Photograph via snooOG

Unacracy is a neologism meaning a political system based on the principle of unanimity, or unanimous-consent. Liberty means choosing for yourself.

Unacracy is a neologism meaning a political system based on the principle of unanimity.

Unanimity is the gold-standard of political decision-making because it refuses to sacrifice even the least in society to the whims and choice of the majority. There is no better protection for minorities than a unacractic political system.

Unacracy achieves this through the creation of unanimous groups out of dissenting groups.

Where democracy maintains a single group and uses the majority to decide an issue which the entire group must then accept, unacracy instead takes a decentralized approach of creating two separate unanimous groups from the dissenting parties and separating them from then on.

The result is a truly and fully ethical foundation for a society, which democracy has always lacked.

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Interesting comments about the State in this Vlad Vexler piece, Hobbes and justifying the State by its function to prevent violence. But of course we know the State is violence

15:47 UTC


Democracy sucks, unacracy is better

There is something better than democracy, and better in a very important way.

This definition of democracy means that any system that isn’t a democracy has to exclude a group from decision making in government, I find that to be morally wrong for many different reasons.

This is true and a good rationale. But the problem with rule by group is that individuals end up sacrificed to the will of the group. In short, democracy becomes a tyranny of the majority. Why would anyone support a tyranny in any form? Just because democratic tyranny is slightly less despotic than the old tyranny of monarchy.

We should be looking for political systems that have no tyranny whatsoever, not simply a few degrees less tyranny than the old systems. And there is one.

Democracy, when defined by linguistic morphology is just the “rule of people”.

Rule is the people, yes, as a group. But there is another kind of rule that democracy was sold as but it is not: self-rule.

I mean self-rule on an individual basis.

The problem of democracy being a tyranny of the majority is solved by requiring unanimity in all votes. This guarantees the rights of the minority because a minority will always vote against attempts by the group to sacrifice their interests.

People talk about our current system protecting minority rights, but history shows that when this is inconvenient, it has been ignored. Ask the American-born Japanese held in prison camps during WW2, or native Americans.

By contrast, unanimity is considered the gold standard of ethical decision making.

Unanimity solves the ethical problem of governance that democracy never was able to solve, now it poses only a practical problem of how to achieve efficient decision making in a timely manner.

This is actually not difficult to achieve. Take a vote on any issues and separate people into 'yes' camps and 'no' camps. Then divide the group into two groups. You have now achieved unanimity on that issue.

In short, we cure the ethical problem inherent to democracy by respecting the will of individuals by relying upon unanimity. Unanimity, this ethical gold standard becomes the heart of a new political system, one inherently better than democracy. One that fully decentralizes political choice back into the hands of each individual rather than in the will of the group.

American was created with a weak version of this, where individual states were supposed to be separate political experiments. This was destroyed by the creation of blue-sky laws that brought states into relative parity.

This concept of a unanimity-based political system puts choice into the hands of each individual and creates political experiments through individual choice.

People will group together along choice lines, choosing where they live and who they live with by the cities or neighborhoods that have people in them that have chosen the same things, chosen to live by the same legal rules.

This creates a decentralized political society, and its name is unacracy.

A unacratic society has several advantages democracy does not have and cannot have.

Because unacracy is decentralized instead of centralized, what we call the lobbying problem disappears over night. Why? Because centralized democracy has only a few political decision makers that need to be 'bribed' to get a law passed in Capitol Hill. It doesn't cost much either, you need to pay about a dozen key lawmakers, donate to their campaign, whatever, and might cost $100k total, and every person in the USA gets a new law forced on them.

If you can get a law passed that costs each American a single penny per year, you will make about $2.5 million. Not bad for a $100k investment, and the citizens will never get up in arms about a penny. Furthermore, your lobbyists will sell it as good for X and no one will bat an eye.

It's nothing more than legalized corruption, and unacracy makes it impossible.

Why? Because when people choose laws for themselves, instead of having 12 people I Washington do it, the cost to lobby 250 million people is much more than they could hope to earn.

What's more, a politician might not care if everyone loses a penny a year, but you do. If someone wanted you to choose a law, it would have to be a law that you believe in clearly in your interest in some way.

Unacratic individual choice in law guarantees that only laws you think will be good for you to live by would get made. A society where no one can FORCE laws on anyone is one where a president and a SCOTUS pulling the rug out from millions on abortion laws and gun laws cannot happen anymore.

NO ONE should have the power the president has now, the power to legally assassinate people should not exist in anyone.


I'm convinced that most of the support still lingering for democracy is because no one yet sees a viable solution. We cling to democracy like a life raft keeping us from drowning, but if something better came along, only then can we let go of democracy as a safety net.

Democracy wasn't terrible when it first started. But ever since then, elites have been inventing ways to circumvent it, corrupt it, and get around it. Today, it's barely a constraint on these forces. The federal government has grown monstrous in size and far from enumerated powers, does a million things never intended or authorized, has even conducted foreign wars without declaring war.

Unacracy finally brings self-rule to the world, not just group-rule. It is time for democracy to step aside.

Democracy sucks, unacracy is better.

02:48 UTC


Who is the Ultimate Authority over Your Own Life? No one if not Yourself.

In a word, YOU are.

Or at least you are supposed to be, which is why you are given a vote, why legitimate political power is asserted to come from the consent of the people.

The people are meant to engage in self-rule via whatever process, democratic or otherwise.

If YOU are the ultimate authority over your own life, this necessarily means that if democracy is no longer working for us, we can simply choose another legal basis of cooperation and continue on as before.

There is nothing magically good about representatives, for instance. We chose to use representative democracy some 235 years ago because there was little choice elsewise due to the poor state of communication technology in that day. How would each person across an entire country like the USA possibly be expected to vote on every important issue. So instead they developed this idea of representatives.

But this quickly became a mockery. Even back then, they had one congressman for every 33,000 people, already far to many to actually represent the needs and wishes of those people, which surely included many conflicting, even contradictory, ideologies.

