The role of the state

James Devine jdevine at
Fri Oct 16 14:26:53 PDT 1998

>Aren't anarchists just unwashed libertarians. That is, anarchists and
>libertarians have the same view of the state, they just wear different
>uniforms in other areas, like personal wealth accumulation.

I don't think so. Libertarians of the Rand ilk have the utopian belief that everyone will respect private property rights if we got rid of the state's coercion (avoiding the Hobbesian war of each against all). On the other hand, the anarchists of the left wing have the utopian belief that property rights (private or otherwise) aren't necessary. The libertarians believe that greed is good (to quote Gordon Gekko in the flick WALL STREET) but believe that people will rationally stop being greedy when it comes to respecting the rights of others. Anarchists believe that greed is bad and that everyone will just stop being greedy.

Probably no-one lives up to the stereotypes described above. The pure libertarians have been corrupted by Milton Friedmaniac common sense, while the pure anarchists have been corrupted by the socialists.

Jim Devine jdevine at &

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