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IPFS News Link • Economic Theory

Which Aspect of Government Do Anarcho-Capitalists Favor?

• by Walter E. Block

That is the very definition of this philosophical perspective: the state is merely a gang of robbers and murderers, and the ideal is to banish it entirely.

States Mr. Libertarian on this matter: "…if you wish to know how libertarians regard the State and any of its acts, simply think of the State as a criminal band, and all of the libertarian attitudes will logically fall into place."

However, there is indeed an entirely different and also a proper way to answer that question: whichever aspect of it is most compatible with the libertarian ideal of non-initiatory aggression and private property rights is favored by libertarians in any specific case.

For example, during the New Deal, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was for a time balked by the Supreme Court. The former tried to implement a socialist policy, and the latter was having none of it, continually finding his initiatives unconstitutional. FDR threatened court packing and the nine justices caved in.

What, pray tell, would be the radical libertarian position on this matter? Obviously, to favor the Supreme Court. That is, only in comparison to the president in this case. The support would thus be a relative one. Supporters of economic freedom would rank the initial behavior of the nine justices higher than that of Roosevelt.


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