How could a representative be expected to represent the wishes of numerous classical liberals AND communists in the same district, much less everyone else, including those who want no change at all.

In today's world of light-speed communication we could easily replace representatives with individual choice, so why don't we?

Simply because of institutional momentum and status-quo bias. Same reason why British judges are still wearing white curly wigs.

When a country is brand new, changing the law is easy. When the constitution was being written, what it said was a matter of whim, of the guy writing it in ink, long-hand, on parchment. He could've worded it this way or that way without even being challenged.

But today, changing even a single word of that document would require multiple strenuous years of effort by thousands of people, even for a simple change or even one that everyone wanted.

This is called path dependence, the idea that the decisions and policies made at the initial stages of a process can set a trajectory that becomes increasingly difficult to alter over time.

The only way to peacefully create radical political change is to leave the system we are currently in and build a new one.

In this new one, we must make the basic political unit the individual, not the group as things are now. No longer should we accept the idea that a group should be able to force policies on minority groups or individuals, as that is a tyranny of the majority.

If we are to respect each person, we must respect that they are and can be the only legitimate authority over their own lives, not the group, not the majority.

Just having greater numbers does or allies or people who agree with you or like you does not make you superior or more valuable than another person, that too is the meaning of equality, that we respect all people and their autonomy because they are human beings, as a category, not because of attributes within the category.

You are not worth more or less as a human being just because you are beautiful or ugly, rich or poor, native or foreign.

True compassion is to respect the individual, not merely the group.

This then is the foundation of Unacracy. Respect for the individual, even to the point of making individual political decisions FOR YOURSELF, instead of giving the group the power to decide for you. This is the ultimate end point of politics, for it has at that point finally been brought down to the level of the individual.

Politics began with one man deciding for everyone, first a clan leader, then a king. He owned everything and everyone.

Then experiments with democracy began, first with the Greeks and then in the modern period with American democracy and global democracies that followed. This was called self-rule, but the 'self' being referred to here meant the group, the crowd, instead of the king. It did not mean the individual.

Lastly comes the unacratic systems of the world, a stage of development we are still stepping into and much of the world has never even yet heard of the concept whatsoever, and will not until it begins being put into action.

That is then our task, to test out a new system and see how it can work, and what is required for it to work.

The stakes are great, nothing less that the future freedom of humanity itself. Either we move towards giving everyone the choice to decide for themselves in true unacratic fashion, or else we face the prospect of one-world government and all the horrors that must necessarily follow from it.

23:59 UTC


The Topological Problem with Voting

07:43 UTC


SC Justice Alito caught making politically divisive statements. Only new systems of governance based on decentralization, such as unacracy, can resolve this situation.

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04:06 UTC


Unacracy must be seen to be believed

When the "American experiment with democracy' was first reported back to the Europeans, many believed it would not work and would lead to endless civil war.

This made perfect sense from the point of view of those living a monarchist systems.

For them, the most dangerous time of all was the transition of power. This was a time when great instability could occur, with civil war could break out, and when foreign armies could invade to take advantage of the chaos. That why a stable line of succession was so important to them.

And a king only needed to transition power every few decades or so.

They therefore considered this naturally superior to democracy, where you had a guaranteed transition of power every 4 to 8 years.

Endless civil war, they expected. Why would a president, who controls the armed forces, willingly give up power at the end of their term and walk away? They could not understand it.

But we do, because we're living it. It's natural to us. We don't fear a president not giving up power because they don't have a choice. They have a last day in power and then the next day, no one listens to them anymore. We all agree to do it that way.

This is similar to unacratic governance.

Those in a democracy cannot easily understand a unacracy. They have not lived it.

When we speak of market based law and justice, they cannot understand that either.

I often hear them say that rival police forces would end up taking over the city or fighting.

Yet when I ask them why the USA armed forced have not taken over the USA, they have no answer. Why does the military accept civilian leadership? They don't know.

As with Europe and democracy, they will need to see unacracy in action to accept that it works. Which is fine and reasonable.

So then, that is our task.

06:18 UTC


Society without a State - Rothbard


In attempting to outline how a “society without a state” — that is, an anarchist society — might function successfully, I would first like to defuse two common but mistaken criticisms of this approach. First, is the argument that in providing for such defense  or protection services as courts, police, or even law itself, I am simply smuggling the state back into society in another form, and that therefore the system I am both analyzing and advocating is not “really” anarchism. This sort of criticism can only involve us in an endless and arid dispute over semantics. Let me say from the beginning that I define the state as that institution which possesses one or both (almost always both) of the following properties: (1) it acquires its income by the physical coercion known as “taxation”; and (2) it asserts and usually obtains a coerced monopoly of the provision of defense service (police and courts) over a given territorial area. An institution not possessing either of these properties is not and cannot be, in accordance with my definition, a state. On the other hand, I define anarchist society as one where there is no legal possibility for coercive aggression against the person or property of an individual. Anarchists oppose the state because it has its very being in such aggression, namely, the expropriation of private property through taxation, the coercive exclusion of other providers of defense service from its territory, and all of the other depredations and coercions that are built upon these twin foci of invasions of individual rights.

Nor is our definition of the state arbitrary, for these two characteristics have been possessed by what is generally acknowledged to be states throughout recorded history. The state, by its use of physical coercion, has arrogated to itself a compulsory monopoly of defense services over its territorial jurisdiction. But it is certainly conceptually possible for such services to be supplied by private, non-state institutions, and indeed such services have historically been supplied by other organizations than the state. To be opposed to the state is then not necessarily to be opposed to services that have often been linked with it; to be opposed to the state does not necessarily imply that we must be opposed to police protection, courts, arbitration, the minting of money, postal service, or roads and highways. Some anarchists have indeed been opposed to police and to all physical coercion in defense of person and property, but this is not inherent in and is fundamentally irrelevant to the anarchist position, which is precisely marked by opposition to all physical coercion invasive of, or aggressing against, person and property.

