A brief polemic in which I attempt to explain my position on so-called Anarcho-Capitalism.
*SPOILER* It's bollocks.
These days it's not too uncommon for right-wing Libertarians to refer to themselves as Anarcho-Capitalists. Logically, one can see where they're coming from; they're pro-Capitalism and anti-state, so fair enough right? Well, not really. I'd argue in fact that Anarchism and Capitalism are mutually exclusive, completely incompatible theories. Remember that Jewish guy in South Park who tried to capture Moses, the one who claimed to be from the Anti-Semitic sect of Judaism? It's as ridiculous a concept as that. Basically it is my belief that to use the term is to demonstrate a complete misunderstanding of both Anarchism and Capitalism. Allow me to explain...
From the very start Anarchism has always been a Socialist, anti-Capitalist movement. In the words of Adolph Fischer, "every anarchist is a socialist
but not every socialist is necessarily an anarchist.'' Where Anarchism differs from other strands of Socialist thought, is that Anarchists recognise that Capitalism and the State are inextribably linked. One only has to look at the historical record of the rise of both Capitalism and the modern State to understand this. It is no accident that some of the earliest criticism of Marxism came from Mikhail Bakunin, an Anarchist.
To be an Anarchist is to oppose the concentration of unaccountable power and Authoritarian structures. What those masquerading as Anarcho-Capitalists fail to realise is that Capitalism necessitates such structures. The 20th Century Cold War myth that Capitalism and Freedom go hand in hand has been neatly demolished by the Chinese Republic, Capitalism's big success story. From an anarchist perspective, the State exists to protect the property owning class from the majority by the enforcing of property laws, for as Proudhon (regarded by many as the first Anarchist) proclaimed, Property is Theft.
The contradiction is clear; Capitalism cannot exist without the State, rendering the pursuit of Anarcho-Capitalism pointless, when really all they seek is Small-State conservatism. Like the Marxist-Leninists of the last century, who believed they could use State power to do away with Capitalism and ultimately failed, any attempt to put their theories into practice would ultimately lead to the same result. A deep spell of tyranny, followed by an inevitable return to the status quo.
Let's be under no illusions; there is no reconcilling the contradictions of Capitalism, either from the Social Democrats who believe that Capitalism can managed or made to function for the benefit of the many. Nor can Capitalism be used to truly shrink the state on which it depends. Indeed, the great small-state conservative heroes of the last century, such as Reagan and Thatcher achieved no such thing despite the rhetoric of their cheerleaders. A fact neatly underscored by the failure of the Chicago Boy's laboratory experiment in Pinochet's Chile, often bizarrely misremembered as a success story.
Capitalism is an unsustainable mechanism. Either we will do away with it, or it will do away with us.