Article by David D’Amato.
To speak of a society without the state is not to speak of one without law — without rules governing relations between human beings — but is instead to speak of one without enshrined predation. Although doubtless predation would remain in the absence of the state, it would be treated as such, as crime rather than some benevolent service for the common good.
For no institution but the state do we upend our instinctive misgivings about the consequences of arbitrary power. Nowhere else do we suppose that a lone, unaccountable monopolist will render to the consumer anything worth its price, that the vagaries of bare authority will decide in our favor. Instead, we rely on the structural safeguards of open competition to render the kinds of results we consider desirable.
Each individual possesses a fundamental, natural right to secede from the constraints of authority and hierarchy. As presented by the nineteenth century philosopher Herbert Spencer, “As a corollary to the proposition that all institutions must be subordinated to the law of equal freedom, we cannot choose but admit the right of the citizen to adopt a condition of voluntary outlawry.”
Market anarchism teaches that if is advantageous to justice and human freedom that we divide power between the three branches of government and between the federal government and the States, then it is correspondingly advisable to divide power still further. Asking what could be gained from the consolidation of power at any level, market anarchism would submit even the law to the nonviolent struggles of genuine competition.