Capitalist Anarchy is Tyranny
Upon first glance, this title almost certainly seems oxymoronic. After all, we’ve been told for the longest time by self-styled “pro-liberty” advocates that the road to freedom entails the reduction, and possibly even the complete dissolution, of the state apparatus. The problem with this thinking is that it isolates the government as the only potential form of tyranny. This is simply not true. In fact, when done correctly, the state serves as a necessary counterbalance to the subjugation and exploitation inflicted by private sector bosses on those in the workforce. In that sense, the state can be an important antidote to, or at least curtailing force against, tyranny. A diminishing of the purview of the public sector necessarily strengthens and delineates more power to private business. Let us not mince words: the prospect of such a reality is terrifying. In the words of world-renowned linguist and intellectual Noam Chomsky:
“The brand of what’s called ‘anarchism’ in the United States and to some extent in England, if you take a look at it, [is] advocacy for the most extreme form of autocracy and oppression that has ever existed. The policies very quickly turn into concentration of power in the hands of unaccountable, private institutions…”
The would-be freedom laden utopia of an anarcho-capitalist society, if ever realized, would be quite the contrary. In fact, I will lay out the case as to why the logical conclusion of anarcho-capitalism is monarchy.
In such a world, there would be no public land and nothing, other than your ability to pay, restricting how much land a single person could lay claim to. With the rampant income inequality that exists today — and that would only be exacerbated within such a societal order — you would have very few extravagantly rich people owning basically all the land. The vast majority of people would not be able to obtain any land at all. It is also worth noting that in this hellscape of a world, freedom of movement would not exist. Unless invited onto someone else’s property, the very existence of the landless masses would constitute trespassing. So, where would they go?
It is likely that they would become tenants on the property of some plutocrat. And, as anyone who has dealt with a landlord knows, they tend to like to rule over said property with an iron fist. You may sometimes hear anarcho-capitalists refer to themselves as voluntaryists. This label asserts that whatever is done through voluntary transaction should be allowed. Therefore, do oft-criminalized things like drug use and prostitution fall under this umbrella? While in theory, that assumption may be sound, in practice it is anything but. Speaking generally, property owners would not want or allow such activity in their presence.
So, we already have the subjects and authoritarian rule in place for the creation of a monarchy. We just lack one key element: aristocracy.
This one is quite simple. When property owners die, they pass their estate down to their children. In the case that they don’t have children, that wealth will still, more likely than not, remain in the family. And thus the dynasty that, in this hypothetical world, would claim us as their subjects is born. Does that sound like freedom and liberty to you?