The crucial role of taxation may be seen in the fact that the state is the only institution or organization in society which regularly and systematically acquires its income through the use of physical coercion. All other individuals or organizations acquire their income voluntarily, either (1) through the voluntary sale of goods and services to consumers on the market, or (2) through voluntary gifts or donations by members or other donors. If I cease or refrain from purchasing Wheaties on the market, the Wheaties producers do not come after me with a gun or the threat of imprisonment to force me to purchase; if I fail to join the American Philosophical Association, the association may not force me to join or prevent me from giving up my membership. Only the state can do so; only the state can confiscate my property or put me in jail if I do not pay its tax tribute. Therefore, only the state regularly exists and has its very being by means of coercive depredations on private property.

Neither is it legitimate to challenge this sort of analysis by claiming that in some other sense, the purchase of Wheaties or membership in the APA is in some way “coercive.” Anyone who is still unhappy with this use of the term “coercion” can simply eliminate the word from this discussion and substitute for it “physical violence or the threat thereof,” with the only loss being in literary style rather than in the substance of the argument. What anarchism proposes to do, then, is to abolish the state, that is, to abolish the regularized institution of aggressive coercion.

It need hardly be added that the state habitually builds upon its coercive source of income by adding a host of other aggressions upon society, ranging from economic controls to the prohibition of pornography to the compelling of religious observance to the mass murder of civilians in organized warfare. In short, the state, in the words of Albert Jay Nock, “claims and exercises a monopoly of crime” over its territorial area.

The second criticism I would like to defuse before beginning the main body of the paper is the common charge that anarchists “assume that all people are good” and that without the state no crime would be committed. In short, that anarchism assumes that with the abolition of the state a New Anarchist Man will emerge, cooperative, humane, and benevolent, so that no problem of crime will then plague the society. I confess that I do not understand the basis for this charge. Whatever other schools of anarchism profess — and I do not believe that they are open to the charge — I certainly do not adopt this view. I assume with most observers that mankind is a mixture of good and evil, of cooperative and criminal tendencies. In my view, the anarchist society is one which maximizes the tendencies for the good and the cooperative, while it minimizes both the opportunity and the moral legitimacy of the evil and the criminal. If the anarchist view is correct and the state is indeed the great legalized and socially legitimated channel for all manner of antisocial crime — theft, oppression, mass murder — on a massive scale, then surely the abolition of such an engine of crime can do nothing but favor the good in man and discourage the bad.

A further point: in a profound sense, no social system, whether anarchist or statist, can work at all unless most people are “good” in the sense that they are not all hell-bent upon assaulting and robbing their neighbors. If everyone were so disposed, no amount of protection, whether state or private, could succeed in staving off chaos. Furthermore, the more that people are disposed to be peaceful and not aggress against their neighbors, the more successfully any social system will work, and the fewer resources will need to be devoted to police protection. The anarchist view holds that, given the “nature of man,” given the degree of goodness or badness at any point in time, anarchism will maximize the opportunities for the good and minimize the channels for the bad. The rest depends on the values held by the individual members of society. The only further point that need be made is that by eliminating the living example and the social legitimacy of the massive legalized crime of the state, anarchism will to a large extent promote peaceful values in the minds of the public.

We cannot of course deal here with the numerous arguments in favor of anarchism or against the state, moral, political, and economic. Nor can we take up the various goods and services now provided by the state and show how private individuals and groups will be able to supply them far more efficiently on the free market. Here we can only deal with perhaps the most difficult area, the area where it is almost universally assumed that the state must exist and act, even if it is only a “necessary evil” instead of a positive good: the vital realm of defense or protection of person and property against aggression. Surely, it is universally asserted, the state is at least vitally necessary to provide police protection, the judicial resolution of disputes and enforcement of contracts, and the creation of the law itself that is to be enforced. My contention is that all of these admittedly necessary services of protection can be satisfactorily and efficiently supplied by private persons and institutions on the free market.

One important caveat before we begin the body of this paper: new proposals such as anarchism are almost always gauged against the implicit assumption that the present, or statist system works to perfection. Any lacunae or difficulties with the picture of the anarchist society are considered net liabilities, and enough to dismiss anarchism out of hand. It is, in short, implicitly assumed that the state is doing its self-assumed job of protecting person and property to perfection. We cannot here go into the reasons why the state is bound to suffer inherently from grave flaws and inefficiencies in such a task. All we need do now is to point to the black and unprecedented record of the state through history: no combination of private marauders can possibly begin to match the state’s unremitting record of theft, confiscation, oppression, and mass murder. No collection of Mafia or private bank robbers can begin to compare with all the Hiroshimas, Dresdens, and Lidices and their analogues through the history of mankind.

This point can be made more philosophically: it is illegitimate to compare the merits of anarchism and statism by starting with the present system as the implicit given and then critically examining only the anarchist alternative. What we must do is to begin at the zero point and then critically examine both suggested alternatives. Suppose, for example, that we were all suddenly dropped down on the earth de novo and that we were all then confronted with the question of what societal arrangements to adopt. And suppose then that someone suggested: “We are all bound to suffer from those of us who wish to aggress against their fellow men. Let us then solve this problem of crime by handing all of our weapons to the Jones family, over there, by giving all of our ultimate power to settle disputes to that family. In that way, with their monopoly of coercion and of ultimate decision making, the Jones family will be able to protect each of us from each other.” I submit that this proposal would get very short shrift, except perhaps from the Jones family themselves. And yet this is precisely the common argument for the existence of the state. When we start from the zero point, as in the case of the Jones family, the question of “who will guard the guardians?” becomes not simply an abiding lacuna in the theory of the state but an overwhelming barrier to its existence.

