar
    And that is the crux of my issue with your argument. Private entities are not currently governments because they're subservient to a government above them, but when you remove said government, these private entities become the new governments because they're now the bodies conducting and enforcing their rules and actions. You cannot truly escape governance without total anarchy. So the true debate should be not around the abolition of government but instead how to forge and implement government.
    I am Deatheye, an Orc of the Horde of the Azerothian realms of Herod. 
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 1951 Pts
    @Deatheye

    It is different in that you can choose what private entities to interact with and be a part of, while the government is forced on you. You can, to some limited extent, choose what government to be under by moving to a different country - but you cannot choose to be a government of your own, and all of these ~200 governments severely restrict people's freedoms, while the demand for private entity that does not in the anarcho-capitalist society will lead to creation of such entities.

    In addition, when you have thousands companies competing with each other, each of them has very little power over you. While the government is a single enforced monopoly and has full power to do anything it wills to you. Google cannot execute you, for example, even in the absence of the government, because there will always be companies that do not execute people, and they are the ones people will deal with. But the government very well will: you only have one government, and even if 99.99% of the population is unhappy with it, they can't do anything about it legally, aside from changing who runs the system - but not the system itself.

    We are not trying to escape governance when advocating for anarcho-capitalism. What we are trying to escape is coercion. I am okay with being governed, as long as I can choose who to be governed by, if anyone, and no one forces their governing on me.
  • @MayCaesar
    First, monopolies can arise in this system and prevent the competition you envision from happening.
    Second, whether or not you can expediently choose which private entities to be presided over is irrelevant. Do you recognize that these private entites are, in their nature and function, governments?

    I am Deatheye, an Orc of the Horde of the Azerothian realms of Herod. 
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 1951 Pts
    @Deatheye

    Monopolies on a truly free competitive market are unlikely to arise, as enterpreneurs always look out for successful companies to try to copy their model. If a monopoly does arise somehow, it will be strongly constrained by the need to protect itself from potentially arising competition.
    Whilst in the current model, we already have a very strong monopoly - the government - that actually has legal powers to destroy any of its competitors.

    You can call private entities governments if you want. It does not change the fact that you are free to associate or not associate with them, and if you do associate with them, it does not have to be a hierarchical association. You can call Google "government", but nobody forces you to interact with Google. Google does not collect taxes from you, it does not enforce the law on your property, and it might as well not exist if you are not interested in what products and services it has to offer.
  • @MayCaesar
    To your first point, I'm not talking about the virtues or ills of the government acting as a monopoly but rather pointing out that a private monopoly could arise and assume itself as a domineering governing force.
    As to your second point, yes you do have to associate with it if you, by your own admission, want private courts and legal systems. The accused/wrongdoer would have to be forced to comply in order to make enforcement applicable at all. So, yes, private entities if totally voluntary are just organizations of people and not governments, but your system will mean mandated law. Your system will necessarily have government.
    I am Deatheye, an Orc of the Horde of the Azerothian realms of Herod. 
  • @MayCaesar
    If you want to debate the prospects of totally capitalist market governments of sorts, we can do that. But you need to recognize the contradiction in this current line of argumentation.
    I am Deatheye, an Orc of the Horde of the Azerothian realms of Herod. 
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 1951 Pts
    @Deatheye

    As I said, it is unlikely, and there are strong mechanisms preventing a monopoly from truly becoming a dominating force. It is not impossible, but I honestly cannot see how it can reasonably happen without some event destabilising world markets to the point where the regular supply/demand balancing mechanisms are no longer functional.

    I personally want private courts and legal systems, but other people are free to not purchase their services if they so desire. The key is, people have a choice in the matter, as opposed to now, where the single legal system is forced on everyone.
    The wrongdoer cannot be "forced" into anything. However, they can be strongly incentivised to turn themselves in, simply because otherwise no one will want to associate with them and they will be an outcast, with no access to markets. There is no "force" here, aside from basic self-defence mechanisms.

    I get the feeling that you are so used to the current system that you have difficulty even visualising a non-coercive alternative, hence you try to see anarcho-capitalism as just another version of government, which it is not. Anarcho-capitalism is a free system in which people can freely associate and establish their own laws upon mutual consent. Nothing prevents, say, a communist society from existing in the anarcho-capitalist system - however, that society must be voluntary, and nobody can be kept in it against their will. Voluntary associations are allowed in an unrestricted way; non-voluntary associations are strongly discouraged and will have consequences, not legal, but social.
  • @MayCaesar
    Elaborate on how a monopoly is unlikely in this system of yours, as I see it as a probable outcome since there are no  anti-monopoly laws to prevent one from establishing, along with mega-corporations merging into market behemoths.

