January 14, 2010

A Somewhat Close to Anarcho-Capitalism Success Story

Ivorian tax-free rebel city flourishes

...Soroland may not be a breakaway zone, but for seven years the inhabitants of this zone have got used to living without government taxes, customs charges and even water and electricity bills...

I have to admit I have a growing curiosity about the ideas of anarcho-capitalism and it's feasibility. Perhaps it grows out of my growing discontent with the state, any state. The idea of anarchy used to bring me images of malcontented youths throwing rocks through Starbuck's windows. Typically, those are socialist anarchists and though they do constitute the largest block of anarchist thought, they do not own it.

As per Wikipedia anarcho-capitalism is defined as an individualist anarchist political philosophy that advocates the elimination of the state and the elevation of the sovereign individual in a free market. In an anarcho-capitalist society, law enforcement, courts, and all other security services are provided by voluntarily-funded competitors such as private defense agencies rather than through compulsory taxation, and money is privately produced in an open market. Because personal and economic activities are regulated by the natural laws of the market through private law rather than through politics, victimless crimes, and crimes against the state are rendered moot.

My interest in AC began after learning more of Taoist thought in ancient China. The Taoists advocated pure freedom from the state, no interference by the state in economy or society. The Taosists were found by a contemporary of Confucius, Lao Tzu. Similarly to the Randian objectivist philosophy, Lao Tzu taught that it was the individual and his happiness was the integral component of a workable and healthy society. He had a healthy distrust of centralized governments and rightfully so as he lived in a time of turbulence, violence and abusive state power.

He was especially critical of the war making ability of the state. " "The people hunger because theft superiors consume an excess in taxation" and, "where armies have been stationed, thorns and brambles grow. After a great war, harsh years of famine are sure to follow."

His basic tenet is familiar to libertarians. Keep government simple and inactive. The antithesis to what we are witnessing in the United States and most of the world today.

It would certainly take a seismic shift in thinking, one perhaps brought about by calamity. Argentina shows a prime example of the state dissolving into anarchy. Areas of Mexico, the favelas in Brazil, many other countries are in the terminal phase of statism. Is it to idealistic to hope that in the face of government failures we will see more people running from government, instead of running to it for solutions? The example above, coming from Africa of all places, gives one a glimmer of hope.

h/t to Von Mises.org for mind broadening ideas!
Blog Widget by LinkWithin