An Anarchist National Defense and Foreign Policy 6

by Keith Preston

In fifteen years of attempting to explain anarchist ideas to others, by far the most common objection I have encountered involves the matter of the alleged vulnerability of an anarchist society or territory to external marauders or invaders. It is claimed that a powerful centralized state in possession of a large military bureaucracy is essential if outward aggressors are to be deterred or repelled. If an anarchist nation were to be little more than a “sitting duck”, ripe for conquest by any foreign power willing to make the effort, then this would indeed seem to be a fatal blow to the anarchist position. The defensibility of an anarchist society, in a military sense, is a crucial, perhaps the most crucial, question in determining the legitimacy of anarchism as viable political philosophy. Unfortunately, this is also the realm of anarchist thought where the varying schools of anarchism are the least well-developed. Some anarchists deny that military defense is necessary at all and profess either outright pacifism or make the extravagant claim that an anarchist society would be immune to military conquest because “there would be no state to conquer”, citizens of the anarchist society would resist conquest through civil disobedience, an anarchist nation would have no enemies, “the free market would take care of it” or other inanities. All of this seems to me to be wishful thinking of the highest order. The question of military defense is one that anarchists must be able to answer effectively if anarchist ideas are to ever be taken seriously by more than a handful of people. With the notable exception of David Friedman (1), no major anarchist theoretician has ever attempted to deal with this question in a realistic or nuanced manner. Even those who have approached the issue, like Hans Hermann Hoppe or the Tannehills (2), rely on some simplistic assertion, like the idea of defense services provided by insurance agencies, as a means of dismissing the question. Simply put, anarchists are going to have to do better than that. The efficacy of anarcho-armies organized by insurance companies is by no means a proven fact. Much, much more serious study and analysis needs to be given to this issue of utmost importance. It would seem that there are three primary questions that need to be answered: the matter of how anarchist defense forces would be organized and financed, the manner by which the task of actually defending an anarchist country would be executed, and the implications of a post-nuclear world for anarchist military theory.

In attempting to deal with these questions straightforwardly, I will make no claims as to what sort of institutions would be prevalent in an anarchist system. Whether the economy would be comprised of anarcho-syndicalist communes or anarcho-capitalist corporations, whether family arrangements would be of a conventional nuclear, extended or “alternate lifestyle” variety, whether the dominant religious perspective would be Christianity, Islam or atheism, are questions I do not address here. Nor do I take up the issue of how an anarchist society would come into being in the first place except to say that the process would probably be a gradual one, as new anarchist institutions emerged to replace decaying state ones, with anarchist institutions and state institutions existing side-by-side at certain times and under certain circumstances. Suffice to say that my arguments here rest on the following presuppositions:

1) In an anarchist system, there is no coercive monopoly in the person of the state.

2) There is no coercive extraction of tribute (“taxes”) from the citizens of the anarchist polis.

3) There are no subsidies to military organizations funded by means of tribute (“defense spending”).

4) There is no involuntary enslavement of persons by military organizations (“the draft”).

When attempting to craft a model anarchist defense/foreign policy the first order of business is to gather a realistic assessment of the actual defensive needs of the territory in question. These can vary immensely. An anarchist America might have very different defense needs from an anarchist Tibet. I will focus on America here because that is no doubt where most of the people reading this essay reside. With regards to its military defensibility, America has extraordinary geographical, technological, economic and demographic advantages. A large national territory with a huge population, wealth and the best technological advancements, surrounded by enormous oceans and weak nations with no other major power in the hemisphere is the best one could possibly hope for. The principal military threats to contemporary America involve long-range missile attacks and domestic acts of terrorism carried out by foreign agents. These matters will be dealt with later. Let us begin by taking a look at the matter of conventional military defense forces.

