File: append1.txt

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anarchism 9.5-1
  • links: PTS
  • area: main
  • in suites: woody
  • size: 12,192 kB
  • ctags: 493
  • sloc: makefile: 40; sh: 8
file content (3371 lines) | stat: -rw-r--r-- 191,831 bytes parent folder | download
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Appendix : Anarchism and "anarcho"-capitalism 

This appendix exists for one reason, namely to explain why the idea
of "anarcho"-capitalism is a bogus one. While we have covered this topic
in some detail in section F, we thought that this appendix should be
created in order to update and bring together our critique of Bryan Caplan's 
"Anarchist Theory FAQ." Caplan's FAQ is the main on-line attempt to give the
oxymoron of "anarcho"-capitalism some form of justification and so it is
worthwhile explaining, using his FAQ as the base, why such an attempt fails.

As we will prove, Caplan's FAQ fails in its attempt to prove that "anarcho"
capitalism can be considered as part of the anarchist movement and in fact 
his account involves extensive re-writing of history. This appendix is in 
two parts, a reply to Caplan's FAQ release version 5.2 and an older reply 
to version 4.1.1 (which was originally section F.10 of the FAQ). The 
introduction to the reply to version 4.1.1 indicates what most anarchists
think of Caplan's FAQ and its claims of "objectivity" so we will not
repeat ourselves here.

We have decided to include these replies in an appendix as they are really
an addition to the main body of the FAQ. Parties interested in why Caplan's
claims are false can explore this appendix, those who are interested in 
anarchist politics can read the FAQ without having to also read on-line 
arguments between anarchists and capitalists. 

We should, perhaps, thank Caplan for allowing us an opportunity of 
explaining the ideas of such people as Proudhon and Tucker, allowing 
us to quote them and so bring their ideas to a wider audience and for 
indicating that anarchism, in all its forms, has always opposed 
capitalism and always will.

* Replies to Some Errors and Distortions in Bryan Caplan's "Anarchist Theory   
  FAQ" version 5.2

	1 Individualist Anarchists and the socialist movement
	2 Why is Caplan's definition of socialism wrong?
	3 Was Proudhon a socialist or a capitalist?
	4 Tucker on Property, Communism and Socialism
	5 Anarchism and "anarcho"-capitalism
	6 Appendix: Defining Anarchism

* Replies to Some Errors and Distortions in Bryan Caplan's "Anarchist Theory 
  FAQ" version 4.1.1.

	1 Is anarchism purely negative?
 	2 Anarchism and Equality
 	3 Is anarchism the same thing as socialism?
 	4 Anarchism and dissidents
 	5 How would anarcho-capitalism work? 

			***********************

* Replies to Some Errors and Distortions in Bryan Caplan's "Anarchist Theory 
  FAQ" version 5.2

1 - Individualist Anarchists and the socialist movement.

Caplan, in his FAQ, attempts to rewrite anarchist history by trying 
to claim that the individualist anarchists were forerunners of the 
so-called "anarcho-capitalist" school. However, as is so often the 
case with Caplan's FAQ, nothing could be further from the truth.

In section 5  (What major subdivisions may be made among anarchists?) 
of his FAQ, Caplan writes that:

   "A large segment of left-anarchists is extremely sceptical about
    the anarchist credentials of anarcho-capitalists, arguing that
    the anarchist movement has historically been clearly leftist. In
    my own view, it is necessary to re-write a great deal of history
    to maintain this claim."

He quotes Carl Landauer's _European Socialism: A History of Ideas 
and Movements_ as evidence:

       "To be sure, there is a difference between
       individualistic anarchism and collectivistic or
       communistic anarchism; Bakunin called himself a
       communist anarchist. But the communist anarchists 
       also do not acknowledge any right to society to 
       force the individual. They differ from the anarchistic
       individualists in their belief that men, if freed from
       coercion, will enter into voluntary associations of a
       communistic type, while the other wing believes that
       the free person will prefer a high degree of isolation.
       The communist anarchists repudiate the right of private
       property which is maintained through the power of the
       state. The individualist anarchists are inclined to
       maintain private property as a necessary condition of
       individual independence, without fully answering the
       question of how property could be maintained without
       courts and police."

Caplan goes on to state that "the interesting point is that before the 
emergence of modern anarcho-capitalism Landauer found it necessary to 
distinguish two strands of anarchism, only one of which he considered 
to be within the broad socialist tradition." 

However, what Caplan seems to ignore is that both individualist and
social anarchists agree that there *is* a difference between the two
schools of anarchist thought! Some insight. Of course, Caplan tries
to suggest that Landauer's non-discussion of the individualist anarchists
is somehow "evidence" that their ideas are not socialistic. Firstly,
Landauer's book is about *European* Socialism. Individualist anarchism
was almost exclusively based in America and so hardly falls within the 
book's subject area. Secondly, from the index Kropotkin is mentioned on 
*two* pages (one of which a footnote). Does that mean Kropotkin was not 
a socialist? Of course not. It seems likely, therefore, that Landauer is 
using the common Marxist terminology of defining Marxism as Socialism, 
while calling other parts of the wider socialist movement by their 
self-proclaimed names of anarchism, syndicalism and so on. Hardly 
surprising that Kropotkin is hardly mentioned in a history of 
"Socialism" (i.e. Marxism).

As noted above, both schools of anarchism knew there was a difference
between their ideas. Kropotkin and Tucker, for example, both distinguished 
between two types of anarchism as well as two types of socialism. Thus
Caplan's "interesting point" is just a banality, a common fact which
anyone with a basic familiarity of anarchist history would know. 
Kropotkin in his justly famous essay on Anarchism for _The Encyclopaedia 
Britannica_ *also* found it necessary to distinguish two strands of 
anarchism.  As regards Caplan's claims that only one of these strands
of anarchism is "within the broad socialist tradition" all we can say
is that both Kropotkin *and* Tucker considered their ideas and 
movement to be part of the broader socialist tradition. According 
to an expert on Individualist Anarchism, Tucker "looked upon anarchism 
as a branch of the general socialist movement" [James J. Martin, _Men
Against the State_, pp. 226-7]. Other writers on Individualist Anarchism
have noted the same fact (for example, Tucker "definitely thought of 
himself a socialist" [William O. Reichart, _Partisans of Freedom: A 
Study in American Anarchism_, p. 156]). As evidence of the anti-socialist 
nature of individualist anarchism, Caplan's interpretation of Landauer's 
words is fundamentally nonsense. If you look at the writings of people like 
Tucker you will see that they called themselves socialists and considered 
themselves part of the wider socialist movement. No one familiar with
Tucker's works could overlook this fact.

Interestingly, Landauer includes Proudhon in his history and states that
he was "the most profound thinker among pre-Marxian socialists." [p. 67]
Given that Caplan elsewhere in his FAQ tries to co-opt Proudhon into the
"anarcho"-capitalist school as well as Tucker, his citing of Landauer 
seems particularly dishonest. Landauer presents Proudhon's ideas in some
depth in his work within a chapter headed "The three Anticapitalistic
Movements." Indeed, he starts his discussion of Proudhon's ideas with
the words "In France, post-Utopian socialism begins with Peter Joseph
Proudhon." [p. 59] Given that both Kropotkin and Tucker indicated that
Individualist Anarchism followed Proudhon's economic and political
ideas the fact that Landauer states that Proudhon was a socialist
implies that Individualist Anarchism is also socialist (or "Leftist"
to use Caplan's term). 

Tucker and the other individualist anarchists considered themselves
as followers of Proudhon's ideas (as did Bakunin and Kropotkin). For
example, Tucker stated that his journal _Liberty_ was "brought into
existence as a direct consequence of the teachings of Proudhon" and 
"lives principally to spread them." [cited by Paul Avrich in his 
"Introduction" to _Proudhon and his "Bank of the People"_ by Charles 
A. Dana]

Obviously Landauer considered Proudhon a socialist and if Individualist 
Anarchism follows Proudhon's ideas then it, too, must be socialist.

Unsurprisingly, then, Tucker also considered himself a socialist. To 
state the obvious, Tucker and Bakunin both shared Proudhon's opposition 
to *private* property (in the capitalist sense of the word), although 
Tucker confused this opposition (and possibly the casual reader) by 
talking about possession as "property." 

So, it appears that Caplan is the one trying to rewrite history.

2 - Why is Caplan's definition of socialism wrong?

Perhaps the problem lies with Caplan's "definition" of socialism.  In
section 7 (Is anarchism the same thing as socialism?) he states:

     "If we accept one traditional definition of socialism -- 'advocacy
      of government ownership of the means of production' -- it seems
      that anarchists are not socialists by definition. But if by
      socialism we mean something more inclusive, such as 'advocacy of
      the strong restriction or abolition of private property,' then
      the question becomes more complex."

Which are hardly traditional definitions of socialism unless you are
ignorant of socialist ideas! By definition one, Bakunin and Kropotkin
are not socialists. As far as definition two goes, all anarchists
were opposed to (capitalist) private property and argued for its 
abolition and its replacement with possession. The actual forms of 
possession differed from between anarchist schools of thought, but 
the common aim to end private property (capitalism) was still there. 
To quote Dana, in a pamphlet called "a really intelligent, forceful, 
and sympathetic account of mutual banking" by Tucker, individualist 
anarchists desire to "destroy the tyranny of capital,- that is, of 
property" by mutual credit. [Charles A. Dana, _Proudhon and his "Bank 
of the People"_, p. 46]

Interestingly, this second definition of socialism brings to light a
contradiction in Caplan's account. Elsewhere in the FAQ he notes that
Proudhon had "ideas on the desirability of a modified form of private 
property." In fact, Proudhon did desire to restrict private property to
that of possession, as Caplan himself seems aware. In other words,
even taking his own definitions we find that Proudhon would be considered
a socialist! Indeed, according to Proudhon, "all accumulated capital 
is collective property, no one may be its exclusive owner." [_Selected 
Writings of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon_, p. 44] Thus Jeremy Jennings' 
summary of the anarchist position on private property:

"The point to stress is that all anarchists [including Spooner and Tucker], 
and not only those wedded to the predominant twentieth-century strain of 
anarchist communism have been critical of private property to the extent 
that it was a source of hierarchy and privilege." 

He goes on to state that anarchists like Tucker and Spooner "agreed with 
the proposition that property was legitimate only insofar as it embraced
no more than the total product of individual labour." ["Anarchism", 
_Contemporary Political Ideologies_, Roger Eatwell and Anthony Wright 
(eds.), p. 132]

The idea that socialism can be defined as state ownership or even 
opposition to, or "abolition" of, all forms of property is not one 
which is historically accurate for all forms of socialism. Obviously 
communist-anarchists and syndicalists would dismiss out of hand the 
identification of socialism as state ownership, as would Individualist 
Anarchists like Tucker and Joseph Labadie. As for opposition or
abolition of all forms of "private property" as defining socialism, 
such a position would have surprised communist-anarchists like Kropotkin 
(and, obviously, such self-proclaimed socialists as Tucker and Labadie). 

For example, in _Act for Yourselves_ Kropotkin explicitly states that 
a peasant "who is in possession of just the amount of land he can 
cultivate" would not be expropriated in an anarchist revolution. 
Similarly for the family "inhabiting a house which affords them just 
enough space . . . considered necessary for that number of people" and 
the artisan "working with their own tools or handloom" would be left 
alone [pp. 104-5]. He makes the same point in _The Conquest of Bread_ 
[p. 61] Thus, like Proudhon, Kropotkin replaces *private property* 
with *possession* as the former is "theft" (i.e. it allows exploitation, 
which "indicate[s] the scope of Expropriation" namely "to everything 
that enables any man [or woman]. . . to appropriate the product of 
other's toil" [_The Conquest of Bread_, p. 61])

Even Marx and Engels did not define socialism in terms of the abolition
of all forms of "private property." Like anarchists, they distinguished
between that property which allows exploitation to occur and that which
did not. Looking at the _Communist Manifesto_ we find them arguing that
the "distinguishing feature of Communism is not the abolition of 
property generally, but the abolition of bourgeois property" and that
"Communism deprives no man of the power to appropriate the products of 
society; all that it does is to deprive him of the power to subjugate 
the labour of others by means of such appropriation." Moreover, they
correctly note that "property" has meant different things at different
times and that the "abolition of existing property relations is not at 
all a distinctive feature of Communism" as "[a]ll property relations in 
the past have continually been subject to historical change consequent
upon the change in historical conditions." As an example, they argue
that the French Revolution "abolished feudal property in favour of 
bourgeois property." [_The Manifesto of the Communist Party_, p.47, 
p. 49 and p. 47] 

Which means that the idea that socialism means abolishing "private 
property" is *only* true for those kinds of property that are used
to exploit the labour of others. Nicholas Walter sums up the anarchist
position when he wrote that anarchists "are in favour of the private
property which cannot be used by one person to exploit another." 
_Reinventing Anarchy_, p. 49] In other words, property which is
no longer truly *private* as it is used by those who do not own it.
In effect, the key point of Proudhon's _What is Property?_, namely
the difference between possession and property. Which means that 
rather than desire the abolition of all forms of "private property,"
socialists (of all kinds, libertarian and authoritarian) desire the
abolition of a specific kind of property, namely that kind which
allows the exploitation and domination of others. To ignore this
distinction is to paint a very misleading picture of what socialism
stands for.

This leaves the "the strong restriction . . . of private 
property" definition of socialism. Here Caplan is on stronger 
ground. Unfortunately, by using that definition the Individualist 
Anarchists, like the Social Anarchists, are included in socialist
camp, a conclusion he is trying to avoid. As *every* anarchist 
shares Proudhon's analysis that "property is theft" and that 
*possession* would be the basis of anarchism, it means that 
every anarchist is a socialist (as Labadie always claimed). 
This includes Tucker and the other Individualist Anarchists. 
For example, Joseph Labadie stated that "the two great 
sub-divisions of Socialists" (anarchists and State Socialists) 
both "agree that the resources of nature -- land, mines, and so 
forth -- should not be held as private property and subject to 
being held by the individual for speculative purposes, that use 
of these things shall be the only valid title, and that each 
person has an equal right to the use of all these things. They 
all agree that the present social system is one composed of a 
class of slaves and a class of masters, and that justice is 
impossible under such conditions." [_What is Socialism?_] Tucker
himself argued that the anarchists' "occupancy and use" title
to land and other scare material would involve a change (and, 
in effect, "restriction") of current (i.e. capitalist) property 
rights:

"It will be seen from this definition that Anarchistic property 
concerns only products. But anything is a product upon which human 
labour has been expended. It should be stated, however, that in the 
case of land, or of any other material the supply of which is so 
limited that all cannot hold it in unlimited quantities, Anarchism 
undertakes to protect no titles except such as are based on actual 
occupancy and use." [_Instead of a Book_, p. 61]

and so:

"no advocate of occupancy and use believes that it can be put in 
force until as a theory it has been accepted as generally . . . 
seen and accepted as is the prevailing theory of ordinary private 
property." [_Occupancy and Use versus the Single Tax_]

So, as can be seen, Individualist Anarchism rejected important
aspects of capitalist property rights. Given that the Individualist
Anarchists were writing at a time when agriculture was still
the largest source of employment this position on land is much
more significant than it first appears. In effect, Tucker and
the other American Anarchists were advocating a *massive* 
and *fundamental* change in property-rights, in the social 
relationships they generated and in American society. This
is, in other words, a very "strong restriction" in capitalist
property rights (and it is *this* type of property Caplan
is referring to, rather than "property" in the abstract).

However, such a "definition" of socialism as "restricting" 
private property is flawed as it does not really reflect 
anarchist ideas on the subject. Anarchists, in effect, 
reject the simplistic analysis that because a society (or 
thinker) accepts "property" that it (or he/she) is capitalistic. 
This is for two reasons. Firstly, the term "property" has 
been used to describe a wide range of situations and institutions. 
Thus Tucker used the term "property" to describe a society in 
which capitalist property rights were *not* enforced. Secondly, 
and far more importantly, concentrating on "property" rights in 
the abstract ignores the social relationships it generates. 
Freedom is product of social interaction, not one of isolation. 
This means that the social relationships generated in a given 
society are the key to evaluating it -- not whether it has 
"property" or not. To look at "property" in the abstract is 
to ignore people and the relationships they create between 
each other. And it is these relationships which determine 
whether they are free or not (and so exploited or not). 
Caplan's use of the anti-property rights "definition" of 
socialism avoids the central issue of freedom, of whether 
a given society generates oppression and exploitation or 
not. By looking at "property" Caplan ignores liberty, a 
strange but unsurprising position for a self-proclaimed 
"libertarian" to take.

Thus both of Caplan's "definitions" of socialism are lacking.
A "traditional" one of government ownership is hardly that and 
the one based on "property" rights avoids the key issue while, 
in its own way, includes *all* the anarchists in the socialist 
camp (something Caplan, we are sure, did not intend).

So what would be a useful definition of socialism? From our
discussion on property we can instantly reject Caplan's biased
and simplistic starting points. In fact, a definition of socialism 
which most socialists would agree with would be one that stated 
that "the whole produce of labour ought to belong to the labourer"
(to use words Thomas Hodgskin, an early English socialist, from 
his essay _Labour Defended against the Claims of Capital_). Tucker
stated that "the bottom claim of Socialism" was "that labour
should be put in possession of its own," that "the natural wage
of labour is its product" (see his essay _State Socialism and
Anarchism_). This definition also found favour with Kropotkin
who stated that socialism "in its wide, generic, and true
sense" was an "effort to *abolish* the exploitation of labour
by capital." [_Kropotkin's Revolutionary Pamphlets_, p. 169]

From this position, socialists soon realised that (to again
quote Kropotkin) "the only guarantee not to by robbed of the 
fruits of your labour is to possess the instruments of labour." 
[_The Conquest of Bread_, p. 145] Because of this socialism also
could be defined as "the workers shall own the means of production," 
as this automatically meant that the product would go to the producer,
and, in fact, this could also be a definition of socialism most
socialists would agree with. The form of this ownership, however,
differed from socialist tendency to socialist tendency (some, like
Proudhon, proposed co-operative associations, others like Kropotkin
communal ownership, others like the Social Democrats state ownership
and so on). Moreover, as the economy changed in the 19th century, so 
did socialist ideas. Murray Bookchin gives a good summary of this 
process:

"Th[e] growing shift from artisanal to an industrial economy gave
rise to a gradual but major shift in socialism itself. For the
artisan, socialism meant producers' co-operatives composed of
men who worked together in small shared collectivist associations
. . . For the industrial proletarian, by contrast, socialism came
to mean the formation of a mass organisation that gave factory
workers the collective power to expropriate a plant that no
single worker could properly own. . . They advocated *public*
ownership of the means of production, whether by the state or
by the working class organised in trade unions." [_The Third
Revolution_, vol. 2, p. 262]

So, in this evolution of socialism we can place the various
brands of anarchism. Individualist anarchism is clearly a form 
of artisanal socialism (which reflects its American roots) while 
communist anarchism and anarcho-syndicalism are forms of industrial 
(or proletarian) socialism (which reflects its roots in Europe). 
Proudhon's mutualism bridges these extremes, advocating as it does 
artisan socialism for small-scale industry and agriculture and 
co-operative associations for large-scale industry (which reflects
the state of the French economy in the 1840s to 1860s). The common 
feature of all these forms of anarchism is opposition to usury and
the notion that "workers shall own the means of production." Or, 
in Proudhon's words, "abolition of the proletariat." [Op. Cit., 
p. 179] As one expert on Proudhon points out, Proudhon's support 
for "association" (or "associative socialism") "anticipated all
those later movements" which demanded "that the economy be
controlled neither by private enterprise nor by the state . . .
but by the producers" such as "the revolutionary syndicalists"
and "the students of 1968." [K. Steven Vincent, _Pierre-Joseph 
Proudhon and the Rise of French Republican Socialism_, p. 165]
"Industrial Democracy must. . . succeed Industrial Feudalism,"
to again quote Proudhon. [Op. Cit., p. 167]

Thus the common agreement between all socialists was that capitalism 
was based upon exploitation and wage slavery, that workers did not 
have access to the means of production and so had to sell themselves 
to the class that did. Thus we find Individualist Anarchists arguing
that the whole produce of labour ought to belong to the labourer and
opposing the exploitation of labour by capital. To use Tucker's own 
words:

"the fact that one class of men are dependent for their living upon
the sale of their labour, while another class of men are relieved of 
the necessity of labour by being legally privileged to sell something 
that is not labour. . . . And to such a state of things I am as much 
opposed as any one. But the minute you remove privilege . . . every 
man will be a labourer exchanging with fellow-labourers . . . What 
Anarchistic-Socialism aims to abolish is usury . . . it wants to 
deprive capital of its reward." [_Instead of a Book_, p. 404]

By ending wage labour, anarchist socialism would ensure "The land to 
the cultivator. The mine to the miner. The tool to the labourer. The
product to the producer" and so "everyone [would] be a proprietor" 
and so there would be "no more proletaires" (in the words of Ernest 
Lesigne, quoted favourably by Tucker as part of what he called a 
"summary exposition of Socialism from the standpoint of Anarchism"
[Op. Cit., p. 17, p. 16]). Wage labour, and so capitalism, would be 
no more and "the product [would go] to the producer." The Individualist 
Anarchists, as Wm. Gary Kline correctly points out, "expected a society 
of largely self-employed workmen with no significant disparity of wealth 
between any of them." [_The Individualist Anarchists_, p. 104] In other 
words, the "abolition of the proletariat" as desired by Proudhon.  

