Monday, October 12, 2009

Minarchy Considered

I have a peer reviewed academic publication in Libertarian Papers available online now. The editor, Stephan Kinsella, has called my piece "a thorough and withering analysis of defects of minarchist theories" and it was passed to Kinsella and Libertarian Papers with a recommendation after I sent a draft of it to none less than Walter Block. Here is the abstract:

Abstract: Whilst some defenders of the minimal, limited state or government hold that the state is "a necessary evil," others would consider that this claim that the state is evil concedes too much ground to anarchists. In this article I intend to discuss the views of some who believe that government is a good thing, and their arguments for supporting this position. My main conclusions will be that, in each case, the proponents of a minimal state, or "minarchy," fail to justify as much as what they call government, and so fail to oppose anarchism, or absences of what they call government.

One of the people discussed in the paper is Objectivist writer Harry Binswanger, a follower of Ayn Rand. I first came across his arguments against anarchism a few years ago on the Libertarian Alliance Forum. I wrote a fairly long (for a forum post) and detail response. The then director of the LA, Chris R. Tame, responded to my response suggesting I expand it into an article, saying that such "epistemic defenses of anarchism" were essential. Being chronically lazy, I did not get around to it, and then Chris died. Well, now I suppose I could say I have developed those points against Binswanger, much much more widely, and I wish I had dedicated the article to Chris' memory.


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