Organization and Funding of Anarcho-Militaries:

If any society, whether statist or anarchist, is to successfully defend itself, its citizens must possess a certain conviction that their society is indeed worth defending. If most people are simply unwilling to defend against external aggressors when necessary, then the game is already over. This would be particularly true of an anarchist society where there would be no state who would simply defend its turf with money stolen from its subjects and conscripted slaves. An anarchist society would have to be populated not only by persons who believed in their society to the point where they would defend it with their life if necessary, but would also have to maintain a culture conducive to such values. This would in turn necessitate a revival of such classical virtues as strength, courage, discipline and honor as opposed to the values of laziness, mediocrity, cowardice, materialism and weakness fostered by modern “egalitarian”, therapeutic-welfare-democratic statism. For example, the hysterical “gunphobia” currently prevalent in the realms of media and academia would have to be replaced with mass reverence for firearms and their skillful use. Similarly, the contemporary emphasis on “sensitivity” and political correctness would have to be eliminated in favor of older ideas like “sticks and stones” and “having a backbone”. A society of emasculated whiners, pansies and crybabies is not one that is likely to field an effective defense force against invaders. One’s character and attitude matters.

Most credible military analysts argue that it would cost roughly one hundred billion dollars annually, at the present value of the American dollar, to maintain a national defense force with its current capabilities. Most estimates of this type exclude the costs of maintaining America’s international empire in the form of NATO, SEATO, foreign military bases, military invasion or occupation of other nations, military subsidies to other nations, participation in United Nations “police actions”, etc. It is important to remember, however, that a stateless economy would likely generate a significantly greater amount of overall aggregate wealth and much more rapid technological innovation, thereby reducing the costs of military defense. The unit or units of exchange in an anarchist economy would be much more stable and less prone to inflation so defense costs in terms of overall monetary amounts would be much more static. Also, a bureaucratic statist military includes a tendency towards waste, inefficiency, overlapping and cost overruns that would be minimized in the context of a stateless free market. Finally, the state’s “military-industrial” complex involves a political economy where appropriations are often allocated on the basis of political or bureaucratic influence rather than actual defense needs. We may conclude then that an anarchist military force would be considerably cheaper than a statist one.

As an anarchist country would be profoundly decentralized, its defense system would likewise be highly localized. Individuals and groups would be primarily responsible for their own defense but would confederate on the basis of mutual defense agreements when necessary. The common anarchist theme of defense services provided by insurance agencies might indeed be realized although this scheme seems far from fool-proof. Insurance agencies of this type could easily degenerate into mafia-like protection rackets, although such an arrangement would still be preferable to an actual state. The economic feasibility of “war insurance” is also questionable. How are such insurance companies to be expected to cover claims if they have been seized, looted or nationalized by foreign conquerors? What incentives would there be to purchase such insurance? Still, it is possible that insurers of this type would come into existence and consequently organize and finance their own private military forces and intelligence services as a means of safeguarding against potential liabilities resulting from external military attacks.

The abolition of the state would naturally strengthen those intermediary institutions of civil society that the state consistently seeks to suppress-families, communities, neighborhoods, religions, businesses, unions, charities, non-state educational institutions, professional associations, guilds, fraternities, activist organizations and so forth. It is from this milieu that the foundations for a non-statist defense force would be drawn. The core unit of such a defense system would likely be the local militia. Such militias might be modeled on the voluntary fire and paramedic services that currently exist in certain localities or on the citizen posses of past times. Individuals and families would be encouraged to store defensive weapons in their homes and to achieve proficiency in their use. Poor families unable to afford such weapons might have them provided by defense charities. These charities might organize militias of their own. For example, the National Rifle Association, an organization of three million persons, could, at present, establish a militia larger than the entire armed forces of the federal government. Proponents of gun confiscation should keep this fact in mind.

Education in the use of not only conventional firearms but also more sophisticated weaponry might be provided by organizations set up for such a purpose, perhaps funded by donations or membership dues. “Defense education” of this type might become a common cultural or recreational activity similar to that of bowling leagues or hunting clubs. Students in non-statist schools might undergo firearms training as part of a physical education program. Universities might offer courses in weapons proficiency, military science or guerrilla maneuvers as part of a degree program or as an extracurricular activity. Many young people, particularly young males, would likely find youth clubs oriented towards such activities to be very attractive. Students in private schools might be granted time off to participate in endeavors of this type. Businesses might grant additional pay or benefits to employees in exchange for service in a “company militia”. Likewise, unions might have militias of their own funded by membership dues. Ethnic groups with a history of being repressed might form defense organizations as a deterrent to potential attacks by outsiders. Churches might also start militias paid for by tithes collected from parishioners. Pacifist religions might form medical assistance programs for the defense forces of the anarchist country. Hospitals might donate their services in times of a military emergency and provide medical training to volunteer military medics.