Therefore, like all socialists, Tucker wanted to end usury, ensure
the "product to the producer" and this meant workers owning and 
controlling the means of production they used ("no more proletaires"). 
He aimed to do this by reforming capitalism away by creating mutual 
banks and other co-operatives (he notes that Individualist Anarchists 
followed Proudhon, who "would individualise and associate" the productive
and distributive forces in society [as quoted by James J. Martin,
_Men Against the State_, p. 228]). Here is Kropotkin on Proudhon's 
reformist mutualist-socialism:

"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." [_Kropotkin's Revolutionary Pamphlet's_, pp. 290-1 -- 
emphasis added]

In other words, like all anarchists, Proudhon desired to see a society
without capitalists and wage slaves ("the same end") but achieved by 
different means. When Proudhon wrote to Karl Marx in 1846 he made the
same point:

"through Political Economy we must turn the theory of Property against 
Property in such a way as to create what you German socialists call 
*community* and which for the moment I will only go so far as calling 
*liberty* or *equality.*" [_Selected Writings of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon_,
p. 151]

In other words, Proudhon shared the common aim of all socialists (namely 
to abolish capitalism, wage labour and exploitation) but disagreed with 
the means. As can be seen, Tucker placed himself squarely in this
tradition and so could (and did) call himself a socialist. Little
wonder Joseph Labadie often said that "All anarchists are socialists, 
but not all socialists are anarchists." That Caplan tries to ignore
this aspect of Individualist Anarchism in an attempt to co-opt it
into "anarcho"-capitalism indicates well that his FAQ is not an
objective or neutral work.

Caplan states that the "United States has been an even more fertile 
ground for individualist anarchism: during the 19th-century, such 
figures as Josiah Warren, Lysander Spooner, and Benjamin Tucker 
gained prominence for their vision of an anarchism based upon freedom 
of contract and private property."

However, as indicated, Tucker and Spooner did *not* support private property
in the capitalist sense of the word and Kropotkin and Bakunin, no less
than Tucker and Spooner, supported free agreement between individuals and
groups. What does that prove? That Caplan seems more interested in the
words Tucker and Proudhon used rather than the meanings *they* attached
to them. Hardly convincing.

Perhaps Caplan should consider Proudhon's words on the subject of socialism:

"Modern Socialism was not founded as a sect or church; it has seen a number 
of different schools." [_Selected Writings of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon_, 
Stewart Edwards (ed), p. 177]

If he did perhaps he would who see that the Individualist Anarchists
were a school of socialism, given their opposition to exploitation and
the desire to see its end via their political, economic and social
ideas.

3 - Was Proudhon a socialist or a capitalist?

In section 8 (Who are the major anarchist thinkers?), Caplan tries his best 
to claim that Proudhon was not really a socialist at all. He states that 
"Pierre[-Joseph] Proudhon is also often included [as a "left anarchist"] 
although his ideas on the desirability of a modified form of private 
property would lead some to exclude him from the leftist camp altogether."

"Some" of which group? Other anarchists, like Bakunin and Kropotkin? Obviously
not -- Bakunin claimed that "Proudhon was the master of us all." According
to George Woodcock Kropotkin was one of Proudhon's "confessed disciples." 
Perhaps that makes Bakunin and Kropotkin proto-capitalists? Obviously not. 
What about Tucker? He called Proudhon "the father of the Anarchistic
school of Socialism." [_Instead of a Book_, p. 381] And, as we noted 
above, the socialist historian Carl Launder considered Proudhon a 
socialist, as did the noted British socialist G.D.H. Cole in his 
_History of Socialist Thought_ (and in fact called him one of the "major 
prophets of Socialism."). What about Marx and Engels, surely they would
be able to say if he was a socialist or not? According to Engels, 
Proudhon was "the Socialist of the small peasant and master-craftsman."
[Marx and Engels, _Selected Works_, p. 260]

In fact, the only "left" (i.e. social) anarchist of note who seems 
to place Proudhon outside of the "leftist" (i.e. anarchist) camp 
is Murray Bookchin. In the second volume of _The Third Revolution_ 
Bookchin argues that "Proudhon was no socialist" simply because 
he favoured "private property." [p. 39] However, he does note the 
"one moral provision [that] distinguished the Proudhonist contract 
from the capitalist contract" namely "it abjured profit and exploitation." 
[Op. Cit., pp. 40-41] -- which, of course, places him in the socialist
tradition (see last section). Unfortunately, Bookchin fails to acknowledge 
this or that Proudhon was totally opposed to wage labour along with 
usury, which, again, instantly places him in ranks of socialism (see, 
for example, the _General Idea of the Revolution_, p. 98, pp. 215-6 
and pp. 221-2, and his opposition to state control of capital as being 
"more wage slavery" and, instead, urging whatever capital required 
collective labour to be "democratically organised workers' 
associations" [_No Gods, No Masters_, vol. 1, p. 62]). 

Bookchin (on page 78) quotes Proudhon as arguing that "association" 
was "a protest against the wage system" which suggests that 
Bookchin's claims that Proudhonian "analysis minimised the 
social relations embodied in the capitalist market and industry" 
[p. 180] is false. Given that wage labour is *the* unique social 
relationship within capitalism, it is clear from Proudhon's works 
that he did not "minimise" the social relations created by 
capitalism, rather the opposite. Proudhon's opposition to wage 
labour clearly shows that he focused on the *key* social relation
which capitalism creates -- namely the one of domination of the 
worker by the capitalist.

Bookchin *does* mention that Proudhon was "obliged in 1851, in 
the wake of the associationist ferment of 1848 and after, to
acknowledge that association of some sort was unavoidable for
large-scale enterprises." [p. 78] However, Proudhon's support
of industrial democracy pre-dates 1851 by some 11 years. He
stated in _What is Property?_ that he "preach[ed] emancipation
to the proletaires; association to the labourers" and that
"leaders" within industry "must be chosen from the labourers
by the labourers themselves." [p. 137 and p. 414] It is 
significant that the first work to call itself anarchist 
opposed property along with the state, exploitation along with
oppression and supported self-management against hierarchical 
relationships within production ("anarcho"-capitalists take
note!). Proudhon also called for "democratically organised
workers' associations" to run large-scale industry in his
1848 Election Manifesto. [_No Gods, No Masters_, vol. 1, 
p. 62] Given that Bookchin considers as "authentic artisanal
socialists" those who called for *collective* ownership
of the means of production, but "exempted from collectivisation
the peasantry" [p. 4] we have to conclude that Proudhon was 
such an "authentic" artisanal socialist! Indeed, at one point 
Bookchin mentions the "individualistic artisanal socialism 
of Proudhon" [p. 258] which suggests a somewhat confused 
approach to Proudhon's ideas!

In effect, Bookchin makes the same mistake as Caplan; but, unlike
Caplan, he should know better. Rather than not being a socialist,
Proudhon is obviously an example of what Bookchin himself calls 
"artisanal socialism" (as Marx and Engels recongised). Indeed, 
he notes that Proudhon was its "most famous advocate" and 
that "nearly all so-called 'utopian' socialists, even
[Robert] Owen -- the most labour-orientated -- as well as
Proudhon -- essentially sought the equitable distribution of
property." [p. 273] Given Proudhon's opposition to wage labour
and capitalist property and his support for industrial democracy 
as an alternative, Bookchin's position is untenable -- he confuses
socialism with communism, rejecting as socialist all views which
are not communism (a position he shares with right-libertarians).

He did not always hold this position, though. He writes in _The
Spanish Anarchists_ that:

"Proudhon envisions a free society as one in which small craftsmen, 
peasants, and collectively owned industrial enterprises negotiate 
and contract with each other to satisfy their material needs. 
Exploitation is brought to an end. . . Although these views 
involve a break with capitalism, by no means can they be regarded 
as communist ideas. . ." [p. 18] 

In contrast to some of Bookchin's comments (and Caplan) K. Steven 
Vincent is correct to argue that, for Proudhon, justice "applied 
to the economy was associative socialism" and so Proudhon is
squarely in the socialist camp [_Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
and the Rise of French Republican Socialism_, p. 228].

However, perhaps all these "leftists" are wrong (bar Bookchin, 
who *is* wrong, at least some of the time). Perhaps they just did 
not understand what socialism actually is (and as Proudhon stated 
"I am socialist" [_Selected Writing of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon_, 
p. 195] and described himself as a socialist many times this also 
applies to Proudhon himself!). So the question arises, did Proudhon 
support private property in the capitalist sense of the word? The 
answer is no. To quote George Woodcock summary of Proudhon's ideas 
on this subject we find:

"He [Proudhon] was denouncing the property of a man who uses it to 
exploit the labour of others, without an effort on his own part, 
property distinguished by interest and rent, by the impositions 
of the non-producer on the producer. Towards property regarded as 
'possession,' the right of a man to control his dwelling and the 
land and tools he needs to live, Proudhon had no hostility; indeed 
he regarded it as the cornerstone of liberty." ["On Proudhon's 
'What is Property?'", _The Raven_ No. 31, pp. 208-9]

George Crowder makes the same point:

"The ownership he opposes is basically that which is unearned . . . 
including such things as interest on loans and income from rent. This 
is contrasted with ownership rights in those goods either produced by 
the work of the owner or necessary for that work, for example his 
dwelling-house, land and tools. Proudhon initially refers to legitimate 
rights of ownership of these goods as 'possession,' and although in his 
latter work he calls *this* 'property,' the conceptual distinction 
remains the same." [_Classical Anarchism_, pp. 85-86]

Indeed, according to Proudhon himself, the "accumulation of capital and 
instrument is what the capitalist owes to the producer, but he never pays 
him for it. It is this fraudulent deprivation which causes the poverty of 
the worker, the opulence of the idle and the inequality of their conditions.
And it is this, above all, which has so aptly been called the exploitation 
of man by man." [_Selected Writings of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon_, p. 43]

He called his ideas on possession a "third form of society, the synthesis
of communism and property" and calls it "liberty." [_The Anarchist Reader_,
p. 68]. He even goes so far as to say that property "by its despotism and
encroachment, soon proves itself oppressive and anti-social." [Op. Cit., 
p. 67] Opposing private property he thought that "all accumulated capital 
is collective property, no one may be its exclusive owner." Indeed, he 
considered the aim of his economic reforms "was to rescue the working 
masses from capitalist exploitation." [_Selected Writings of Pierre-Joseph 
Proudhon_, p. 44, p. 80]

In other words, Proudhon considered capitalist property to be the source
of exploitation and oppression and he opposed it. He explicitly contrasts
his ideas to that of capitalist property and *rejects* it as a means of
ensuring liberty.

Caplan goes on to claim that "[s]ome of Proudhon's other heterodoxies include 
his defence of the right of inheritance and his emphasis on the genuine 
antagonism between state power and property rights." 

However, this is a common anarchist position. Anarchists are well aware that 
possession is a source of independence within capitalism and so should be 
supported. As Albert Meltzer puts it:

"All present systems of ownership mean that some are deprived of the 
fruits of their labour. It is true that, in a competitive society, only 
the possession of independent means enables one to be free of the economy 
(that is what Proudhon meant when, addressing himself to the self-employed 
artisan, he said 'property is liberty', which seems at first sight a 
contradiction with his dictum that it was theft)"[_Anarchism: Arguments 
For and Against_, pp. 12-13]

Malatesta makes the same point:

"Our opponents . . . are in the habit of justifying the right to
private property by stating that property is the condition and 
guarantee of liberty.

"And we agree with them. Do we not say repeatedly that poverty is
slavery?

"But then why do we oppose them?

"The reason is clear: in reality the property that they defend is capitalist
property. . . which therefore depends on the existence of a class of
the disinherited and dispossessed, forced to sell their labour to the
property owners for a wage below its real value. . . This means that
workers are subjected to a kind of slavery." [_The Anarchist Revolution_,
p. 113]

As does Kropotkin:

"the only guarantee not to be robbed of the fruits of your labour
is to possess the instruments of labour. . . man really produces 
most when he works in freedom, when he has a certain choice in his
occupations, when he has no overseer to impede him, and lastly,
when he sees his work bringing profit to him and to others who
work like him, but bringing in little to idlers." [_The Conquest
of Bread_, p. 145]

Perhaps this makes these three well known anarcho-communists "really" 
proto-"anarcho"-capitalists as well? Obviously not. Instead of wondering 
if his ideas on what socialism is are wrong, he tries to rewrite history 
to fit the anarchist movement into his capitalist ideas of what anarchism, 
socialism and whatever are actually like. 

In addition, we must point out that Proudhon's "emphasis on the genuine 
antagonism between state power and property rights" came from his later 
writings, in which he argued that property rights were required to control 
state power. In other words, this "heterodoxy" came from a period in which 
Proudhon did not think that state could be abolished and so "property is 
the only power that can act as a counterweight to the State." [_Selected
Writings of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon_, p. 140] Of course, this "later" 
Proudhon also acknowledged that property was "an absolutism within an 
absolutism," "by nature autocratic" and that its "politics could be 
summed up in a single word," namely "exploitation." [p. 141, p. 140, 
p. 134] 

Moreover, Proudhon argues that "spread[ing] it more equally and 
establish[ing] it more firmly in society" is the means by which 
"property" "becomes a guarantee of liberty and keeps the State on 
an even keel." [p. 133, p. 140] In other words, rather than "property" 
*as such* limiting the state, it is "property" divided equally 
through society which is the key, without concentrations of 
economic power and inequality which would result in exploitation 
and oppression. Therefore, "[s]imple justice. . . requires that 
equal division of land shall not only operate at the outset. If 
there is to be no abuse, it must be maintained from generation to 
generation." [Op. Cit., p. 141, p. 133, p. 130]. 

Interestingly, one of Proudhon's "other heterodoxies" Caplan does not 
mention is his belief that "property" was required not only to defend 
people against the state, but also capitalism. He saw society dividing 
into "two classes, one of employed workers, the other of property-owners, 
capitalists, entrepreneurs." He thus recognised that capitalism was just 
as oppressive as the state and that it assured "the victory of the strong 
over the weak, of those who property over those who own nothing." [as quoted
by Alan Ritter, _The Political Thought of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon_, p. 121] 
Thus Proudhon's argument that "property is liberty" is directed not only 
against the state, but also against social inequality and concentrations 
of economic power and wealth. 

Indeed, he considered that "companies of capitalists" were the "exploiters
of the bodies and souls of their wage earners" and an outrage on "human
dignity and personality." Instead of wage labour he thought that the 
"industry to be operated, the work to be done, are the common and
indivisible property of all the participant workers." In other words, 
self-management and workers' control. In this way there would be 
"no more government of man by man, by means of accumulation of
capital" and the "social republic" established. Hence his support 
for co-operatives:

"The importance of their work lies not in their petty union interests,
but in their denial of the rule of capitalists, usurers, and governments,
which the first [French] revolution left undisturbed. Afterwards, when
they have conquered the political lie. . . the groups of workers should
take over the great departments of industry which are their natural
inheritance." [cited in _Pierre-Joseph Proudhon_, E. Hymans, pp. 190-1,
and _Anarchism_, George Woodcock, p. 110, 112]

In other words, a *socialist* society as workers would no longer be
separated from the means of production and they would control their
own work (the "abolition of the proletariat," to use Proudhon's 
expression). This would mean recognising that "the right to products
is exclusive - jus in re; the right to means is common - jus ad rem"
[cited by Woodcock, _Anarchism_, p. 96] which would lead to 
self-management:

"In democratising us, revolution has launched us on the path of 
industrial democracy." [_Selected Writings of Pierre-Joseph 
Proudhon_, p. 63]
 
As Woodcock points out, in Proudhon's "picture of the ideal society of 
the ideal society it is this predominance of the small proprietor, the 
peasant or artisan, that immediately impresses one" with "the creation 
of co-operative associations for the running of factories and railways."
["On Proudhon's 'What is Property?'", Op. Cit., p. 209, p. 210]

All of which hardly supports Caplan's attempts to portray Proudhon 
as "really" a capitalist all along. Indeed, the "later" Proudhon's 
support for protectionism [_Selected Writings of Pierre-Joseph 
Proudhon_, p. 187], the "fixing after amicable discussion of a 
*maximum* and *minimum* profit margin," "the organising of regulating 
societies" and that mutualism would "regulate the market" [Op. Cit., 
p. 70] and his obvious awareness of economic power and that capitalism 
exploited and oppressed the wage-worker suggests that rather than 
leading some to exclude Proudhon from the "leftist camp" altogether, 
it is a case of excluding him utterly from the "rightist camp" 
(i.e. "anarcho"-capitalism). Therefore Caplan's attempt to claim 
(co-opt would be better) Proudhon for "anarcho"-capitalism indicates 
how far Caplan will twist (or ignore) the evidence. As would quickly
become obvious when reading his work, Proudhon would (to use Caplan's 
words) "normally classify government, property, hierarchical 
organisations . . . as 'rulership.'"

To summarise, Proudhon was a socialist and Caplan's attempts to rewrite
anarchist and socialist history fails. Proudhon was the fountainhead
for both wings of the anarchist movement and _What is Property?_ 
"embraces the core of nineteenth century anarchism. . . [bar support 
for revolution] all the rest of later anarchism is there, spoken or 
implied: the conception of a free society united by association, of 
workers controlling the means of production. . . [this book] remains 
the foundation on which the whole edifice of nineteenth century 
anarchist theory was to be constructed." [Op. Cit., p. 210]

Little wonder Bakunin stated that his ideas were Proudhonism "widely
developed and pushed to these, its final consequences." [_Michael
Bakunin: Selected Writings_, p. 198]

4 - Tucker on Property, Communism and Socialism.

That Tucker called himself a socialist is quickly seen from _Instead 
of A Book_ or any of the books written about Tucker and his ideas. 
That Caplan seeks to deny this means that either Caplan has not looked 
at either _Instead of a Book_ or the secondary literature (with obvious
implications for the accuracy of his FAQ) or he decided to ignore
these facts in favour of his own ideologically tainted version of
history (again with obvious implications for the accuracy and 
objectivity of his FAQ).

