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Sunday, January 30, 2005

State Transmitted Diseases

A common dismissal of free market anarchism is that "it won't work." I actually think this is right, but not in the sense that the law-and-order critic means. Yes, it is true that if you took just about any group of individuals from the current planet and turned them loose in a virgin territory, that in 20 years they'd have a coercive government of some kind. So in that sense f.m. anarchy "won't work."

But notice that this would be due to the prejudices and faulty theories of the random sample of people. I do not say that they'd be compelled to adopt a government because of rampant crime, vague land titles, etc. No, I am conceding that anarchy "won't work" in the same way that abstinence programs "won't work" to combat teen STDs. It's not that there's anything flawed with the policy of abstinence; on the contrary, it works every time it's tried. (I think I'm stealing that line from Bill Bennett.)

Finally, to continue the analogy, constitutions are like condoms. But I think I should stop here.

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