Liberty is About Property Rights, Not Egalitarianism: The Errors of Civil Libertarianism
One of the most common objections that we will hear to the idea of anarcho-capitalism is that it will devolve into pure chaos and lawlessness, The idea that a completely privatized society would produce sometimes even stricter and more enforced laws is a rather foreign concept to even most libertarians. Instead, left-libertarians will assure the doubters that anarcho-capitalism would not mean no laws…of course not! There’s always going to be a natural law of sorts…. rather, they will say that anarcho-capitalism means no rulers!
Shockingly enough this definition of the term doesn’t convince a whole lot of intellectual people who know that rules need some sort of enforcement. Many of these so called libertarians operate under the misguided belief that libertarianism is purely individualistic and that the only governance that would exist in a libertarian society is each individual over himself. But upon actually studying some libertarian literature and Austrian economics, one discovers that this is neither true nor desirable to say the least. It would be an absolute absurdity for a philosophy that holds private property rights to be an absolute to not also hold true that the owner of said property is a ruler thereof.
So what is the right-wing libertarian objection to pure individualism then? Perhaps the greatest confusion comes from the misunderstanding that anarcho-capitalism is about reaching a greater state of civil liberty rather than private property norms and meritocracy. It would be entirely too naive to assume that the privatization of all property and scarce resources would simply result in each person being able to freely make decisions in his own home and I say this for a couple reasons.
For one, once all property has been privatized each owner of property becomes a ruler and governs that land or property. However, there is no guarantee that each person will necessarily own land. The whole entire idea of libertarianism is that there is competition to acquire scarce resources in the hopes that the most capable and able people, through competitive pressures, end up ruling over them. It naturally follows that this might not leave room for all people, especially the less capable and able to rule over land, and so in many cases these people will end up being ruled over by a land owner (i.e. a landlord).
As capitalists we understand that not everyone can own an equal enterprise and control the resources thereof, and it is not desirable for this to be the case, and property ownership should be seen as no different. It would also be foolish to assume that owners of smaller sections of property would not partake in the benefit of the division of labor and form communities not much different from cities, towns, counties, or states. The radical conclusion of this is that the prescence of a nation and rules, and a ruler thereof, is not at all a concept that is incompatible with libertarianism. As Christopher Cantwell has pointed out, anarcho-capitalism is not designed to leave us without rulers, but rather to give us a different and more natural way of selecting leaders through market pressures, rather than through coercive violent monopolies, even if its under the friendly guise of democracy.
Therefore monarchical rule of an area, along with policies of exclusion, is far more in line with property norms than hyper-inclusive mass democracy accompanied with the never ending tragedy of the commons. Indeed this a hard pill to swallow for those that desire libertarianism for some egalitarian day dream. They desire to add insult to injury by offering little resistance to property being stripped from possible and probable owners, and then secondly by not allowing people affected by these areas, now made into public common lands, to protect themselves via exclusion. The biggest example of this is the border dispute, and it can be likened to government stealing control of your fence and doors and then telling you that because it is now a public, area ALL people must be able to pass through indiscriminately.
The left libertarians are the ones who will shriek the loudest that our philosophy is above the left/right paradigm, yet they are the biggest example of the falsehood of their own statement. They truly hate authority and are so r-selected to the extreme that they desire that all property currently made public by force and taxation be mutually exploitable by all people, and that no exclusionary policies should get in the way of this nightmare. These are the people that will likely spend much of their time espousing hatred for traditional values, religion, police, borders and border patrol, and will bring about such fruitful libertarian discussion on the internet such as ” Dude.. It is so evil and statist that local ordinances prevent me from driving intoxicated at 120 miles per hour past a play ground full of children..to support this you have to be a SHEEP”.
Of course, these so called libertarians do not wish to see governing institutions approximate market actors, because the fact of the matter is that in a completely privatized society, socially conservative values would win nearly every time, and dopers wouldn’t be able to shoot up behind your gas station and scare off your customers without being dragged off by police and violently removed. This reality is far too horrifying for them to comprehend.
Libertarianism is only useful to these types so long as they can use it to justify throwing molotovs and bricks into police cars and advocating for public sex acts in front of children in pride parades. These types would likely be the first to starve in a libertarian society based on r/k selection theory, and they are quick to panic when anyone points out that a libertarian society in its purest form would not lead to unrestricted drug use, egalitarianism, or any other form of degeneracy one can think of. This is likely why they will not participate properly in the order of operations involved in scaling back the state.