Libertarian Unity, Not Division

A lot of people confuse the views of those who are for a minimal state or those who want no state and are quick to label them naive. (This Post is not about what the right size of a state is just understanding different perspectives)

Those who want a minimal state (minarchist) believe smaller and limited government is better. They generally believe there are a few areas to which government provision is necessary (primarily defense and a legal system). Some believe limiting this state requires a fairly rigid and unchangeable contract to bind the government (a constitution), others believe it just takes constant engagement and vigilance with or without a constitution. Some moderates may extend government’s role to light environmental involvement and anti-trust (these would be the most moderate classical liberals). Regardless, they all agree less government, largely free markets and civil liberties make a better society. These people do understand the state has a propensity to grow but believe with the right checks it can be managed.

Those who want no state (ancaps/voluntaryists) believe there is no good or service that requires state provision so even defense and a legal system can be provided by one or many non-states actors. Since the state has a propensity to grow and use it’s unique aspects to prevent competition (a monopoly on the legitimate use of force which is used to tax and regulate) they think that the state should be eliminated as soon as practical. To do this a mix of using politics to dismantle the state and creating market alternatives to the state to reduce demand for the state existence . These people don’t believe no order should exist merely that it can be provided by a decentralized network of institutions like everything else in a market economy. There is a great varying of difference in the time frame in which they believe this can occur and whether certain institutions and cultural norms are required for it to work.

Point is, both groups largely in good faith support free markets, peace, and less government than we have now, so I believe they should be able to work together to those ends without quibbling about their differences.

I personally have views that depart from both of these in different ways but once again have a high conviction in free markets, peace and more individual power in society so let’s all get along.

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