A final caveat: the anarchist is always at a disadvantage in attempting to forecast the shape of the future anarchist society. For it is impossible for observers to predict voluntary social arrangements, including the provision of goods and services, on the free market. Suppose, for example, that this were the year 1874 and that someone predicted that eventually there would be a radio-manufacturing industry. To be able to make such a forecast successfully, does he have to be challenged to state immediately how many radio manufacturers there would be a century hence, how big they would be, where they would be located, what technology and marketing techniques they would use, and so on? Obviously, such a challenge would make no sense, and in a profound sense the same is true of those who demand a precise portrayal of the pattern of protection activities on the market. Anarchism advocates the dissolution of the state into social and market arrangements, and these arrangements are far more flexible and less predictable than political institutions. The most that we can do, then, is to offer broad guidelines and perspectives on the shape of a projected anarchist society.

One important point to make here is that the advance of modern technology makes anarchistic arrangements increasingly feasible. Take, for example, the case of lighthouses, where it is often charged that it is unfeasible for private lighthouse operators to row out to each ship to charge it for use of the light. Apart from the fact that this argument ignores the successful existence of private lighthouses in earlier days, as in England in the eighteenth century, another vital consideration is that modern electronic technology makes charging each ship for the light far more feasible. Thus, the ship would have to have paid for an electronically controlled beam which could then be automatically turned on for those ships which had paid for the service.

Let us turn now to the problem of how disputes — in particular disputes over alleged violations of person and property — would be resolved in an anarchist society. First, it should be noted that all disputes involve two parties: the plaintiff, the alleged victim of the crime or tort and the defendant, the alleged aggressor. In many cases of broken contract, of course, each of the two parties alleging that the other is the culprit is at the same time a plaintiff and a defendant.

An important point to remember is that any society, be it statist or anarchist, has to have some way of resolving disputes that will gain a majority consensus in society. There would be no need for courts or arbitrators if everyone were omniscient and knew instantaneously which persons were guilty of any given crime or violation of contract. Since none of us is omniscient, there has to be some method of deciding who is the criminal or lawbreaker which will gain legitimacy; in short, whose decision will be accepted by the great majority of the public.

In the first place, a dispute may be resolved voluntarily between the two parties themselves, either unaided or with the help of a third mediator. This poses no problem, and will automatically be accepted by society at large. It is so accepted even now, much less in a society imbued with the anarchistic values of peaceful cooperation and agreement. Secondly and similarly, the two parties, unable to reach agreement, may decide to submit voluntarily to the decision of an arbitrator. This agreement may arise either after a dispute has arisen, or be provided for in advance in the original contract. Again, there is no problem in such an arrangement gaining legitimacy. Even in the present statist era, the notorious inefficiency and coercive and cumbersome procedures of the politically run government courts has led increasing numbers of citizens to turn to voluntary and expert arbitration for a speedy and harmonious settling of disputes.

Thus, William C. Wooldridge has written that

Wooldridge adds the important point that, in addition to the speed of arbitration procedures vis-à-vis the courts, the arbitrators can proceed as experts in disregard of the official government law; in a profound sense, then, they serve to create a voluntary body of private law. “In other words,” states Wooldridge, “the system of extralegal, voluntary courts has progressed hand in hand with a body of private law; the rules of the state are circumvented by the same process that circumvents the forums established for the settlement of disputes over those rules…. In short, a private agreement between two people, a bilateral “law,” has supplanted the official law. The writ of the sovereign has cease to run, and for it is substituted a rule tacitly or explicitly agreed to by the parties. Wooldridge concludes that “if an arbitrator can choose to ignore a penal damage rule or the statute of limitations applicable to the claim before him (and it is generally conceded that he has that power), arbitration can be viewed as a practically revolutionary instrument for self-liberation from the law….”2

It may be objected that arbitration only works successfully because the courts enforce the award of the arbitrator. Wooldridge points out, however, that arbitration was unenforceable in the American courts before 1920, but that this did not prevent voluntary arbitration from being successful and expanding in the United States and in England. He points, furthermore, to the successful operations of merchant courts since the Middle Ages, those courts which successfully developed the entire body of the law merchant. None of those courts possessed the power of enforcement. He might have added the private courts of shippers which developed the body of admiralty law in a similar way.

How then did these private, “anarchistic,” and voluntary courts ensure the acceptance of their decisions? By the method of social ostracism, and by the refusal to deal any further with the offending merchant. This method of voluntary “enforcement,” indeed proved highly successful. Wooldridge writes that “the merchants’ courts were voluntary, and if a man ignored their judgment, he could not be sent to jail…. Nevertheless, it is apparent that … [their] decisions were generally respected even by the losers; otherwise people would never have used them in the first place…. Merchants made their courts work simply by agreeing to abide by the results. The merchant who broke the understanding would not be sent to jail, to be sure, but neither would he long continue to be a merchant, for the compliance exacted by his fellows … proved if anything more effective than physical coercion.”3 Nor did this voluntary method fail to work in modern times. Wooldridge writes that it was precisely in the years before 1920, when arbitration awards could not be enforced in the courts,

It should also be pointed out that modern technology makes even more feasible the collection and dissemination of information about people’s credit ratings and records of keeping or violating their contracts or arbitration agreements. Presumably, an anarchist society would see the expansion of this sort of dissemination of data and thereby facilitate the ostracism or boycotting of contract and arbitration violators.

How would arbitrators be selected in an anarchist society? In the same way as they are chosen now, and as they were chosen in the days of strictly voluntary arbitration: the arbitrators with the best reputation for efficiency and probity would be chosen by the various parties on the market. As in other processes of the market, the arbitrators with the best record in settling disputes will come to gain an increasing amount of business, and those with poor records will no longer enjoy clients and will have to shift to another line of endeavor. Here it must be emphasized that parties in dispute will seek out those arbitrators with the best reputation for both expertise and impartiality and that inefficient or biased arbitrators will rapidly have to find another occupation.

Thus, the Tannehills emphasize:

If desired, furthermore, the contracting parties could provide in advance for a series of arbitrators:

Arbitration, then, poses little difficulty for a portrayal of the free society. But what of torts or crimes of aggression where there has been no contract? Or suppose that the breaker of a contract defies the arbitration award? Is ostracism enough? In short, how can courts develop in the free-market anarchist society which will have the power to enforce judgments against criminals or contract breakers?