Caplan, in an attempt to deny the obvious, quotes Tucker from 1887 as
follows in section 14 (What are the major debates between anarchists?
What are the recurring arguments?):

    "It will probably surprise many who know nothing of Proudhon save
     his declaration that 'property is robbery' to learn that he was
     perhaps the most vigorous hater of Communism that ever lived
     on this planet. But the apparent inconsistency vanishes when
     you read his book and find that by property he means simply
     legally privileged wealth or the power of usury, and not at
     all the possession by the labourer of his products."

You will instantly notice that Proudhon does not mean by property "the
possession of the labourer of his products." However, Proudhon did include
in his definition of "property" the possession of the capital to steal 
profits from the work of the labourers. As is clear from the quote, Tucker 
and Proudhon was opposed to capitalist property ("the power of usury"). 
From Caplan's own evidence he proves that Tucker was not a capitalist!

But lets quote Tucker on what he meant by "usury":

"There are three forms of usury, interest on money, rent on land and houses, 
and profit in exchange. Whoever is in receipt of any of these is a usurer." 
[cited in _Men against the State_ by James J. Martin, p. 208]

Which can hardly be claimed as being the words of a person who supports
capitalism!

And we should note that Tucker considered both government and capital
oppressive. He argued that anarchism meant "the restriction of power to 
self and the abolition of power over others. Government makes itself felt 
alike in country and in city, capital has its usurious grip on the farm 
as surely as on the workshop and the oppressions and exactions of neither 
government nor capital can be avoided by migration." [_Instead of a Book_, 
p. 114] 

And, we may add, since when was socialism identical to communism? Perhaps
Caplan should actually read Proudhon and the anarchist critique of private
property before writing such nonsense? We have indicated Proudhon's
ideas above and will not repeat ourselves. However, it is interesting
that this passes as "evidence" of "anti-socialism" for Caplan, indicating
that he does not know what socialism or anarchism actually is. To state
the obvious, you can be a hater of "communism" and still be a socialist!

So this, his one attempt to prove that Tucker, Spooner and even Proudhon 
were really capitalists by quoting the actual people involved is a failure.

He asserts that for any claim that "anarcho"-capitalism is not anarchist
is wrong because "the factual supporting arguments are often incorrect. For
example, despite a popular claim that socialism and anarchism have been
inextricably linked since the inception of the anarchist movement, many
19th-century anarchists, not only Americans such as Tucker and Spooner, but
even Europeans like Proudhon, were ardently in favour of private property
(merely believing that some existing sorts of property were illegitimate,
without opposing private property as such)."

The facts supporting the claim of anarchists being socialists, however,
are not "incorrect." It is Caplan's assumption that socialism is against
all forms of "property" which is wrong. To state the obvious, socialism
does not equal communism (and anarcho-communists support the rights of 
workers to own their own means of production if they do not wish to join 
communist communes -- see above). Thus Proudhon was renown as the leading 
French Socialist theorist when he was alive. His ideas were widely known 
in the socialist movement and in many ways his economic theories were 
similar to the ideas of such well known early socialists as Robert Owen 
and William Thompson. As Kropotkin notes:

"It is worth noticing that French mutualism had its precursor in England, 
in William Thompson, who began by mutualism before he became a communist, 
and in his followers John Gray (A Lecture on Human Happiness, 1825; The 
Social System, 1831) and J. F. Bray (Labour's Wrongs and Labour's Remedy, 
1839)." [_Kropotkin's Revolutionary Pamphlets_, p. 291]

Perhaps Caplan will now claim Robert Owen and William Thompson as capitalists?

Tucker called himself a socialist on many different occasions and stated
that there were "two schools of Socialistic thought . . . State Socialism 
and Anarchism." And stated in very clear terms that:

"liberty insists on Socialism. . . - true Socialism, Anarchistic Socialism: 
the prevalence on earth of Liberty, Equality, and Solidarity." [_Instead of 
a Book_, p. 363]

And like all socialists, he opposed capitalism (i.e. usury and wage slavery) 
and wished that "there should be no more proletaires." [see the essay "State 
Socialism and Anarchism" in _Instead of a Book_, p. 17] 

Caplan, of course, is well aware of Tucker's opinions on the subject
of capitalism and private property. In section 13. (What moral justifications
have been offered for anarchism?) he writes:

   "Still other anarchists, such as Lysander Spooner and Benjamin
    Tucker as well as Proudhon, have argued that anarchism would
    abolish the exploitation inherent in interest and rent simply by
    means of free competition. In their view, only labour income is
    legitimate, and an important piece of the case for anarchism is
    that without government-imposed monopolies, non-labour income
    would be driven to zero by market forces. It is unclear, however,
    if they regard this as merely a desirable side effect, or if they
    would reject anarchism if they learned that the predicted
    economic effect thereof would not actually occur."

Firstly, we must point that Proudhon, Tucker and Spooner considered
*profits* to be exploitative as well as interest and rent. Hence we
find Tucker arguing that a "just distribution of the products of
labour is to be obtained by destroying all sources of income except
labour. These sources may be summed up in one word, -- usury; and
the three principle forms of usury are interest, rent and profit."
[_Instead of a Book_, p. 474] To ignore the fact that Tucker also
considered profit as exploitative seems strange, to say the least,
when presenting an account of his ideas. 

Secondly, rather than it being "unclear" whether the end of usury 
was "merely a desirable side effect" of anarchism, the opposite 
is the case. Anyone reading Tucker (or Proudhon) would quickly see 
that their politics were formulated with the express aim of ending 
usury. Just one example from hundreds:

"Liberty will abolish interest; it will abolish profit; it will
abolish monopolistic rent; it will abolish taxation; it will
abolish the exploitation of labour; it will abolish all means
whereby any labourer can be deprived of any of his product."
[_Instead of a Book_, p. 347]

While it is fair to wonder whether these economic effects would 
result from the application of Tucker's ideas, it *is* distinctly 
incorrect to claim that the end of usury was considered in any way 
as a "desirable side effect" of them. Rather, in *their* eyes, the 
end of usury was one of *the* aims of Individualist Anarchism, as 
can be clearly seen. As Wm. Gary Kline points out in his excellent 
account of Individualist Anarchism:

"the American anarchists exposed the tension existing in
liberal thought between private property and the ideal of
equal access. The Individualist Anarchists were, at least,
aware that existing conditions were far from ideal, that
the system itself worked against the majority of individuals
in their efforts to attain its promises. Lack of capital,
the means to creation and accumulation of wealth, usually
doomed a labourer to a life of exploitation. This the
anarchists knew and they abhorred such a system." [_The 
Individualist Anarchists_, p. 102]

This is part of the reason why they considered themselves 
socialists and, equally as important, they were considered
socialists by *other* socialists such as Kropotkin and Rocker.
The Individualist Anarchists, as can be seen, fit very easily
into Kropotkin's comments that "the anarchists, in common
with all socialists. . . maintain that the now prevailing
system of private ownership in land, and our capitalist
production for the sake of profits, represent a monopoly
which runs against both the principles of justice and the
dictates of utility." [_Kropotkin's Revolutionary Pamphlets_,
p. 285] Given that they considered profits as usury and
proposed "occupancy and use" in place of the prevailing
land ownership rights they are obviously socialists.

That the end of usury was considered a clear aim of his 
politics explains Tucker's 1911 postscript to his famous essay 
"State Socialism and Anarchism" in which he argues that "concentrated 
capital" *itself* was a barrier towards anarchy. He argued that
the "trust is now a monster which. . . even the freest competition, 
could it be instituted, would be unable to destroy." While, in
an earlier period, big business "needed the money monopoly for 
its sustenance and its growth" its size now ensured that it 
"sees in the money monopoly a convenience, to be sure, but no 
longer a necessity. It can do without it." This meant that the 
way was now "not so clear." Indeed, he argued that the problem 
of the trusts "must be grappled with for a time solely by forces 
political or revolutionary" as the trust had moved beyond the
reach of "economic forces" simply due to the concentration of
resources in its hands. ["Postscript" to _State Socialism and 
Anarchism_] 

If the end of "usury" *was* considered a "side-effect" rather 
than an objective, then the problems of the trusts and economic 
inequality/power ("enormous concentration of wealth") would 
not have been an issue. That the fact of economic power *was* 
obviously considered a hindrance to anarchy suggests the end 
of usury was a key aim, an aim which "free competition" in 
the abstract could not achieve. Rather than take the 
"anarcho"-capitalist position that massive inequality 
did not affect "free competition" or individual liberty, 
Tucker obviously thought it did and, therefore, "free 
competition" (and so the abolition of the public state) 
in conditions of massive inequality would not create an 
anarchist society. 

By trying to relegate an aim to a "side-effect," Caplan distorts 
the ideas of Tucker. Indeed, his comments on trusts, "concentrated 
capital" and the "enormous concentration of wealth" indicates 
how far Individualist Anarchism is from "anarcho"-capitalism 
(which dismisses the question of economic power Tucker raises 
out of hand). It also indicates the unity of political and
economic ideas, with Tucker being aware that without a suitable
economic basis individual freedom was meaningless. That an 
economy (like capitalism) with massive inequalities in wealth 
and so power was not such a basis is obvious from Tucker's comments.

Thirdly, what did Tucker consider as a government-imposed monopoly? 
Private property, particularly in land! As he states "Anarchism 
undertakes to protect no titles except such as are based upon 
actual occupancy and use" and that anarchism "means the abolition 
of landlordism and the annihilation of rent." [_Instead of a Book_, 
p. 61, p. 300] This, to state the obvious, is a restriction on
"private property" (in the capitalist sense), which, if we use
Caplan's definition of socialism, means that Tucker was obviously
part of the "Leftist camp" (i.e. socialist camp). In other words, 
Tucker considered capitalism as the product of statism while
socialism (libertarian of course) would be the product of anarchy.

So, Caplan's historical argument to support his notion that anarchism
is simply anti-government fails.  Anarchism, in all its many forms, have
distinct economic as well as political ideas and these cannot be parted
without loosing what makes anarchism unique. In particular, Caplan's
attempt to portray Proudhon as an example of a "pure" anti-government 
anarchism also fails, and so his attempt to co-opt Tucker and Spooner 
also fails (as noted, Tucker cannot be classed as a "pure" anti-government
anarchist either). If Proudhon was a socialist, then it follows that his 
self-proclaimed followers will also be socialists -- and, unsurprisingly, 
Tucker called himself a socialist and considered anarchism as part of 
the wider socialist movement. 

"Like Proudhon, Tucker was an 'un-marxian socialist'" [William O. 
Reichart, _Partisans of Freedom_: A Study in American Anarchism_, 
p. 157]

5 - Anarchism and "anarcho"-capitalism

Caplan tries to build upon the non-existent foundation of Tucker's and
Proudhon's "capitalism" by stating that:

    "Nor did an ardent anarcho-communist like Kropotkin deny
     Proudhon or even Tucker the title of 'anarchist.' In his
     Modern Science and Anarchism, Kropotkin discusses not only
     Proudhon but 'the American anarchist individualists who were
     represented in the fifties by S.P. Andrews and W. Greene,
     later on by Lysander Spooner, and now are represented by
     Benjamin Tucker, the well-known editor of the New York
     Liberty.' Similarly in his article on anarchism for the 1910
     edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, Kropotkin again
     freely mentions the American individualist anarchists,
     including 'Benjamin Tucker, whose journal Liberty was
     started in 1881 and whose conceptions are a combination of
     those of Proudhon with those of Herbert Spencer.'"

There is a nice historical irony in Caplan's attempts to use Kropotkin to
prove the historical validity of "anarcho"-capitalism. This is because
while Kropotkin was happy to include Tucker into the anarchist movement,
Tucker often claimed that an anarchist could not be a communist! In
_State Socialism and Anarchism_ he stated that anarchism was "an ideal
utterly inconsistent with that of those Communists who falsely call
themselves Anarchists while at the same time advocating a regime of
Archism fully as despotic as that of the State Socialists themselves."
["State Socialism and Anarchism", _Instead of a Book_, pp. 15-16]

While modern social anarchists follow Kropotkin in not denying Proudhon
or Tucker as anarchists, we do deny the anarchist title to supporters
of capitalism. Why? Simply because anarchism as a *political* movement
(as opposed to a dictionary definition) has always been anti-capitalist
and against capitalist wage slavery, exploitation and oppression. In 
other words, anarchism (in all its forms) has always been associated 
with specific political *and* economic ideas. Both Tucker and Kropotkin 
defined their anarchism as an opposition to both state and capitalism. To 
quote Tucker on the subject:

"Liberty insists. . . [on] the abolition of the State and the abolition 
of usury; on no more government of man by man, and no more exploitation 
of man by man." [cited in _Native American Anarchism - A Study of Left-Wing
American Individualism_ by Eunice Schuster, p. 140]

Kropotkin defined anarchism as "the no-government system of socialism."
[_Kropotkin's Revolutionary Pamphlets_, p. 46] Malatesta argued that
"when [people] sought to overthrow both State and property -- then it
was anarchy was born" and, like Tucker, aimed for "the complete
destruction of the domination and exploitation of man by man." 
[_Life and Ideas_, p. 19, pp. 22-28] Indeed *every* leading anarchist
theorist defined anarchism as opposition to government *and* 
exploitation. Thus Brain Morris' excellent summary:

"Another criticism of anarchism is that it has a narrow view of
politics: that it sees the state as the fount of all evil, 
ignoring other aspects of social and economic life. This is a
misrepresentation of anarchism. It partly derives from the way
anarchism has been defined [in dictionaries, for example], and
partly because Marxist historians have tried to exclude anarchism
from the broader socialist movement. But when one examines the
writings of classical anarchists. . . as well as the character
of anarchist movements. . . it is clearly evident that it has
never had this limited vision. It has always challenged all
forms of authority and exploitation, and has been equally
critical of capitalism and religion as it has been of the state."
["Anthropology and Anarchism," _Anarchy: A Journal of Desire
Armed_ no. 45, p. 40]

Therefore anarchism was never purely a political concept, but always 
combined an opposition to oppression with an opposition to exploitation. 
Little wonder, then, that both strands of anarchism have declared
themselves "socialist" and so it is "conceptually and historically 
misleading" to "create a dichotomy between socialism and anarchism."
[Brian Morris, Op. Cit., p. 39] Needless to say, anarchists oppose
*state* socialism just as much as they oppose capitalism. All of
which means that anarchism and capitalism are two *different* 
political ideas with specific (and opposed) meanings -- to deny 
these meanings by uniting the two terms creates an oxymoron, one 
that denies the history and the development of ideas as well
as the whole history of the anarchist movement itself.

As Kropotkin knew Proudhon to be an anti-capitalist, a socialist (but
not a communist) it is hardly surprising that he mentions him. Again,
Caplan's attempt to provide historical evidence for a "right-wing"
anarchism fails. Funny that the followers of Kropotkin are now defending
individualist anarchism from the attempted "adoption" by supporters of
capitalism! That in itself should be enough to indicate Caplan's attempt 
to use Kropotkin to give credence to "anarcho"-capitalist co-option of 
Proudhon, Tucker and Spooner fails.

Interestingly, Caplan admits that "anarcho"-capitalism has recent origins. 
In section 8 (Who are the major anarchist thinkers?) he states:

    "Anarcho-capitalism has a much more recent origin in the latter
     half of the 20th century. The two most famous advocates of
     anarcho-capitalism are probably Murray Rothbard and David
     Friedman. There were however some interesting earlier precursors,
     notably the Belgian economist Gustave de Molinari. Two other
     19th-century anarchists who have been adopted by modern
     anarcho-capitalists with a few caveats are Benjamin Tucker and
     Lysander Spooner. (Some left-anarchists contest the adoption,
     but overall Tucker and Spooner probably have much more in
     common with anarcho-capitalists than with left-anarchists.)"

Firstly, as he states, Tucker and Spooner have been "adopted" by the
"anarcho"-capitalist school. Being dead they have little chance to
protest such an adoption, but it is clear that they considered themselves
as socialists, against capitalism (it may be claimed that Spooner never
called himself a socialist, but then again he never called himself an
anarchist either; it is his strong opposition to wage labour that places
him in the socialist camp). Secondly, Caplan lets the cat out the bag by 
noting that this "adoption" involved a few warnings - more specifically, 
the attempt to rubbish or ignore the underlying socio-economic ideas of 
Tucker and Spooner and the obvious anti-capitalist nature of their 
vision of a free society.

Individualist anarchists are, indeed, more similar to classical liberals
than social anarchists. Similarly, social anarchists are more similar to
Marxists than Individualist anarchists. But neither statement means that
Individualist anarchists are capitalists, or social anarchists are state
socialists. It just means some of their ideas overlap -- and we must point
out that Individualist anarchist ideas overlap with Marxist ones, and
social anarchist ones with liberal ones (indeed, one interesting 
overlap between Marxism and Individualist Anarchism can be seen from
Marx's comment that abolishing interest and inter-bearing capital
"means the abolition of capital and of capitalist production itself."
[_Theories of Surplus Value_, vol. 3, p. 472] Given that Individualist
Anarchism aimed to abolish interest (along with rent and profit) it
would suggest, from a Marxist position, that it is a socialist theory).

So, if we accept Kropotkin's summary that Individualist Anarchism 
ideas are "partly those of Proudhon, but party those of Herbert 
Spencer," [_Kropotkins' Revolutionary Pamphlets_, p. 173] what 
the "anarcho"-capitalist school is trying to is to ignore the 
Proudhonian (i.e. socialist) aspect of their theories. However, 
that just leaves Spencer and Spencer was not an anarchist, but a 
right-wing Libertarian, a supporter of capitalism (a "champion of 
the capitalistic class" as Tucker put it). In other words, to
ignore the socialist aspect of Individualist Anarchism (or
anarchism in general) is to reduce it to liberalism, an extreme 
version of liberalism, but liberalism nevertheless -- and liberalism 
is not anarchism. To reduce anarchism so is to destroy what makes 
anarchism a unique political theory and movement: 

"anarchism does derive from liberalism and socialism both 
historically and ideologically . . . In a sense, anarchists 
always remain liberals and socialists, and whenever they reject 
what is good in either they betray anarchism itself . . . We are 
liberals but more so, and socialists but more so." [Nicholas Walter, 
_Reinventing Anarchy_, p. 44]

In other words, "anarcho"-capitalism is a development of ideas 
which have little in common with anarchism. Jeremy Jennings, in 
his overview of anarchist theory and history, agrees:

"It is hard not to conclude that these ideas ["anarcho"-capitalism] -- 
with roots deep in classical liberalism -- are described as anarchist 
only on the basis of a misunderstanding of what anarchism is." 
[_Contemporary Political Ideologies_, Roger Eatwell and Anthony 
Wright (eds.), p. 142]

Barbara Goodwin also agrees that the "anarcho"-capitalists' "true 
place is in the group of right-wing libertarians" not in anarchism.
[_Using Political Ideas_, p. 148] Indeed, that "anarcho"-capitalism 
is an off-shoot of classical liberalism is a position Murray Rothbard 
would agree with, as he states that right-wing Libertarians constitute 
"the vanguard of classical liberalism." [quoted by Ulrike Heider, 
_Anarchism: Left, Right and Green_, p. 95] Unfortunately for this
perspective anarchism is not liberalism and liberalism is not anarchism. 
And equally as unfortunate (this time for the anarchist movement!) 
"anarcho"-capitalism "is judged to be anarchism largely because some 
anarcho-capitalists *say* they are 'anarchists' and because they 
criticise the State." [Peter Sabatini, _Social Anarchism_, no. 23, 
p. 100] However, being opposed to the state is a necessary but not 
sufficient condition for being an anarchist (as can be seen from the 
history of the anarchist movement). Brian Morris puts it well when 
he writes:

"The term anarchy comes from the Greek, and essentially means 'no
ruler.' Anarchists are people who reject all forms of government
or coercive authority, all forms of hierarchy and domination. 
They are therefore opposed to what the Mexican anarchist Flores
Magon called the 'sombre trinity' -- state, capital and the
church. Anarchists are thus opposed to both capitalism and to
the state, as well as to all forms of religious authority. But
anarchists also seek to establish or bring about by varying means,
a condition of anarchy, that is, a decentralised society without
coercive institutions, a society organised through a federation
of voluntary associations. Contemporary 'right-wing' libertarians
. . . who are often described as 'anarchocapitalists' and who
fervently defend capitalism, are not in any real sense anarchists."
[Op. Cit., p. 38]

Rather than call themselves by a name which reflects their origins
in liberalism (and *not* anarchism), the "anarcho"-capitalists have 
instead seen fit to try and appropriate the name of anarchism and, 
in order to do so, ignore key aspects of anarchist theory in the 
process. Little wonder, then, they try and prove their anarchist 
credentials via dictionary definitions rather than from the 
anarchist movement itself (see next section).

