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The Trouble With Dave Smith

  On the issues, Dave & most agorists can find agreement 99 out of 100 times, but as libertarians we have a habit, a pastime - a duty even, to seek out & argue over the 1% of things we don’t agree on. In keeping with that tradition friends, I've got to tell you, when it comes to strategy, Dave Smith seriously fumbles the ball. The fundamental issue is that @comicdavesmith is interested in creating libertarians, whereas agorists are interested in creating liberty. Dave has a classic case of @perbylund ’s Savior Complex - the irrational desire of individualists to save the collective whole of society. There are lots of problems with this, but even if creating libertarians is a worthy goal, does that mean the Libertarian Party is the best vehicle to accomplish this task? Has anything the Libertarian Party ever done caused even a slight retreat of statism? Dave rightly points to his own success at spreading the message of liberty. It's true, no one - save Ron Paul or Tom

Edward Stringham: Private Governance | Book Review



There is a wide-spread conception - not only among Socialists, but also many Social Democrats and Conservatives - that the market would be driven to chaos if it were not regulated by the State, and that it therefore needs to be "kept in check" through the implicit threat of coercion if it did not behave according to its dictates. In Private Governance, Edward P. Stringham challenges this view, by delineating how the stock market, online commerce, private police and complex financial markets have been well self-regulated throughout history, and that when the State endeavors to take over the task of regulation of this and that industry, the result of the substitution of statutory regulation for self-regulation often turns out as a net negative, as State actors have far less of an understanding of how the industries work and less of an incentive to avoid either too little or excessive regulation.

Though the author's logic seems to endeavor towards favoring a Stateless society, it's no manifesto addressing the most potent objections to such a system (like military and crime [i.e. the questions of how a private police would conduct its business under a Stateless society, and whether there'd be no rules or competition in law and how], such as Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman, Market for Liberty by Morris & Linda Tannehill, Chaos Theory by Robert Murphy, The Conscience of An Anarchist by Gary Chartier, The Ethics of Liberty by Murray N. Rothbard, Against the State by Lew Rockwell, and many others have delineated theoretical solutions to), but it's certainly a useful contribution to its literature in terms of what historically has been shown to work in contrast to what theoretically may.


Stringham proves himself to have done a lot of research on the different sides of the debates of the subjects he brings up, formats his citations exactly to my aesthetic enjoyment, and provides a good structure to the content at hand. I'd certainly recommend this work for "central legalists" as Stringham calls them, who thinks the State is the first and foremost institution of arbitration one should approach in order to terminate civil conflicts, and I'd recommend them to check out some of the works cited above as complementary reading material to get more answers to questions in the format of "But without the State, how would X be dealt with?". Certainly, it's also quite good material for libertarians to get more of an understanding of the historical track record of market self-regulations, either out of curiosity or just as fuel for better arguments in debates with central legalists. Either way: Great style, structure and content, as well as informative in an academic, yet layman-friendly manner.


Stefan M. Kløvning is a Norwegian student discussing political, economic, and philosophical matters from an Austro-Libertarian perspective on his blog MisesRevived.


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