Immigrants often like to think of themselves as patriotic towards their adopted nation. Organizations that sponsor immigrants might make membership in a defensive militia a condition of a grant of assistance. The same might be true of homeless organizations, proprietary communities or professional guilds. Mercenary groups might sell their services to businesses or communities during a time of invasion. These groups might support themselves during peacetime through contracting out for other types of labor including street patrol, private security or bodyguard services, fire and rescue services, construction work, park maintenance, environmental cleanup or disaster relief. Militia recruits might come from some unusual sources. Gangs and outlaw motorcycle clubs might serve as mercenaries during a time of war. (The Hell’s Angels volunteered for service in Vietnam but were refused.) Criminals might work off their restitution debts through service in a militia.

It is also important to remember that privately organized defense militias of the type described above would not necessarily be similar to the serf armies maintained by the state. The purpose of the militias would be to simply defend the community so there would be no need to resort to the use of brutal brainwashing methods to program soldiers to be mindless killing drones for the glory of the Empire. There would be no slave-like boot camps with rotten food, unsanitary conditions and endless abuse by superiors. Instead, the disciplinary structure of private militias might not be any more extensive than that of an ordinary workplace or sports team. Some militias might elect their own officers. George Orwell, a veteran of the British army who served in the Trotskyist POUM militia during the Spanish Civil War, noted that democratic militias tended to be no less inefficient that traditional armies with a top-down command structure. So military life or militia service would be much more attractive to a much wider variety of people.

So far I have outlined a potential structure for conventional land defense. But what about air, naval and civil defense? What about intelligence and diplomatic services? Air and naval defense would be of greater importance to communities on the Atlantic or Pacific Coasts or in the Gulf of Mexico region than in the Colorado mountains. Shipping-related industries would be responsible for providing protection for their own vessels and would therefore maintain a fleet of warships in addition to ordinary commercial ones. Communities adjacent to heavily traveled seaports who were heavily dependent on sea trade would raise funds to finance naval defense. Likewise, private mercenary warships might rent their services out to local associations of sea-faring businesses. (3) Just as naval defense would be provided primarily by shipping industries, so would air defense be provided by aviation-related industries. Fighter jets and attack helicopters would be maintained by airlines along with commercial jets. Airline pilots might convert to fighter pilots during wartime. Private airports would organize their own “air militia” from the ranks of local pilots. Intelligence would be gathered by private investigators who sell their services to private defense organizations. Likewise, experts in political science, mediation and negotiation, military science, international relations, etc. would serve as privately contracted diplomats to negotiate the surrender of the enemy, exchange of POWs and so forth. Intelligence agents and diplomats operating in the context of free market competition would also tend to be more effective than those who are simply appointed statist bureaucrats.

As for the funding of anarchist defense forces, I have already mentioned the possibility of funds being raised by insurance agencies, businesses, unions, churches, community organizations, defense charities and the like. There is also the possibility of defense lotteries. The American Revolution was paid for in part in this manner. There could be a Jerry Lewis-style “National Defense Telethon”. Defense companies might operate all sorts of for-profit businesses-hotels, restaurants, night clubs, sports teams-whose income is used to subsidize military defense. Military Olympics and simulated war games, along with reenactments of historic battles, could be televised on a pay-per-view basis. Paying customers could be given guided tours of warships, military bases or military museums or rides in tanks or warplanes. We should remember that the polio vaccine was invented without a single penny of government money. So extraordinary achievements can take place without funding from the state. (4) While it is indeed interesting to speculate on what a non-statist national defense force would look like, the question that really matters is “Will it work?”. No matter how elaborate or exotic an anarchist military regime might be, it is worthless if it cannot actually defend the country effectively. Fortunately, there are some pertinent historical precedents that can be used to construct a model according to which the efficacy of an anarcho-military might be tested.