In the wide sense, defense service consists of guards or police who use force in defending person and property against attack, and judges or courts whose role is to use socially accepted procedures to determine who the criminals or tortfeasors are, as well as to enforce judicial awards, such as damages or the keeping of contracts. On the free market, many scenarios are possible on the relationship between the private courts and the police; they may be “vertically integrated,” for example, or their services may be supplied by separate firms. Furthermore, it seems likely that police service will be supplied by insurance companies who will provide crime insurance to their clients. In that case, insurance companies will pay off the victims of crime or the breaking of contracts or arbitration awards and then pursue the aggressors in court to recoup their losses. There is a natural market connection between insurance companies and defense service, since they need pay out less benefits in proportion as they are able to keep down the rate of crime.

Courts might either charge fees for their services, with the losers of cases obliged to pay court costs, or else they may subsist on monthly or yearly premiums by their clients, who may be either individuals or the police or insurance agencies. Suppose, for example, that Smith is an aggrieved party, either because he has been assaulted or robbed, or because an arbitration award in his favor has not been honored. Smith believes that Jones is the party guilty of the crime. Smith then goes to a court, Court A, of which he is a client, and brings charges against Jones as a defendant. In my view, the hallmark of an anarchist society is one where no man may legally compel someone who is not a convicted criminal to do anything, since that would be aggression against an innocent man’s person or property. Therefore, Court A can only invite rather than subpoena Jones to attend his trial. Of course, if Jones refused to appear or send a representative, his side of the case will not be heard. The trial of Jones proceeds. Suppose that Court A finds Jones innocent. In my view, part of the generally accepted law code of the anarchist society (on which see further below) is that this must end the matter unless Smith can prove charges of gross incompetence or bias on the part of the court.

Suppose, next, that Court A finds Jones guilty. Jones might accept the verdict, because he too is a client of the same court, because he knows he is guilty, or for some other reason. In that case, Court A proceeds to exercise judgment against Jones. Neither of these instances poses very difficult problems for our picture of the anarchist society. But suppose, instead, that Jones contests the decision; he then goes to his court, Court B, and the case is retried there. Suppose that Court B, too, finds Jones guilty. Again, it seems to me that the accepted law code of the anarchist society will assert that this ends the matter; both parties have had their say in courts which each has selected, and the decision for guilt is unanimous.

Suppose, however, the most difficult case: that Court B finds Jones innocent. The two courts, each subscribed to by one of the two parties, have split their verdicts. In that case, the two courts will submit the case to an appeals court, or arbitrator, which the two courts agree upon. There seems to be no real difficulty about the concept of an appeals court. As in the case of arbitration contracts, it seems very likely that the various private courts in the society will have prior agreements to submit their disputes to a particular appeals court. How will the appeals judges be chosen? Again, as in the case of arbitrators or of the first judges on the free market, they will be chosen for their expertise and their reputation for efficiency, honesty, and integrity. Obviously, appeals judges who are inefficient or biased will scarcely be chosen by courts who will have a dispute. The point here is that there is no need for a legally established or institutionalized single, monopoly appeals court system, as states now provide. There is no reason why there cannot arise a multitude of efficient and honest appeals judges who will be selected by the disputant courts, just as there are numerous private arbitrators on the market today. The appeals court renders its decision, and the courts proceed to enforce it if, in our example, Jones is considered guilty — unless, of course, Jones can prove bias in some other court proceedings.

No society can have unlimited judicial appeals, for in that case there would be no point to having judges or courts at all. Therefore, every society, whether statist or anarchist, will have to have some socially accepted cutoff point for trials and appeals. My suggestion is the rule that the agreement of any two courts, be decisive. “Two” is not an arbitrary figure, for it reflects the fact that there are two parties, the plaintiff and the defendant, to any alleged crime or contract dispute.

If the courts are to be empowered to enforce decision against guilty parties, does this not bring back the state in another form and thereby negate anarchism? No, for at the beginning of this paper I explicitly defined anarchism in such a way as not to rule out the use of defensive force — force in defense of person and property — by privately supported agencies. In the same way, it is not bringing back the state to allow persons to use force to defend themselves against aggression, or to hire guards or police agencies to defend them.

It should be noted, however, that in the anarchist society there will be no “district attorney” to press charges on behalf of “society.” Only the victims will press charges as the plaintiffs. If, then, these victims should happen to be absolute pacifists who are opposed even to defensive force, then they will simply not press charges in the courts or otherwise retaliate against those who have aggressed against them. In a free society that would be their right. If the victim should suffer from murder, then his heir would have the right to press the charges.

What of the Hatfield-and-McCoy problem? Suppose that a Hatfield kills a McCoy, and that McCoy’s heir does not belong to a private insurance, police agency, or court, and decides to retaliate himself? Since under anarchism there can be no coercion of the noncriminal, McCoy would have the perfect right to do so. No one may be compelled to bring his case to a court. Indeed, since the right to hire police or courts flows from the right of self-defense against aggression, it would be inconsistent and in contradiction to the very basis of the free society to institute such compulsion.

Suppose, then, that the surviving McCoy finds what he believes to be the guilty Hatfield and kills him in turn? What then? This is fine, except that McCoy may have to worry about charges being brought against him by a surviving Hatfield. Here it must be emphasized that in the law of the anarchist society based on defense against aggression, the courts would not be able to proceed against McCoy if in fact he killed the right Hatfield. His problem would arise if the courts should find that he made a grievous mistake and killed the wrong man; in that case, he in turn would be found guilty of murder. Surely, in most instances, individuals will wish to obviate such problems by taking their case to a court and thereby gain social acceptability for their defensive retaliation — not for the act of retaliation but for the correctness of deciding who the criminal in any given case might be. The purpose of the judicial process, indeed, is to find a way of general agreement on who might be the criminal or contract breaker in any given case. The judicial process is not a good in itself; thus, in the case of an assassination, such as Jack Ruby’s murder of Lee Harvey Oswald, on public television, there is no need for a complex judicial process, since the name of the murderer is evident to all.

