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Anarchy, State and Public Choice

Edited by Edward Stringham

The book reprints the main articles from the 1972 volume Explorations in the Theory of Anarchy, and contains a response to each chapter, as well as new comments by Gordon Tullock, James Buchanan, Jeffrey Rogers Hummel and Peter Boettke. The younger economists are notably less pessimistic about markets and more pessimistic about government than their predecessors. Much of the new analysis suggests that private property rights and contracts can exist without government, and that even though problems exist, government does not seem to offer a solution. Might anarchy be the best choice after all? This provocative volume explores this issue in-depth and provides some interesting answers.
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Chapter 11: Defining Anarchy as Rock-n-Roll: Rethinking Hogarty’s Three Cases

Virgil Storr


11. Defining anarchy as rock ’n’ roll: rethinking Hogarty’s three cases Virgil Storr INTRODUCTION ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.’ ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’ ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master – that’s all.’ Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass Anarchy, simply put, means a society without government. Unfortunately, when most people use the word, they typically make it mean something like chaos, or social mayhem, or civil unrest; they equate anarchy with Hobbes’s jungle where life is ‘poore, nasty, brutish and short’. Anarchy, for them, is the penchant for society’s destruction maintained by disaffected suburban youth who have an affinity with rock ’n’ roll, drugs and black fingernail polish. It is children at play without adult supervision; it is streets without stop lights; it is the Wild Wild West with no sheriff or marshal. Few take anarchy seriously as an alternative socio-economic system to the one that we presently enjoy. And even fewer find it a viable or even desirable alternative to what we call ‘democratic capitalism’. Professor Hogarty is no exception (neither, by the way, are any of the other authors in Explorations in the Theory of Anarchy). In ‘Cases in Anarchy’, his contribution to the Center for the Study of Public Choice’s interesting volume, Professor Hogarty tries to give us some...

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