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  1. Interestingly, if you google the key words “anarchist national defense” the article I wrote on the topic 15 years ago is the first thing to come up. https://www.google.com/search?ei=tPlIWpvyIa2T_QaeoJzgDg&q=anarchist+national+defense&oq=anarchist+national+defense&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0i22i30k1.46365.52714.0.53003.….0…1.1.64.psy-ab..10.27.2407.0..0j0i67k1j0i10k1j0i131k1j0i13i30k1j0i22i10i30k1.128.tKPoSoMeTgQ

    If you google “anarchist military” my article is number four in the listing.


    If you google “anarchist defense” my article is number two.


    If you google “private defense agency” I’m not listed, because I don’t really use that term. However, there are a number of articles by an-caps and others discussing the topic.


    If you google “anarchist militia” you can find some interesting articles about the Spanish Civil War and other topics.


    I point all this out because this is an area of anarchist theory that is clearly very underdeveloped. If google searches on this topic display my article as a primary listing, when I have only written one article on the subject and I am only a peripheral figure in an-cap circles, and a heretical dissident in left-anarchist circles, it means anarchists have simply not paid much attention to these questions.

    It seems that proponents of an anarchist defense system would have to successfully answer ALL of the following questions in order to have a viable theory.

    1. Who is going to organize it without the direction of a central government?

    2. How is it going to be funded?

    3. How will the recruiting and training be done?

    4. What will be the incentive to fight on the part of the troops?

    5. How successful will such forces be at deterring or repelling invasions?

    6. What will prevent private or decentralized defense forces from going to war with each other?

    7. What will prevent these forces from becoming a new state that imposes a legal, juridicial, military, etc. monopoly and imposes taxes, etc?

    8. Would high tech weaponry be available without state organization and funding, or would this be cost prohibitive?

    9. Would not “for profit” military organizations have an incentive to cause rather than prevent war?

    10. Is the level of collective and cultural commitment to a cause, ideology, territory, etc compatible with the ostensible anti-authoritarian or individualist ethos of many anarchists?

    There are plenty of examples from the past and present like the Spanish anarchist militias, Zapatistas, Makhno, the Vikings, Ireland, Iceland, the medieval leagues, the Paris Commune, the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, Hezbollah, ancient city-states, the Old West, the Iroquois Confederation, the Strandzha commune, Shinmin, etc.

    But the big questions are these:

    1. How effective were any of these as an actual military force?

    2. How durable were they over time?

    3. How anti-authoritarian were they in actual practice?

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