Will not the possibility exist of a private court that may turn venal and dishonest, or of a private police force that turns criminal and extorts money by coercion? Of course such an event may occur, given the propensities of human nature. Anarchism is not a moral cure-all. But the important point is that market forces exist to place severe checks on such possibilities, especially in contrast to a society where a state exists. For, in the first place, judges, like arbitrators, will prosper on the market in proportion to their reputation for efficiency and impartiality. Secondly, on the free market important checks and balances exist against venal courts or criminal police forces. Namely, that there are competing courts and police agencies to whom victims may turn for redress. If the “Prudential Police Agency” should turn outlaw and extract revenue from victims by coercion, the latter would have the option of turning to the “Mutual” or “Equitable” Police Agency for defense and for pressing charges against Prudential. These are the genuine “checks and balances” of the free market, genuine in contrast to the phony check and balances of a state system, where all the alleged “balancing” agencies are in the hands of one monopoly government. Indeed, given the monopoly “protection service” of a state, what is there to prevent a state from using its monopoly channels of coercion to extort money from the public? What are the checks and limits of the state? None, except for the extremely difficult course of revolution against a power with all of the guns in its hands. In fact, the state provides an easy, legitimated channel for crime and aggression, since it has its very being in the crime of tax theft, and the coerced monopoly of “protection.” It is the state, indeed, that functions as a mighty “protection racket” on a giant and massive scale. It is the state that says: “Pay us for your ‘protection’ or else.” In the light of the massive and inherent activities of the state, the danger of a “protection racket” emerging from one or more private police agencies is relatively small indeed.

Moreover, it must be emphasized that a crucial element in the power of the state is its legitimacy in the eyes of the majority of the public, the fact that after centuries of propaganda, the depredations of the state are looked upon rather as benevolent services. Taxation is generally not seen as theft, nor war as mass murder, nor conscription as slavery. Should a private police agency turn outlaw, should “Prudential” become a protection racket, it would then lack the social legitimacy which the state has managed to accrue to itself over the centuries. “Prudential” would be seen by all as bandits, rather than as legitimate or divinely appointed “sovereigns” bent on promoting the “common good” or the “general welfare.” And lacking such legitimacy, “Prudential” would have to face the wrath of the public and the defense and retaliation of the other private defense agencies, the police and courts, on the free market. Given these inherent checks and limits, a successful transformation from a free society to bandit rule becomes most unlikely. Indeed, historically, it has been very difficult for a state to arise to supplant a stateless society; usually, it has come about through external conquest rather than by evolution from within a society.

Within the anarchist camp, there has been much dispute on whether the private courts would have to be bound by a basic, common law code. Ingenious attempts have been made to work out a system where the laws or standards of decision-making by the courts would differ completely from one to another.7 But in my view all would have to abide by the basic law code, in particular, prohibition of aggression against person and property, in order to fulfill our definition of anarchism as a system which provides no legal sanction for such aggression. Suppose, for example, that one group of people in society holds that all redheads are demons who deserve to be shot on sight. Suppose that Jones, one of this group, shoots Smith, a redhead. Suppose that Smith or his heir presses charges in a court, but that Jones’s court, in philosophic agreement with Jones, finds him innocent therefore. It seems to me that in order to be considered legitimate, any court would have to follow the basic libertarian law code of the inviolate right of person and property. For otherwise, courts might legally subscribe to a code which sanctions such aggression in various cases, and which to that extent would violate the definition of anarchism and introduce, if not the state, then a strong element of statishness or legalized aggression into the society.

But again I see no insuperable difficulties here. For in that case, anarchists, in agitating for their creed, will simply include in their agitation the idea of a general libertarian law code as part and parcel of the anarchist creed of abolition of legalized aggression against person or property in the society.

In contrast to the general law code, other aspects of court decisions could legitimately vary in accordance with the market or the wishes of the clients; for example, the language the cases will be conducted in, the number of judges to be involved, and so on.

There are other problems of the basic law code which there is no time to go into here: for example, the definition of just property titles or the question of legitimate punishment of convicted offenders — though the latter problem of course exists in statist legal systems as well.8 The basic point, however, is that the state is not needed to arrive at legal principles or their elaboration: indeed, much of the common law, the law merchant, admiralty law, and private law in general, grew up apart from the state, by judges not making the law but finding it on the basis of agreed-upon principles derived either from custom or reason.9 The idea that the state is needed to make law is as much a myth as that the state is needed to supply postal or police services.

Enough has been said here, I believe, to indicate that an anarchist system for settling disputes would be both viable and self-subsistent: that once adopted, it could work and continue indefinitely. How to arrive at that system is of course a very different problem, but certainly at the very least it will not likely come about unless people are convinced of its workability, are convinced, in short, that the state is not a necessary evil.


[Murray Rothbard delivered this talk 32 years ago today at the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy (ASPLP), Washington, DC: December 28, 1974. It was first published in The Libertarian Forum, volume 7.1, January 1975, available in PDF and ePub.]

04:30 UTC


"Why BUSHIDO Is The Root of All Social Problems in Japan" - How Japan obtained 250 years of peace through collectivist authoritarian repressive policies that resulted in zero economic growth during that same time.

1 Comment
16:22 UTC


Making the Case for Private Law and Defense From Scratch

18:58 UTC


Problems with Centralized Law Production that are Solved by Decentralization

The application of Friedrich Hayek's knowledge problem to the centralization of law production allows us to criticize the very existence of a centralized State as a structure of power. Is it necessary, or is it an obstacle to liberty.

Hayek's knowledge problem posits that the information necessary for the efficient allocation of resources in a society is dispersed among many individuals, making it impossible for any central authority to gather and utilize this information as effectively as the market does through its price mechanism.

This principle can be extended to the production and enforcement of laws, suggesting that centralization in this area might face similar challenges.

##Challenges of Centralized Law Production

  1. Lack of Local Knowledge:

Centralized law-making bodies may lack nuanced understanding of local conditions, preferences, and needs.