World War II: The Lessons of Switzerland and Sweden

The German National Socialist regime that reigned from 1933-1945 is deservedly regarded as one of the most tyrannical in history. At one point, it occupied all of the nations of continental Europe except for two: Switzerland and Sweden. A look at the performance of these two remarkable countries during that time provides us with considerable insight into how an anarchist territory might successfully avoid conquest even in the event of international war between indescribably brutal imperialist powers. While I tend to agree with those “revisionist” historians of the Second World War, such as Patrick Buchanan and Murray Rothbard, who argued that the potential threat to the United States posed by Germany has been greatly exaggerated since the close of that war, it is clear enough that Hitler’s regime was a dire threat to the nations around him, most of whom were conquered with little or no resistance. How did the seemingly weak Swiss and Swedish nations avoid such a fate?

Both nations practiced staunch political and military neutrality during the war. Both nations recognized the Nazi regime politically and sought to maintain cordial relations with it. Sweden refused to intervene when neighboring Finland was attacked by Stalin’s Soviet Union. The Swedes foreign policy at the time was to guard their historic neutrality jealously and go down fighting to the death if invaded by any foreign power. With only the Baltic Sea separating it from Germany, Sweden continued full trade relations with the Third Reich, including its exports of iron ore to Germany, on which the Fuhrer’s military was particularly dependent. Sweden also maintained a policy of free migration, even allowing German troop trains to travel on its railways.

Switzerland likewise maintained its trade relations with Germany. The legendary Swiss militia was called out and its six hundred thousand man force was fully activated. The militiamen holed themselves up in mountain fortresses with caves dug out for refuge and an elaborate underground tunnel system established as a supply source. The Swiss army was instructed to surrender under no circumstances and to fight to the last man, by bayonet or by hand if necessary. Meanwhile, Switzerland provided sanctuary to five times the number of Jewish refugees as the United States, relative to population size. It seems that both nations saved themselves largely by following a simple libertarian foreign policy of free trade, free migration, cordial diplomacy, armed neutrality and non-intervention combined with a collective will to defend themselves at all costs. They simply made it not worth the bother for Germany to conquer them. (5) Other similar examples can be gleaned from history. The Costa Rican militia repelled an invasion from hostile surrounding nations in the mid-twentieth century. (6) The Finnish militia successfully defended against a Soviet invasion in 1918. Both the Cold War-era superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, were defeated by indigenous guerrilla armies in Vietnam and Afghanistan, respectively.

From all of these historical precedents, we can construct a model of how an anarchist America would go about defending itself against a military invasion from, say, China or the European Union. America would be a rather difficult territory to attack militarily. There are two ways an invasion of America could take place. In one scenario, an enemy imperial power would have to establish bases in Latin America or the Caribbean, or in Canada or Greenland, and launch air raids and/or a border assault with tanks and conventional infantry. In the other scenario, the enemy might impose a naval blockade and launch an air assault from aircraft carriers or a Normandy-like land invasion from the ocean. Of course, any state, or alliance of states, that undertook a project of this type would have to be enormously wealthy, powerful and technologically advanced. I doubt any of the world’s current nations, excepting possibly the United States itself, could pull off such a comprehensive assault on an entire continent. Remember how even the Soviet Union, supposedly that master conqueror of falling dominoes, had its posterior severely whacked when simply attempting to subdue the backward border state of Afghanistan.

Competent economists recognize the superior efficiency of voluntary institutions over the state. Consequently, a non-statist military defense would likely include an elaborate civil defense system. This might involve a large network of radar monitor services, scout ships and planes, sirens and broadcast systems that could be used to notify the public of an eminent invasion, vaccines, antidotes, gas masks, decontamination centers, bomb shelters, underground tunnels, radiation suits, body armor, emergency food and medical supplies, emergency evacuation plans, intelligence services, arsenals and emergency communications centers. These programs, organized and funded by Red Cross or March of Dimes-like organizations, could co-exist along with the private, voluntary militias of the type already described. The civil defense and militia services would be activated in the event of a military emergency. Communities, businesses, churches, insurance companies, schools and universities, unions, mosques and synagogues, foundations, clubs, collectives, communes, syndicates, guilds, towns, villages and cities would confederate their respective defense forces according to some pre-established agreement formed out of the need for military preparedness. These defensive confederations might resemble the defense leagues formed by medieval free cities, such the Hanseatic and Lombard Leagues. (7) Local militias could confederate on a community, municipal, regional or even continental basis. Such a confederation of confederations would be the backbone of the anarchist defense forces. These interlocking networks would render the anarchist society capable of fielding a decentralized mass militia of millions of fighters. A military structure of this type would mean that there would be no command center that could surrender or be conquered by the invader. (8) Instead, a would-be conqueror would have to subjugate many different fighting forces independently of one another. This is precisely the situation that the United States is currently faced with in the emerging quagmire of Afghanistan. (9) Also, a decentralized form of military organization would be a safeguard against the defense forces emerging as a new state once the invader had been repelled. (10)

