Chaos Theory: Two Essays On Market Anarchy

“Chaos Theory: Two Essays on Market Anarchy”

by Robert P Murphy

“Specialized firms would develop, offering high security analogs to the current jailhouse. However, the “jails” in market anarchy would compete with each other to attract criminals. Consider: No insurance company would vouch for a serial killer if he applied for a job at the local library, but they would deal with him if he agreed to live in a secure building under close scrutiny. … On the other hand, there would be no undue cruelty for the prisoners in such a system. … If they were, they’d simply switch to a different jail, just as travelers can switch hotels if they view the staff as discourteous.”

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~ by rechelon on June 21, 2008.

3 Responses to “Chaos Theory: Two Essays On Market Anarchy”

  1. Ignoring the faults of Murphy’s text, on a personal level I want to note that the above passage was the moment of clarion light that single-handedly wrenched me in 2003 from Social Anarchism deep into the depths of Anarcho-Capitalism.

    (Don’t worry. I got better. …Somewhat.)

    But it was still a transitive experience. At that single moment I realized that Anarchy was not just a utopian ideal to be strived for endlessly (a la Malatesta) but a practical vector of social organization that could be put into place in immediate and substantive ways. Murphy’s plain language gave me an intuitive grasp of HOW anarchy would work, or at least the tools and mental habits to figure any problem out without defaulting on unsatisfying crutches like “consensus” or “democracy”.

  2. […] celebrates the five year anniversary of his blog and notes that Bob Murphy’s Chaos Theory was instrumental in his intellectual development. I read Chaos Theory in early 2006, and it was the […]

  3. It was nice to read something that wasn’t written in academese for a change. I can’t really fault the logic of the contents, but there are a few things that bother me about the society as depicted. First, the idea that stores and other businesses migh want to check a person’s insurance policy before allowing him entry. Do we really want to live in a society where the mall cop asks, “papers, please?” before he opens the door? If anarchy is going to mean an end to privaccy, I want no part. Second, the idea that insurance companies would also have greater access to my personal life than they already do. Is it really necessary for them to know how many guns I own? The author even falls back on the tired myth that owning guns means you’re more likely to harm somebody. Owning a baseball bat does not make you more likely to beat somebody to death. The third issue is the concept of putting a value on human life. Deliberately taking someone’s life is the most heinous crime. The notion that a person could keep doing it as long as they could afford the rising insurance premiums and restitution fees is absurd. Capital punishment is the most fiscally sound option there is. The final objection I have to the society presented in this work is the idea that there would be a stigma attached to the uninsured. True, many such people would be criminals looking to avoid restitution, but there would also be a large group that simply didn’t need insurance. Why would a billionaire spend hundreds or thousands of dollars every month to protect against the possibility of spending thousands in restitution for an accident?

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