Common Questions – Intellectual Property

Property is a human, social construct. You can’t take something to a lab to run a test to determine it’s “property” qualities. Humans have simply made up a system to reduce conflict between one another and called it property.

So if we use property as a mean to reduce conflict, then we have to ask ourselves if we need conflict reduction in regards to intellectual things. I think it’s obvious that people get upset over immaterial, intellectual claims just as much as they do over physical things, so there does seem to be a need for something to reduce conflicts. Hence the need for IP rights.

Does that mean that the government has created the perfect means of rights enforcement? No, but that doesn’t mean that some other mechanism might not be found one day.

I think everyone can recall a situation where they got upset when someone else stole their idea. Hence the need for the word plagiarism.

Plagiarism is stealing on idea. It doesn’t operate the same way that physical theft occurs, but humans have worked out ways to decry plagiarism through the centuries.

Let me say this, one under-discussed idea is abandonment. If you buy a house in the middle of a forest and allow it to fall into disrepair over decades of time, shouldn’t that house be considered abandoned? If you throw a piece of trash onto the ground, isn’t that trash abandoned? If you make footsteps as you walk across an empty field, aren’t you abandoning those footsteps? The point here is that we take for granted that physical property can be abandoned and we don’t really discuss it.

Well IP can be abandoned even easier. So the act of copying a piece of IP is really just a means of picking up a piece of abandoned IP. That doesn’t mean that IP doesn’t exist, it just means that it’s much harder to protect than physical property. As technology advances, then we will see better ways in which owners can protect their IP. Bitcoin for example uses encryption to protect peoples ownership.

Common Questions – Money

What is the best currency?

I think the best money is one with intrinsic value. You have to be able to walk away from the marketplace and still find value in your money. This is why history always has useful commodities (e.g. salt) as money.

Today if you walk away with fiat currency, then it’s useless paper or digits on a computer. Gold and silver aren’t much better, because while they do have a few uses outside the marketplace (e.g. jewelry), I think there is a limit to how much one person might need in a lifetime.

You mentioned energy and I have seen this discussed before. IMO the best form of currency would be energy stored in some type of battery. This would be something perfectly suited to using away from the market and there is really no limit to what one person might use in their lifetime.

Common Questions – Strategy

But it is also true that the world has never seen a successful real demonstration of it

I disagree. There are lots of examples of 100% free markets occurring around us. For example, the career choice you make is 100% free market. The person you date and/or marry is 100% free market. What you eat for dinner is free market.

Now there is the ever present threat from nature and violent people (e.g. government) banging on your door, but that doesn’t make these things any less market based decisions.

> If laissez-faire is realistic workable in real world, why do the societies always spring back to statism after they have a taste of their more laissez-faire periods?

Because violence works. It might not work for everyone so well, but for the person holding the gun it’s terrific. Violent people would not achieve as much as they do without violence. A lawyer is generally not someone used to hard labor out in the hot sun. He therefore needs the system to stay as it is currently to maintain his lifestyle. Upend the system and rather than work hard, he will instead be plotting in the background as to how he might return things back to the way that favored his skills.

So I see the state (i.e. collectivism) as one end of a political tug of war. The other end is the individual that is self-sufficient and a jack of all trades. Right now we’re at one extreme end of the spectrum (i.e. statism), but the hope is to push it the other way.

This all can be seen as r/K theory. R (rate) means that people reproduce weak, but plentiful children. K (capacity) means that people reproduce strong, but fewer children. So it becomes a question of would you rather fight 100 one foot tall ponies or a single hundred foot tall pony? The world today is in the r camp, with 100 one foot tall ponies.

> Some capitalists having runaway power accumulation that leads to stagnation and depression.

That’s the way they like it. If they allow a vibrant and thriving economy, then other people will advance above them. The way they stop from getting knocked out of the top spot is to stifle others from rising. Stifle things enough and it becomes stagnation.