Caplan's attempt in his FAQ is an example to ignore individualist 
anarchist theory and history. Ignored is any attempt to understand 
their ideas on property and instead Caplan just concentrates on the 
fact they use the word. Caplan also ignores:

- their many statements on being socialists and part of the wider socialist
  movement.

- their opposition to capitalist property-rights in land and other scarce 
  resources.

- their recognition that capitalism was based on usury and that it was 
  exploitation.

- their attacks on government *and* capital, rather than just government.

- their support for strikes and other forms of direct action by workers to 
  secure the full product of their labour.

In fact, the only things considered useful seems to be the individualist
anarchist's support for free agreement (something Kropotkin also agreed
with) and their use of the word "property." But even a cursory investigation
indicates the non-capitalist nature of their ideas on property and
the socialistic nature of their theories.

Perhaps Caplan should ponder these words of Kropotkin supporters of the
"individualist anarchism of the American Proudhonians . . . soon realise
that the individualisation they so highly praise is not attainable by
individual efforts, and . . . abandon the ranks of the anarchists, and 
are driven into the liberal individualism of the classical economist." 
[_Kropotkin's Revolutionary Pamphlets_, p. 297]

Caplan seems to confuse the end of the ending place of ex-anarchists
with their starting point. As can be seen from his attempt to co-opt
Proudhon, Spooner and Tucker he has to ignore their ideas and rewrite
history.

6 - Appendix: Defining Anarchism

In his Appendix "Defining Anarchism" we find that Caplan attempts
to defend his dictionary definition of anarchism. He does this
by attempting to refute two arguments, The Philological Argument
and the Historical Argument.

Taking each in turn we find:

Caplan's definition of "The Philological Argument" is as follows:

 "Several critics have noted the origin of the term 'anarchy,' which
 derives from the Greek 'arkhos,' meaning 'ruler,' and the prefix 'an-,'
 meaning 'without.' It is therefore suggested that in my definition the
 word 'government' should be replaced with the word 'domination' or
 'rulership'; thus re-written, it would then read: 'The theory or
 doctrine that all forms of rulership are unnecessary, oppressive, 
 and undesirable and should be abolished.'"

Caplan replies by stating that:

"This is all good and well, so long as we realise that various groups of
anarchists will radically disagree about what is or is not an instance
of 'rulership.'"

However, in order to refute this argument by this method, he has 
to ignore his own methodology. A dictionary definition of ruler is
"a person who rules by authority." and "rule" is defined as "to 
have authoritative control over people" or "to keep (a person or 
feeling etc.) under control, to dominate" [_The Oxford Study Dictionary_]

Hierarchy by its very nature is a form of rulership (hier-*archy*) 
and is so opposed by anarchists. Capitalism is based upon wage labour, 
in which a worker follows the rules of their boss. This is obviously a 
form of hierarchy, of domination. Almost all people (excluding die-hard 
supporters of capitalism) would agree that being told what to do, when 
to do and how to do by a boss is a form of rulership. Anarchists,
therefore, argue that "economic exploitation and political domination
. . . [are] two continually interacting aspects of the same thing --
the subjection of man by man." [Errico Malatesta, _Life and Ideas_,
p. 147] Rocker made the same point, arguing that the "exploitation
of man by man and the domination of man over man are inseparable,
and each is the condition of the other." [_Anarcho-Syndicalism_, 
p. 18]

Thus Caplan is ignoring the meaning of words to state that "on its own 
terms this argument fails to exclude anarcho-capitalists" because they 
define rulership to exclude most forms of archy! Hardly convincing. 

Strangely enough, "anarcho"-capitalist icon Murray Rothbard actually
provides evidence that the anarchist position *is* correct. He argues
that the state "arrogates to itself a monopoly of force, of ultimate 
decision-making power, over a given area territorial area." [_The 
Ethics of Liberty_, p. 170] This is obviously a form of rulership.
However, he also argues that "[o]bviously, in a free society, Smith 
has the ultimate decision-making power over his own just property, 
Jones over his, etc." [Op. Cit., p. 173] Which, to state the obvious, 
means that *both* the state and property is marked by an "ultimate 
decision-making power" over a given territory. The only "difference" 
is that Rothbard claims the former is "just" (i.e. "justly" acquired) 
and the latter is "unjust" (i.e. acquired by force). In reality
of course, the modern distribution of property is just as much a product
of past force as is the modern state. In other words, the current 
property owners have acquired their property in the same unjust 
fashion as the state has its. If one is valid, so is the other. 
Rothbard (and "anarcho"-capitalists in general) are trying to have 
it both ways.

Rothbard goes on to show why statism and private property are
essentially the same thing:

"*If* the State may be said too properly *own* its territory, then it is
proper for it to make rules for everyone who presumes to live in that
area. It can legitimately seize or control private property because there
*is* no private property in its area, because it really owns the entire 
land surface. *So long* as the State permits its subjects to leave its 
territory, then, it can be said to act as does any other owner who
sets down rules for people living on his property." [_The Ethics of
Liberty_, p. 170]

Of course Rothbard does not draw the obvious conclusion. He wants to
maintain that the state is bad and property is good while drawing
attention to their obvious similarities! Ultimately Rothbard is
exposing the bankruptcy of his own politics and analysis. According 
to Rothbard, something can look like a state (i.e. have the "ultimate 
decision-making power" over an area) and act like a state (i.e. 
"make rules for everyone" who lives in an area, i.e. govern them)
but not be a state. This not a viable position for obvious reasons.

Thus to claim, as Caplan does, that property does not generate
"rulership" is obviously nonsense. Not only does it ignore the
dictionary definition of rulership (which, let us not forget, is
Caplan's *own* methodology) as well as commonsense, it obviously
ignores what the two institutions have in common. *If* the state
is to be condemned as "rulership" then so must property -- for
reasons, ironically enough, Rothbard makes clear!

Caplan's critique of the "Philological Argument" fails because he 
tries to deny that the social relationship between worker and 
capitalist and tenant and landlord is based upon *archy,* when 
it obviously is. To quote Proudhon, considered by Tucker as "the 
Anarchist *par excellence,*" the employee "is subordinated, 
exploited: his permanent condition is one of obedience." Without 
"association" (i.e. co-operative workplaces, workers' self-management) 
there would be "two industrial castes of masters and wage-workers 
which is repugnant to a free and democratic society," castes 
"related as subordinates and superiors." [_The General Idea of 
the Revolution_, p. 216]

Moving on, Caplan defines the Historical Argument as:

"A second popular argument states that historically, the term 'anarchism'
has been clearly linked with anarcho-socialists, anarcho-communists,
anarcho-syndicalists, and other enemies of the capitalist system. Hence, 
the term 'anarcho-capitalism' is a strange oxymoron which only demonstrates
ignorance of the anarchist tradition."

He argues that "even if we were to accept the premise of this argument --
to wit, that the meaning of a word is somehow determined by its historical 
usage -- the conclusion would not follow because the minor premise is wrong. 
It is simply not true that from its earliest history, all anarchists were
opponents of private property, free markets, and so on."

Firstly, anarchism is not just a word, but a political idea and movement 
and so the word used in a political context is associated with a given
body of ideas. You cannot use the word to describe something which has
little or nothing in common with that body of ideas. You cannot call
Marxism "anarchism" simply because they share the anarchist opposition
to capitalist exploitation and aim for a stateless society, for example. 

Secondly, it is true that anarchists like Tucker were not against the 
free market, but they did not consider capitalism to be defined by the 
free market but by exploitation and wage labour (as do all socialists). 
In this they share a common ground with Market Socialists who, like 
Tucker and Proudhon, do not equate socialism with opposition to the 
market or capitalism with the "free market." The idea that socialists
oppose "private property, free markets, and so on" is just an assumption
by Caplan. Proudhon, for example, was not opposed to competition, 
"property" (in the sense of possession) and markets but during his 
lifetime and up to the present date he is acknowledged as a socialist, 
indeed one of the greatest in French (if not European) history. Similarly 
we find Rudolf Rocker writing that the Individualist Anarchists "all 
agree on the point that man be given the full reward of his labour and 
recognised in this right the economic basis of all personal liberty. 
They regard free competition . . . as something inherent in human 
nature . . . They answered the *socialists of other schools* [emphasis
added] who saw in *free competition* one of the destructive elements 
of capitalistic society that the evil lies in the fact that today we 
have too little rather than too much competition." [quoted by Herbert
Read, _A One-Man Manifesto_, p. 147] Rocker obviously considered 
support for free markets as compatible with socialism. In other
words, Caplan's assumption that all socialists oppose free markets,
competition and so on is simply false -- as can be seen from the
history of the socialist movement. What socialists *do* oppose is
capitalist exploitation -- socialism "in its wide, generic, and true
sense" was an "effort to *abolish* the exploitation of labour by 
capital." [Peter Kropotkin, _Kropotkin's Revolutionary Pamphlets_, 
p. 169] In this sense the Individualist Anarchists are obviously
socialists, as Tucker and Labadie constantly pointed out.

In addition, as we have proved elsewhere, Tucker was opposed to 
capitalist private property just as much as Kropotkin was. Moreover, 
it is clear from Tucker's works that he considered himself an enemy 
of the capitalist system and called himself a socialist. Thus Caplan's 
attempt to judge the historical argument on its own merits fails because 
he has to rewrite history to do so.

Caplan is right to state that the meaning of words change over time, but
this does not mean we should run to use dictionary definitions. Dictionaries
rarely express political ideas well - for example, most dictionaries define
the word "anarchy" as "chaos" and "disorder." Does that mean anarchists aim 
to create chaos? Of course not. Therefore, Caplan's attempt to use dictionary
definitions is selective and ultimately useless - anarchism as a political
movement cannot be expressed by dictionary definitions and any attempt
to do so means to ignore history.

The problems in using dictionary definitions to describe political ideas
can best be seen from the definition of the word "Socialism." According
to the _Oxford Study Dictionary_ Socialism is "a political and economic
theory advocating that land, resources, and the chief industries should
be owned and managed by the State." The _Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary_, conversely, defines socialism as "any of various economic 
and political theories advocating collective or government ownership 
and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods."

Clearly the latter source has a more accurate definition of socialism than
the former, by allowing for "collective" versus solely "State" control of 
productive  means. Which definition would be better? It depends on the
person involved. A Marxist, for example, could prefer the first one 
simply to exclude anarchism from the socialist movement, something they
have continually tried to do. A right-libertarian could, again, prefer
the first, for obvious reasons. Anarchists would prefer the second, again
for obvious reasons. However neither definition does justice to the
wide range of ideas that have described themselves as socialist.

Using dictionaries as the basis of defining political movements ensures
that one's views depend on *which* dictionary one uses, and *when* it was 
written, and so on. This is why they are not the best means of resolving 
disputes -- if resolution of disputes is, in fact, your goal. 

Both Kropotkin and Tucker stated that they were socialists and that
anarchism was socialistic. If we take the common modern meaning of the 
word as state ownership as the valid one then Tucker and Kropotkin are 
*not* socialists and no form of anarchism is socialist. This is obviously 
nonsense and it shows the limitations of using dictionary definitions on 
political theories.

Therefore Caplan's attempt to justify using the dictionary definition
fails. Firstly, because the definitions used would depend which dictionary 
you use. Secondly, dictionary definitions cannot capture the ins and
outs of a *political* theory or its ideas on wider subjects. 

Ironically enough, Caplan is repeating an attempt made by State Socialists 
to deny Individualist Anarchism its socialist title (see "Socialism and
the Lexicographers" in _Instead of a Book_). In reply to this attempt, 
Tucker noted that:

"The makers of dictionaries are dependent upon specialists for their
definitions. A specialist's definition may be true or it may be erroneous.
But its truth cannot be increased or its error diminished by its acceptance
by the lexicographer. Each definition must stand on its own merits." 
[_Instead of a Book_, p. 369]

And Tucker provided many quotes from *other* dictionaries to refute the 
attempt by the State Socialists to define Individualist Anarchism outside
the Socialist movement. He also notes that any person trying such a method 
will "find that the Anarchistic Socialists are not to be stripped of one 
half of their title by the mere dictum of the last lexicographer." [Op. Cit., 
p. 365]

Caplan should take note. His technique been tried before and it failed then
and it will fail again for the same reasons.

As far as his case against the Historical Argument goes, this is equally as
flawed. Caplan states that:

"Before the Protestant Reformation, the word 'Christian,' had referred almost
entirely to Catholics (as well as adherents of the Orthodox Church) for
about one thousand years. Does this reveal any linguistic confusion on 
the part of Lutherans, Calvinists, and so on, when they called themselves
'Christians'? Of course not. It merely reveals that a word's historical 
usage does not determine its meaning."

However, as analogies go this is pretty pathetic. Both the Protestants and
Catholics followed the teachings of Christ but had different interpretations
of it. As such they could both be considered Christians - followers of the
Bible. In the case of anarchism, there are two main groupings - individualist
and social. Both Tucker and Bakunin claimed to follow, apply and develop 
Proudhon's ideas (and share his opposition to both state and capitalism) 
and so are part of the anarchist tradition. 

The anarchist movement was based upon applying the core ideas of Proudhon
(his anti-statism and socialism) and developing them in the same spirit, and 
these ideas find their roots in *socialist* history and theory. For example, 
William Godwin was claimed as an anarchist after his death by the movement
because of his opposition to both state and private property, something
all anarchists oppose. Similarly, Max Stirner's opposition to both state 
and capitalist property places him within the anarchist tradition.

Given that we find fascists and Nazis calling themselves "republicans,"
"democrats," even "liberals" it is worthwhile remembering that the names
of political theories are defined not by who use them, but by the ideas
associated with the name. In other words, a fascist cannot call themselves
a "liberal" any more than a capitalist can call themselves an "anarchist."
To state, as Caplan does, that the historical usage of a word does not
determine its meaning results in utter confusion and the end of meaningful
political debate. If the historical usage of a name is meaningless will we 
soon see fascists as well as capitalists calling themselves anarchists? In 
other words, the label "anarcho-capitalism" is a misnomer, pure and simple, 
as *all* anarchists have opposed capitalism as an authoritarian system based 
upon exploitation and wage slavery. 

To ignore the historical usage of a word means to ignore what the movement 
that used that word stood for. Thus, if Caplan is correct, an organisation calling itself the "Libertarian National Socialist Party," for example, 
can rightly call itself libertarian for "a word's historical usage does 
not determine its meaning." Given that right-libertarians in the USA have
tried to steal the name "libertarian" from anarchists and anarchist
influenced socialists, such a perspective on Caplan's part makes perfect 
sense. How ironic that a movement that defends private property so strongly 
continually tries to steal names from other political tendencies.

Perhaps a better analogy for the conflict between anarchism and "anarcho"-
capitalism would be between Satanists and Christians. Would we consider
as Christian a Satanist grouping claiming to be Christian? A grouping
that rejects everything that Christians believe but who like the name?
Of course not. Neither would we consider as a right-libertarian someone 
who is against the free market or someone as a Marxist who supports 
capitalism. However, that is what Caplan and other "anarcho"-capitalists 
want us to do with anarchism. 

Both social and individualist anarchists defined their ideas in terms of
both political (abolition of the state) *and* economic (abolition of 
exploitation) ideas. Kropotkin defined anarchism as "the no-government
form of socialism" while Tucker insisted that anarchism was "the abolition 
of the State and the abolition of usury." In this they followed Proudhon
who stated that "[w]e do not admit the government of man by man any more
than the exploitation of man by man." [quoted by Peter Marshall, 
_Demanding the Impossible_, p. 245]

In other words, a political movement's economic ideas are just as much 
a part of its theories as their political ideas. Any attempt to consider
one in isolation from the other kills what defines the theory and makes
it unique. And, ultimately, any such attempt, is a lie:

"[classical liberalism] is in theory a kind of anarchy without socialism, 
and therefore simply a lie, for freedom is impossible without equality, 
and real anarchy cannot exist without solidarity, without socialism." 
[Errico Malatesta, _Anarchy_, p. 46]

Therefore Caplan's case against the Historical Argument also fails - 
"anarcho-capitalism" is a misnomer because anarchism has always, in all
its forms, opposed capitalism. Denying and re-writing history is hardly 
a means of refuting the historical argument.

Caplan ends by stating:

"Let us designate anarchism (1) anarchism as you define it. Let us designate
anarchism (2) anarchism as I and the American Heritage College Dictionary
define it. This is a FAQ about anarchism (2)."

Note that here we see again how the dictionary is a very poor foundation 
upon to base an argument. Again using _Webster's Ninth New Collegiate 
Dictionary_, we find under "anarchist" - "one who rebels against any 
authority, established order, or ruling power." This definition is very 
close to that which "traditional" anarchists have - which is the basis 
for our own opposition to the notion that anarchism is merely rebellion 
against *State* authority.

Clearly this definition is at odds with Caplan's own view; is Webster's 
then wrong, and Caplan's view right? Which view is backed by the theory 
and history of the movement? Surely that should be the basis of who is
part of the anarchist tradition and movement and who is not? Rather
than do this, Caplan and other "anarcho"-capitalists rush to the
dictionary (well, those that do not define anarchy as "disorder").
This is for a reason as anarchism as a political movement as always
been explicitly anti-capitalist and so the term "anarcho"-capitalism
is an oxymoron.

What Caplan fails to even comprehend is that his choices are false.
Anarchism can be designated in two ways:

(1). Anarchism as you define it
(2). Anarchism as the anarchist movement defines it and finds expression
     in the theories developed by that movement.

Caplan chooses anarchism (1) and so denies the whole history of the
anarchist movement. Anarchism is not a word, it is a political theory
with a long history which dictionaries cannot cover. Therefore any attempt
to define anarchism by such means is deeply flawed and ultimately
fails.

That Caplan's position is ultimately false can be seen from the 
"anarcho"-capitalists themselves. In many dictionaries anarchy is 
defined as "disorder," "a state of lawlessness" and so on. Strangely 
enough, no "anarcho"-capitalist ever uses *these* dictionary definitions 
of "anarchy"! Thus appeals to dictionaries are just as much a case
of defining anarchism as you desire as not using dictionaries. Far
better to look at the history and traditions of the anarchist movement
itself, seek out its common features and apply *those* as criteria to
those seeking to include themselves in the movement. As can be seen,
"anarcho"-capitalism fails this test and, therefore, are not part of
the anarchist movement. Far better for us all if they pick a new
label to call themselves rather than steal our name.

