An Anarchist FAQ – Appendix: Anarchism and “anarcho”-capitalism

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An Anarchist FAQ
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LINKPDF version of Appendix 1.

This appendix exists for one reason, namely to explain why the idea of “anarcho”-capitalism is a bogus one. While we have covered this topic in section F, we thought that this appendix should be created in order to discuss in more detail why anarchists reject both “anarcho”-capitalism and its claims to being anarchist.

This appendix has three parts. The first two sections are our critique of Bryan Caplan’s “anarcho”-capitalist “Anarchist Theory FAQ.” Caplan’s FAQ is the main on-line attempt to give the oxymoron of “anarcho”-capitalism some form of justification and so it is worthwhile explaining, using his FAQ as the base, why such an attempt fails. The last part of this appendix is the original version of section F,

As we will prove, Caplan’s FAQ fails in its attempt to show that “anarcho” capitalism can be considered as part of the anarchist movement and in fact his account involves extensive re-writing of history. This appendix is in two parts, a reply to Caplan’s most recent FAQ release (version 5.2) and an older reply to version 4.1.1 (which was originally section F.10 of the FAQ). The introduction to the reply to version 4.1.1 indicates what most anarchists think of Caplan’s FAQ and its claims of “objectivity” as so we will not repeat ourselves here.

We decided to replace the original version of section F with an edited version simply because the original section was too long in respect to the rest of the FAQ. While this FAQ may have started out as a rebuttal to “anarcho”-capitalist claims of being anarchist, it no longer is. As such, in an anarchist FAQ section F became redundant as “anarcho”-capitalism is a fringe ideology even within the USA. If it were not for their presence on the web and some academics taking their claims to being anarchists at face value, we would only mention them in passing.

We have decided to include this appendix as it is really an addition to the main body of the FAQ. Parties interested in why “anarcho”-capitalist claims are false can explore this appendix, those who are interested in anarchist politics can read the FAQ without having to also read too many arguments between anarchists and capitalists. We should, perhaps, thank Caplan for allowing us an opportunity of explaining the ideas of such people as Proudhon and Tucker, allowing us to quote them and so bring their ideas to a wider audience and for indicating that anarchism, in all its forms, has always opposed capitalism and always will.

1 Individualist Anarchists and the socialist movement.
2 Why is Caplan’s definition of socialism wrong?
3 Was Proudhon a socialist or a capitalist?
4 Tucker on Property, Communism and Socialism.
5 Anarchism and “anarcho”-capitalism.
6 Appendix: Defining Anarchism

1 Is anarchism purely negative?
2 Anarchism and Equality
3 Is anarchism the same thing as socialism?
4 Anarchism and dissidents
5 How would anarcho-capitalism work?

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