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Anarchism and Minarchism: A Rapprochement

Listed author(s):
  • Machan Tibor R.

    (Chapmam University & Stanford University)

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    Among classical liberals and libertarians a serious debate has been afoot about whether any sort of government (some call it state) is justified. Murray N. Rothbard, Jan Narveson, Bruce Benson and Randy Barnett are usually listed as the main skeptics, while Ayn Rand, Robert Nozick, John Hospers, among others, are listed as defenders of the morality of limited government. In this paper I argue that once properly understood, the two sides arent in fundamental disagreement. Anarcho-libertarians do embrace the idea that men and women in a free society are justified in establishing a legal order in defense of their basic and derivative rights, and this is also what limited government proponents advance as the basis for the system they deem to be just. I argue that no fundamental difference exists between these two legal orders. The monopoly anarcho-libertarians claim limited government proponents wrongfully sanction is, in fact, not a coercive monopoly and the legal order proposed by anarchists would also have this monopolistic characteristic. This should put an end to this fruitless dispute and free the energies on both sides to mount a really important and henceforth united defense of the free society with its just legal order.Parmi les libéraux classiques et les libertariens un important débat concerne la question de savoir si une quelconque forme de gouvernement (certains lappellent Etat) est justifiée. Murray N. Rothbard, Jan Narveson, Bruce Benson et Randy Barnett sont habituellement classés parmi les principaux sceptiques, alors quAyn Rand, Robert Nozick, John Hospers, entre autres, sont plutôt classés en tant que défenseurs de la moralité dun gouvernement limité. Dans cet article, je soutiens quune fois correctement compris, les deux clans ne sont pas fondamentalement en désaccord. Les anarcho-libertariens soutiennent lidée que les hommes et les femmes dans une société libre sont en droit détablir un ordre législatif pour défendre leurs droits fondamentaux et leurs droits dérivés, et cest aussi ce que les partisans du gouvernement limité proposent comme fondement du système quils considèrent être juste. Je soutiens quil nexiste pas de différence fondamentale entre ces deux ordres législatifs. Le monopole du gouvernement limité que les partisans anarcholibertariens sanctionnent à tort est, en fait, non pas un monopole coercitif, et lordre législatif proposé par les anarchistes aurait lui aussi cette caractéristique monopolistique.Cela devrait mettre un terme à cette dispute stérile et libérer les énergies des deux côtés pour ériger à lavenir une défense unie réellement importante pour une société libre avec un ordre juridique juste.

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    Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines.

    Volume (Year): 12 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 4 (December)
    Pages: 1-22

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    Handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:12:y:2002:i:4:n:6
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    1. von Mises, Ludwig, 1985. "Liberalism in the Classical Tradition," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number mises1985.
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