Although most anarchists disagree on many things, the denial of its
history is not one of them.

			***************************

* Replies to Some Errors and Distortions in Bryan Caplan's  "Anarchist Theory 
  FAQ" version 4.1.1.

There have been a few "anarchist" FAQ's produced before. Bryan Caplan's 
anarchism FAQ is one of the more recent. While appearing to be a 
"neutral" statement of anarchist ideas, it is actually in large part an 
"anarcho"-capitalist FAQ. This can be seen by the fact that anarchist ideas 
(which he calls "left-anarchist") are given less than half the available 
space while "anarcho"-capitalist dogma makes up the majority of it. 
Considering that anarchism has been around far longer than 
"anarcho"-capitalism and is the bigger and better established movement, 
this is surprising. Even his use of the term "left anarchist" is 
strange as it is never used by anarchists and ignores the fact that 
Individualist Anarchists like Tucker called themselves "socialists" 
and considered themselves part of the wider socialist movement. For 
anarchists, the expression "left anarchist" is meaningless as all 
anarchists are anti-capitalist. Thus the terms used to describe
each "school" in his FAQ are biased (those whom Caplan calls "Left
anarchists" do not use that term, usually preferring "social anarchist"
to distinguish themselves from individualist anarchists like Tucker).

Caplan also frames the debate only around issues which he is comfortable 
with. For example, when discussing "left anarchist" ideas he states that 
"A key value in this line of anarchist thought is egalitarianism, the view 
that inequalities, especially of wealth and power, are undesirable, immoral, 
and socially contingent." This, however, is *not* why anarchists are 
egalitarians. Anarchists oppose inequalities because they undermine 
and restrict individual and social freedom. 

Taking another example, under the question, "How would left-anarchy 
work?", Caplan fails to spell out some of the really obvious forms of 
anarchist thought. For example, the works of Bookchin, Kropotkin, Bakunin
and Proudhon are not discussed in any detail. His vague and confusing 
prose would seem to reflect the amount of thought that he has put into it.
Being an "anarcho"-capitalist, Caplan concentrates on the economic aspect
of anarchism and ignores its communal side. The economic aspect of anarchism
he discusses is anarcho-syndicalism and tries to contrast the confederated
economic system explained by one anarcho-syndicalist with Bakunin's 
opposition to Marxism. Unfortunately for Caplan, Bakunin is the source of 
anarcho-syndicalism's ideas on a confederation of self-managed workplaces
running the economy. Therefore, to state that "many" anarchists "have been
very sceptical of setting up any overall political structure, even a democratic
one, and focused instead on direct worker control at the factory level" 
is simply *false*. The idea of direct local control within a confederated
whole is a common thread through anarchist theory and activity, as any
anarchist could tell you. 

Lastly, we must note that after Caplan posted his FAQ to the "anarchy-list," 
many of the anarchists on that list presented numerous critiques of the 
"anarcho"-capitalist theories and of the ideas (falsely) attributed to 
social anarchists in the FAQ, which he chose to ignore (that he was aware
of these postings is asserted by the fact he e-mailed one of the authors
of this FAQ on the issue that anarchists never used or use the term 
"left-anarchist" to describe social anarchism. He replied by arguing that 
the term "left-anarchist" had been used by Michel Foucault, who never 
claimed to be  an anarchist, in one of his private letters! Strangely, 
he never posted his FAQ to the list again). 

Therefore, as can be seen from these few examples, Caplan's "FAQ" 
is blatantly biased towards "anarcho-capitalism" and based on the 
mis-characterisations and the dis-emphasis on some of the most 
important issues between "anarcho-capitalists" and anarchists. It 
is clear that his viewpoint is anything but impartial.

This section will highlight some of the many errors and distortions in
that FAQ. Numbers in square brackets refer to the corresponding sections
Caplan's FAQ.

1 Is anarchism purely negative?

[1]. Caplan, consulting his _American Heritage Dictionary_, claims: 
"Anarchism is a negative; it holds that one thing, namely government, is
bad and should be abolished. Aside from this defining tenet, it would be
difficult to list any belief that all anarchists hold." 
 
The last sentence is ridiculous. If we look at the works of Tucker, 
Kropotkin, Proudhon and Bakunin (for example) we discover that we 
can, indeed list one more "belief that all anarchists hold." This 
is opposition to exploitation, to usury (i.e. profits, interest
and rent). For example, Tucker argued that "Liberty insists. . . [on] 
the abolition of the State and the abolition of usury; on no more 
government of man by man, and no more exploitation of man by man." 
[cited in _Native American Anarchism - A Study of Left-Wing
American Individualism_ by Eunice Schuster, p. 140] Such a position
is one that Proudhon, Bakunin and Kropotkin would agree with.

In other words, anarchists hold two beliefs -- opposition to
government *and* opposition to exploitation. Any person which
rejects either of these positions cannot be part of the anarchist
movement. In other words, an anarchist must be against capitalism
in order to be a true anarchist.

Moreover it is not at all difficult to find a more fundamental 
"defining tenet" of anarchism. We can do so merely by analysing 
the term "an-archy," which is composed of the Greek words *an*, 
meaning "no" or "without," and *arche*, meaning literally "a
ruler," but more generally referring to the *principle* of 
rulership, i.e. hierarchical authority. Hence an anarchist 
is someone who advocates abolishing the principle of hierarchical 
authority -- not just in government but in all institutions and 
social relations. 

Anarchists oppose the principle of hierarchical authority because it  
is the basis of domination, which is not only degrading in itself but
generally leads to exploitation and all the social evils which follow 
from exploitation, from poverty, hunger and homelessness to class 
struggle and armed conflict. 

Because anarchists oppose hierarchical authority, domination, and
exploitation, they naturally seek to eliminate all hierarchies, as the
very purpose of hierarchy is to facilitate the domination and (usually)
exploitation of subordinates. 

The reason anarchists oppose government, then, is because government is
*one manifestation* of the evils of hierarchical authority, domination,
and exploitation. But the capitalist workplace is another. In fact, the
capitalist workplace is where most people have their most frequent and
unpleasant encounters with these evils. Hence workers' control -- 
the elimination of the hierarchical workplace through democratic
self-management -- has been central to the agenda of classical and
contemporary anarchism from the 19th century to the present. Indeed, 
anarchism was born out of the struggle of workers against capitalist
exploitation. 

To accept Caplan's definition of anarchism, however, would mean that 
anarchists' historical struggle for workers' self-management has never
been a "genuine" anarchist activity. This is clearly a *reductio ad
absurdum* of that definition. 

Caplan has confused a necessary condition with a sufficient condition. 
Opposition to government is a necessary condition of anarchism, but not 
a sufficient one. To put it differently, all anarchists oppose government,
but opposition to government does not automatically make one an
anarchist. To be an anarchist one must oppose government for anarchist
reasons and be opposed to all other forms of hierarchical structure.

To understand why let use look to capitalist property. Murray Rothbard 
argues that "[o]bviously, in a free society, Smith has the ultimate 
decision-making power over his own just property, Jones over his, etc." 
[_The Ethics of Liberty_, p. 173] Defence firms would be employed to
enforce those decisions (i.e. laws and rules). No real disagreement
there. What *is* illuminating is Rothbard's comments that the state 
"arrogates to itself a monopoly of force, of ultimate decision-making 
power, over a given area  territorial area" [Op. Cit. , p. 170] Which,
to state the obvious, means that both the state and property is marked
by an "ultimate decision-making power" over their territory. The only 
"difference" is that Rothbard claims the former is "just" (i.e. "justly"
acquired) and the latter is "unjust" (i.e. acquired by force). In reality
of course, the modern distribution of property is just as much a product
of past force as is the modern state. In other words, the current 
property owners have acquired their property in the same unjust 
fashion as the state has its. If one is valid, so is the other. 
Rothbard (and "anarcho"-capitalists in general) are trying to have 
it both ways.

Rothbard goes on to show why statism and private property are
essentially the same thing:

"*If* the State may be said too properly *own* its territory, then it is
proper for it to make rules for everyone who presumes to live in that
area. It can legitimately seize or control private property because there
*is* no private property in its area, because it really owns the entire 
land surface. *So long* as the State permits its subjects to leave its 
territory, then, it can be said to act as does any other owner who
sets down rules for people living on his property." [_The Ethics of
Liberty_, p. 170]

Of course Rothbard does not draw the obvious conclusion. He wants to
maintain that the state is bad and property is good while drawing
attention to their obvious similarities! Ultimately Rothbard is
exposing the bankruptcy of his own politics and analysis. According 
to Rothbard, something can look like a state (i.e. have the "ultimate 
decision-making power" over an area) and act like a state (i.e. 
"make rules for everyone" who lives in an area, i.e. govern them)
but not be a state. This not a viable position for obvious reasons.

In capitalism, property and possession are opposites -- as Proudhon 
argued in _What is Property?_. Under possession, the "property" owner 
exercises "ultimate decision-making power" over themselves as no-one 
else uses the resource in question. This is non-hierarchical. Under 
capitalism, however, use and ownership are divided. Landlords and 
capitalists give others access to their property while retaining 
power over it and so the people who use it. This is by nature 
hierarchical. Little wonder Noam Chomsky argued that a "consistent 
anarchist must oppose private ownership of the means of production 
and the wage slavery which is a component of this system as incompatible 
with the principle that labour must be freely undertaken and under
the control of the producer." ["Notes on Anarchism", _For Reasons
of State_, p. 158]

Thus a true anarchist must oppose both state and capitalism as 
they generate the same hierarchical social relationships (as 
recognised by Rothbard but apparently subjected to "doublethink"). 
As "anarcho"-capitalists do not oppose capitalist property they 
cannot be anarchists -- they support a very specific form of 
*archy,* that of the capitalist/landlord over working class 
people. 

Self-styled "anarcho"-capitalists do not oppose government for anarchist
reasons. That is, they oppose it not because it is a manifestation of
hierarchical authority, but because government authority often *conflicts*
with capitalists' authority over the enterprises they control. By
getting rid of government with its minimum wage laws, health and safety
requirements, union rights laws, environmental standards, child labour
laws, and other inconveniences, capitalists would have even more power 
to exploit workers than they already do. These consequences of
"anarcho"-capitalism are diametrically opposed to the historically
central objective of the anarchist movement, which is to eliminate 
capitalist exploitation. 

We must conclude, then, that "anarcho"-capitalists are not anarchists at
all. In reality they are capitalists *posing* as anarchists in order to
attract support for their laissez-faire economic project from those who
are angry at government. This scam is only possible on the basis of the
misunderstanding perpetrated by Caplan: that anarchism means nothing
more than opposition to government. 

Better definitions of anarchism can be found in other reference works. 
For example, in _Grollier's Online Encyclopedia_ we read: "Anarchism
rejects all forms of hierarchical authority, social and economic as well
as political." According to this more historically and etymologically
accurate definition, "anarcho"-capitalism is not a form of anarchism, 
since it does not reject hierarchical authority in the economic sphere 
(which has been the area of prime concern to anarchists since day one). 
Hence it is *bogus* anarchism. 

2 Anarchism and Equality

[5.] On the question "What major subdivisions may be made among 
anarchists?" Caplan writes: 

"Unlike the left-anarchists, anarcho-capitalists generally place 
little or no value on equality, believing that inequalities along 
all dimensions -- including income and wealth -- are not only perfectly 
legitimate so long as they 'come about in the right way,' but are the 
natural consequence of human freedom." 

This statement is not inaccurate as a characterisation of
"anarcho"-capitalist ideas, but its implications need to be 
made clear. "Anarcho"-capitalists generally place little or no 
value on equality -- particularly economic equality -- because they 
know that under their system, where capitalists would be completely 
free to exploit workers to the hilt, wealth and income inequalities 
would become even greater than they are now. Thus their references to 
"human freedom" as the way in which such inequalities would allegedly 
come about means "freedom of capitalists to exploit workers;" it 
does not mean "freedom of workers *from* capitalist exploitation." 

But "freedom to exploit workers" has historically been the objective 
only of capitalists, not anarchists. Therefore, "anarcho"-capitalism 
again shows itself to be nothing more than capitalism attempting to 
pass itself off as part of the anarchist movement -- a movement that 
has been dedicated since its inception to the destruction of capitalism! 
One would have to look hard to find a more audacious fraud.

As we argue in section F.2.1, the claim that inequalities are irrelevant 
if they "come about the right way" ignores the reality of freedom and
what is required to be free. To see way we have to repeat part of our
argument from that section and look at Murray Rothbard's (a leading
"anarcho"-capitalist icon) analysis of the situation after the abolition 
of serfdom in Russia and slavery in America. He writes:

"The *bodies* of the oppressed were freed, but the property which they
had worked and eminently deserved to own, remained in the hands of their
former oppressors. With economic power thus remaining in their hands, the
former lords soon found themselves virtual masters once more of what
were now free tenants or farm labourers. The serfs and slaves had tasted
freedom, but had been cruelly derived of its fruits." [_The Ethics of
Liberty_, p. 74]

However, contrast this with Rothbard's (and Caplan's) claims that if market 
forces ("voluntary exchanges") result in the creation of free tenants or 
wage-labourers then these labourers and tenants are free (see, for example, 
_The Ethics of Liberty_, pp. 221-2 on why "economic power" within capitalism 
does not, in fact, exist). But the labourers dispossessed by market forces 
are in *exactly* the same situation as the former serfs and slaves. Rothbard 
sees the obvious "economic power" in the later case, but denies it in the 
former. But the *conditions* of the people in question are identical and it 
is these conditions that horrify us and create social relationships because
on subordination, authority and oppression rather than freedom. It is only 
ideology that stops Rothbard and Caplan drawing the obvious conclusion -- 
identical conditions produce identical social relationships and so if the 
formally "free" ex-serfs are subject to "economic power" and "masters" then 
so are the formally "free" labourers within capitalism! Both sets of workers 
may be formally free, but their circumstances are such that they are "free" 
to "consent" to sell their freedom to others (i.e. economic power produces 
relationships of domination and unfreedom between formally free individuals).

Thus inequalities that "come about in the right way" restrict freedom just
as much as inequalities that do not. If the latter restricts liberty and
generate oppressive and exploitative social relationships then so do the
former. Thus, if we are serious about individuality liberty (rather than
property) we must look at inequalities and what generate them.

One last thing. Caplan states that inequalities in capitalism are "the 
natural consequence of human freedom." They are not, unless you subscribe
to the idea that capitalist property rights are the basis of human freedom.
However, the assumption that capitalist property rights are the best 
means to defend individual liberty can be easily seen to be flawed just
from the example of the ex-slaves and ex-serfs we have just described.
Inequalities resulting from "voluntary exchanges" in the capitalist
market can and do result in the denial of freedom, thus suggesting that
"property" and liberty are not natural consequences of each other.

To state the obvious, private property (rather than possession) means
that the non-property owner can gain access to the resource in question
only when they agree to submit to the property owner's authority (and 
pay tribute for the privilege of being bossed about). This aspect of 
property (rightly called "despotism" by Proudhon) is one which 
right-libertarians continually fail to highlight when they defend
it as the paradigm of liberty.

3 Is anarchism the same thing as socialism?

[7.] In this section ("Is anarchism the same thing as socialism?") Caplan
writes: 

"Outside of the Anglo-American political culture, there has been
a long and close historical relationship between the more orthodox
socialists who advocate a socialist government, and the anarchist
socialists who desire some sort of decentralised, voluntary socialism.
The two groups both want to severely limit or abolish private property..."

For Caplan to claim that anarchism is not the same thing as socialism, 
he has to ignore anarchist history. For example, the Individualist 
anarchists called themselves "socialists," as did social anarchists. 
Indeed, Individualist Anarchists like Joseph Labadie stated that
"Anarchism is voluntary socialism" [_Anarchism: What it is and What
it is Not_) and wanted to limit private property in many ways (for 
example, "the resources of nature -- land, mines, and so forth -- 
should not be held as private property and subject to being held 
by the individual for speculative purposes, that use of these things 
shall be the only valid title, and that each person has an equal right 
to the use of all these things." [_What is Socialism?_]). Therefore, 
*within* the "Anglo-American political culture," *all* types of anarchists 
considered themselves part of the socialist movement. This can be seen 
not only from Kropotkin's or Bakunin's work, but also in Tucker's (see 
_Instead of a Book_). So to claim that the "Anglo-American" anarchists
did not have "a long and close historical relationship" with the wider 
socialist movement is simply *false.*

The statement that anarchists want to severely limit or abolish "private
property" is misleading if it is not further explained. For the way it
stands, it sounds like anarchism is just another form of coercive "state"
(i.e. a political entity that forcibly prevents people from owning private
property), whereas this is far from the case.

Firstly, anarchists are *not* against "private property" in the sense
personal belongings. "Anarchists," points out Nicholas Walter, "are
in favour of the private property which cannot be used by one person
to exploit another -- those personal possessions which we accumulate
from childhood and which become part of ours." ["About Anarchism",
in _Reinventing Anarchy_, p. 49] Kropotkin makes the anarchist 
position clear when he wrote that we "do not want to rob any one
of his coat" but expropriation "must apply to everything that
enables any man [or woman] -- by he financier, mill owner, or
landlord -- to appropriate the product of others' toil." [_The
Conquest of Bread_, p. 61] 

In effect, Caplan is confusing two very different kinds of "private 
property", of which one rests on usefulness to an individual, the 
other on the employment (and so exploitation) of the labour of others. 
The latter produces social relations of domination between individuals,
while the former is a relationship between people and things. As
Proudhon argued, possession becomes property only when it also serves 
as means of exploitation and subjection of other people. But failing
to distinguish these radically different forms of "private property"
Caplan distorts the anarchist position.

Secondly, it is not that anarchists want to pass laws making private 
property (in the second, exploitative, sense) illegal. Rather they want 
to restructure society in such a way that the means of production are 
freely available for workers to use. This does not mean "anarchist police" 
standing around with guns to prohibit people from owning private property. 
Rather, it means dismantling the coercive state agencies that make private 
property possible, i.e., the departments of real police who now stand around 
with guns protecting private property.

Once that occurs, anarchists maintain that capitalism would be impossible,
since capitalism is essentially a monopoly of the means of production,
which can only be maintained by organised coercion. For suppose that in
an anarchist society someone (call him Bob) somehow acquires certain
machinery needed to produce widgets (a doubtful supposition if
widget-making machines are very expensive, as there will be little 
wealth disparity in an anarchist society). And suppose Bob offers to 
let workers with widget-making skills use his machines if they will 
pay him "rent," i.e. allow him to appropriate a certain amount of the 
value embodied in the widgets they produce. The workers will simply 
refuse, choosing instead to join a widget-making collective where 
they have free access to widget-making machinery, thus preventing 
Bob from living parasitically on their labour. Thus Kropotkin:

"Everywhere you will find that the wealth of the wealthy springs
from the poverty of the poor. That is why an anarchist society
need not fear the advent of a Rothschild [or any other millionaire]
who would settle in its midst. If every member of the community
knows that after a few hours of productive toil he [or she] will
have a right to all the pleasures that civilisation procures, and
to those deeper sources of enjoyment which art and science offer
to all who seek them, he [or she] will not sell his strength. . .
No one will volunteer to work for the enrichment of your Rothschild."
[Op. Cit., p. 61]

In this scenario, private property was "abolished," but not through
coercion. Indeed, it was precisely the abolition of organised coercion
that allowed private property to be abolished.

4 Anarchism and dissidents

[9.] On the question "How would left-anarchy work?" Caplan writes: 

"Some other crucial features of the left-anarchist society are quite 
unclear. Whether dissidents who despised all forms of communal living 
would be permitted to set up their own inegalitarian separatist societies 
is rarely touched upon. Occasionally left-anarchists have insisted that 
small farmers and the like would not be forcibly collectivised, but the 
limits of the right to refuse to adopt an egalitarian way of life are 
rarely specified."

