Can we ask questions on anarcho-capitalism here?

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    I understand that this a forum on your lectures on the history of economic thought (which by the way, I’ve been really enjoying!), so if you aren’t really supposed to answer this, let me know.

    But I’ve been listening to your latest interviews on the Tom Woods Show, and I’ve read chaos theory, but this question has always bugged me:

    Both you and Hoppe have said that laws against drugs would be rare in an anarcho-capitalist society because people would have to pay for the services that go after “drug offenders.” But wouldn’t this same principle apply to abortion as well? Although people like myself, Ron Paul and all the pre-vatican 2 catholics at Mises do NOT see abortion as a victimless crime, it seems like it would fall under the same category as drug crimes in an ancap society since people would have to be willing to pay for enforcement of abortion restrictions.

    Wouldn’t this mean that laws against abortion in an ancap society would be relatively rare? Say we miraculously transition to Ron Paulian constitutional minarchism. Wouldn’t less abortion happen in this type of society than in an ancap one? Along with questions on Nuclear weapons, this is the other main thing that keeps me from being 100 percent comfortable with anarcho-capitalism.




    1) Abortion is legal now. Do you think there would be more abortion in an ancap society?

    2) Abortion is not open and shut from a libertarian perspective (since there are arguments about making the mother a slave to the fetus–I’m not advocating for this view, just saying that it exists). Have you listened to ? I thought they handled it really well. The best way to reduce abortion is probably to communicate with and teach people.

    3) Just for the record I’m not 100% ancap either, and I don’t think you should feel pressured to be. They say minarchism will just lead to bigger government. What did we have before we had any government? Anarchism, right? So what did it lead to? Similarly to the approach in the Tom Woods Show episode above, I think we need people to learn to reign in their governments. You’re only going to have anarchism if everyone agrees with it, otherwise they will form a government. If you think you can get everyone to agree to anarchism (and stick to it), you should be able to get everyone to agree to minarchism (and stick to it).


    I wrote the question supposing that abortion constitutes the murder of an innocent human being. I know the question is not settled in libertarianism but it is settled within Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. Since I’m Orthodox, I am libertarian to the extent that it is compatible with Orthodoxy.

    I was asking whether there would be more abortions in the ideal ancap society vs the ideal minarchist society. I think there would be less abortions in an ancap society vs the society we have now! Definitely. The “baby market” and 0 funding for planned parenthood, etc. would probably mean less abortions. I think the question is much more interesting if we’re thinking of a Mises/Ron Paulian minarchist society vs a Rothbardian anarchist society.

    All that being said, your comments about minarchism were very interesting! I guess I “want” to be an ancap because I’m attracted to the purity if it. Haha

    Good day MichaelSouth.



    Thanks for the question, Mark.

    Like MichaelSouth alluded to, this is tricky because it’s not simply a matter of refraining from murder (let’s stipulate that that’s what is is), but if you have an unwilling mother, you run into some problems. E.g. what if there’s a pregnant woman who is a chain smoker and drinks whiskey every night? Should she be forcibly restrained for 9 months? It’s a lot trickier than a rule saying, “If you murder someone else you go to jail.”

    I guess I have two main ways of responding to your concern:

    (A) I don’t think it’s useful to contrast an “ideal minarchism” with an “ideal an-capism,” since I don’t think an “ideal minarchism” is stable. So if you’re saying you want a State that has the power to tax, monopolize judicial rulings, etc., so long as it limits itself to things you consider to be defense of life and property, I think that’s being very naive.

    (B) The ultimate moral principle you seem to be espousing is this: “I, Mark, plus lots of other religious people, think abortion is murder. But plenty of other people don’t. If we voluntarily fund law enforcement efforts, I am worried there will not be enough money devoted to punishing abortions. Therefore, I think it is moral for us to take money from the other people against their will and use it to stop abortions, even though they wouldn’t voluntarily spend what I agree is their money that way.”

    I realize those aren’t the words you used, but isn’t that basically what you are saying? If so, no, I don’t think that is morally defensible, even though I agree with you that abortion is the killing of a human.

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