When I made the first post to the blog, I mentioned that I had views that were in alignment with many anarcho-capitalists, but I didn’t ellaborate as to what I saw as its flaws. Before you read, this is a pretty good overview of what anarcho-capitalism is (just ignore the Christianity of the site hosting it).
So to dig in, anarcho-capitalism relies on a society that gains its order spontaineously, that is, without central planning. It treats the complete society the way that languages and traditions get developed: almost by accident. Now, no one needs to centrally plan the English language, and no one sat down one day and invented Christmas, at least as far as I know.
Now, many capitalists try to treat a market in this same way. There doesn’t need to be a central planner to say: “you, cut down five rubber trees to make pencil erasers, and you, mine X amount of metal to make metal rims, and you, put them together”. It just kind-of happens. Ancaps extend this absence of central planning to the legal system as well, and it very well could work. Laws get made based on the value that they bring to the community, rather than based on majority rule. I can, personally, agree with this anti-democratic sentiment.
However, I have a problem with spontaneous orders in combination with ancapism: what do you do when your spontaneous order doesn’t work perfectly? How can you possibly change it without someone there to coordinate it? Let’s take the English language, again, as an example. There are so many parts of the language that just don’t work well: its verb system makes no sense, rules are rarely consistant, it’s hard to learn, similar words don’t resember each other. It looks exactly like what you would expect from a mutt of several different languages that just kind-of happened. Compare this to the consistancy that Esperanto has: rules are consistant, similar words are similar, words are flexible. The difference is that Esperanto was designed, while English emerged from history.
Now, I would also argue that capitalism isn’t really a spontaneous order in the same way that English is, because it is painfully easy to make changes. If something better comes along, people use it. Companies carefully design the products that they make. Sure, the coordination between companies is not centrally planned, but it is still planned by someone at that organization. This is why I find the two to not be comparable.
And the main reason why states didn’t move towards something like Esperanto has more to do with the fact that traditionalists didn’t want that change to happen. Figures like Stalin and Hitler which both opposed, and did their best efforts to squash the movement, largely was centered in eastern Europe.
Now, in Capitalsim, things can change quickly, as their is no democratic overhead to stop it. So why would this complaint apply for a privitized legal system? Let’s look at an example: many ancaps think that intellectual property laws are harmful, and I agree with them. I think that there are enough fowl things to be said about them that I will reserve it for another blog post. However, if you simply got rid of the government and moved the governing bodies into private competing institutions, how could anyone even think about getting rid of the policy? While it may be harmful, it is certainly one that many companies and individuals would be willing to pay for, and it has been around for so long that most people generally accept it. Getting rid of the state actually removes the primary mechanism for conducting change, in this particular instance.
And the means of attaining ancapism leave a lot to be desired. What seems most plausable would be to have a monarch (I may be biased in the choice of this word) design the neccessary decentrallized structures for a statless society to word and gradually phase out the monarchy, though this also means that the system isn’t really a spontaneous order. The other options, namely seasteading, sound interesting, though if one really was successful and implemented laws that turned into a (economically speaking) threat to larger powers, does anyone think that those states would sit idly by and let them get outcompeted into oblivion? Of course not. To have a proper self defence mechanism, there must be a decent amount of coordination, which would almost certainly manefest in a sort of state.
Thus while a fully decentrallized and voluntary society sounds great, it would practically require a lot of state to get it into affect, either from getting people to adopt and use the decentralized tools or defending itself for long enough that it can actually exist on its own. I actually agree with the moral philosophy of decentralization surrounding it, and consider it to be an ideal. It’s one of the reasons that I can say that a monarchist state, responding to market forces, would be substantially better than what we have now.
But the place where all anarcho-capitalists fall out is in coming up with a battle strategy to get there. I believe that I have a strategy with using the state to create the infrastructure necessary for it to work, but even that would take a lot of convincing others in the democracies we have now. I guess for now, I’ll do what all the others do, and rant on an irrelavant blog on an irrelavant corner of the internet.