Over the past few years, there’s been a lot of attention drawn to the Anarcho-Capitalist community and to Anarcho-Capitalism itself. The average person perceives Anarchism as a philosophy that advocates for no rules, no government, and for violent behavior with no consequences. Especially in light of how Anarchists are portrayed in the media, where Anarcho-Communists (those who bare red and black flags) are often seen destroying property, beating up people in the streets, and protesting along with Black Lives Matter. This is a complete misrepresentation of Anarchism and especially Anarcho-Capitalism, in terms of what AnCaps believe, how we feel certain issues should be approached, and what kind of society we hope to achieve.
There are two facets to Anarcho-Capitalism, the first being Anarchism and the second being Voluntarism or Voluntaryism. Anarchism, by its definition, is the state of a society where there is no government present. On its face, this can be a very scary thing, considering that none of us have ever lived in a society without some body of governance being involved. However, the major distinction that needs to be made is that while Anarchists advocate for a society and a world without governments, we place a high value on there being rules that everyone should follow. While this may seem contradictory in and of itself, this is where the concept of Voluntarism comes into play.
Voluntarism is the concept of people interacting with each other in accordance with each other’s volition. Meaning that, in a Voluntarist society, people promote the idea of only interacting and performing transactions with each other if and when everyone involved is okay with it. This is further expounded upon by a principle known as the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP), which states that it’s immoral to kill or hurt another person, to steal from people or damage their property, and to prevent others from protecting themselves, their property, or other people and their property. A Voluntarist society is one where if you are trying to harm someone or their property, you are viewed as immoral and will be dealt with accordingly.
So why is this a society that people would want and how is it any different from the society we already have under government sovereignty? Simply put, if you don’t do anything that harms another person and their property, you can do whatever you want, whenever you want, and for whatever reason you want. Under government reign, the way you raise your children, how you conduct and manage your business, and how much of your own personal money you keep is subject to change based on your government’s policies. In the United States, there are regulations in place that require their citizens to surrender part of their income, known as the Income Tax, to support the US government with no say in how that money is used or in how much can be taken out of their income. On top of this, there are taxes on various goods and services, such as groceries, automotive repair, online goods purchases, etc., that are taken in the same fashion and cannot be negotiated on.
To put this into perspective, if your employer was to take out a certain amount of money from your paycheck, without your consent and without the ability to negotiate on it, didn’t tell you where that money was going or for what reason, and then threatened to throw you in jail and then take MORE of your money if you refused them, would this be okay? This is exactly what government does and continues to do each and every day. You work hard for your money, you put in plenty of time to get it, and you underwent years of education so that you could earn money. So why should some body of governance be allowed to take that money away from you? The answer is that they shouldn’t, they never should’ve been able to and they shouldn’t keep doing it, no matter what the reason is.
What will an Anarcho-Capitalist society guarantee in terms of job opportunities, safety from local and foreign threats against yourself and your family, and in being able to purchase goods and services? Just like in today’s society, there are no guarantees that how you make your living, that you and everyone around you will remain safe, and the way you purchase goods and services will stay the same as it is now. However, there are always people around who are innovative and are constantly looking to find solutions to the problems of their community. If your neighborhood or your general region has an issue with gang violence or with any kind of violent activities, either your communities can pool a fund towards paying a private company that will take care of it or you all can form a militia and deal with the issues yourselves. If there are children in your community that aren’t receiving a good education, there are websites that are currently available to help your child become a brilliant mind, as well as tutoring services from private institutions.
The final and most crucial point about becoming an Anarcho-Capitalist is understanding that there will be a shift in responsibility, in that personal responsibility is a key thing in an AnCap society. While you may not have to pay taxes, no one will make you go to school or work, and while no one will tell you how to live your life, it is up to you to see to your own welfare, prosperity, and happiness. If you mess up in life, you can ask your community to help support you, but there’s no guarantee that they will nor should they have to if they choose not to. The same goes for anyone that asks you for help, you’re under no obligation to help or give money to anyone you don’t want to.
Those who are true to AnCap principles are very welcoming and supportive, which is extended to those outside of the community. There are the “vocal minority” who like to act coldly and dismissively towards others who aren’t part of the community, but this is gradually being screened out as time goes by. We’re still trying to gain traction, as a movement, and are open to discussion as to what issues need to be discussed, what solutions need to be offered, and what we can do now for people to help benefit them. I offer this gesture of welcoming and kindness towards anyone reading this article and invite anyone who wants to discuss these things with me or anything else to reach out. Personally, my goal as an Anarcho-Capitalist is to help benefit any individual in any way I can and to create an atmosphere of openness, sincerity, and kindness for anyone to bring up any topic of discussion.
If you find this article to have piqued your interests in Anarcho-Capitalism and have any questions to ask about it, feel free to contact us at VolAnarchist or any other members of the AnCap community. If you have genuine questions to ask, I guarantee that they’ll either answer them or direct you to other videos/books/articles that might hold the answers you’re looking for. Also, I challenge those who read this to share a discussion with your friends, family, and co-workers about Anarcho-Capitalism, even if it’s only for the sake of discussion. AnCaps want to see the world become a better place and for everyone to have the equal opportunity presented to them to build a lifestyle they deem fit for themselves. We’re not out to demonize people, to throw them into a dystopian nightmare, or to take away the ability of the less fortunate to receive help, but to create a world where everyone can live freely.