The anarcho-military forces would likely differentiate between ordinary infantry and militia fighters on one hand and more professionalized specialists on the other. The militia itself would include ordinary people of all ages and backgrounds. The responsibility of these groups would be to secure supply centers, transportation systems and medical facilities along with ordinary community institutions, businesses and homes. They would likely be armed with weapons that are easy to maintain, transport, supply and use such as high-powered rifles with a good scope, semi-automatic handguns and regular shotguns sawed off as low as possible. An invading army would have to fight on a community-to-community, street-to-street, house-to-house basis. Enemy troops attempting conquest would face an endless barrage of sniper fire, Molotov cocktails, ambushes, sabotage, bombings and assassinations. Guerrilla attacks would be launched from forest areas adjacent to highways where enemy military units were traveling. Anti-aircraft artillery would be placed atop mountains and skyscrapers. Those charged with the use of more powerful or sophisticated weaponry – tanks, laser technology, rocket launchers, land mines, machine guns, grenades, fighter planes, missiles – would likely be drawn from the ranks of mercenaries and other military professionals specifically trained for certain functions. Bounties would be placed on the heads of invading enemy states and bribes offered to defectors from invading militaries.

It is sometimes argued that a drawback to the type of militia-guerrilla defense system outlined here is the fact that most successful guerilla armies are typically assisted by outside agents, usually states. Examples of this include American support for the mujaheddin fighters resisting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and North Vietnamese support for the Viet Cong. However, it is likely than an imperial state attempting conquest of an anarchist country would count many other states among its enemies. These rival states would likely aid anarcho-militaries through subsidies, weaponry and international diplomatic support for the sake of the strategic goal of weakening an enemy state by having it become bogged down in a quagmire of war with an indigenous guerrilla army. Sometimes support for freedom fighters can come from strange sources. An example might be the support given to the American revolutionaries of 1776 by the reactionary theocratic monarchies of France and Spain who wished to see their rival England undermined by defeat at the hands of their seceding American colonies. So we can see that an anarchist society might be able to militarily defend itself quite effectively. The only real remaining question involves that of potential threats from states armed with “weapons of mass destruction”.

An Anarcho-Nuclear Deterrent?

As I mentioned earlier, the most serious military threats to America at present involve acts of domestic terrorism carried out by foreign agents and long-range missle attacks. The best way to deter such potential calamities is to simply adopt a non-interventionist foreign policy. The September 11 debacle was primarily a retaliatory act done in response to five decades of American imperial activity in the Middle East. If indeed Saddam Hussein were to provide devastating weaponry to a free lance terrorist organization, it would only be in retaliation for American aggression against Iraq, a nation that has never practiced imperialism outside of its own backyard, and then only in response to threats or perceived threats from its neighbors, and has never harmed a single American in any way. (11) So contemporary military threats of this type would for the most part be eliminated if a “regime change” were to take place in America, i.e. conversion from an imperialist regime to a non-interventionist regime, even a statist one a la Switzerland.

