Anarchy vs. minarchy is the contrast between the idea of a society with no government (anarchy) or a small, limited government (minarchy). For many awake and aware people, the current state of the world is so dysfunctional that they have gone beyond the point of trying to justify our current governmental structures. For this growing number of people of all nations and cultures, it’s no longer about left vs right, Democrat vs Republican, socialism vs conservatism or all the other false dichotomies that abound on the political spectrum. For many of us, there’s simply no point in investing time and energy into an illusion – the political illusion – while pretending it actually makes a difference. Why argue who is going to be the better slavemaster or the lesser of 2 evils? We are really only left with 2 choices: between having a small government or having no government. So which would be better for humanity, minarchy or anarchy?
Definitions of Anarchy, Minarchy and Voluntaryism
First of all, the words anarchy and minarchy come from the Greek words “an-” (meaning without), “arkhos” (meaning rule, chief or ruler) and the Latin prefix “min-” (meaning small). Thus, anarchy is a society or nation with no rules (i.e. government-sanctioned law), rulers or a ruling class, whereas minarchy is one with a minimal amount of rules, rulers and a ruling class. Care must be taken not to confuse minarchy with monarchy! Also, instead of the term anarchy, it may be more apt to use the word voluntaryism, which describes a stateless society where all human interactions are voluntary and where no central authority exists to make or enforce laws.
Anarchy ≠ Chaos
Before we begin, it’s important to address a common misconception, that anarchy = chaos. Anarchy does not equal chaos! You can still have organization, cooperation, harmony and trust in a society where there is no central authority. It is up to the individual members to act in such a way to create that society. You can even have hierarchy in a voluntary society, where members voluntarily choose to structure an organization like that (e.g. for purposes of speed, coherence and efficiency). However, such hierarchy would never be forced on anyone, because the organizations containing it would be voluntary associations.
Likewise, it’s important to stress that anarchy does not mean utopia either. It’s naive to think that everyone will just magically get along and there will be no criminals or evil if we just remove government. However, as I will get to later, the point is about humanity evolving in terms of responsibility so that we can face these problems in a different way.
The Pros of Minarchism: Arguments For a Small, Limited Government
Many people who become anarchists or voluntaryists first become minarchists, because the idea of imagining the abolition of all government in a single step is very daunting for most. Minarchists believe that we can’t do away with government altogether, because it’s necessary and fulfills too many vital, essential roles that would be difficult or impossible to otherwise fulfill. These are the top reasons and justifications usually proposed for minarchy:
– Need for a central register in society (e.g. to be the one “official” list of titles to property, which plays a key part in dispute resolution);
– Need for central planning and centralized authority for good organization;
– Need to have some mechanism to control and offset other power gangs in society, such as the Mafia and the Corporatocracy;
– Criminal justice (i.e. catching criminals, providing the arena and the judge for trials of suspects); and
– Health safety protection (e.g. forcing quarantine in case of an outbreak).
Some people also advance the claim that government (and governmentally-approved corporate structures) are the reason that Western nations evolved faster than other nations. In this entertaining debate at Anarchapulco, Mark Skousen makes the points that we need minarchy to force a criminal suspect to actually come to the courtroom and stand trial, to ensure quarantine in emergency situations, and to enforce eminent domain (the right government takes upon itself to be able to force buy anyone’s property for national and municipal organizational purposes).
The Cons of Minarchy: Arguments Against a Small, Limited Government
His opponent, Larken Rose, vehemently denies that minarchy is a good idea. He points out the following reasons why:
– Minarchists advocate the “arch” or the existence of a ruling class. All monarchists are statists. They still believe in external authority. They still advocate some kind of government; they just think or want that such a government only do what they want it to do;
– Who decides what the “minimum” amount of power is that a government is allowed to wield? It will always be arbitrary;
– The constitutional limits written down to supposedly restrain minarchy governments don’t work. No one pays attention to the limits, and it’s ultimately not possible to enforce them;
– A constitution almost always provides for its own amendment, so anyone can “legally” and “constitutionally” change the entire constitution piece by piece. Look at how the Weimar Republic “legally” gave Hitler massive power and became the totalitarian state of Nazi Germany;…
About the Author
Makia Freeman is the editor of The Freedom Articles and senior researcher at ToolsForFreedom.com (FaceBook here), writing on many aspects of truth and freedom, from exposing aspects of the worldwide conspiracy to suggesting solutions for how humanity can create a new system of peace and abundance
**Sources embedded throughout article.
This article (Anarchy vs. Minarchy: Do You Want a Little Government or None at All?) was originally created and published by The Freedom Articles and is re-posted here with permission.