This is a straw man. "Left" (i.e. real) anarchist theory clearly implies 
and *explicitly states* the answer to these questions.

Firstly, on the issue of "separatist" societies. Anarchist thinkers
have always acknowledged that there would be multitude of different
communities after a revolution (and not just Caplan's "inegalitarian"
ones). Marx, for example, mocked Bakunin for arguing that only 
revolutionary communes would federate together and that this would 
not claim any right to govern others (see Bakunin's "Letter to Albert 
Richards", _Michael Bakunin: Selected Writings_, p. 179] Kropotkin 
stated that "the point attained  in the socialisation of wealth will 
not be everywhere the same" and "[s]ide by side with the revolutionised 
communes . . . places would remain in an expectant attitude, and 
would go on living on the Individualist system." [_The Conquest 
of Bread_, p. 81] While he was hopeful that "everywhere [would be] 
more or less Socialism" he recognised that the revolution
would not conform to "any particular rule" and would differ in 
different areas -- "in one country State Socialist, in another
Federation" and so on. [Op. Cit., p. 82] Malatesta made the same
point, arguing that "after the revolution" there would be "relations
between anarchist groupings and those living under some kind of
authority, between communist collectives and those living in
an individualistic way." This is because anarchism "cannot be
imposed". [_Life and Ideas_, p. 173, p. 21]

Needless to say, these "separatist societies" (which may or may 
not be "inegalitarian") would not be anarchist societies. If a 
group of people wanted to set up a capitalist, Marxist, Georgist 
or whatever kind of community then their right would be respected
(although, of course, anarchists would seek to convince those
who live in such a regime of the benefits of anarchism!). As 
Malatesta pointed out, "free and voluntary communism is
ironical if one has not the right and the possibility to live
in a different regime, collectivist, mutualist, individualist
-- as one wishes, always on condition that there is no
oppression or exploitation of other" as "it is clear that 
all, and only, those ways of life which respect freedom, and
recognise that each individual has an equal right to the means
of production and to the full enjoyment of the product of
his own labour, have anything in common with anarchism." 
[Op. Cit., p. 103 and p. 33]

Ultimately, "it is not a question of right and wrong; it is
a question of freedom for everybody. . . None can judge 
with certainty who is right and who is wrong, who is nearest
to the truth, or which is the best way to achieve the 
greatest good for each and everyone. Freedom coupled with
experience, is the only way of discovering the truth and
what is best; and there can be no freedom if there is the
denial of the freedom to err." [Op. Cit., p. 49]

Secondly, regarding "dissidents" who wanted to set up their own 
"inegalitarian separatist societies," if the term "inegalitarian" 
implies economic inequalities due to private property, the answer 
is that private property requires some kind of state, if not a 
public state then private security forces ("private-state capitalism"), 
as advocated by "anarcho"-capitalists, in order to protect private 
property. Therefore, "anarcho"-capitalists are asking if an anarchist 
society will allow the existence of states. Of course, in the territory
that used to be claimed by a nation state a whole host of communities
and societies will spring up -- but that does not make the non-anarchist 
ones anarchist!

Thus suppose that in a hypothetical libertarian socialist society, Bob
tries to set up private security forces to protect certain means of
production, e.g. farmland. By the hypothesis, if Bob merely wanted to
work the land himself, there would be no reason for him go to the trouble
of creating a private state to guard it, because use-rights guarantee that
he has free access to the productive assets he needs to make a living.
Thus, the only plausible reason Bob could have for claiming and guarding
more farmland than he could use himself would be a desire to create a
monopoly of land in order to exact tribute from others for the privilege
of using it. But this would be an attempt to set up a system of feudal
exploitation in the midst of a free community. Thus the community is
justified in disarming this would-be parasite and ignoring his claims to
"own" more land than he can use himself.

In other words, there is no "right" to adopt an "inegalitarian way of
life" within a libertarian community, since such a right would have to 
be enforced by the creation of a coercive system of enslavement, which 
would mean the end of the "libertarian" community. To the contrary, the
members of such a community have a right, guaranteed by "the people 
in arms," to resist such attempts to enslave them.

The statement that "left" anarchists have "occasionally" insisted that
small farmers and the like would not be forcibly collectivised is a
distortion of the facts. No responsible left libertarian advocates 
forced collectivisation, i.e. compelling others to join collectives. 
Self-employment is always an option. This can be seen from Bakunin's 
works [_Bakunin on Anarchism_, p. 200], Kropotkin's [_The Conquest of 
Bread_, p. 61 and _Act for Yourselves_, pp. 104-5] and Malatesta's [_Life 
and Ideas_, p. 99, p. 103]. So the anarchist opposition to forced 
collectivisation has always existed and, for anyone familiar with the 
ideas of social anarchism, very well know. Thus during the Spanish 
Revolution, small farmers who did not wish to join collective farms 
were allowed to keep as much land as they could work themselves. After 
perceiving the advantages of collectives, however, many joined them 
voluntarily (see Sam Dolgoff, ed., _The Anarchist Collectives_). 

To claim that social anarchists "occasionally" oppose forced 
collectivisation is a smear, pure and simple, with little basis 
in anarchist activity and even less in anarchist theory. Anyone 
remotely familiar with the literature could not make such a mistake.

Finally, we should point out that under "anarcho"-capitalism there would
be, according to Murray Rothbard, a "basic libertarian law code." Which
means that under "anarcho"-capitalism, "egalitarian" communities could
only come about within a "inegalitarian" legal framework! Thus, given 
that everything would be privatised, dissenters could only experiment
if they could afford it *and* accepted the legal system based on 
capitalist property rights (and, of course, survive the competition 
of capitalist companies within the capitalist framework). As we have
argued in sections B.4, F.3 and F.10, the capitalist market is not
a level playing field -- which hinders experimentation. In other 
words, "anarcho"-capitalists has the abstract right to experiment
(within the capitalist laws) but hinders the possibility to live
under other regimes. And, we must point out, *why* should we have 
to *pay* the stealers of the earth for the privilege to life our 
own lives? Caplan, in effect, ignores the barriers to experimentation 
in his system while distorting the anarchist position.

5 How would anarcho-capitalism work? 

[10.] This section (How would anarcho-capitalism work?) contains Caplan's
summary of arguments for "anarcho"-capitalism, which he describes as an
offshoot of Libertarianism. Thus: 

"So-called 'minarchist' libertarians such as Nozick have argued that the
largest justified government was one which was limited to the protection
of individuals and their private property against physical invasion; 
accordingly, they favour a government limited to supplying police, courts,
a legal code, and national defence." 

The first thing to note about this argument is that it is stated in such a
way as to prejudice the reader against the left-libertarian critique of
private property. The minarchist right-"libertarian," it is said, only 
wants to protect individuals and their private property against "physical
invasion." But, because of the loose way in which the term "property" is
generally used, the "private property" of most "individuals" is commonly
thought of as *personal possessions,* i.e. cars, houses, clothing,
etc. (For the left-libertarian distinction between private property and
possessions, see B.3.1.) Therefore the argument makes it appear that
right libertarians are in favour of protecting personal possessions
whereas left-libertarians are not, thus conjuring up a world where, 
for example, there would be no protection against one's house being
"physically invaded" by an intruder or a stranger stealing the shirt 
off one's back! 

By lumping the protection of "individuals" together with the protection 
of their "private property," the argument implies that right libertarians
are concerned with the welfare of the vast majority of the population,
whereas in reality, the vast majority of "individuals" *do not own* 
any private property (i.e. means of production) -- only a handful of
capitalists do. Moreover, these capitalists use their private property to
exploit the working class, leading to impoverishment, alienation, etc., 
and thus *damaging* most individuals rather than "protecting" them.

Caplan goes on: 

"This normative theory is closely linked to laissez-faire economic theory,
according to which private property and unregulated competition generally
lead to both an efficient allocation of resources and (more importantly) a
high rate of economic progress."

Caplan does not mention the obvious problems with this "theory," e.g. that
during the heyday of laissez-faire capitalism in the US there was vast
wealth disparity, with an enormous mass of impoverished people living in
slums in the major cities -- hardly an "efficient" allocation of resources
or an example of "progress." Of course, if one defines "efficiency" as
"the most effective means of exploiting the working class" and "progress"
as "a high rate of profit for investors," then the conclusion of the 
"theory" does indeed follow. 

And let us not forget that it is general equilibrium theory which 
predicts that unregulated competition will produce an efficient 
allocation of resources. However, as we noted in section C.1, such
a model has little to do with any real economy. This means that 
there is no real reason to assume an efficient outcome of capitalist 
economies. Concentrations of economic power and wealth can easily
skew outcomes to favour the haves over the have-nots (as history
again and again shows). 

Moreover, the capitalism can easily lead to resources being 
allocated to the most profitable uses rather than those which 
are most needed by individuals. A classic example is in the 
case of famines. Amartya Sen (who won the 1998 Nobel Prize 
for economics) developed an "entitlement" approach to the study 
of famine. This approach starts with the insight that having 
food available in a country or region does not mean everyone 
living there is "entitled" to it. In market economies, people 
are entitled to food according to their ability to produce it 
for themselves or to pay or swap for it. In capitalist economies, 
most people are entitled to food only if they can sell their 
labour/liberty to those who own the means of life (which 
increases the economic insecurity of wage workers).

If some group loses its entitlement to food, whether there is a
decline in the available supply or not, a famine can occur. This
may seem obvious, yet before - and after - Sen, famine studies
have remained fixated on the drop in food available instead of
whether specific social groups are entitled to it. Thus even a
relatively success economy can price workers out of the food 
market (a depressed economy brings the contradiction between
need and profit -- use value and exchange value -- even more
to the forefront). This "pricing out" can occur especially if 
food can get higher prices (and so profits) elsewhere -- for 
example the Irish famine of 1848 and sub-Saharan famines of 
the 1980s saw food being exported from famine areas to areas 
where it could fetch a higher price. In other words, market
forces can skew resource allocation away from where it is most
needed to where it can generate a profit. As anarchist George
Barret noted decades before Sen:

"Today the scramble is to compete for the greatest profits.
If there is more profit to be made in satisfying my lady's
passing whim than there is in feeding hungry children, then
competition brings us in feverish haste to supply the former,
whilst cold charity or the poor law can supply the latter,
or leave it unsupplied, just as it feels disposed. That is
how it works out." [_Objectives to Anarchism_]

In other words, inequality skews resource allocation towards
the wealthy. While such a situation may be "efficient allocation 
of resources" from the perspective of the capitalist, it is hardly 
so from a social perspective (i.e. one that considers *all* individual
needs rather than "effective demand").

Furthermore, if we look at the stock market (a key aspect of any
capitalist system) we discover a strong tendencies *against* the
efficient allocation of resources. The stock market often experiences
"bubbles" and becomes significantly over-valued. An inflated stock
market badly distorts investment decisions. For example, if Internet 
companies are wildly over-valued then the sale of shares of new 
Internet companies or the providing of start-up capital will drain
away savings that could be more productively used elsewhere. The real
economy will pay a heavy price from such misdirected investment and,
more importantly, resources are *not* efficiency allocated as the
stock market skews resources into the apparently more profitable
areas and away from where they could be used to satisfy other needs.

The stock market is also a source of other inefficiencies. Supporters
of "free-market" capitalism always argued that the Stalinist system
of central planning created a perverse set of incentives to managers.
In effect, the system penalised honest managers and encouraged
the flow of *dis*-information. This lead to information being 
distorted and resources inefficiently allocated and wasted. 
Unfortunately the stock market also creates its own set of perverse  
responses and mis-information. Doug Henwood argues that "something
like a prisoners' dilemma prevails in relations between managers
and the stock market. Even if participants are aware of an upward
bias to earnings estimates, and even if they correct for it,
managers still have an incentive to try and fool the market. If
you tell the truth, your accurate estimates will be marked 
down by a sceptical market. So its entirely rational for
managers to boost profits in the short term, either through
accounting gimmickry or by making only investments with
quick paybacks." He goes on to note that "[i]f the markets
see high costs as bad, and low costs as good, then firms may
shun expensive investments because they will be taken as 
signs of managerial incompetence. Throughout the late 1980s
and early 1990s, the stock market rewarded firms announcing
write-offs and mass firings -- a bulimic strategy of 
management -- since the cost cutting was seen as contributing
rather quickly to profits. Firms and economies can't get richer
by starving themselves, but stock market investors can get
richer when the companies they own go hungry. As for the long
term, well, that's someone else's problem." [_Wall Street_,
p. 171]

This means that resources are allocated to short term projects,
those that enrich the investors now rather than produce long
term growth and benefits later. This results in slower and
more unstable investment than less market centred economies,
as well as greater instability over the business cycle [Op.
Cit., pp. 174-5] Thus the claim that capitalism results in
the "efficient" allocation of resources is only true if we
assume "efficient" equals highest profits for capitalists.
As Henwood summarises, "the US financial system performs
dismally at its advertised task, that of efficiently directing
society's savings towards their optimal investment pursuits.
The system is stupefyingly expensive, gives terrible signals,
and has surprisingly little to do with real investment." 
[Op. Cit., p. 3]

Moreover, the claim that laissez-faire economies produce a high rate
of economic progress can be questioned on the empirical evidence available.
For example, from the 1970s onwards there has been a strong tendency
towards economic deregulation. However, this tendency has been associated
with a *slow down* of economic growth. For example, "[g]rowth rates,
investment rates and productivity rates are all lower now than in
the [Keynesian post-war] Golden Age, and there is evidence that the
trend rate of growth -- the underlying growth rate -- has also
decreased." Before the Thatcher pro-market reforms, the British
economy grew by 2.4% in the 1970s. After Thatcher's election in 
1979, growth decreased to 2% in the 1980s and to 1.2% in the 1990s.
In the USA, we find a similar pattern. Growth was 4.4% in the 1960s,
3.2% in the 1970s, 2.8% in the 1980s and 1.9% in the first half
of the 1990s [Larry Elliot and Dan Atkinson, _The Age of Insecurity_, 
p. 236]. Moreover, in terms of inflation-adjusted GDP per capita
and productivity, the US had the worse performance out of the US,
UK, Japan, Italy, France, Canada and Australia between 1970 and 
1995 [Marc-Anfre Pigeon and L. Randall Wray, _Demand Constraints
and Economic Growth_]. Given that the US is usually considered the 
most laissez-faire out of these 7 countries, Caplan's claim of 
high progress for deregulated systems seems at odds with this 
evidence.

As far as technological innovation goes, it is also not clear that
deregulation has aided that process. Much of our modern technology
owns its origins to the US Pentagon system, in which public money
is provided to companies for military R&D purposes. Once the 
technology has been proven viable, the companies involved can
sell their public subsidised products for private profit. The
computer industry (as we point out in section J.4.7) is a classic
example of this -- indeed it is unlikely whether we would have
computers or the internet if we had waited for capitalists to
development them. So whether a totally deregulated capitalism would
have as high a rate of technological progress is a moot point.

So, it seems likely that it is only the *assumption* that the
free capitalist market will generate "an efficient allocation of 
resources and (more importantly) a high rate of economic progress."
Empirical evidence points the other way -- namely, that state aided
capitalism provides an approximation of these claims. Indeed, if
we look at the example of the British Empire (which pursued a
strong free trade and laissez-faire policy over the areas it had
invaded) we can suggest that the opposite may be true. After 25 
prosperous years of fast growth (3.5 per cent), after 1873 Britain 
had 40 years of slow growth (1.5 per cent), the last 14 years of 
which were the worse -- with productivity declining, GDP stagnant
and home investment halved. [Nicholas Kaldor, _Further Essays
on Applied Economics_, p. 239] In comparison, those countries
which embraced protectionism (such as Germany and the USA)
industrialised successfully and become competitors with the 
UK. Indeed, these new competitors grew in time to be efficient
competitors of Britain not only in foreign markets but also
in Britain's home market. The result was that "for fifty years
Britain's GDP grew very slowly relative to the more successful
of the newer industrialised countries, who overtook her, one
after another, in the volume of manufacturing production
and in exports and finally in real income per head." [Op. Cit.,
p. xxvi] Indeed, "America's growth and productivity rates
were higher when tariffs were steep than when they came
down." [Larry Elliot and Dan Atkinson, Op. Cit., p. 277]

It is possible to explain almost everything that has ever 
happened in the world economy as evidence not of the failure 
of markets but rather of what happens when markets are not 
able to operate freely. Indeed, this is the right-libertarian 
position in a nut shell. However, it does seem strange that 
movements towards increased freedom for markets produce worse 
results than the old, more regulated, way. Similarly it seems 
strange that the country that embraced laissez-faire and free 
trade (Britain) did *worse* than those which embraced protectionism 
(USA, Germany, etc.).

It could always be argued that the protectionist countries had
embraced free trade their economies would have done even better.
This is, of course, a possibility -- if somewhat unlikely. After 
all, the argument for laissez-faire and free trade is that it 
benefits all parties, even if it is embraced unilaterally. That 
Britain obviously did not benefit suggests a flaw in the theory 
(and that no country *has* industrialised without protectionism 
suggests likewise). Unfortunately, free-market capitalist economics
lends itself to a mind frame that ensures that nothing could 
happen in the real world that would could ever change its 
supporters minds about anything.

Free trade, it could be argued, benefits only those who have
established themselves in the market -- that is, have market
power. Thus Britain could initially benefit from free trade
as it was the only industrialised nation (and even *its*
early industrialisation cannot be divorced from its initial
mercantilist policies). This position of strength allowed them
to dominate and destroy possible competitors (as Kaldor points 
out, "[w]here the British succeeded in gaining free entry for 
its goods. . . it had disastrous effects on local manufactures 
and employment." [Op. Cit., p. xxvi]). This would revert the
other country back towards agriculture, an industry with
diminishing returns to scale (manufacturing, in contrast, 
has increasing returns) and ensure Britain's position of
power. 

The use of protection, however, sheltered the home industries 
of other countries and gave them the foothold required to
compete with Britain. In addition, Britains continual adherence
to free trade meant that a lot of *new* industries (such as
chemical and electrical ones) could not be properly established.
This combination contributed to free trade leading to stunted
growth, in stark contrast to the arguments of neo-classical
economics. 

Of course, we will be accused of supporting protectionism by 
recounting these facts. That is not the case, as protectionism 
is used as a means of "proletarianising" a nation (as we
discuss in section F.8). Rather we are presenting evidence
to refute a claim that deregulated capitalism will lead to
higher growth. Thus, we suggest, the history of "actually 
existing" capitalism indicates that Caplan's claim that 
deregulated capitalism will result "a high rate of economic 
progress" may be little more than an assumption. True, it is 
an assumption of neo-classical economics, but empirical evidence 
suggests that assumption is as unfounded as the rest of that 
theory.

Next we get to the meat of the defence of "anarcho"-capitalism: 

"Now the anarcho-capitalist essentially turns the minarchist's own logic
against him, and asks why the remaining functions of the state could 
not be turned over to the free market. And so, the anarcho-capitalist
imagines that police services could be sold by freely competitive firms;
that a court system would emerge to peacefully arbitrate disputes between 
firms; and that a sensible legal code could be developed through custom,
precedent, and contract."

Indeed, the functions in question could certainly be turned over to the
"free" market, as was done in certain areas of the US during the 19th
century, e.g. the coal towns that were virtually owned by private coal
companies. We have already discussed the negative impact of that
experiment on the working class in section F.6.2. Our objection is not
that such privatisation cannot be done, but that it is an error to call 
it a form of anarchism. In reality it is an extreme form of laissez-faire 
capitalism, which is the exact opposite of anarchism. The defence of
private power by private police is hardly a move towards the end of
authority, nor are collections of private states an example of anarchism.

