State Have No Rights Because States are Criminal Institutions

The following tweet from February 2022 by W. Christopher Nunn (@WChrisNunn) was shared at r/Anarcho_Capitalism: “The unvaccinated cannot leave Canada, unless they escape. Read that again and convince yourself everything is normal in this country.” Then the following conversation ensued.


Manticore416: People dont have the right to enter other countries without following the requirements to go to those countries. Getting specific inoculations to travel is not new.

Skyler: States don’t have the right to limit people’s travel. States don’t have the right to even exist. Do you know what subreddit you’re in?

Accomplished_End_138: Umm.. they do. You can argue all you want on what is better. But that doesn’t change reality.

Skyler: Why do you believe that states have any right to exist?

Accomplished_End_138: People made them? Or do you think people don’t have a right to things they made?

Skyler: States are institutions of aggression. States have no more right to exist than do mafias whose sole purpose is to engage in predation against innocent and peaceful people. They are illicit, criminal organizations and for that reason they have no right to exist and no right to use aggression to prevent people from traveling. This is the basic anarcho-capitalist position towards the state and towards all institutionalized aggression. Do you have any other reason to believe the state has any right to exist?

Accomplished_End_138: Do people not get to choose who/what has a right to exist? Do they not have that freedom as a group? This sounds like ancaps forcing what they want on others. Or you have to admit you dont like them. But because they were part of their system, they have a right to exist… unless you think your rights trump others rights?

Skyler: Sounds to me like you fundamentally misunderstand what the state is. The state is not just some institution of governance. It’s an institution of aggression, of predation.

See Rothbard: https://everything-voluntary.com/everything-voluntary-chapter-4a

See Oppenheimer: https://mises.org/library/state-its-history-and-development-viewed-sociologically

See Nock: https://fee.org/resources/our-enemy-the-state/

See me: https://everything-voluntary.com/government-vs-state-redux

Accomplished_End_138: Omg, that was so much garbage. So if they want the “governance” like that, but you disagree… You are right, and they are wrong? And your views should take precedent over their freedom?

Skyler: Lol, if you expect me to believe that you read everything I linked to in 10 minutes, you’re a fool. And if you didn’t read it all, calling it garbage is an incredibly lazy and disingenuous thing to do. Why would you do that?

Accomplished_End_138: You also think I haven’t read them before. Is that because you can’t think and believe someone has different views, and this same garbage doesn’t convince me is unthinkable? The last one I hadn’t seen before. And it felt like it was constantly re defining words and meaning throughout it to make it harder to argue any one of them since they could point to where they defined it differently. You also labeled it as you. So I guess you wrote that?

Skyler: The last link was my essay yes. I don’t understand how you could read these essays and book and not form the belief (or rather see that somebody might view) that the state is an illicit criminal organization of aggression and predation. Do you not agree that the state is an illicit criminal organization of aggression and predation? If not how do you justify the existence of the state?

Accomplished_End_138: That people formed the state based on historical things that happened. And ancap itself to remove it would have to force those opinions on other people. People made the state. Unless you think it came from thin air. I see the same thing for anything like companies and such as well. All are about controlling people for their own gain.

What I don’t see is how that type of world could ever work (or has ever worked) since it would crumble almost instantly. It is all based on everyone having the same ideals. Which people do not have. That’s why I am also not a socialist or communist or capitalist. All of them are very flawed and don’t actually handle how people actually are, instead focusing on some illusion of what they think they would be.

Skyler:

People made the state. Unless you think it came from thin air.

And criminals form mafias. The state is just a “legal” mafia (meaning it recognizes itself as “legal”). People can form whatever groups they want, but not for the purpose of preying on other people. That’s when it becomes illegitimate, criminal, and ceases any right to exist (as a predatory group).

All are about controlling people for their own gain.

A non-aggressive (non-predatory) company doesn’t control anyone without their explicit consent. Marriages, friendships, all sorts of relationships exist on this basis and are not illegitimate or criminal. Businesses are no different.

It is all based on everyone having the same ideals.

If everyone agreed on everything, no conflict over resources, then none of this would be needed, that’s true. But the world doesn’t work that way right now, and probably never will.

Accomplished_End_138: What in ancap makes them illegal (mafia)? What would be used to prosecute them? Why would they have authority? Company cities have existed. What would stop them in ancap? Under what authority? So, per your own thing at the end, you will have to go against peoples freedoms to do what they want and have a system that works for them.

