man in battle tank

How Would an Anarcho-Capitalist Society Repel Invasion?

Can Anarcho-Capitalist Defense Forces Replace a Government Military?

The final vestige of someone clinging to government force is often the military. Especially when we’re dealing with folks who may have been more right leaning in their previous political life, the military holds a special place in the hearts of statists. We’ve all been raised our entire lives of course, to believe that the troops protect our freedom. These “heroes” put themselves in harms way to protect us from monsters all over the world, and we are taught that we owe everything to them for so doing.

Thus, it can be difficult for one to realize that militarism is not a heroic station for one to occupy. The fact of the matter is, it’s not even a job, it’s a welfare program for sociopaths. Very difficult to explain that to most people, and while anti-military memes are very popular in anarchist circles, we often find fury like no other from the general public for posting them.

It makes a certain amount of sense to have trouble seeing the military for what it is. None of us have ever seen market based protection services that could possibly do battle with modern military power. Fighter jets, helicopter gunships, missiles, atomic weapons, it hardly seems to make sense for a private entity to own such dangerous weapons. What economic benefit could possibly be gained in a market environment by spending that much money on things that have next to no practical purpose outside of aggression?

Yesterday I addressed crime in a free society, and I originally intended to include invasion by a foreign government in that article as a more thorough piece on defense in general. I decided to split the two subjects when I realized that article was getting rather long and could go on for an eternity. I would encourage you to read that piece first if you haven’t already done so, because understanding the basic structure of protection services as I envision them will go a long way in making sense of what follows here.

This is heavily influenced by Stefan Molyneux’s “Practical Anarchy“, and that book is also an excellent reference.

Where I differ from Molyneux here primarily is in how the State ceases to exist in a given geographic area. Molyneux envisions a multigenerational path to freedom where society basically just evolves away from violence. I do not think this is possible, I don’t even think it is desirable, and it certainly is not going to happen within my lifetime. I aim to see a free society before I die, so hoping against hope that future generations solve this problem, to me, seems dangerous and irresponsible. Those who are alive today, if they can see what is going on in the world, should be working towards bringing an end to this insanity, not leaving it for their children and grandchildren to worry about.

Anarcho-Capitalist Defense
Anarcho-Capitalist Defense

Evolving away from violence will not make for an efficient defense force. I firmly believe it is mankind’s aversion to violence that gives us statism, not his propensity for it. The loudest gun control advocates on Earth will call themselves pacifists, it matters not to them that someone else will go out and do violence on their behalf to confiscate the weapons. They are trying to do away with their own personal responsibility for violence in the world, and so they put that responsibility on the shoulders of the people they call government. Once someone can do away with their own personal responsibility for violence, and still have it carried out, it should come as no surprise to anybody that the worst people on Earth end up doing unspeakably horrific acts of violence on a daily basis.

If people were even only mentally prepared to cope with their own responsibility for violence in the world, there would be no government. They would not look at police and soldiers as heroes, because police and soldiers would be doing nothing extraordinary. “Oh, you shoot bad guys? Me too. Pay for your own drinks”. It is because most people are terrified of violence that they look at police and soldiers as heroes. They can’t imagine defending themselves, and so they look at the people who undertake this responsibility for them as god like. Level that playing field, and all will be right with the world.

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