Indeed, that "anarcho"-capitalism does not desire the end of the state,
just a change in its form, can be seen from Caplan's own arguments. He
states that "the remaining functions of the state" should be "turned
over to the free market." Thus the state (and its functions, primarily
the defence of capitalist property rights) is *privatised* and not, in
fact, abolished. In effect, the "anarcho"-capitalist seeks to abolish 
the state by calling it something else.

Caplan: 

"The anarcho-capitalist typically hails modern society's increasing
reliance on private security guards, gated communities, arbitration and
mediation, and other demonstrations of the free market's ability to
supply the defensive and legal services normally assumed to be of
necessity a government monopoly."

It is questionable that "modern society" *as such* has increased
its reliance on "private security guards, gated communities" and so on.
Rather, it is the *wealthy* who have increased their reliance on these
forms of private defence. Indeed it is strange to hear a right-libertarian 
even use the term "society" as, according to that ideology, society does 
not exist! Perhaps the term "society" is used to hide the class nature 
of these developments? As for "gated communities" it is clear that
their inhabitants would object if the rest of society gated themselves
from them! But such is the logic of such developments -- but the 
gated communities want it both ways. They seek to exclude the rest of
society from their communities while expected to be given access to
that society. Needless to say, Caplan fails to see that liberty for
the rich can mean oppression for the working class -- "we who belong
to the proletaire class, property excommunicates us!" [Proudhon,
_What is Property?_, p. 105]

That the law code of the state is being defended by private companies is
hardly a step towards anarchy. This indicates exactly why an "anarcho"-
capitalist system will be a collection of private states united around a
common, capitalistic, and hierarchical law code. In addition, this system
does not abolish the monopoly of government over society represented by
the "general libertarian law code," nor the monopoly of power that owners
have over their property and those who use it. The difference between
public and private statism is that the boss can select which law
enforcement agents will enforce his or her power.

The threat to freedom and justice for the working class is clear. The 
thug-like nature of many private security guards enforcing private power
is well documented. For example, the beating of protesters by "private
cops" is a common sight in anti-motorway campaigns or when animal right
activists attempt to disrupt fox hunts. The shooting of strikers during
strikes occurred during the peak period of American laissez-faire
capitalism. However, as most forms of protest involve the violation of
"absolute" property rights, the "justice" system under "anarcho"-capitalism 
would undoubtedly fine the victims of such attacks by private cops.

It is also interesting that the "anarcho"-capitalist "hails" what are 
actually symptoms of social breakdown under capitalism. With increasing 
wealth disparity, poverty, and chronic high unemployment, society is becoming
polarised into those who can afford to live in secure, gated communities
and those who cannot. The latter are increasingly marginalised in ghettos
and poor neighbourhoods where drug-dealing, prostitution, and theft become
main forms of livelihood, with gangs offering a feudalistic type of
"protection" to those who join or pay tribute to them. Under
"anarcho"-capitalism, the only change would be that drug-dealing and
prostitution would be legalised and gangs could start calling themselves
"defence companies." 

Caplan:

"In his ideal society, these market alternatives to government services
would take over _all_ legitimate security services. One plausible market
structure would involve individuals subscribing to one of a large number
of competing police services; these police services would then set up
contracts or networks for peacefully handling disputes between members of
each others' agencies. Alternately, police services might be 'bundled'
with housing services, just as landlords often bundle water and power
with rental housing, and gardening and security are today provided to
residents in gated communities and apartment complexes."

This is a scenario designed with the upper classes in mind and a few
working class people, i.e. those with *some* property (for example, a 
house) -- sometimes labelled the "middle class". But under capitalism, 
the tendency toward capital concentration leads to increasing wealth 
polarisation, which means a shrinking "middle class" (i.e. working 
class with decent jobs and their own homes) and a growing "underclass" 
(i.e. working class people without a decent job). Ironically enough, 
America (with one of the most laissez-faire capitalist systems) is 
also the Western nation with the *smallest* "middle class" and
wealth concentration has steadily increased since the 1970s. 
Thus the number of people who could afford to buy protection and 
"justice" from the best companies would continually decrease. For 
this reason there would be a growing number of people at the mercy 
of the rich and powerful, particularly when it comes to matters 
concerning employment, which is the main way in which the poor 
would be victimised by the rich and powerful (as is indeed the 
case now). 

Of course, if landlords *do* "bundle" police services in their
contracts this means that they are determining the monopoly of
force over the property in question. Tenants would "consent"
to the police force and the laws of the landlord in exactly
the same way emigrants "consent" to the laws and government of,
say, the USA when they move there. Rather than show the difference
between statism and capitalism, Caplan has indicated their
essential commonality. For the proletarian, property is but
another form of state. For this reason anarchists would agree
with when he wrote that:

"That a rich and powerful man, having acquired immense 
possessions in lands, should impose laws on those who
want to establish themselves there, and that he should
only allow them to do so on condition that they accept
his supreme authority and obey all his wishes; that, I
can still conceive. But how can I conceive such a treaty,
which presupposes anterior rights, could be the first
foundation of law? Would not this tyrannical act contain
a double usurpation: that on the ownership of the land
and that on the liberty of the inhabitants?" [_The Social
Contract and Discourses_, p. 316]

Caplan: 

"The underlying idea is that contrary to popular belief, private police
would have strong incentives to be peaceful and respect individual
rights. For first of all, failure to peacefully arbitrate will yield 
to jointly destructive warfare, which will be bad for profits. Second,
firms will want to develop long-term business relationships, and hence 
be willing to negotiate in good faith to insure their long-term
profitability. And third, aggressive firms would be likely to attract
only high-risk clients and thus suffer from extraordinarily high costs 
(a problem parallel to the well-known 'adverse selection problem' in 
e.g. medical insurance -- the problem being that high-risk people are
especially likely to seek insurance, which drives up the price when
riskiness is hard for the insurer to discern or if regulation requires a
uniform price regardless of risk)." 

The theory that "failure to peacefully arbitrate will yield to jointly 
destructive warfare, which will be bad for profits" can be faulted in two
ways. Firstly, if warfare would be bad for profits, what is to stop a
large "defence association" from ignoring a smaller one's claim? If 
warfare were "bad for business," it would be even worse for a small
company without the capital to survive a conflict, which could give big
"defence associations" the leverage to force compliance with their business
interests. Price wars are often bad for business, but companies sometimes
start them if they think they can win. Needless to say, demand would exist 
for such a service (unless you assume a transformation in the "human 
nature" generated by capitalism -- an unlikely situation and one 
"anarcho"-capitalists usually deny is required for their system to 
work). Secondly -- and this is equally, if not more, likely -- a 
"balance of power" method to stop warfare has little to recommend it 
from history. This can be seen from the First World War and feudal 
society. 

What the "anarcho"-capitalist is describing is essentially a system of
"industrial feudalism" wherein people contract for "protection" with armed
gangs of their choice. Feudal societies have never been known to be
peaceful, even though war is always "unprofitable" for one side or the
other or both. The argument fails to consider that "defence companies,"
whether they be called police forces, paramilitaries or full-blown armies, 
tend to attract the "martial" type of authoritarian personality, and that this
type of "macho" personality thrives on and finds its reason for existence in 
armed conflict and other forms of interpersonal violence and intimidation. 
Hence feudal society is continually wracked by battles between the forces
of opposing warlords, because such conflicts allow the combatants a chance to
"prove their manhood," vent their aggression, obtain honours and titles,
advance in the ranks, obtain spoils, etc. The "anarcho" capitalist has
given no reason why warfare among legalised gangs would not continue under
industrial feudalism, except the extremely lame reason that it would not
be profitable -- a reason that has never prevented war in any known feudal
society. 

It should be noted that the above is not an argument from "original 
sin." Feudal societies are characterised by conflict between opposing
"protection agencies" not because of the innate depravity of human beings
but because of a social structure based on private property and hierarchy,
which brings out the latent capacities for violence, domination, greed,
etc. that humans have by creating a financial incentive to be so. But this
 is not to say that a different social structure would not bring out latent
capacities for much different qualities like sharing, peaceableness, and 
co-operation, which human beings also have. In fact, as Kropotkin argued 
in _Mutual Aid_ and as recent anthropologists have confirmed in greater 
detail, ancient societies based on communal ownership of productive assets 
and little social hierarchy were basically peaceful, with no signs of 
warfare for thousands of years. 

However, let us assume that such a competitive system does actually
work as described. Caplan, in effect, argues that competition will
generate co-operation. This is due to the nature of the market in
question -- defence (and so peace) is dependent on firms working
together as the commodity "peace" cannot be supplied by one firm.
However, this co-operation does not, for some reason, become *collusion*
between the firms in question. According to "anarcho"-capitalists
this competitive system not only produces co-operation, it excludes
"defence" firms making agreements to fix monopoly profits (i.e.
co-operation that benefits the firms in question). Why does the
market produce beneficial co-operation to everyone but not 
collusion for the firms in question? Collusion is when firms 
have "business relationships" and "negotiate in good faith" to 
insure their profitability by agreeing not to compete aggressively 
against each other in order to exploit the market. Obviously in
"anarcho"-capitalism the firms in question only use their powers 
for good!

Needless to say, the "anarcho"-capitalist will object and argue
that competition will ensure that collusion will not occur. 
However, given that co-operation is required between all firms
in order to provide the commodity "peace" this places the 
"anarcho"-capitalist in a bind. As Caplan notes, "aggressive" 
firms are "likely to attract only high-risk clients and thus 
suffer from extraordinarily high costs." From the perspective
of the colluding firms, a new entry into their market is, by
definition, aggressive. If the colluding firms do not co-operate
with the new competitor, then it will suffer from "extraordinarily
high costs" and either go out of business or join the co-operators.
If the new entry could survive in the face of the colluding firms
hostility then so could "bad" defence firms, ones that ignored
the market standards.

So the "anarcho"-capitalist faces two options. Either an "aggressive"
firm cannot survive or it can. If it cannot then the very reason
why it cannot ensures that collusion is built into the market and 
while the system is peaceful it is based on an effective monopoly
of colluding firms who charge monopoly profits. This, in effect, 
is a state under the "anarcho"-capitalist's definition as a property
owner cannot freely select their own "protection" -- they are limited
to the firms (and laws) provided by the co-operating firms. Or an 
"aggressive" firm can survive, violence is commonplace and chaos
ensures.

Caplan's passing reference to the "adverse selection problem" in medical 
insurance suggests another problem with "anarcho"-capitalism. The problem 
is that high-risk people are especially likely to seek protection, which 
drives up the price for, as "anarcho"-capitalists themselves note, areas
with high crime levels "will be bad for profits," as hardware and personnel 
costs will be correspondingly higher. This means that the price for "protection" 
in areas which need it most will be far higher than for areas which do not
need it. As poor areas are generally more crime afflicted than rich areas,
"anarcho"-capitalism may see vast sections of the population not able to
afford "protection" (just as they may not be about to afford health care 
and other essential services). Indeed, "protection services" which try to
provide cheap services to "high-risk" areas will be at an competitive
disadvantage in relation to those who do not, as the "high-risk" areas
will hurt profits and companies without "high-risk" "customers" could
undercut those that have.

Caplan: 

"Anarcho-capitalists generally give little credence to the view that their
'private police agencies' would be equivalent to today's Mafia -- the cost
advantages of open, legitimate business would make 'criminal police' 
uncompetitive. (Moreover, they argue, the Mafia can only thrive in the
artificial market niche created by the prohibition of alcohol, drugs,
prostitution, gambling, and other victimless crimes. Mafia gangs might
kill each other over turf, but liquor-store owners generally do not.)"

As we have pointed out in section F.6, the "Mafia" objection 
to "anarcho"-capitalist defence companies is a red herring. The 
biggest problem would not be "criminal police" but the fact that 
working people and tenants would subject to the rules, power and
laws of the property owners, the rich would be able to buy better 
police protection and "justice" than the poor and that the "general" 
law code these companies would defend would be slanted towards the 
interests and power of the capitalist class (defending capitalist
property rights and the proprietors power). And as we also noted, 
such a system has already been tried in 19th-century and early 20th 
America, with the result that the rich reduced the working class to 
a serf-like existence, capitalist production undermined independent 
producers (to the annoyance of individualist anarchists at the time), 
and the result was the emergence of the corporate America that 
"anarcho"-capitalists say they oppose. 

Caplan argues that "liquor-store owners" do not generally kill each
other over turf. This is true (but then again they do not have 
access to their own private cops currently so perhaps this could
change). But the company owners who created their own private
police forces and armies in America's past *did* allow their
goons to attack and murder union organisers and strikers. Let
us look at Henry Ford's Service Department (private police 
force) in action:

"In 1932 a hunger march of the unemployed was planned to march
up to the gates of the Ford plant at Dearborn. . . The machine
guns of the Dearborn police and the Ford Motor Company's
Service Department killed [four] and wounded over a score
of others. . . Ford was fundamentally and entirely opposed
to trade unions. The idea of working men questioning his
prerogatives as an owner was outrageous. . . [T]he River
Rouge plant. . . was dominated by the autocratic regime of
Bennett's service men. Bennett . . organise[d] and train[ed]
the three and a half thousand private policemen employed by
Ford. His task was to maintain discipline amongst the work 
force, protect Ford's property [and power], and prevent
unionisation. . . Frank Murphy, the mayor of Detroit,
claimed that 'Henry Ford employs some of the worst 
gangsters in our city.' The claim was well based. Ford's
Service Department policed the gates of his plants, 
infiltrated emergent groups of union activists, posed
as workers to spy on men on the line. . . Under this
tyranny the Ford worker had no security, no rights. So
much so that any information about the state of things
within the plant could only be freely obtained from
ex-Ford workers." [Huw Beynon, _Working for Ford_, 
pp. 29-30]

The private police attacked women workers handing out
pro-union handbills and gave them "a serve beating."
At Kansas and Dallas "similar beatings were handed out
to the union men." [Op. Cit., p. 34] This use of private
police to control the work force was not unique. General
Motors "spent one million dollars on espionage, employing
fourteen detective agencies and two hundred spies at one
time [between 1933 and 1936]. The Pinkerton Detective
Agency found anti-unionism its most lucrative activity."
[Op. Cit., p. 32] We must also note that the Pinkerton's
had been selling their private police services for decades
before the 1930s. In the 1870s, they had infiltrated and
destroyed the Molly Maguires (a secret organisation 
Irish miners had developed to fight the coal bosses). 
For over 60 years the Pinkerton Detective Agency had
"specialised in providing spies, agent provocateurs, and
private armed forces for employers combating labour
organisations." By 1892 it "had provided its services
for management in seventy major labour disputes, and its
2 000 active agents and 30 000 reserves totalled more
than the standing army of the nation." [Jeremy Brecher, 
_Strike!_, p. 9 and p. 55] With this force available,
little wonder unions found it so hard to survive in the
USA. Given that unions could be considered as "defence"
agencies for workers, this suggests a picture of how 
"anarcho"-capitalism may work in practice.

It could be argued that, in the end, the union was recognised
by the Ford company. However, this occurred after the New
Deal was in place (which helped the process), after years
of illegal activity (by definition union activism on Ford
property was an illegal act) and extremely militant strikes.
Given that the union agreement occurred nearly 40 years
after Ford was formed *and* in a legal situation violently
at odds with "anarcho"-capitalism (or even minimal statist
capitalism), we would be justified in wondering if unionisation
would ever have occurred at Ford and if Ford's private 
police state would ever have been reformed. 

Of course, from an "anarcho"-capitalist perspective the
only limitation in the Ford workers' liberty was the fact 
they had to pay taxes to the US government. The regime at
Ford could *not* restrict their liberty as no one forced
them to work for the company. Needless to say, an 
"anarcho"-capitalist would reject out of hand the argument
that no-one forced the citizen to entry or remain in the
USA and so they consented to taxation, the government's
laws and so on.

This is more than a history lesson. Such private police
forces are on the rise again (see "Armed and Dangerous: 
Private Police on the March" by Mike Zielinski, _Covert Action 
Quarterly_, no. 54, Fall, 1995 for example). This system of 
private police (as demonstrated by Ford) is just one of the
hidden aspects of Caplan's comment that the "anarcho"-capitalist 
"typically hails modern society's increasing reliance on 
private security guards. . . and other demonstrations of 
the free market's ability to supply the defensive and legal 
services normally assumed to be of necessity a government 
monopoly." 

Needless to say, private police states are not a step forward 
in anarchist eyes.

Caplan: 
 
"Unlike some left-anarchists, the anarcho-capitalist has no objection
to punishing criminals; and he finds the former's claim that punishment
does not deter crime to be the height of naivete. Traditional punishment
might be meted out after a conviction by a neutral arbitrator; or a system
of monetary restitution (probably in conjunction with a prison factory 
system) might exist instead."

Let us note first that in disputes between the capitalist class and the 
working class, there would be no "neutral arbitrator," because the rich 
would either own the arbitration company or influence/control it through 
the power of the purse (see section F.6). In addition, "successful"
arbitrators would also be wealthy, therefore making neutrality even 
more unlikely. Moreover, given that the laws the "neutral arbitrator"
would be using are based on capitalist property rights, the powers and
privileges of the owner are built into the system from the start.
 
Second, the left-libertarian critique of punishment does not rest, as
"anarcho"-capitalists claim, on the naive view that intimidation and
coercion aren't effective in controlling behaviour. Rather, it rests on
the premise that capitalist societies produce large numbers of criminals,
whereas societies based on equality and community ownership of productive
assets do not. 

The argument for this is that societies based on private property and
hierarchy inevitably lead to a huge gap between the haves and the
have-nots, with the latter sunk in poverty, alienation, resentment, 
anger, and hopelessness, while at the same time such societies promote 
greed, ambition, ruthlessness, deceit, and other aspects of competitive
individualism that destroy communal values like sharing, co-operation, and
mutual aid. Thus in capitalist societies, the vast majority of "crime"
turns out to be so-called "crimes against property," which can be traced
to poverty and the grossly unfair distribution of wealth. Where the top
one percent of the population controls more wealth than the bottom 90
percent combined, it is no wonder that a considerable number of those on
the bottom should try to recoup illegally some of the mal-distributed
wealth they cannot obtain legally. (In this they are encouraged by the
bad example of the ruling class, whose parasitic ways of making a living
would be classified as criminal if the mechanisms for defining "criminal
behaviour" were not controlled by the ruling class itself.) And most of 
the remaining "crimes against persons" can be traced to the alienation,
dehumanisation, frustration, rage, and other negative emotions produced 
by the inhumane and unjust economic system. 

Thus it is only in our societies like ours, with their wholesale
manufacture of many different kinds of criminals, that punishment 
appears to be the only possible way to discourage "crime." From the
left-libertarian perspective, however, the punitive approach is a 
band-aid measure that does not get to the real root of the problem -- 
a problem that lies in the structure of the system itself. The real 
solution is the creation of a non-hierarchical society based on communal 
ownership of productive assets, which, by eliminating poverty and the 
other negative effects of capitalism, would greatly reduce the incidence 
of criminal behaviour and so the need for punitive countermeasures. 

Finally, two more points on private prisons. Firstly, as to the 
desirability of a "prison factory system," we will merely note 
that, given the capitalist principle of "grow-or-die," if punishing 
crime becomes a business, one can be sure that those who profit 
from it will find ways to ensure that the "criminal" population 
keeps expanding at a rate sufficient to maintain a high rate of profit 
and growth. After all, the logic of a "prison factory system" is 
self-defeating. If the aim of prison is to deter crime (as some 
claim) and if a private prison system will meet that aim, then a 
successful private prison system will stop crime, which, in turn,
will put them out of business! Thus a "prison factory system" cannot
aim to be efficient (i.e. stop crime). 

