Harry Binswanger ended an article recently by off-handedly rehashing the “argument from Somalia” anarchists so often hear. Libertarians have responded to this argument already, both academically (see Notten 2003; Coyne 2006; Leeson 2007; Powell et al. 2008; and Leeson et al. 2009) and popularly (see Maccallum 1998; Davidson 2001; Bigwood 2002; MacCallum 2007; Powell 2009; Knight III 2009; Carson 2010; Barker 2011; Grimmett 2013; etc.), but since folks seem intent on continuing to use it I wanted to respond myself, so I can send anyone I talk with about it here.
One of the most gratifying parts of scientific skepticism, to my mind, includes the ability to explore history with a mind more open to unorthodox explanations of human behavior and social interaction, and to examine different theories about the origins of peace and order in society. Take the two competing theories of legal centralism, the idea that a central authority has to maintain peace in a society, and spontaneous order, the idea that order arises without any central authority or designer.