Bryan Caplan  

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Anarcho-Capitalism, But Were Afraid to Ask

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The most intellectually serious proponents and fellow travellers of anarchism are, paradoxically, a bunch of stodgy economists. That's one of the lessons of Ed Stringham's new 700-page anthology, Anarchy and the Law: The Political Economy of Choice. This volume brings together:

  • The classic anarcho-capitalist writings, beginning with Murray Rothbard and David Friedman
  • The great debates, including Nozick versus his critics, Roy Childs' critique of Ayn Rand, and Tyler Cowen vs. David Friedman (added bonus: Cowen and Sutter versus Caplan and Stringham)
  • The history of anarcho-capitalist thought, including Gustave de Molinari and Lysander Spooner
  • Historical case studies - Ireland, Iceland, and the not so wild, wild West

Most economists who invest the time to study the anarcho-capitalist literature ultimately aren't convinced. But I've yet to met an economist who made the investment who didn't end up taking it a lot more seriously than he expected.

Personally, my favorite short-cut to credibility on this "crazy" topic is to start with the "minimal" state, then point out all the ways that it could do even less. (See here, here, and here).



TRACKBACKS (6 to date)
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The author at Economic Investigations in a related article titled Our Enemy, The State writes:
    Given this, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Anarcho-Capitalism, But Were Afraid to Ask, I thought I try something else and start writing about proto-anarchist, crypto-anarchist and anarchist thought—a subject I’ve been neglecting f... [Tracked on February 3, 2007 5:28 AM]
The author at De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum in a related article titled O que é anarco-capitalismo? writes:
    O pessoal do Opinião Popular tem lá sua opinião, claro, compartilhada pela intelectualidade da mídia (que lê pouco, como já constatado por Tyler Cowen, lembra?). Mas se você quer ler algo sobre o tema, veja estes link. Claudio... [Tracked on February 3, 2007 5:39 AM]
COMMENTS (2 to date)
Bill Conerly writes:

I started with Bob Poole's (of Reason Foundation) explanation of competing air traffic control companies. They wouldn't want crashes, so they would both compete and cooperate. From that, private policy and courts are one small step away.

Barkley Rosser writes:

I am someone who is not ideologically much a fan of anarcho-capitalism, indeed, some regular readers of this blog might view a recommendation by me as reason to stay away from something. That said, I do recommend the Stringham volume for being very well done.

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