Kansas City IMC : http://kcindymedia.org/mod/comments/display/10859/index.php
Kansas City IMC

Re: JOIN THE PROTEST - WalMart High Cost...

Chuck & Vlad,

>>Anarcho-capitalism is an oxymoron. Capitalism requires the existence of the state, whereas anarchism is a system that exists instead of the state.<<

Capitalism only involves the existence of property rights and unrestricted trade -- both of which can exist outside of government...

You know, it seems like I have to go through this argument, defending the “reality” of anarcho-capitalism, every time I post something to an Indymedia site. Let me do this the easy way, and copy/paste from the last time I went through this (on the Madison site, which I still post to regularly. -- This thread is still active, if you’re interested. It’s been a good one.)

Kim Jong Elk wrote:

"Anarcho"-capitalists are not anarchists at all as anarchism is incompatible with capitalism and anarchists have always opposed it….I know my history. "Anarcho-"capitalism is a relatively modern invention. All of the early (and major) anarchist theorists were anti-capitalists. Anarchism is inherently anti-capitalist, as capitalism is incompatible with an anti-authoritarian and anti-hierarchal platform, which is what anarchism is all about. It means much more than "no government" despite what the ancaps would have one believe.


Kim Jong,

>>I know my history.<<

Excellent. That should make this much simpler for me.

Being well-versed in Anarchist history, I’m sure you know of Peter Kropotkin – an early and major anarchist theorist, and an anti-capitalist (so it’s okay for you to acknowledge him).

>>All of the early (and major) anarchist theorists were anti-capitalists. Anarchism is inherently anti-capitalist bla bla bla bla…It means much more than "no government" despite what the ancaps would have one believe. <<

I’m going to disagree. Actually, so is Kropotkin. In fact, Kropotkin cites Pierre Proudhon as the first theorist to use the term "anarchism" in its modern sense; and describes Proudhon as the first in a prominent series of anti-communist, pro-property-rights anarchists – or, in the current terminology, "anarcho-capitalists".

Yeah. That means that, according to Kropotkin, the first person to use the term "anarchism" to refer to a society with no government...was an anarcho-capitalist.

The following passages are from Kropotkin’s 1910 article, "Anarchism", which was written for the Encyclopaedia Britannica, & which I’ve linked to here for your denial...er, "reference":


ANARCHISM (from the Gr. an and archos, contrary to authority), the name given to a principle or theory of life and conduct under which society is conceived without government - harmony in such a society being obtained, not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized being. In a society developed on these lines, the voluntary associations which already now begin to cover all the fields of human activity would take a still greater extension so as to substitute themselves for the state in all its functions. They would represent an interwoven network, composed of an infinite variety of groups and federations of all sizes and degrees, local, regional, national and international temporary or more or less permanent - for all possible purposes: production, consumption and exchange, communications, sanitary arrangements, education, mutual protection, defence of the territory, and so on; and, on the other side, for the satisfaction of an ever-increasing number of scientific, artistic, literary and sociable needs. Moreover, such a society would represent nothing immutable. On the contrary - as is seen in organic life at large - harmony would (it is contended) result from an ever-changing adjustment and readjustment of equilibrium between the multitudes of forces and influences, and this adjustment would be the easier to obtain as none of the forces would enjoy a special protection from the state.


Proudhon was the first to use, in 1840 (Qu’est-ce que la propriete? first memoir), the name of anarchy with application to the no government state of society. The name of ‘anarchists’ had been freely applied during the French Revolution by the Girondists to those revolutionaries who did not consider that the task of the Revolution was accomplished with the overthrow of Louis XVI, and insisted upon a series of economical measures being taken (the abolition of feudal rights without redemption, the return to the village communities of the communal lands enclosed since 1669, the limitation of landed property to 120 acres, progressive income-tax, the national organization of exchanges on a just value basis, which already received a beginning of practical realization, and so on).

Now Proudhon advocated a society without government, and used the word anarchy to describe it. Proudhon repudiated, as is known, all schemes of communism, according to which mankind would be driven into communistic monasteries or barracks, as also all the schemes of state or state-aided socialism which were advocated by Louis Blanc and the collectivists. When he proclaimed in his first memoir on property that ‘Property is theft’, he meant only property in its present, Roman-law, sense of ‘right of use and abuse’; in property-rights, on the other hand, understood in the limited sense of possession, he saw the best protection against the encroachments of the state. At the same time he did not want violently to dispossess the present owners of land, dwelling-houses, mines, factories and so on. He preferred to attain the same end by rendering capital incapable of earning interest; and this he proposed to obtain by means of a national bank, based on the mutual confidence of all those who are engaged in production, who would agree to exchange among themselves their produces at cost-value, by means of labour cheques representing the hours of labour required to produce every given commodity. Under such a system, which Proudhon described as ‘Mutuellisme’, all the exchanges of services would be strictly equivalent. Besides, such a bank would be enabled to lend money without interest, levying only something like I per cent, or even less, for covering the cost of administration. Everyone being thus enabled to borrow the money that would be required to buy a house, nobody would agree to pay any more a yearly rent for the use of it. A general ‘social liquidation’ would thus be rendered easy, without violent expropriation. The same applied to mines, railways, factories and so on.

