- New Thinking in Political Economy series
Edited by Edward Stringham
Chapter 16: Anarchy
16. Anarchy Gordon Tullock Anarchy originally developed in Europe as a sort of offshoot of Christianity. Non-violence was regarded as morally good and European anarchists normally thought that by arguments they could convince everyone and hence end war. Anarchy was usually closely associated with socialism. This movement has almost entirely died out. There was another kind of anarchism essentially invented in the USA by Spooner. This, like the European brand, proposed to abolish the state, but thought that the market would carry out all the desirable functions of the state. Although they did not advocate war, these anarchists believed that force would be needed to defend both against ordinary criminals and possibly foreign countries. The force was to be provided privately rather than through the government. Although this brand of anarchism is mainly found in the USA, it has recently spread to Europe. On both continents, and in the few other parts of the world where it has at least a few disciples, it is a very much a minority point of view. There were a few experiments in anarchy in communities along the western border of white settlement in the USA in the nineteenth century. They all failed quickly or developed religiously based local governments. Some religiously based, and in practice although not in theory, autonomous local communities of this sort still exist in the West, in Canada and in Paraguay. The theoretical anarchists discussed in the previous paragraph do not seem interested in them. On a more unfortunate...
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