The Case for Anarchism, Pt. 2: Necessity and Strategy | Who Shaves the Barber? #15

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What might anarchism look like?

In part 1, I defined the state as a pattern of behaviors coupled with a collective interpretation of that pattern. In this second part, I move on to the case for anarchism proper. I begin by showing that the case for the state is inherently one from necessary evil. If I’m right, and it turns out that the state is not necessary after all, it follows that it is undesirable. This is what I argue in the first half of the episode. I conclude with an extended discussion of strategy. If the state is undesirable, then how should we go about getting rid of it? By analyzing what the state is, we see that both revolution and activism are unlikely to succeed. The only path forward with a real chance of success is agorism.



Next week: Greg Restall: Logical Pluralism

Special thanks to Jackie Blum for the podcast art, and The Tin Box for the theme music.

Topics discussed

0:20 – Quick part 1 recap
1:05 – Necessary evil
4:39 – “Necessary” is part of the CIF
6:43 – General rule: less is necessary than appears to be
8:30 – The significance of empirical counterexamples
11:52 – Polycentrism
14:50 – Competition facilitates accountability
22:13 – Against revolution
24:44 – Against activism, for agorism
30:28 – Obsession with combating Trump
34:06 – Objections to “see no evil”
36:00 – Empirical effectiveness of activism
38:12 – Capitalism v. socialism?


Pressing the Button – database of alternatives to government-provided services
Market Anarchism as Constitutionalism” by Roderick Long
Hayekian Anarchism” by Edward Stringham and Todd Zywicki
The Evolution of Cooperation by Robert Axelrod
The Enterprise of Law: Justice without the State by Bruce Benson

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