Skyler:

What in ancap makes them illegal (mafia)? What would be used to prosecute them? Why would they have authority?

See Rothbard: https://everything-voluntary.com/everything-voluntary-chapter-4a and Oppenheimer: https://mises.org/library/state-its-history-and-development-viewed-sociologically

Company cities have existed. What would stop them in ancap? Under what authority?

Why should they be stopped? People can legitimately own enough land to build a company city and contract with workers to live and work there. Where’s the aggression?

you will have to go against peoples freedoms to do what they want and have a system that works for them.

Their freedoms end where my freedoms begin. Saying this is also saying: their property rights end where my property rights begin.

Accomplished_End_138: Do you not know the history of company towns? And your freedom to choose how they want to govern ends before them as well.

Skyler:

Do you not know the history of company towns?

Just a bit. The only person to ever do an exhaustive study on them found they charged no more for goods than surrounding areas, and paid commensurate wages.

And your freedom to choose how they want to govern ends before them as well.

As a matter of explicit contract, yes. How I govern my house is also up to it’s owner, me.

Accomplished_End_138: So then a “country” is fine by you, as it is just a massive company town?

Skyler: Many people in a country own their property legitimately. Many others, including the state and it’s actors, acquired property by conquest, by expropriating others. So no, a country is not “just a massive company town”.

Accomplished_End_138: How not? They did buy the land. Are you saying they couldn’t own the land they traded for? The US wasn’t much conquest. Mostly traded, not the most honest of trade, but it was trade. Why is buying and trading for land not legitimate?

Skyler:

Why is buying and trading for land not legitimate?

Buying land from it’s rightful owners is legitimate, but using stolen funds (taxation) to do so is not. If the US Federal Government bought land, they did so with stolen funds. Or they simply conquered the natives and took it, or violated treaties with the natives over and over again. None of what the US Federal Government calls it’s property did it obtain legitimately, without predation.

Accomplished_End_138: So, show me where they used taxes to get the funds? Because we didn’t have federal taxes until much later

Skyler: Tariffs are taxes. Do you think the federal government opened a business and sold goods and services to earn its revenue?

Accomplished_End_138: Did they control the ports? Can they not charge for those services?

Skyler: How could they possibly obtain monopoly control of the ports without aggression?

Accomplished_End_138: That isn’t possible anywhere, depending on what you call aggression. But all they have to have is a show of force off the coast to keep pirates at bay and no port control, and it would still be protecting the transport? Or is protecting things not allowed? And no ownership is allowed because it all takes aggression?

Skyler: The state is an illicit criminal organization that primarily depends on predation for its revenue. In order to exist it must get the support of enough influential people. Doing things like running schools, crime investigation, and yes keeping the pirates (or British) at bay is one way to produce enough mass public support to not be violently toppled by those who dissent. None of this changes the fact that the state only exists as the result of predation on peaceful and innocent people. If all the state did was earn legitimate revenues by protecting ports then it would hardly be a state at all.

You really should buy and read Oppenheimer: https://mises.org/library/state-its-history-and-development-viewed-sociologically

Accomplished_End_138: Nah. I’ll avoid paying for your propaganda. It doesn’t seem worth it. Especially if your arguments are any representation.

Skyler: 1. Not my book, or my website. 2. This book has been out over a century. 3. They have a free PDF, so you don’t have to pay for anything.

Accomplished_End_138: And yet still not worthwhile to read propaganda. Old propaganda is still propaganda. The bible is much older. Still filled with falsehoods to make people scared.

Skyler: You must have an incredibly high IQ to simply call something propaganda and then dismiss it.

Accomplished_End_138: You don’t have to be very smart to spot propaganda; just have to not be already fooled by it.

Skyler: You have no idea if it’s propaganda because you haven’t even looked at it. You’re dismissing it ignorantly.

Accomplished_End_138: You’re right. All the other links just were. I did judge this early because of your previous links.

Skyler: None of my links have been propaganda. They’ve all been well considered and reasoned philosophical essays. You shouldn’t just call something “propaganda” because you don’t like it. smh.


This person is making all sorts of quite normal but also quite ahistorical and unjustified assumptions about the state, all states, apparently, anywhere and everywhere. Even the Nazi state? Probably, it’s origin is categorically no different than any other state in history: conquest.

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Founder and editor of Everything-Voluntary.com and UnschoolingDads.com, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.

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