Secondly, Caplan does not mention the effect of prison labour on the 
wages, job conditions and market position of workers. Having a sizeable 
proportion of the working population labouring in prison would have a 
serious impact on the bargaining power of workers. How could workers 
outside of prison compete with such a regime of labour discipline 
without submitting to prison-like conditions themselves? Unsurprisingly,
US history again presents some insight into this. As Noam Chomsky
notes, the "rapid industrial development in the southeastern region
[of America] a century ago was based on (Black) convict labour,
leased to the highest bidder." Chomsky quotes expert Alex Lichtenstein
comments that Southern Industrialists pointed out that convict
labour was "more reliable and productive than free labour" and
that it overcomes the problem of labour turnover and instability.
It also "remove[d] all danger and cost of strikes" and that it
lowers wages for "free labour" (i.e. wage labour). The US Bureau
of Labor reported that "mine owners [in Alabama] say they could 
not work at a profit without the lowering effect in wages of
convict-labour competition." [_The Umbrella of US Power_, p. 32]

Needless to say, Caplan fails to mention this aspect of 
"anarcho"-capitalism (just as he fails to mention the example
of Ford's private police state). Perhaps an "anarcho"-capitalist 
will say that prison labour will be less productive than wage 
labour and so workers have little to fear, but this makes little 
sense. If wage labour is more productive then prison labour will 
not find a market (and then what for the prisoners? Will profit-maximising
companies *really* invest in an industry with such high over-heads
as maintaining prisoners for free?). Thus it seems more than likely
that any "prison-factory system" will be as productive as the
surrounding wage-labour ones, thus forcing down their wages and
the conditions of labour. For capitalists this would be ideal,
however for the vast majority a different conclusion must be
drawn.

Caplan: 
 
"Probably the main division between the anarcho-capitalists stems from the
apparent differences between Rothbard's natural-law anarchism, and David
Friedman's more economistic approach. Rothbard puts more emphasis on the
need for a generally recognised libertarian legal code (which he thinks
could be developed fairly easily by purification of the Anglo-American
common law), whereas Friedman focuses more intently on the possibility of
plural legal systems co-existing and responding to the consumer demands
of different elements of the population. The difference, however, is
probably overstated. Rothbard believes that it is legitimate for
consumer demand to determine the philosophically neutral content of the
law, such as legal procedure, as well as technical issues of property
right definition such as water law, mining law, etc. And Friedman admits
that 'focal points' including prevalent norms are likely to circumscribe
and somewhat standardise the menu of available legal codes."

The argument that "consumer demand" would determine a "philosophically
neutral" content of the law cannot be sustained. Any law code will 
reflect the philosophy of those who create it. Under "anarcho"-capitalism, 
as we have noted (see section F.6), the values of the capitalist rich
will be dominant and will shape the law code and justice system, as they
do now, only more so. The law code will therefore continue to give priority
to the protection of private property over human values; those who have the 
most money will continue being able to hire the best lawyers; and the best 
(i.e. most highly paid) judges will be inclined to side with the wealthy and 
to rule in their interests, out of class loyalty (and personal interests). 

Moreover, given that the law code exists to protect capitalist property
rights, how can it be "philosophically neutral" with that basis? How
would "competing" property frameworks co-exist? If a defence agency
allowed squatting and another (hired by the property owner) did not,
there is no way (bar force) a conflict could be resolved. Then the
firm with the most resources would win. "Anarcho"-capitalism, in effect,
smuggles into the foundation of their system a distinctly *non*-neutral
philosophy, namely capitalism. Those who reject such a basis may
end up sharing the fate of tribal peoples who rejected that system of
property rights, for example, the Native Americans.

In other words, in terms of outcome the whole system would favour 
*capitalist* values and so not be "philosophically neutral." The law
would be favourable to employers rather than workers, manufacturers 
rather than consumers, and landlords rather than tenants. Indeed,
from the "anarcho"-capitalist perspective the rules that benefit 
employers, landlords and manufacturers (as passed by progressive
legislatures or enforced by direct action) simply define liberty 
and property rights whereas the rules that benefit workers, tenants 
and consumers are simply an interference with liberty. The rules one 
likes, in other words, are the foundations of sacred property rights
(and so "liberty," as least for the capitalist and landlord), those 
one does not like are meddlesome regulation. This is a very handy 
trick and would not be worth mentioning if it was not so commonplace 
in right-libertarian theory.

We should leave aside the fantasy that the law under "anarcho"-capitalism
is a politically neutral set of universal rules deduced from particular     
cases and free from a particular instrumental or class agenda.

Caplan: 

"Critics of anarcho-capitalism sometimes assume that communal or worker-owned 
firms would be penalised or prohibited in an anarcho-capitalist society. It
would be more accurate to state that while individuals would be free to 
voluntarily form communitarian organisations, the anarcho-capitalist 
simply doubts that they would be widespread or prevalent." 

There is good reason for this doubt. Worker co-operatives would not be
widespread or prevalent in an "anarcho"-capitalist society for the same
reason that they are not widespread or prevalent now: namely, that the
socio-economic, legal, and political systems would be structured in such 
as way as to automatically discourage their growth (in addition, 
capitalist firms and the rich would also have an advantage in that 
they would still own and control the wealth they currently have which 
are a result of previous "initiations of force". This would give them an 
obvious starting advantage on the "free-market" -- an advantage which 
would be insurmountable).

As we explain in more detail in section J.5.11, the reason why there are 
not more producer co-operatives is partly structural, based on the fact 
that co-operatives have a tendency to grow at a slower rate than capitalist
firms. This is a good thing if one's primary concern is, say, protecting
the environment, but fatal if one is trying to survive in a competitive
capitalist environment. 

Under capitalism, successful competition for profits is the fundamental
fact of economic survival. This means that banks and private investors
seeking the highest returns on their investments will favour those
companies that grow the fastest. Moreover, in co-operatives returns 
to capital are less than in capitalist firms. Under such conditions, 
capitalist firms will attract more investment capital, allowing them to 
buy more productivity-enhancing technology and thus to sell their products 
more cheaply than co-operatives. Even though co-operatives are at least as
efficient (usually more so) than their equivalent capitalist firms, the
effect of market forces (particularly those associated with capital
markets) will select against them. This bias against co-operatives under
capitalism is enough to ensure that, despite their often higher efficiency,
they cannot prosper under capitalism (i.e. capitalism selects the *least
efficient* way of producing). Hence Caplan's comments hide how the effect 
of inequalities in wealth and power under capitalism determine which
alternatives are "widespread" in the "free market"

Moreover, co-operatives within capitalism have a tendency to adapt to
the dominant market conditions rather than undermining them. There 
will be pressure on the co-operatives to compete more effectively by 
adopting the same cost-cutting and profit-enhancing measures as capitalist 
firms. Such measures will include the deskilling of workers; squeezing as 
much "productivity" as is humanly possible from them; and a system of pay 
differentials in which the majority of workers receive low wages while the 
bulk of profits are reinvested in technology upgrades and other capital 
expansion that keeps pace with capitalist firms. But this means that in 
a capitalist environment, there tend to be few practical advantages for 
workers in collective ownership of the firms in which they work. 

This problem can only be solved by eliminating private property and 
the coercive statist mechanisms required to protect it (including 
private states masquerading as "protection companies"), because this 
is the only way to eliminate competition for profits as the driving 
force of economic activity. In a libertarian socialist environment, 
federated associations of workers in co-operative enterprises would 
co-ordinate production for *use* rather than profit, thus eliminating 
the competitive basis of the economy and so also the "grow-or-die" 
principle which now puts co-operatives at a fatal economic disadvantage. 
(For more on how such an economy would be organised and operated, as 
well as answers to objections, see section I.)

And let us not forget what is implied by Caplan's statement that
the "anarcho"-capitalist does not think that co-operative holding
of "property" "would be widespread or prevalent." It means that
the vast majority would be subject to the power, authority and
laws of the property owner and so would not govern themselves.
In other words, it would a system of private statism rather
than anarchy.

Caplan:

"However, in theory an 'anarcho-capitalist' society might be filled with
nothing but communes or worker-owned firms, so long as these associations
were formed voluntarily (i.e., individuals joined voluntarily and capital
was obtained with the consent of the owners) and individuals retained 
the right to exit and set up corporations or other profit-making,
individualistic firms."

It's interesting that the "anarcho"-capitalists are willing to allow
workers to set up "voluntary" co-operatives so long as the conditions 
are retained which ensure that such co-operatives will have difficulty
surviving (i.e. private property and private states), but they are
unwilling to allow workers to set up co-operatives under conditions that
would ensure their success (i.e. the absence of private property and
private states). This reflects the usual vacuousness of the
right-libertarian concepts of  "freedom" and "voluntarism." 

In other words, these worker-owned firms would exist in and be subject
to the same capitalist "general libertarian law code" and work in the 
same capitalist market as the rest of society.  So, not only are these 
co-operatives subject to capitalist market forces, they exist and operate 
in a society defined by capitalist laws. As discussed in Section F.2, 
such disregard for the social context of human action shows up the 
"anarcho" capitalist's disregard for meaningful liberty. 

All Caplan is arguing here is that as long as people remain within the
(capitalist) "law code," they can do whatever they like. However, what
determines the amount of coercion required in a society is the extent to
which people are willing to accept the rules imposed on them. This is as
true of an "anarcho"-capitalist society as it is of any other. In other 
words, if more and more people reject the basic assumptions of capitalism, 
the more coercion against anarchistic tendencies will be required. Saying that
people would be free to experiment under "anarcho"-capitalist law (if they
can afford it, of course) does not address the issue of changes in social
awareness (caused, by example, by class struggle) which can make such "laws"
redundant. So, when all is said and done, "anarcho"-capitalism just states
that as long as you accept their rules, you are free to do what you like.

How generous of them!

Thus, while we would be allowed to be collective capitalists or property
owners under "anarcho"-capitalists we would have no choice about living
under laws based on the most rigid and extreme interpretation of property
rights available. In other words, "anarcho"-capitalists recognise (at
least implicitly) that there exists one collective need that needs
collective support -- a law system to define and protects people's rights.
Ultimately, as C.B. Macpherson argues, "Individualism" implies "collectivism"
for the "notion that individualism and 'collectivism' are the opposite
ends of a scale along which states and theories of the state can be
arranged . . . is superficial and misleading. . . . [I]ndividualism . . .
does not exclude but on the contrary demands the supremacy of the state
[or law] over the individual. It is not a question of the more individualism,
the less collectivism; rather, the more through-going the individualism,
the more complete the collectivism. Of this the supreme illustration
is Hobbes's theory." [_The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism_,
p.256] Under "anarcho"-capitalism the individual is subject to the laws 
regarding private property, laws decided in advance by a small group of 
ideological leaders. Then real individuals are expected to live with the 
consequences as best they can, with the law being placed ahead of these 
consequences for flesh and blood people. The abstraction of the law 
dominates and devours real individuals, who are considered below it 
and incapable of changing it (except for the worse). This, from one 
angle, shares a lot with theocracy and very little with liberty.

Needless to say, Caplan like most (if not all) "anarcho"-capitalists
assume that the current property owners are entitled to their property.
However, as John Stuart Mill pointed out over 100 years ago, the "social
arrangements" existing today "commenced from a distribution of property
which was the result, not of a just partition, or acquisition by
industry, but of conquest and violence . . . [and] the system still
retains many and large traces of its origin." [_Principles of
Political Economy_, p. 15] Given that (as we point out in section
F.2.3) Murray Rothbard argues that the state cannot be claimed to
own its territory simply because it did not acquire its property in a 
"just" manner, this suggests that "anarcho"-capitalism cannot actually
argue against the state. After all, property owners today cannot be
said to have received their property "justly" and *if* they are 
entitled to it so is the state to *its* "property"!

But as is so often the case, property owners are exempt from the
analysis the state is subjected to by "anarcho"-capitalists. The
state and property owners may do the same thing (such as ban
freedom of speech and association or regulate individual behaviour) 
but only the state is condemned by "anarcho"-capitalism.

Caplan:

"On other issues, the anarcho-capitalist differs little if at all from
the more moderate libertarian. Services should be privatised and opened
to free competition; regulation of personal AND economic behaviour should
be done away with." 

The "anarcho"-capitalist's professed desire to "do away" with the
"regulation" of economic behaviour is entirely disingenuous. For, by
giving capitalists the ability to protect their exploitative monopolies 
of social capital by the use of coercive private states, one is thereby
"regulating" the economy in the strongest possible way, i.e. ensuring 
that it will be channelled in certain directions rather than others. For
example, one is guaranteeing that production will be for profit rather
than use; that there will consequently be runaway growth and an endless
devouring of nature based on the principle of "grow or die;" and that 
the alienation and deskilling of the workforce will continue. What the
"anarcho"-capitalist really means by "doing away with the regulation 
of economic behaviour" is that ordinary people will have even less
opportunity than now to democratically control the rapacious behaviour of
capitalists. Needless to say, the "regulation of personal" behaviour would
*not* be done away with in the workplace, where the authority of the
bosses would still exist and you would have follow their petty rules and
regulations.

Moreover, regardless of "anarcho"-capitalist claims, they do not, 
in fact, support civil liberties or oppose "regulation" of personal
behaviour as such. Rather, they *support* property owners suppressing 
civil liberties on their property and the regulation of personal 
behaviour by employers and landlords. This they argue is a valid
expression of property rights. Indeed, any attempts to allow workers
civil liberties or restrict employers demands on workers by state
or union action is denounced as a violation of "liberty" (i.e. the
power of the property owner). Those subject to the denial of civil
liberties or the regulation of their personal behaviour by landlords
or employees can "love it or leave it." Of course, the same can be
said to any objector to state oppression -- and frequently is. This
is an artificial double standard, which labels a restraint by one 
group or person in a completely different way than the same 
restraint by others simply because one is called "the government"
and the other is not. 

This denial of civil liberties can be seen from these words by 
Murray Rothbard:

"[I]n the profoundest sense there are no rights but property 
rights . . . Freedom of speech is supposed to mean the right of
everyone to say whatever he likes. But the neglected question is:
Where? Where does a man have this right? He certainly does not
have it on property on which he is trespassing. In short, he has
this right only either on his own property or on the property of
someone who has agreed, as a gift or in a rental contract, to
allow him in the premises. In fact, then, there is no such thing
as a separate 'right to free speech'; there is only a man's
property right: the right to do as he wills with his own or 
to make voluntary agreements with other property owners."
[Murray Rothbard, _Power and Market_, p. 176]

Of course, Rothbard fails to see that for the property-less such
a regime implies *no* rights whatsoever. It also means the effective
end of free speech and free association as the property owner can 
censor those on their property (such as workers or tenants) and
ban their organisations (such as unions). Of course, in his example
Rothbard looks at the "trespasser," *not* the wage worker or the 
tenant (two far more common examples in any modern society). Rothbard 
is proposing the dictatorship of the property owner and the end
of civil liberties and equal rights (as property is unequally 
distributed). He gives this utter denial of liberty an Orwellian 
twist by proclaiming the end of civil liberties by property rights 
as "a new liberty." Perhaps for the property-owner, but not the 
wage worker -- "We who belong to the proletaire class, property 
excommunicates us!" [Proudhon, _What is Property?_, p. 137]

In effect, right-Libertarians do not care how many restrictions are 
placed on you as long as it is not the government doing it. Of 
course it will be claimed that workers and tenants "consent" to 
these controls (although they reject the notion that citizens 
"consent" to government controls by not leaving their state). 
Here the libertarian case is so disingenuous as to be offensive. 
There is no symmetry in the situations facing workers and
firms. To the worker, the loss of a job is often far more of 
a threat than the loss of one worker is to the firm. The reality 
of economic power leads people to contract into situations that, 
although they are indeed the "best" arrangements of those 
available, are nonetheless miserable. In any real economy -- and, 
remember, the right-libertarian economy lacks any social safety 
net, making workers' positions more insecure than now -- the
right-libertarian denial of economic power is a delusion.

Unlike anarchist theory, right-libertarian theory provides *no*
rationale to protest private power (or even state power if we
accept the notion that the state owns its territory). Relations
of domination and subjection are valid expressions of liberty
in their system and, perversely, attempts to resist authority
(by strikes, unions, resistance) are deemed "initiations of
force" upon the oppressor! In contrast, anarchist theory 
provides a strong rationale for resisting private and public
domination. Such domination violates freedom and any free 
association which dominates any within it violates the 
basis of that association in self-assumed obligation (see
section A.2.11). Thus Proudhon:

"The social contract should increase the well-being and liberty
of every citizen. -- If any one-sided conditions should
slip in; if one part of the citizens should find themselves,
by the contract, subordinated and exploited by others, it 
would no longer be a contract; it would be a fraud, against
which annulment might at any time by invoked justly." [_The
General Idea of the Revolution_, p. 114]

Caplan's claim that right libertarians oppose regulation 
of individual behaviour is simply not true. They just 
oppose state regulation while supporting private regulation 
wholeheartedly. Anarchists, in contrast, reject both public
and private domination.

Caplan: 

"Poverty would be handled by work and responsibility for those able 
to care for themselves, and voluntary charity for those who cannot. 
(Libertarians hasten to add that a deregulated economy would greatly
increase the economic opportunities of the poor, and elimination of
taxation would lead to a large increase in charitable giving.)"

Notice the implication that poverty is now caused by laziness and
irresponsibility rather than by the inevitable workings of an economic
system that *requires* a large "reserve army of the unemployed" as 
a condition of profitability. The continuous "boom" economy of
"anarcho"-capitalist fantasies is simply incompatible with the 
fundamental principles of capitalism. To re-quote Michael Kalecki
(from section B.4.4), "[l]asting full employment is not at all to 
[the] liking [of business leaders]. The workers would 'get out of 
hand' and the 'captains of industry' would be anxious 'to teach them 
a lesson'" as "'discipline in the factories' and `political stability' 
are more appreciated by business leaders than profits. Their class 
interest tells them that lasting full employment is unsound from 
their point of view and that unemployment is an integral part of 
the 'normal' capitalist system.". See section C.7 ("What causes 
the capitalist business cycle?") for a fuller discussion of this 
point.

In addition, the claims that a "deregulated economy" would benefit
the poor do not have much empirical evidence to back them up. If we
look at the last quarter of the twentieth century we discover that
a more deregulated economy has lead to massive increases in inequality
and poverty. If a movement towards a deregulated economy has had the
opposite effect than that predicted by Caplan, why should a totally
deregulated economy have the opposite effect. It is a bit like claiming
that while adding black paint to grey makes it more black, adding the 
whole tin will make it white!

The reason for increased inequality and poverty as a result of
increased deregulation is simple. A "free exchange" between two
people will benefit the stronger party. This is obvious as the 
economy is marked by power, regardless of "anarcho"-capitalist 
claims, and any "free exchange" will reflect difference in power.
Moreover, a series of such exchanges will have an accumulative effect, 
with the results of previous exchanges bolstering the position of
the stronger party in the current exchange.

Moreover, the claim that removing taxation will *increase* donations
to charity is someone strange. We doubt that the rich who object to
money being taken from them to pay for welfare will *increase* the
amount of money they give to others if taxation *was* abolished. As
Peter Sabatini points out, "anarcho"-capitalists "constantly rant
and shriek about how the government, or the rabble, hinders their
Lockean right to amass capital." [_Social Anarchism_, no. 23, p.101]
Caplan seems to expect them to turn over a new leaf and give *more*
to that same rabble!