Laws that are made to apply uniformly across diverse communities can fail to address specific issues effectively or may even create unintended problems due to the lack of tailored solutions.

One example of this is minimum wage laws in the USA. Choosing a single minimum wage for an entire control of 300+ million people plus outlying regions and protectorates means that minimum wage laws screw over poor areas and are ludicrously low for wealthy areas.

Places like American Samoa faced enormous job losses the last time the minimum wage was raised, as it exceeded their average local income.

  1. Adaptability and Responsiveness:

Centralized systems tend to be slower to respond to changes due to bureaucratic processes.

In contrast, decentralized law-making can be more adaptive to local changes and emergent needs, allowing for quicker adjustments and innovations in legal frameworks.

No more lobbying your congressman to deal with some local issue, locals decide it for themselves.

  1. One-Size-Fits-All Approach:

Centralized law production often relies on a one-size-fits-all approach that cannot possible suit all regions or groups within a society.

This can lead to inefficiencies and injustices, as the laws may not reflect the varied and changing circumstances of different populations.

Replacing OSFA law with custom local law is likely to result in an increase in utility of the law for everyone.

  1. Concentration of Power and Risk of Abuse:

Centralization of law-making authority concentrates power, increasing the risk of laws that serve special interests or the interests of those in power, rather than the common good.

This centralization can also lead to a lack of checks and balances, making the system more susceptible to corruption and abuse.

Greatest example: the lobbying problem. It is unsolvable in any centralized system, but inherently solved by any decentralized system.

##Advantages of Decentralized Law Production

  1. Incorporation of Local Knowledge:

Decentralized law-making allows for the incorporation of local knowledge and conditions into legal norms, potentially leading to more effective and relevant laws.

The easiest way to guarantee only good laws exist is to put people in control of what laws they live under. They will not choose laws against their interests. But politicians will.

  1. Experimentation and Innovation:

A decentralized approach to law production can encourage experimentation and innovation, as different regions or communities try out various solutions to common problems.

This can lead to a more dynamic legal system that can adapt to new challenges and information.

The ability to run multiple political experiments in parallel is a massive advantage for such a society, as it means novel approaches can be tried, discovered to work, then employed in rapid succession. Legal change in centralized systems is measured in years, but in decentralized systems it could be measured in days where change is desired, and not change ever where it is not desired, creating both more legal adaptability and much greater legal stability in the same structure.

  1. Increased Participation and Accountability:

Decentralization can increase the participation of citizens in the law-making process, leading to laws that better reflect the preferences and values of the population.

The current system disincentivizes citizens from becoming informed voters by disemboweling voting, subsuming your choice within millions of other choices and forcing you to accept the outcome. But a decentralized system gives massive incentive to become informed by making your choice have decisive power over yourself alone. Since your choice is decisive, the better the choice you make the better your outcome is likely to be, therefore you have maximum incentive to become educated in the available options.

This is why people put more thought, learning, and effort into what car to buy than in what political candidate to vote for, to everyone's detriment. And obviously simply making it illegal to not vote does not force people to become educated.

  1. Competitive Governance:

Decentralized law production introduces a form of competitive governance, where different legal systems compete for citizens and resources based on the efficiency and justice of their laws. This competition can drive improvements in legal systems and better align them with the needs of society.

Much of what's wrong with today's world can be summed up by two conditions: captive population unable to emigrate in large number, and centralization of law production within those societies.

The solution is both free and cheap movement, and legal choice.

Hayek's knowledge problem highlights the limitations and potential inefficiencies of centralized control over complex systems, including the production of laws.

While decentralization presents its own challenges, such as the potential for a lack of uniformity and the difficulties in managing inter-jurisdictional issues, it offers a compelling alternative that aligns with the principles of individual knowledge, adaptability, and innovation.

I urge all libertarians and liberty lovers generally to learn more about the benefits of decentralized law production and how it can solve some of the most pressing problems the world faces today.

16:21 UTC


Thomas Sowell - The Democratic Fallacy

14:44 UTC


The Contradiction in the Heart of Democracy: The West's Choice Between Might and Consent

In the current global landscape, a profound ideological divide is shaping the fate of nations and the international order. At the heart of this divide is a fundamental question about the nature of legitimacy and authority: What is the rightful basis for power?

This question pits the principle of 'might makes right,' as seemingly embraced by Vladimir Putin and similar authoritarian regimes, against the Western ideal of 'consent makes right' in the form of free market capitalism and consent-based political systems such as (supposedly) democracy.

However, this dichotomy is not as clear-cut as it appears. The West stands at a critical juncture, facing a choice that could redefine its identity and approach to governance.

The principle of 'might makes right' underpins the belief that power and dominance are the ultimate arbiters of what is just and lawful. It is a worldview that venerates strength and the ability to impose one's will upon others, often through coercion or force. This perspective is not new, it echoes through history, from empires of old to modern authoritarian states. It is a philosophy that reduces the complex tapestry of human societies to a simple hierarchy of power, where those at the top dictate terms to those below.

By contrast, the West has long championed the principle of 'consent makes right,' a doctrine rooted in the Enlightenment ideals of liberty and individual rights. This principle posits that the legitimacy of any authority comes not from its might but from the consent of those it governs. It is the foundation upon which democratic societies are built, emphasizing the role of the individual's voice and choice in the shaping of collective destinies.

However, the reality of how democracy operates in the West reveals a difficult tension between these ideals. While democracy aims to embody 'consent makes right,' it often operates on a principle that might be best described as 'majority makes right.'

In this framework, the will of the majority gains the authority to govern, potentially at the expense of minority rights and individual consent. This approach is secretly the 'might makes right' mentality, because a majority is physically more powerful than the minority; democracy is sometimes called a war with ballots instead of bullets, where the 'might' of the majority allows it to compel the minority, revealing a contradiction at the heart of Western democratic practice.

The challenge, then, is for the West to evolve beyond the conventional understanding of democracy and evolve into systems of governance more true to the idea of 'consent makes right' than democracy.

