My family started as more or less standard evangelical-conservative, but with libertarian leanings, also with a large side order of barely restrained rage and control issues. Being early homeschoolers (though not part of the actual movement) we had a fear and paranoia of the government (mostly CPS). This background pointed me in roughly the correct direction, while also giving me first hand experience of what happens when you put someone in authority who can’t lead without controlling others, and can’t even control themselves.
I first heard of Anarcho-Capitalism from either the blog, or website of Eric S. Raymond (ESR). ESR’s essay Why I Am An Anarchist was an early influence pushing me towards Anarcho-Capitalism. This would have been somewhere in the mid to late 2000s (when NedaNet went up). I quickly realized that even though I did not think it could work in practice, the idea was a very useful tool as a thought experiment. I found that the creeping assertions of “X needs government support/control in order to work” were stopped in their tracks when I forced myself to come up with a way to do X without any government, let alone being explicitly state-sponsored. Many things which did not fit that mold turned out to not be necessary or desirable in the first place.
In late 2012 I began reading the book ESR had mentioned many times as the start of his AnCap journey, The Machinery Of Freedom. That changed things. Even though I was already aware of many of the things talked about in it; seeing them systematically set out and argued in a single document brought me to the 50% conversion point.
Soon afterwards I looked for more information and stumbled across the #mises IRC channel on freenode.net via www.reddit.com/r/libertarian. I also began absorbing the articles on Mises Daily which linked me to the Daily Anarchist. A month or so later someone pointed me towards the book Everyday Anarchy which helped to normalize anarchic thinking for me.
At roughly the same time another inhabitant of the #mises channel pointed me to information about a “Christian” cult from which he had escaped. From there I discovered what the “Christian” Fundamentalist Homeschooling Movement is really about: extreme control. Seeing this wiped out most of my reservations regarding Theocracy vs. Anarcho-Capitalism.
Soon afterwards I began analyzing the inherent logic of theocratic ideas which I had previously assumed could work, I quickly found that the Bible actually gives quite damning evidence as to how successful a theocracy could be. During this time I was also still reading the archives of the Mises.org daily articles and was converted against the idea of intellectual property, although I was already somewhat lukewarm to it.
At that point the only objection I had left was abortion. However, after reading “How I Lost Faith in the ‘Pro-Life’ Movement“ by Libby Anne I could no longer believe that the State could help, even with something that seemed so clear cut to me.
I am an anarchist because:
- Even under perfect conditions the State is utterly incompetent in economic matters.
- The State is built on numerous contradictions as in, “We need government because some people are evil.”
- The inherent logic of State power is to attract evil people, and it has no conceivable way to stop them from getting into power.
- On moral matters the State either implements a shoddy version of what market based law would produce, or it enforces victimless crimes which are at best insanely dangerous.
Why wouldn’t I be an anarchist?