Hyper-competition leading to depletion of social reserve and personal leisure.

Again this is by design. It’s collective versus individual and the things you mention here are things valued by individuals.

An anarchistic society won’t be able to organize enough power to defend against attacks from more power-concentrated states, economically and militarily

totally different question. I believe there are means by which individuals can defeat the collectives, which is the reason we’re discussing things here right now.

if the past more laissez-faire periods couldn’t convince people away from their stupidity, why can it now?

They failed because they thought they had to rescue everyone. We have to design our system to save ourselves and allow others to perish.



Wouldn’t an AnCap society dissolve into a group of warring communities?

Yes it would be warring factions poised against one another. It would not be any different than the world today, where one country is constantly poised against one another (e.g. North Korea).

The difference is in scale. Rather than having states growing larger and larger to out-compete one another, the competition would be at a tiny scale. It would be neighbor against neighbor, business against business and maybe town against town.

We’re not proposing something new and revolutionary, we’re just changing things from a collective to an individual. A collective builds great armies, whereas an individual can never afford these things.

So the next obvious question is what will prevent collectives from appearing? A respect for private property rights. Collectives are essentially cartels and all cartels eventually fail. The reason this doesn’t happen today is because there is no private property, everything is own by the state.


Why Choose Anarchy?

Ethical consistency.

If I wanted to simply enrich myself, then I would stay a statist. I understand the system well and I am well established in the upper middle class. My family are all upper middle class and my children will easily be upper middle class. So from a materialistic perspective, being a statist pays the bills and keeps the lights on.

Is that what life is all about though? When I was a statist, I thought that was all there was to life. Just fulfill your play in society and you get to eat at a restaurant on the weekends and have a week at the beach in the summers.

It sounds mundane and it is very non-eventful. Here’s the thing though, if you step out of line, then you’re brutally attacked. You’ll be either killed or locked away in a cage forever. That probably doesn’t sound right to you, but there are some easy tests you can perform in your real life to see this first hand.

So why go from enjoying life in the system to trying to life outside it? Because it pisses me off to see life being lead on a predetermined course. I’m not a robot or a cog in someone else’s machine, so I’m not going to play by their rules any longer. That might mean I can’t have a house in the suburbs or that summer vacation, but I have something much better: individual autonomy.

Common Questions – Military

The armed forces and the police, are they also privately funded and if so, how would that function?

The military is essentially a jobs program and not all that effective. Well it might be effective at protecting a state collective, but it’s not effective at protecting individuals. So the question becomes whether you want security protecting you or your collective?

One of the more popular proposals for protecting ancap communities is assassination markets. This would be the idea that when a leader of another country threatened to invade an ancap community, the ancaps would pool together some money to offer as a bounty against that leader. Whoever killed the enemy leader would collect the bounty.

If you think about this, it’s rarely the population of a country that wants to goto war, it’s generally a single leader. Eliminate him and the rest of the country would lose interest and go back to the typical mundane lives. After a few assassinations, then no politician would be foolish enough to risk their own life again to enrich someone else.

There is some historical president for this with the “battle for Kings Mountain” during the revolutionary war. What happened there was that the British threatened the remote mountain communities that had stayed neutral during the war. These were effectively ancap communities, since they were so remote from regular society. So the ancaps assembled a small militia, wiped out a British loyalist militia at King’s mountain and after that nobody ever bothered them again. Naturally the statists try to claim they were on the american side, but really they just wanted to be neutral and left alone.


National Defense: The Hard Problem by David Friedman

David Friedman always outlines the problem perfectly, but I always seem to dislike his solutions. The same is true here, where he outlines the problem, but then immediately dismisses the idea that no defense is necessary. He spends a couple pages leading into the problem, but only a single paragraph dismissing this idea of no national defense. In fact he’s doing exactly what he faults the government in doing, by not fairly assessing the value of a national defense. He says that rice farmers might rightfully find no value in flood control, yet he can’t see how some people might feel the same for national defense.