In a society of this type the state would be useless. The chief relations between citizens would be based on free agreement and regulated by mere account keeping. The contests might be settled by arbitration. A penetrating criticism of the state and all possible forms of government, and a deep insight into all economic problems, were well-known characteristics of Proudhon’s work.

Josiah Warren, who was born in 1798 (cf. W. Bailie, Josiah Warren, the First American Anarchist, Boston, 1900), and belonged to Owen’s ‘New Harmony’, considered that the failure of this enterprise was chiefly due to the suppression of individuality and the lack of initiative and responsibility. These defects, he taught, were inherent to every scheme based upon authority and the community of goods. He advocated, therefore, complete individual liberty. In 1827 he opened in Cincinnati a little country store which was the first ‘equity store’, and which the people called ‘time store’, because it was based on labour being exchanged hour for hour in all sorts of produce.

Individualist anarchism found…its fullest expression in Max Stirner (Kaspar Schmidt), whose remarkable works (Der Einzige und sein Eigenthum and articles contributed to the Rheinische Zeitung) remained quite overlooked until they were brought into prominence by John Henry Mackay. Stirner…advocated, not only a complete revolt against the state and against the servitude which authoritarian communism would impose upon men, but also the full liberation of the individual from all social and moral bonds - the rehabilitation of the ‘I’, the supremacy of the individual, complete ‘amoralism’, and the ‘association of the egotists’.

The ideas of Proudhon, especially as regards mutual banking, corresponding with those of Josiah Warren, found a considerable following in the United States, creating quite a school, of which the main writers are Stephen Pearl Andrews, William Grene, Lysander Spooner (who began to write in 1850, and whose unfinished work, Natural Law, was full of promise)

A prominent position among the individualist anarchists in America has been occupied by Benjamin R. Tucker, whose journal Liberty was started in 1881 and whose conceptions are a combination of those of Proudhon with those of Herbert Spencer. Starting from the statement that anarchists are egotists, strictly speaking, and that every group of individuals, be it a secret league of a few persons, or the Congress of the United States, has the right to oppress all mankind, provided it has the power to do so, that equal liberty for all and absolute equality ought to be the law, and ‘mind every one your own business’ is the unique moral law of anarchism, Tucker goes on to prove that a general and thorough application of these principles would be beneficial and would offer no danger, because the powers of every individual would be limited by the exercise of the equal rights of all others. He further indicated (following H. Spencer) the difference which exists between the encroachment on somebody’s rights and resistance to such an encroachment; between domination and defence: the former being equally condemnable, whether it be encroachment of a criminal upon an individual, or the encroachment of one upon all others, or of all others upon one; while resistance to encroachment is defensible and necessary. For their self-defence, both the citizen and the group have the right to any violence, including capital punishment. Violence is also justified for enforcing the duty of keeping an agreement. Tucker thus follows Spencer, and, like him, opens (in the present writer’s opinion) the way for reconstituting under the heading of ‘defence’ all the functions of the state. His criticism of the present state is very searching, and his defence of the rights of the individual very powerful. As regards his economical views B.R. Tucker follows Proudhon.

The individualist anarchism of the American Proudhonians finds, however, but little sympathy amongst the working masses...The great bulk of the anarchist working men prefer the anarchist-communist ideas which have gradually evolved out of the anarchist collectivism of the International Working Men’s Association.

I hope that helps shed some light on the subject. You’re missing out on half of anarchist theory if you keep your eyes closed & refuse to recognize the rich history of pro-property-rights anarchist thought. It's out there. All you have to do is look.

Your friendly neighborhood iconoclast

Add a new comment
Author Anonymous Poster
  Create a new account
Text Format


Anti-spam Enter the following number into the box:
To add more detailed comments, or to upload files, see the full comment form.


Account Login

From the Radicalendar

No events for this day.

view calendar week
add an event

This site made manifest by dadaIMC software

Page executed in 0.597158908844 seconds.
Loaded 61/74 class files. Read 20 objects from the database. Queried the database 8 times. Served 3 files from the cache.