The main threat to an anarchist society with regards to terrorism would likely be the remnants of the dislodged state seeking to regain power or other groups seeking to form a new state. These elements could be dealt with in the same manner as external invaders. However, there is also the possibility that a nuclear-armed nation might employ nuclear blackmail as a pretext for conquest. David Friedman describes what might happen in such a scenario:

“It is all very well to fantasize about fighting the invader village by village, commune by commune, or corporation by corporation, according to the dreamer’s particular brand of anarchy. A serious invader would inform each unit that if it resisted or failed to pay tribute, it would be destroyed by a nuclear weapon. After the invader proved that he meant business, the citizens of the surviving communities would be eager to create the institutions, voluntary or otherwise, necessary to give the invader what he wanted.” (12)

Clearly, an anarchist country in the contemporary world would need to maintain a nuclear deterrent. Dr. Gary North has suggested how a cost effective deterrent of this sort might be implemented.(13) A thousand cruise missles, armed with nuclear warheads, could be aimed at enemy military installations. These missles could be mobile and continually moved about on ships and trains. As cruise missles are rather slow to reach their destination, they would be useless as an offensive weapon. As they travel below radar, enemy states would be defenseless against them. Such weapons would also be recallable in the event of a mistake. As cruise missles cost roughly one million dollars each, the price of producing and arming them would probably run in the very low billions. A single donation from one or two indescribably wealthy individuals, such as Bill Gates, or businesses, such as GM, would take care of the financial end of things.(14) Such weapons could be maintained by a private foundation employing experts in the relevant fields. There would be no need for the massive bureaucracy of the Pentagon system and its hundreds of billions of dollars per year price tag.

Speaking of military finances, some readers may object at this point that I have not effectively addressed the matter of the “free-rider” problem, whereby beneficiaries of military defense have no incentive to carry their “fair share” of the burden of the costs of such defense. As an anarcho-military must defend the entire realm of the sphere of activity of its members, financiers and supporters in order to be effective, so it must defend all of the individuals and institutions within its territorial domain, regardless of whether they personally choose to fight, or purchase “war insurance”, or donate to private defense charities, or whatever. Consequently, too many individuals would shirk making a contribution to the common defense to make a private, voluntary, anarchistic defense force viable, or so the argument goes.

I submit that the “free-rider” problem is essentially a cultural and individual psychological problem rather than an economic one. If in the event of a military invasion, the citizens of an anarchist society were concerned about nothing more than the matter of who is going to make a buck from the sale of armaments, how much mercenaries are going to get paid, how much profit can be generated from the sale of war insurance, and how much beneficiaries of defense services can pass the costs along to others, then the society in question would probably be already doomed. Libertarians and free market economists are sometimes accused of attempting to “overeconomize” everything, thereby emulating the mistakes of their rivals, the Marxists, who see everything in terms of narrow economic determinism. This variation of free market ideology simply reduces everything to the level of individuals seeking immediate economic gain in the marketplace. But there are many other reasons why individuals would choose to fight an enemy invader or contribute voluntarily towards such an effort. Psychological attachments of the “blood and soil” variety, loyalty to one’s family, community, religion or culture might be a motivating factor for many people. For example, gays might be eager fight against a potential conqueror known for its persecution of homosexuals. Racists might fight an invader out of base racial hatred for the dominant ethnic group among the enemy. Believers in virtues such as honor and courage or adherents to particular ideals (“justice”, “freedom”, “humanity”) would have their own reasons for fighting beyond the mere economic. Some may choose to fight for the sheer adventure of it all or out of a simple taste for violence and bloodshed. Economic determinism leaves no room for the Samurai compelled by the code of Bushido, the Stoic gladiator, the chivalrous knight or the jihadist. Just as a free society must maintain cultural norms conducive to freedom, so a free society must be inhabitated by persons who value freedom to the degree necessary to effectively defend it.

Notes:

1) “National Defense: The Hard Problem”, The Machinery of Freedom, by David Friedman.

2) Democracy: The God That Failed, by Hans Hermann Hoppe. The Market For Liberty, by Morris and Linda Tannehill.

3)“Privateering and National Defense: Naval Warfare for Private Profit”, by Larry Sechrest, Independent Institute.

4) The polio vaccine was developed by a private foundation created by President Roosevelt and funded by the March of Dimes. This is mentioned in Our Right To Drugs, by Dr. Thomas Szasz.

5) The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich, by William L. Shirer. “An Island in an Ocean of Tyranny”, by Bruce Ramsey, Liberty, March 2001.