I think the solution to the national defense question by necessity needs to go back to what Friedman dismissed outright. We have to devise a system that never goes to war. If we attempt to devise a system that can win a war on the same terms as an invading state, then we’ll just recreate another state. We have to think outside the box.

Afghanistan is currently kicking the butt of the US military. They have a decentralized system which forces the US to conquer each and every city. However once their army leaves one city to attack the next, then the vacated city reverts back to anarchy. It’s a perpetual game of whack-a-mole.

This I think is the beauty of a decentralized system. You can’t just fight one battle and win a huge prize. You have to fight a lot of smaller battles, which each drain time and resources the longer it goes on. Again pointing at Afghanistan, it’s the longest war in US history and there is still no end in sight. We have to adopt tactics like these that have proven to work.

Interestingly this is true for corporations and “money in politics”. When people complain about money in politics, what they unknowingly are pointing at is that a large corporation has just one place to go in order to bribe the entirety of government. If instead we had a decentralized government, with thousands of little places that had to be bribed, then the cost and expense would be too great for a single corporation. This is why corporations always favor large, centralized governments.

Common Questions – Courts & Justice

Should courts be run privately?

I see a lot of ancaps assuming that courts will be a special type of business that not everyone can start. I instead see a benefit to anyone and everyone being allowed to start their own court.

Corruption and favoritism will be stopped by reputation, since there will be competition in this field to be the most impartial. Companies that didn’t have a good reputation wouldn’t attract as many customers.

If you or a company break the law and courts are privately owned, who would force you or the company to even show up on a court?


You’re right, ostracism (which is what you’re describing when people boycott a company) does require a certain level of both ethical and economic knowledge. First people have to be aware that the boycott is even taking place against a company and second they have to understand why it’s in their best interests to participate.

People today have neither of these qualities and even if they did, they might not even care. People want to score a large windfall profit over others, so while they might recognize the need to boycott, they just are so ethically bankrupt that they would prefer to screw someone else over in the process.

So what’s the solution? I think it has to do with surrounding ourselves with like minded people. If the people in your community can’t be bothered with boycotting an immoral business, then you’re living in the wrong community. It’s time for you to change yourself rather than trying to change everyone else. Leave that community and join a better one.

It’s a mistake to think of anarchy for everyone, it’s just not going to happen. Some people actually want to be slaves to the current system and trying to free them is futile. If you try to drag them along behind you, then you’re going to have to babysit them just as the state babysits them today.

So think of anarchy as localized cities (e.g. Singapore) or even a private club (e.g. Costco) within an otherwise statist community.

Common Questions – Patriotism

Should people take pride in their country?

I take pride in individuals. I don’t think that because you do something great that someone else deserves credit for it. You deserve the full praise for your accomplishment.

Patriotism to me is kinda like the participation trophy that kids receive when they didn’t actually do something special.

Common Questions – Monopolies

In an AnCap society would there be any anti-monopoly laws?

Monopolies are impossible in the long term. As long as competition is allowed, then a monopoly is broken the instant a new competitor arises.

Cartels fail over time because the members grow complacent and eventually try to cheat their partners. Just imagine that you’re in a successful cartel/monopoly for a long time, you’ll start to think that you no longer need to be caustious and instead you can start pushing the envelope from where you start. If each cartel member does this, them they could be pushing in opposite directions.

Now it can take years or even decades for a cartel might fail for these reasons. For a human’s sort life span and impatience, this might seem too long to wait.

Common Questions – Taxes

If taxation is theft then how do you run the government?

You pay the people directly for the services that you want, rather than funneling the money through a middle man. So you get to decide how much security or welfare you want. Giving a politician your money to make these decisions for you has resulted in corruption and the status quo. Time to try a different approach and if it doesn’t work, then we can always go back to politicians running our lives.