To truly uphold the ideal of 'consent makes right,' Western societies must explore governance models that prioritize individualism, individual choice, and unanimity. This means crafting systems that respect the autonomy of each individual, ensuring that all forms of governance and authority derive from the explicit consent of those affected, not just the tacit approval of a majority or a population born into a system that then claims the right to force anything on them.

Such a paradigm shift would require rethinking many of the foundational structures of society, from the legal system to economic practices, to ensure they are aligned with the principle of consent. It would also necessitate a cultural shift towards valuing individual sovereignty and unanimity in decision-making processes, challenging the status quo and the convenience of majority rule.

In navigating this crossroads, the West faces a critical test of its values and its vision for the future. Choosing 'consent makes right' over the simplicity of 'might makes right' or the compromise of 'majority makes right' is not merely a philosophical exercise--it is a historical imperative that will shape the future. It demands a commitment to the hard work of building truly inclusive societies that honor the dignity and autonomy of every individual.

The stakes are high. Failing to choose 'consent makes right' risks the entire Western world falling back into the same errors that characterize authoritarian regimes, where power, not principle, is the ultimate guide. We see democracy breaking down globally, and it does so because it is a halfway measure between consent and might. Such a failure would not only betray the Enlightenment ideals that have shaped the Western tradition but also undermine the moral authority of the West in the global arena. It is this very decay that people like Putin have cited as the weakness of the West that is on the brink of collapse.

Lastly, the choice between 'might makes right' and 'consent makes right' is more than an ideological battleground, it is a reflection of the kind of world we wish to create. By aspiring to a society where consent, rather than might or majority, makes right, the West can forge a path that reaffirms its commitment to democracy, individualism, and human dignity. This is a choice that requires courage, vision, and an unwavering dedication to the principles of freedom and equality. It is a choice that will define the legacy of the West for generations to come. It is nothing less than our task today and the greatest contribution to humanity we could make. For without, the world is doomed to repeat the darkest corners of its past, and even the USA will convert itself into a tyranny.

03:06 UTC


Are private law, private police, and private courts allowable in an anarchy, or are these things necessarily features of the State?

Currently these things are in conflict with anarchy, because they are forced on you and monopolized by the State. If the State monopolized pancake houses and forced you to buy and eat State pancakes, that would also be in conflict with anarchy.

But when you willingly buy free market pancakes, that's not a problem for anarchy. Neither is free market law, police, and courts. You need to think of these as market services, not as identical with the State.

If you set a rule for yourself, there's no conflict with anarchy. Your rule could be, no shoes in the house. Still no problem for anarchy, right?

You can also ask anyone entering your home to follow that rule or be asked to leave. Still no problem.

Then nothing stops 100 or more people from adopting one rule they all like and have individually chosen, and then bringing their property together, to create a private region with a private law, and still no problem for anarchy, because it's individually chosen, no force.

Then if anyone wants to enter that area that 100 live in, they must agree to that rule to enter, or else be asked to leave.

Still no problem for anarchy.

Now suppose they agree to pay a fine if they break a rule when inside your property.

Still no problem.

And what if they agree to indemnify police enforcing the laws they chose in advance, in their act of enforcement. Still no problem.

And let's say there's a dispute and you both choose a 3rd party to decide for you, three people is a tie breaker after all. Now we have free market courts, still no problem for anarchy.

03:27 UTC


There Have Been 57 Peaceful Secessions Since 1776


Why is this important? There is essentially no difference between foot-voting and individual peaceful secession, those are synonyms. Foot voting means to physically leave your current situation and go elsewhere.

Historically, people who have left places faces extreme circumstances have achieved better outcomes than those who stayed, especially in the face of things like war, invasion, and authoritarianism.

The natural end point of secession becoming a common feature of the world would be to bring secession all the way down to the individual. Thus, unacracy.

19:51 UTC


Unacracy summed up in one paragraph.

Unacracy is a political system based entirely on individual choice. It will always be better to choose for yourself than to have someone choose for you. Democracy or autocracry are both tyrannies because they are both system of how someone will choose for your and force you to accept their choice.

True liberty means choosing for yourself.

15:44 UTC


There are only three possible political systems: autocracy, democracy, and unacracy.

There are only three possible political systems categorically. Two have been explored, one has not.

The first possiblity is rule of the minority / autocracy. We all know this sucks. It is the easiest to build, the least complex, just put one guy in charge, his word is law. History is filled with these since the earliest times. The 18th and 19th century saw this structure slowly die, led by the USA and France under the impact of the Enlightenment. This encompasses all systems such as monarchy, strong men, dictators, and various autocracies.

This was tyranny of the minority.

The second possible system is majority rule / democracy. This is only slightly better than minority rule, until the power elites figured out how to insulate those in power from the choices of the masses, effectively converting democracy back into an autocracy by other means.

See how Hillary screwed Bernie out of the nomination for just one gross example. Or how the EU passes laws without any effective check from the people. Or how the Bush dynasty tried to force Jeb Bush into the presidency.

This too, is tyranny, tyranny of the majority.

The third possibility is individual choice, or unanimity. It is the only one that is NOT a tyranny because making decisions for yourself can never be called tyranny, only forcing decisions on others is tyranny. This is only one of the three in which tyranny does not exist as the foundation of the system.

I suggest that political systems based on unanimity are the best path forward for the world therefore.

It is also the most complex, but has major advantages.

Unacracy is the only systems that respects and is based on individualism necessarily, because of how unanimity functions.

Unanimity has long been considered the gold standard of ethical decision-making because it inherently respects everyone's choice and forces no one. The only problem was how difficult it is to achieve unanimity! If that one problem could be solved we could build practical political systems based on unanimity.

Well, it's been solved. The answer is group-splitting. Take any group, have them vote on any question, have them separate into yes/no camps, you now have two unanimously agreeing but separate groups. Repeat as needed.

How you implement that from there is the only question of style, but all unacratic systems will be based on this idea at root. The result is increasing decentralization of power, which should be embraced as a virtue.

14:13 UTC

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