by Neville Kennard, preaching and practising capitalist

In libertarian circles there are two camps. The Classical Liberal-Small Government-Minarchy camp is where many people sit. The Minarchists envisage a substantial winding back of The State, so that it does just those things that seem to be necessary for an over-arching “authority” to do. These typically include National Defence, Police, Courts and the Legal System, and that’s about it. There are areas like Intellectual Property Rights such as Patents and Copyrights that many Classical Liberals would include as necessary government functions. Some even include Public Schooling as a government function, though few real Minarchists would extend the role of government that far.

Minarchists believe in adherence to a strong Constitution. They also typically believe in Democracy as a way to bring about good government, with the argument that the people can un-elect a government that doesn’t adhere to the rules and choose another one. Minarchists and Classical Liberals believe in The Rule of Law, as imposed by their government. They also believe in the necessity and morality of Taxation.

The other libertarian camp comprises the Anarcho-Capitalists, those who believe that any government — democratic or monarchic or of some other form — that has the right to steal (by way of taxation), to enslave (by way of enforced adherence to some behaviours) is ethically and morally corrupt. Anarcho-Capitalists don’t believe that any Constitution can withstand re-interpretations by self-serving courts and jurisdictions, or that a Government, Democratic or Autocratic, can be trusted not to expand and want to take more, control more. The very nature of people and institutions, they believe, is to grow and do more; thus it is better not to have any formal government institution.

Minarchists argue that Anarchy has never existed to any meaningful extent and thus is unproven and impractical.

Anarchists put the argument that we are always in a form of anarchy, that governments themselves are anarchic and will do whatever they think they can get away with. In his great book, Anarchy and The Law Edward Stringham offers several essays and excerpts to make many points challenging the standard arguments of Classical Liberals / Minarchists. These include challenging such sacred cows as The Rule of Law — “Do we ever really get out of Anarchy?” and “The Myth of the Rule of Law.”

Minarchists offer arguments of Transaction Costs, and the Free Rider problem to support their Minimal Government position. Robert Nozick in his book, Anarchy, State and Utopia came to this conclusion, but by a route some challenge.

For Minarchists and Classical Liberals the leap from Small Government to No Government can be a leap too far. They like what we have — that is, Government — but want less of it. They justify the coercion of taxation as being utilitarian and what must be paid to have a fair and safe society. Minarchists like Democracy. They may even support Conscription in some circumstances.

Anarcho-Capitalists essentially take the ethical position, believing that Taxation is Theft at any level, and that Government Coercion (in any form) is Slavery. AC’s take the moral and ethical position in regard to Self Ownership, that a person owns his life and the justly acquired products of that life, and that no individual or group has the right to infringe on that life, that Self Ownership. AC’s typically distrust Democracy as being just another form of coercion — but by The Majority.

In essence Minarchists take the Utilitarian road, while Anarchists take the Ethical and Moral road.

And that’s about it. Choose your ism — Minarchism or Anarchism. Unless, that is, your are firmly settled in your Conservatism or Social Democratism or Welfare Statism, as most people are.

(in order of appearance on
  1. Welcome from Neville Kennard
  2. Think Tanks Don't Work
  3. "Market Failure": Just what the government ordered!
  4. The Tragedy of the Tax Pool Commons
  5. Corporate Welfare
  6. Citizenship for Sale?
  7. I Don't Vote
  8. Voting: Right or Privilege?
  9. Stockholm Syndrome and our Love-Hate Relationship with Government
  10. Civil Disobedience: The Rules of Engagement
  11. Should Respect for Law Extend to Bad Laws?
  12. Jaywalking as a Demonstration of Individuality
  13. Government Likes War
  14. Collusion is Our Right
  15. Why Not the Drug Olympics?
  16. Unconventional Wisdom
  17. Tiger Farming: An Alternative to Extinction
  18. Looking Backwards: Mont Pelerin Society Conference, Sydney, 2010
  19. Tax Avoidance is a Patriotic Duty
  20. Kennard Writes to IPA Review Editor
  21. Genocide by Welfare: A Tragedy from the Aboriginal Welfare Industry
  22. Separating Sport and State
  23. Your Home is Not an Investment
  24. Dick Smith, Celebrity Philanthropist
  25. A Libertarian's New Year's Resolution
  26. Extend Politicians' Holidays to Create Prosperity
  27. Entrepreneurs are Disruptive, and Bureaucrats Hate It
  28. What is a good Australian?
  29. Governments Like Employment But Hate Employers
  30. The Market Failure Industry
  31. Neville Kennard: The Tax Avoidance Imperative
  32. Wot if ...?
  33. The Tribal Chief and the Witch Doctor
  34. The Tannehills
  35. Democracy versus Property Rights and Prosperity
  36. Government Doesn't Work, and That's the Way They Like It
  37. Minarchy vs Anarchy
  38. Euthanasia and Self-Ownership
  39. The Right Policies to Fix a Depression
  40. Is Howard Our Best PM?
  41. Tax Producers vs Tax Consumers
  42. Where There's a Queue, There's a Business Opportunity
  43. Authoritarian Freedom
  44. Why Classical Liberals Should Debate Anarchocapitalists
  45. The Tyranny of the Majority
  46. If you could choose to whom you paid your tax
  47. Business Should Exploit Boat People
  48. The Immorality of Trade Unions
  49. "America" vs "The United States"
  50. Sweet Anarchy
  51. The Illusion of "Job Creation"
  52. Gold Is Money
  53. Guilty Capitalists
  54. Bureauphobia
  55. Prosperity vs Growth
  56. Capitalism vs Democracy
  57. More people = More fun
  58. Self-Ownership - the very idea!
  59. Government will murder Neville Kennard if he doesn't back away
  60. The Australian Dollar Has Been Cowardly and Criminally Devalued, Harming the Poor Particularly
  61. Is Taxation Theft and Government a Tax Cheat?
  62. My Journey to Anarchy:
    From political and economic agnostic to anarchocapitalist
  63. Government Needs Bad Guys –
    that's why they like wars
  64. What Is Obscene?
  65. Traffic Economics
  66. Wayne Swan stands on the shoulders of other intellectual pygmies
  67. Neville Kennard Obituary
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