    How can laws hold any merit of they can just be broken without enforced penalty? For instance, if there is a serial murderer who hides his identity as many often have and do, and there is no apparatus to pursue him, how would societal consequences enact since his identity would be unknown? This is a very flawed system.
    Lastly, my reasoning is not due to governmental conditioning but objectivity and logic.
    I am Deatheye, an Orc of the Horde of the Azerothian realms of Herod. 
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 1951 Pts
    @Deatheye

    But I have already explained it. On an unrestricted free market, there is a strong competition between companies, and for a monopoly to arise, it should truly offer products far superior to anything anyone else offers - which cannot last for long, as the competitors, in the lack of the harmful IP regulations, will quickly catch up. A monopoly on a free market is as likely to last as one person is to win a fist fight against thousands opponents at once.
    Anti-monopoly laws, on the other hand, actually help monopolies arise, as they are always used by corporations to suppress competition. If you study the actual outcomes of the application of anti-trust laws, you will see that they do exactly the opposite to what they are intended to do. And it cannot be any other way in a system in which corporations are married to the government.

    If a murderer's identity is unknown, then nobody can do anything in any system. If it is known, then in any system the murderer will be barred from entry on the private territory, and few people will want to interact with them. Anarcho-capitalism is not different from any other system in this regard.
    What it is different in is that there is no centralised law enforcement system tasked to hunt down criminals. Criminals are free to retreat to their private property, and nobody will try to enter it without their consent - but they will be just as much of an outcast, as they are in the current prison-based system, only now people will not have to waste their money on supporting them, and a criminal escaping justice for long will carry a very miserable existence, which is a much bigger punishment than any prison can possibly provide.

    You seem to think that only outright force can discourage undesirable behaviors on the market and in the society, as all your objections are along the same line: "If nobody controls people's actions through threat of violence, then why won't people to things harmful to others?" But as you know well from your own life experiences, violence is rarely a solution to anything, and if you really want people to act in a way beneficial to you, then you have to act in a way that makes them want to help you. Saying, "Do what I want you to do, or I will hurt you", does not win you friends. It is not going to be a valid behavior in an anarcho-capitalist system either.
  • @MayCaesar
    In your system, a monopoly, once established, can simply become authoritarian and utilize its resources toward forcefully quashing competition and subjecting the populace to all sorts of potential ills.

    In your second point, this is false. If a murderer is unknown, a government can utilize its exercise of law enforcement to investigate and search to uncover the criminal and his or her whereabouts, whereas your system would simply not be interested since it's not interested in forceful apprehension. Additionally, there is no guarantee that a wrongdoer will be barred from society. Certain populace can accept wrongdoers depending upon the particulars of unique situations and potential social instability or regression.

    Finally, the goal toward law enforcement should be to prevent as much violence and harm as possible, so while it may not be desirable for a wrongdoer to be transgressed upon forcefully, there is no other alternative so as to maintain peace and broader safety.


    I am Deatheye, an Orc of the Horde of the Azerothian realms of Herod. 
  • @MayCaesar
    Here's an example scenario:
    A hitman is hired by wealthy bossmen to track down and kill competitive businessmen who threaten their enterprise, and so this person makes themselves masked and repeatedly kills businessmen. In this example, in your society, he would not be actively pursued by law enforcement nor would he face reprocutions socially or economically, at the very least not for a long time.
    I am Deatheye, an Orc of the Horde of the Azerothian realms of Herod. 
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 1951 Pts
    edited October 7
    @Deatheye

    How so? Who is going to pay for services of an evil monopoly, when there are hundreds nicer alternatives out there? People generally are not quick to give up their freedoms, once they have gained a real taste for them.

    If someone was murdered near my property, I surely would pay private investigators to find the identity of the murderer, knowing that my life is in danger. The government is not the only entity interested in finding out the identities of criminals.
    If someone routinely kills businessmen, don't you think that businessmen will collectively pay millions to find out the identity of the person? You should not treat people like vegetables who cannot tie their shoes without the Big Brother's help; people know what their interests are better than anyone/anything else.
    If someone is willing to accept wrongdoers, then by all means! Let criminals live in their own private hell, where they constantly backstab each other. As long as they are isolated from the rest of the society, I have absolutely no issues with it.