6) ” Costa Rica and the Revolution of 1848″, by Larry Gambone.

7) “The ‘Necessity’ of the State”, by Kirkpatrick Sale, Reinventing Anarchy, Again.

8) “Leaderless Resistance”, by Louis Beam.

9) “Losing Control”, Time, November 18, 2002.

10) “Chiapas and Montana: Tierra y Libertad”, by James Murray

11) Iraq invaded Iran in 1980 only after the regime of the Ayatollah Khomenei threaten to export its Shiah fundamentalist revolution to Iraq. Iraq’s war effort against Iran from 1980-88 was aided by the United States. Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990 only after Kuwait began slant drilling into Iraqi oil fields.

12) Friedman, pp. 137-138.

13) “My Preferred Weapon of Mass Destruction”, by Gary North

14) I do not mean to imply here that industries would be structured in the same way that they are now in an anarchist society. See my “What Would An Anarcho-Socialist Society Look Like?”

Copyright 2002.American Revolutionary Vanguard. All rights reserved.

6 comments

  1. You mention my discussion of the issue in _Machinery of Freedom_. You might want to look at the new third edition, which has another chapter on the subject with a variety of ideas.

    You also might be interested in my novel _Harald_. It is not intended as libertarian propaganda–I have reservations about using fiction to make political arguments, since it’s too easy for the author, with control over his fictional world, to cheat. But it does portray three different societies, one of them semi-stateless (modeled on saga period Iceland), in a way designed to show their relative strengths and weaknesses. One of the problems faced by the protagonist is how to raise an army for defense without taxation or feudal obligations.

  2. I find the assumption that anarchist societies will be technologically more advanced somewhat questionable. Sure, I see that there are good arguments for the case – but it has never been tried, and there are also good arguments why a communist society, a fascist society or a liberal democracy should be the most advanced.
    So it would be safer if any plan to defend an anarchist society would not *rely* on technological superiority. I would also assume that large weapon systems like strategic bombers, aircraft carriers or missile cruisers are underproduced, since they are pretty much useless in peacetime (it would be overkill against pirates, etc), and very expensive to build and maintain.
    Sure, Switzerland doesn’t have them either, but they are a small, landlocked nation with very defensible terrain. Belgium or Lithuania for example are a lot less lucky, and lo and behold, they were occasionally bullied or conquered despite their neutrality (for the Netherlands, neutrality and good relations have a somewhat mixed track record).

  3. I am sorry to have to say these things but if you want to write about something please do yourself a favor and learn a little something about it. At the very least look the word up in a dictionary. The definition of ANARCHY is ::: The Complete And Total Lack Of Any And All Government Or Laws…..Why Then Would There Be Any Kind Of Religious Beliefs???America Is Nothing More Then A Shit Hole Built By All The Cultures That Where Imprisioned And EnSlaved On This Land By Those That Came Here From England Supposedly In Search Of “Religious Freedom”. Now If America Was Literally Built By Hate And Fear, Was Sustained Upon Hate And Fear, And Still Thrives Upon Hate And Fear, What Makes You Think We Would Want Anything To Do With Life Anywhere Like It? Why Do You Even Care? Ill Make A Real Quick Statement That Should Answer Any And All Questions You May Have. The Last Thing That Is Any Concern Of Yours Is Any One Of Our Religious Beliefs. All We Want Is For You To Keep Your Bible Thumping Selves And Ways Far AWAY FROM US. Let Us Be. Let Us Alone. And Thats All There Is To It. As A Matter Of Fact I Am Working On Publishing My Own Papper In The Next Year Or Two. The Name Of This Papper Will Be ” AMERIKA THE LIE”. Im Just Wanting To Get The Truth Out There And Give A Voice To The Voiceless. I Dont Care If Only One Person Reads It Or If Five Million People Read It. I Will Have Done My Job Once I Pass Them Out. Now It Will Be Your Choice To Read It And Respond Whether I Should Continue My Work Or Not. Anarchist Societies Are The Only Ones That Are TRUELY FREE. I Live In Delaware And My Legal Name Is Crypt Xrxs LaVey. Look Me Up And Hit Me Back. Cause I Would Love To Hear Any And All Replies.

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