What is anarchism?

“Anarchy, as a political concept, is a naive floating abstraction: . . . a society without an organized government would be at the mercy of the first criminal who came along and who would precipitate it into the chaos of gang warfare. But the possibility of human immorality is not the only objection to anarchy: even a society whose every member were fully rational and faultlessly moral, could not function in a state of anarchy; it is the need of objective laws and of an arbiter for honest disagreements among men that necessitates the establishment of a government.” – AYN RAND


Anarchism is not a form of capitalism; anarchism is a form of collectivism, where individual rights are subject to the rule of competing gangs.

Wouldn’t “corporate organizations” be able to provide the physical protection for their customers making government unnecessary?

The proper name for such an organization is not ‘corporations,’ but street gangs, who fund their business through extortion of their victims (inaccurately called ‘customers’).

Government is a single agency with a monopoly on the power to legally use force in a specific geographic area. What “anarcho-capitalists” purpose are multiple agencies in the same geographic area, that have the power to use force subject to no rule of law.

Why can’t corporations exist without government?

Under capitalism, corporations are the result of a specific contractual legal framework (protected by the government), based on the principle of individual rights. Without government, the distinction between public (state-owned) and private no longer exists. Corporations cannot exist without individual rights, and governments to protect and enforce contracts based on the principle of individual rights.

[However, keep in mind that corporations are not creatures of the state, no more than individuals are.]

Why is “anarcho-capitalism” a contradiction in terms?

Those who attempt to combine anarchism with capitalism, make the error of confusing the peaceful form of competition of capitalism — trade, ideas, and dollars — with the brutal “jungle” form of competition of anarchism — brutality, whims, and bombs.

What happens when one ‘corporate protection agency’ disagrees with another in the same geographic area? By what method do they solve their dispute? They do it by competition not with dollars, but with guns. They seek to solve their dispute by resorting to force against each other, i.e., a perpetual state of civil war. Under such a system, which gang wins? The gang that is the most brutal.

Anarchism is not a form of capitalism; anarchism is a form of collectivism, where individual rights are subject to the rule of competing gangs. Under such a system, any individual would beg for the relative safety of a dictatorship.

What is the solution to anarchism?

The only peaceful solution to such disputes is to have one agency with the power to settle those disagreements, according to one set of objectively defined laws — a government. This is what corporations do under capitalism when they have a dispute with each other — they go to court (government).

What about the “competing-governments” concept of “anarcho-capitalists”?

Those who advocate anarchism seek to replace the rule of law, with a rule of the mob. The kind of ‘corporations’ they envision are not corporations like those under capitalism (which have no power to resort to force), but outlaw ‘competing governments,’ i.e., gangs.

Remarks Harry Binswanger on this issue in Objectivism vs. Anarchism:

“In any irreconcilable dispute, at least one party will find that its view of justice is stymied. Even under anarchy, only one side will be able to enforce its ideas of where the right lies. But it does not occur to the anarchists that when one of their private ‘defense agencies’ uses force, it is acting as a ‘monopolist’ over whomever it coerces. It does not occur to them that private, anarchistic force is still force—i.e., the “monopolistic” subjection of another’s will to one’s own. “They are aware of and object to the forcible negation of ‘competing’ viewpoints only when it is done by a government.

“Thus, their actual objection to government is not to its ‘monopolistic’ character, but to the fact that ‘A government is the means of placing the retaliatory use of physical force under objective control—i.e., under objectively defined laws.’ (‘The Nature of Government’)

“The real target of the anarchist’s attack is objectivity. Objectivity requires one to prove that one is acting within one’s rights; they do not want to be held accountable to anyone for anything—not even regarding their use of physical force. They damn governmental retaliation because it is objective; they demand to be ‘free’ to use force on whim.”

What are some modern-day examples of anarchism?

For those who want an illustration of what happens when two ‘competing-governments’ are arguing with each other in the same geographical area, see: Bosnia. On a macro-level, the balkanized wars in Bosnia and Rwanda are the result of the anarcho-capitalist’s ill-thought-out nightmare: a species of collectivism, where one is subject to the whims of the tribe or gang in power.

On a micro-level one can observe anarchism in black markets, where drug dealers compete on the same “turf” to “protect” their interests. It is to subject “might” to “right,” that one requires rights, and that one requires a government to protect those rights.