    Maintaining peace is best when everyone can defend themselves and does not have to wait for 2 hours for the police officers to arrive, should things get funky. And people can defend themselves the best in the system where nobody limits what defence systems they can purchase.
    Maintaining peace is hard when one organisation (the government) has a legal monopoly on all force and owns an army of military professionals and law enforcerers, large enough to crush any dissent in days.
  • @MayCaesar
    What I'm conveying to you is that when a monopoly forms in this society you want, it doesn't have to be a private entity anymore and instead can just utilize its resources to form an authoritarian government. You also speak of certain outcomes like they're necessarily going to happen. Nothing guarantees that even people who have a taste of freedom won't be subdued into following tyranny.

    So now I'm confused, you said these private institutions can't impede upon wrongdoers but now they can. Which is it? If they can, then they are acting as governing powers since they are not voluntary now.

    To your last argument, there has to be a limit on who can purchase and what can be purchased, or else you could end up with a scenario, in your society, where a person with severe mental illness or anger problems can purchase military drones, mortars, so on and so forth. Do you draw the line anywhere? If so, where and why?


    I am Deatheye, an Orc of the Horde of the Azerothian realms of Herod. 
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 1951 Pts
    @Deatheye

    What private entity can have enough resources to subdue the entire market? It has never happened in human history, and never will, because one entity is nothing more than one entity.
    One entity can only establish tyranny if it persuades the society to give it unprecedented amount of power over them, under pretence of the need for safety. Good luck convincing the society having a choice between thousands companies that your company is the one that must be given full control over everything. I do not see Zuckerberg or Musk becoming a dictator on the free market, when we have thousands Zuckerbergs, all competing for people's attention.

    I do not understand your second question. As I said, nobody can force anything on anyone else. Does not mean that people cannot defend themselves against the aggressors or socially and economically discriminate against the known criminals. Ostracizion is not impediment, and self-defence is not impediment.

    If someone has a mental illness and wants to purchase military drones, then chances are the stores that do not want their reputation damaged will refuse to sell them anything. Or if they do manage to purchase a lot of military goodies, then people will probably be wary of associating with them and keep their defences up.
    I do not think that anarcho-capitalist market will not have many of the same rules, such as background checks or license requirements, that the market does now. However, it will be up to the individual companies to decide whether to follow such rules; nobody will be able to compel everyone to refuse to sell something to someone.
    I do not really draw the line anywhere here, and I believe that the market will self-regulate, just as it does now. Take a look at how the credit score system works in the US: everything is completely voluntarily, yet not everyone can easily get a credit card or a loan, because banks are careful about their investments.

    Once again, I want to emphasise that anarcho-capitalism is not a free-for-all system where everything goes. It is rather a system of purely voluntary exchanges. Nobody can compel anyone into anything, however people themselves are free to decide who to interact with and why, and they will often decide to limit their interaction to those they strongly trust.
  • If you’ll oblige, I want to rewind to the starting point of this debate to see if we can maybe have a less entangled discussion. This particular path doesn’t seem to be going anywhere fruitful. Though, if you insist, I’ll continue on this thread of debate.

    I am Deatheye, an Orc of the Horde of the Azerothian realms of Herod. 
  • If you do oblige, here's where I'd like to start:

    In your anarcho-capitalist society, tell me, in short but precise terms, how we would work toward preventing crime as much as possible for a stable society?
    I am Deatheye, an Orc of the Horde of the Azerothian realms of Herod. 
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 1951 Pts
    @Deatheye

    I think you misunderstand the idea behind anarcho-capitalism. Anarcho-capitalism is not some artificially crafted system tasked to deal with specific issues; anarcho-capitalism is simply natural mode of interaction between people, with no authority and no control. Asking how "we" would work towards something assumes that there is "we" at all. But there is only "we" as far as different people are interested in interacting with each other; in the end, everyone is their own master.

    Stability arises as a result of all people having ultimately common goals: prosperity, comfort, happiness, friendship, love, etc. If enough people want something, then the market will provide supply of that something. If people do not want their land to be ridden with crime, then the market will respond by providing, for example, private security organisations, which people will hire to patrol neighborhoods and defend their residents from criminals. If they do want it for some reason, well, then there will be plenty of crime on their land, just as they wanted.

    Do not look at it as one large society; look at it as a collection individuals, some connected and others not. Do not look at it as "we", look at it as "me and those I choose to be acquainted with". Do you and your acquaintances have shared goals and interests? Obviously, otherwise you would not be acquainted in the first place. And as such, people you surround with are likely to generally want the same things as you, and you will come up with a private solution to any problem you might encounter.
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