Article: Justice for All Without the State

Writing on The American Conservative website, Daniel McCarthy argues in “Anarcho-Distributism” that the so-called state of nature that libertarians discuss would not resemble what a Stateless society would look like if the State collapsed. He argues that reasoning from the state of nature may not be the correct starting point for conceptualizing or building an alternative political structure. He therefore claims that anarcho-capitalist arguments about how private defense agencies, protection agencies, or dispute resolution organizations work assume a certain level of equality which would not be present in reality and that these institutions of justice would thus favor the rich. I argue in this article that the free market can provide justice without disproportionately favoring the rich.

Read the Full Article by David J. Heinrich

Afterwards, discuss the article below.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • David,
    The great value of this reply to Daniel McCarthy’s article is (1) that it provides useful visualization of the details of what happens under conditions of anarchy. The typical armchair response to “let’s try to visual this” is to reach for a “state of nature”/”Robinson Crusoe” example. This is less than nothing. Your historical examples, many of which are very familiar, show that real-case scenarios do exist, yet remain curiously unexamined. Also (2) you visualize what happens in the event of “dueling police forces” as so facetiously painted by Ayn Rand (and why hasn’t anybody directly called her on that piece of farce?): The likely scenarios is not a giant OK Corral shootout, but rather purely defensive force that protects the client of the armed force and makes trivial arrest a very costly last-resort alternative.