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Is Anarchy a Faustian Bargain?

The common perception of Anarchy today appears to be one of chaos and destruction. Without the State, it is proclaimed, violence would immediately ensue; without law, there'd be no deterrent disincentivizing this, and we'd return, in the words of Thomas Hobbes (1660), to an age where "every man is Enemy to every man", and "the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short." But is this really what by necessity would result from abolishing the State? I've previously forcefully argued against the theoretical foundations of the State (Kløvning, 2019a), and although my premises were not disputed, the conclusion of dismantling the State provoked many consequentialist concerns of what could happen if actualized. The central question that must be answered to address such concerns is whether the substitution of Anarchy for a State would possibly be undesirable despite the former having more of a rigorous and defensible logical foundation than the latt…

Nothing Personal...Except Your Freedom




What is freedom? How do we protect it? As a libertarian, anarchist, agorist, minarchist, collapsatarian, or whatever liberty-minded label your strut from this radical spectrum, it's easy to get bogged down attempting to differentiate between human rights (civil rights/personal freedom), and property rights (economic freedom). Many seem to make the mistake of conflating the two, and how each rely on the other. This is a fundamental principle of the liberty movement that I believe anyone who is passionate about liberty and educating it to the masses should be 100% comfortable with articulating. The truth is, you can't have one freedom without the other. It's a part of our creed of self-ownership, and property rights.


It is undeniable that the basis of the libertarian creed stems from the Non-Aggression Axiom/Principle, and property rights. To exert aggression on someone is a violation of their right of property: be it their car, laptop, or punching them square in the nose. In layman’s terms, “don’t hurt people, don’t take their stuff.” The NAP implies the universal understanding and self evident recognition of the inalienable rights of personal and economic liberty. How so? Let’s break this down real quick:


“Don’t hurt people”, naturally implies that inflicting harm on an individual is violating them on a personal level; their personal liberty. If I were to break your leg, I have therefore neglected the legitimacy of your civil/personal freedom through the use of coercive force.

“Don’t take their stuff”, naturally implies theft, which is infringing on one’s property rights. We all know that taxation is theft, but let’s remember that theft is still theft. Your property is yours alone. For me to steal your car, is straight up theft. I have therefore neglected the legitimacy of your economic freedom through the use of coercive force.


As libertarians, we should all understand that the number one threat and enemy of our individual liberty is the state. Any act of force imposed by the state upon an individual ultimately is a violation of said individual’s property right. It may start as a hit against civil liberty, but state coercion is always a property rights infringement, or invasion. Your body, your property. This implies that the state neglects you have self ownership, and, therefore, the state owns you. You’re nothing but a slave to the state.


Therefore, to infringe on my personal liberty, or decision rather, to consume cocaine, is also violating the property that is my body. It’s my body, and I should be able to put whatever substance I want into, beneficial or harmful, so long as I’m not infringing anyone else’s property rights around me. Plus, making it illegal to buy cocaine then infringes on my economic freedom of purchasing power and automatically makes me a criminal. Crime, in the eyes of a libertarian, is defined as violent invasion on someone’s person or property. All liberties are vulnerable to state violence, and therefore subject of an attack on one’s person/property. Therefore, if my personal and property rights are vulnerable to danger by the state, that’s an attack on all of my liberties, and the difference between personal and economic liberty is then irrelevant.

Any decision made by an individual, be it personal or economical, is done so under the assumption, and legitimacy of self ownership of the decider. Ergo, any/all aggression/coercion against the individual’s decision is an attack on one’s property. Self-ownership is having full responsibility of all actions performed by an individual.

Using force to prevent you from making a personal decision is to dismiss one’s free will. Coercion deprives people the freedom to choose the “correct” option, which the state thinks is for “their own good”. Therefore people are forced to doing something, whether they like it or not.

To quote the great Murray N. Rothbard in For A New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto:
“Coercion deprives man the freedom to choose, and therefore, is deprived to choose morally.”

No matter how much it tries to intervene, the state can't foresee, nor dictate an economy. That would be neglecting the personal liberties and subjective value of individuals (which are supposedly protected by a piece of paper...at least in America). Peace and prosperity is achieved by the private sector. Not the public sector.


The public sector/the state only survives by stealing from the productive private sector. The state is a parasite, and we're its host. Only voluntary interaction based on individual self-interest and subjective value, will provide a fruitful and self-sufficient society to supply all needed demands. Not government.

The inseparability of Personal and Economic Liberty is how a peaceful society works: respecting the personal liberty of one another allows us to create the resources needed to survive, and then some; capital gains, and enjoying the fruits of our labor. Economic freedom is also having the personal liberty to choose what goods/services provide the most value to YOUR subjective needs/standards. That personal demand of quality forces businesses to innovate and increase the standards of their operation. This is achieved through true free-market, economic freedom, and therefore a better quality of life for everyone.

Economic liberty allows for free-market economics as the natural law and order of man. It’s moral, and the natural law of man’s needs. Any intervention of this natural order is a violation and coercive aggressive violence of one’s self ownership and absolute right to be a human. Supply and demand. The only way this is achieved is by, as a certain someone told me, our obligation to not aggress against anyone. This should be "self evident". This beautiful equilibrium of Leonard Reed's "Invisible Hand" in I, Pencil, or simply the free market being left untouched by state intervention, is what makes self-governance a reality. Without both personal, and economic liberty, this paradise is only a dream.

As Libertarians, if we’re to follow our creed of the NAP, then both personal and economic liberty must be recognized. Liberty is preserved by accepting the legitimacy of these natural rights that we claim to be self-evident. Otherwise, we can’t claim to be the “most consistent” out of the political vending machine. A violation of any one of your liberties is a violation on all of them. Period. Nothing Personal...except your freedom of course.


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