Anarchy Is Loosed Upon the World

[cross-posted at Liberty & Power and Mises Blog]

Anarchy and the Law My copy of Ed Stringham’s anthology Anarchy and the Law just arrived in the mail. (Amazon insists that the paperback isn’t available yet, but they’re wrong.)

This nearly 700-page book is quite simply the definitive collection on free-market anarchism. Its forty chapters include contributions from Randy Barnett, Bruce Benson, Bryan Caplan, Roy Childs, Anthony de Jasay, David Friedman, John Hasnas, Hans Hoppe, Jeff Hummel, Don Lavoie, Murray Rothbard, the Tannehills, and many more, including even your humble correspondent. It also features historical classics by Voltairine de Cleyre, Gustave de Molinari, Lysander Spooner, and Benjamin Tucker, among others. It covers both moral arguments and economic ones; it ranges over both abstract theory and historical examples. It even includes important criticisms of market anarchism, like Tyler Cowen’s and Robert Nozick’s, along with anarchist replies. Check out the full table of contents.

Are there any regrettable omissions? Well, of course. Any self-respecting anarchist geek could easily cite another thousand pages’ worth of “absolutely essential” additional material, additional authors, additional perspectives. But never mind: this, here and now, is it. Wonder no more what is the market anarchist book to recommend to the anarcho-curious or wave menacingly at the statist heathen; it’s this one.

16 Responses to Anarchy Is Loosed Upon the World

  1. Richard Garner January 30, 2007 at 6:14 pm #

    My concern was that Stringham’s book contains little in it that I have not read before, so I wasn’t willing to fork out the price for it. However, i will check out the paper back version. Coverage of Tyler Cowen’s arguments and responses will be interesting.

    My two most disappointing emissions were your debate with Robert Bidinotto, which I think is a very important argument as regards anarchism and the rule of law (and also, perhaps, your talk on objections to anarchism). The second was that I think there may have been better, more pertinent selections from benjamin Tucker. Especially, for instance, his discussion with FW Read with regards to voluntary taxation. Read anticipates Roy Childs’ own objection to Rand that a non-coercive government must allow competition, and thus cease to be a government, when Read writes that voluntary taxation would mean that “there would be nothing to prevent the existence of five or six ‘States’ in England, and members of all these ‘States’ might be living in the same house!” And Tucker writes,

    Mr Read will probably object that the “State” to which the invader [rights violator] belonged might regard his arrest as itself an invasion, and proceed against the “State” which arrested him. Anticipation of such conflicts would probably result in exactly those treaties between “States” which Mr. Read looks upon as so desirable, and even in the establishment of tribunals, as courts of last resort, by the co-operation of the various “States,” on the same voluntary principle in accordance with which the “States” themselves are organised.

    Thus answering Rand’s anticipation of conflict between competing “governments” seventy years before she made it! And, note, also by suggesting that the “states” would form agreements in anticipation of disputes, Tucker also answers the objection that agreement on a private court will be impossible between two protection agencies already disputing, a suggestion David Friedman made one hundred years later in “Anarchy and efficient Law”.

  2. Rad Geek January 31, 2007 at 5:31 am #

    A little bird tells me that Roderick’s discussion with Bidinotto will not be in this book because an expanded version of it is forthcoming in an anthology on the anarchy-minarchy debate from Ashgate Press.

  3. Mark L January 31, 2007 at 8:47 am #

    Ridiculous. Birds cannot talk.*

    *Excepting parrots and myna birds, who in my private language are not defined as birds.

  4. Geoffrey Allan Plauche February 13, 2007 at 5:38 pm #

    Thanks for the heads up on this anthology, Roderick. I ordered the paperback from the Independent Institute and just got it in the mail.

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  1. » - January 31, 2007

    […] Edward Stringham has compiled a new anthology, Anarchy and the Law: The Political Economy of Choice. Folks, that’s 700 pages of radical libertarian goodness: Anarchy and the Law assembles for the first time in one volume the most important classic and contemporary studies exploring and debating non-state legal and political systems, especially involving the tradition of natural law and private contracts. […]

  2. » Blog Archive » Audio: Stringer on Anarchy and Law - March 29, 2007

    […] Edward Stringham discusses[mp3 download] his recently published book, Anarchy and the Law. Professor Roderick Long described this book as “…quite simply the definitive collection on free-market anarchism.“ […]

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