The Pragmatic Anarcho-Capitalist: Liberty With A System

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Pragmatic Ancap

Anarcho-capitalists. Free marketeers, individualists, and anti-state. This loose collection of idealists has received harsh criticism throughout the years for their seemingly Utopian ideas. They fly in the face of a political environment rife with compromises of their strongly held beliefs for the sake of “getting things done”. Speaking as a voluntarist myself, it is refreshing to witness and be a part of, a community of thinkers that strive to be ideologically consistent and unwavering in their principles. I would count this as an educated an-cap’s greatest strength but also ironically, their greatest weakness. The most prevalent way they put their proverbial foot in their mouths is their unwillingness to work with like-minded individuals for the sake of achieving mutual libertarian goals.

I can already see the objections from Facebook pages and twitter accounts: “But that’s collectivism!” some may decry. If there is one thing that anarcho-capitalists, minarchists, classical liberals, and even the occasional conservative can agree upon, It’s the minimization of the state and its control over the free people of this country. The Dallas Accord that formed the Libertarian Party included prominent anarcho-capitalists weighing in on the discussion, and what the libertarian party should aim achieve. Whether you choose to participate in the Libertarian Party and subscribe to the practice of voting is up to you, but the example of the Dallas Accord should be evidence that it is possible for an-caps to come together with minarchists and classical liberals to achieve an end.

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We can’t afford any longer to sit in virtual echo chambers and debate the minor particulars of our philosophies. We should be outspoken and audacious in our message, but this will fall on deaf ears if we do so with an unwelcoming and fantastical tone.

So, what are some realistic goals we can come together on? I would highly recommend anyone falling under the libertarian philosophical tent read Liberty Defined by Ron Paul. Chapters focus on 50 separate issues from abortion to Zionism and libertarian solutions to each of them. Even if you don’t consider Paul a “genuine libertarian”, it is good food for thought. Anyway, I thought it fitting to list some of these goals, and some resources look into for those who are particularly interested.

Liberty Defined

1. Lowering Taxes and regulation on private business.

We shouldn’t be shy about verbally supporting politicians when they get it right. When it comes down to economics driving our society, taxation is the most prevalent form of state force that exists in our daily lives. For a congressman to be able to vote himself a larger paycheck, or receive donations for his next campaign from a big corporation for passing a law that cuts out the competition, but chooses to do neither shouldn’t go ignored. It shouldn’t be a mark of shame to support those who have a true heart about lowering taxes combating crony party politics.

2. Opposition to civil asset forfeiture.

The judicial system is rife with its injustices but civil asset forfeiture is decried as immoral by those of many political persuasions, not just those under the libertarian tent. CAF is something that was combated (sometimes violently) recently by a couple neo-conservative groups after the department of land management attempted to seize land of several ranchers. They want the state to get off their land and out of their wallet. There is ground to be gained by urging liberty minded Neocons into the fold of non-aggression and an-caps would do well to be open to dialogue with them, classical liberals, and minarchists, about this issue.

3. Police accountability.

Yes, we would all like to see police privatized and under a system of voluntary association. This goal, although sound with libertarian principles has the potential to be a long way off. The internet has made the reality of police brutality all too evident for most Americans, and many can agree, there has been a shift in policing tactics and behavior in recent years. Nearly everyone with a smart phone is aware of it, including cops themselves. I would encourage an-caps to quite simply take opportunities to talk to your local police and lawmakers. Seek out “meet and greet” sessions in your area, ask the hard questions, and be friendly. Maybe, you bring something to the table they have never considered before. Maybe you learn something from them. In order to trigger reform in the system of policing, we must understand it and the people in it.

4. Counter-economics.

Branch out and encourage others to get involved with cryptocurrencies and other peaceful methods of investment and business that are counter to state control. Many techy millennials of all political persuasions I have encountered have been interested in cryptocurrencies when I brought it up in conversation. It is a great way to help people become successful through methods of voluntary association and gain independence from the central banking system. The more that get involved is more evidence that a system of completely free trade works. This is THE method to drive out many controls by the state and help create a system free of state intervention.

5. Firearm ownership.

As an avid firearms enthusiast, this is an issue I hold near and dear. It shouldn’t be controversial within libertarian spheres at all, but shouldn’t go ignored. We all stand for the natural right for those to defend themselves and their property from violence. We should reach out to others of different political persuasions who share in this belief including politicians. Support local grassroots lobbyist groups that aren’t tied to manufactures or corporations to ensure they are unbiased. Educate yourselves on the statistical truth of firearm ownership resulting in a more peaceful society. Last but not least, support your local gun stores and ranges, introduce your friends to sports shooting, and practice good firearms safety.

6. One final note.

Be audacious in your beliefs, but be understanding in the projection of those beliefs. If an-caps put half as much effort into working towards achieving a libertarian future with the system we have than trying to recruit people to their ideology, we might already be living in Ancapistan. We have to move away from being a debate club and into an approachable source of information on free-market economics and stateless societies. It does us no good if we hold consistent beliefs and can back them up with research, but don’t present them in a way that is applicable and relatable to the current political climate.

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You can read more by Chris Oglesby on Think Liberty here.

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