Anarchy And the Law: The Political Economy of Choice

Front Cover
Edward Stringham
Transaction Publishers, 2007 - 698 pages

Private-property anarchism, also known as anarchist libertarianism, individualist anarchism, and anarcho-capitalism, is a political philosophy and set of economic and legal arguments that maintains that, just as the markets and private institutions of civil society provide food, shelter, and other human needs, markets and contracts should provide law and that the rule of law itself can only be understood as a private institution.

To the libertarian, the state and its police powers are not benign societal forces, but a system of conquest, authoritarianism, and occupation. But whereas limited government libertarians argue in favor of political constraints, anarchist libertarians argue that, to check government against abuse, the state itself must be replaced by a social order of self-government based on contracts. Indeed, contemporary history has shown that limited government is untenable, as it is inherently unstable and prone to corruption, being dependent on the interest-group politics of the state's current leadership. Anarchy and the Law presents the most important essays explaining, debating, and examining historical examples of stateless orders.

Section I, "Theory of Private Property Anarchism," presents articles that criticize arguments for government law enforcement and discuss how the private sector can provide law. In Section II, "Debate," limited government libertarians argue with anarchist libertarians about the morality and viability of private-sector law enforcement. Section III, "History of Anarchist Thought," contains a sampling of both classic anarchist works and modern studies of the history of anarchist thought and societies. Section IV, "Historical Case Studies of Non-Government Law Enforcement," shows that the idea that markets can function without state coercion is an entirely viable concept. Anarchy and the Law is a comprehensive reader on anarchist libertarian thought that will be welcomed by students of government, political science, history, philosophy, law, economics, and the broader study of liberty.

Edward P. Stringham is professor of economics at San Jose State University and a research fellow at The Independent Institute. He is president of the Association of Private Enterprise Education, editor of the Journal of Private Enterprise, and the editor of Anarchy, State, and Public Choice.

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Contents

II
xi
III
14
IV
36
VI
53
VII
71
VIII
103
IX
123
X
145
XXIX
367
XXX
373
XXXI
395
XXXII
420
XXXIV
433
XXXVI
447
XXXVII
457
XXXVIII
465

XIII
159
XIV
189
XV
214
XVI
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XVII
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XVIII
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XX
264
XXI
280
XXII
288
XXIII
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XXIV
311
XXV
318
XXVI
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XXVII
350
XLI
480
XLII
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XLIII
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XLIV
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XLVIII
561
XLIX
582
LII
598
LIV
620
LV
635
LVIII
654
LXI
676
LXII
679
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About the author (2007)

Edward P. Stringham is professor of economics at San Jose State University and a research fellow at The Independent Institute. A member of the Executive Committee of the Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, he is the editor of Anarchy, State, and Public Choice.

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