People hate America’s big disparities in wealth. It’s a reason why, among young people, socialism is as popular as capitalism. The Democratic Socialists of America want a country based on “freedom, equality and solidarity.” That sure sounds good. But does socialism bring that?
This episode features a lecture by economics and law professor Peter Leeson from 2016. Leeson uses rational choice theory to explore the benefits of self-governance. Relying on experience from the past and present, Professor Leeson provides evidence of anarchy ‘working’ where it is least expected to do so and explains how this is possible. Provocatively, Leeson argues that in some cases anarchy may even outperform government as a system of social organization, and demonstrates where this may occur.
Let’s face it. There is no single stroke of governance that will make the homeless campers of Austin, TX go away. You cannot put toothpaste back in a tube.
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We offer them anarchy, thinking we are offering an orderly society without imposed government and with an opportunity to choose whatever type of governance suits them best — one size or type need not fit all.
I have often heard people charge libertarian anarchists with being irresponsible for wishing to get rid of the current system of government and replace it with genuine self-governance. It’s as if — however difficult it may be to believe — these critics actually believe that rulers in the current setup are responsible.
The economic analysis of politics goes by many names: political economy, rational choice theory, formal political theory, social choice, economics of governance, endogenous policy theory, and public choice. Each of these labels picks out a subtly different intellectual tradition. Each tradition expands our understanding of the world. My favorite, though, remains public choice.
This episode features an interview of economics professor Edward Stringham from 2015 by Jeff Diest, host of the Human Action podcast (formerly Mises Weekends). Edward is the author of a book called Private Governance: Creating Order in Economic and Social Life, where he looks back at the history of private legal systems, and in so doing demolishes the idea that only the state can manage and adjudicate human conflicts. Today, Edward gives some concrete, real-world examples of how private governance operates in our statist world. If you’re interested in Rothbardian and Hoppean anarcho-capitalism, you’ll find Edward’s book a great addition to your library, and you’ll enjoy hearing this interview.
Regardless of your particular take on the use of foreign governments to stir up the camps of political opponents, there is a reason why the situation might be called a “constitutional crisis.” My point-of-view is that everything relating to the governance of a people ought to be above board. My suspicion is that the phrase politically above board is an oxymoron, literally impossible, factually impossible.
How many times have you heard the demonstrable falsehood, if you don’t like Politician X, then vote her/him out of office — or the inane, vote for the lesser of two evils? Voting, or not voting, is actually the least you can do.