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Study Guide Classic: Do We Ever Really Get Out of Anarchy?


Alfred G. Cuzán contributed "Do We Ever Really Get Out of Anarchy?" (pdf) to the Summer 1979 issue of the Journal of Libertarian Studies, an article which Roderick Long describes as "invaluable", (also see Stephan Kinsella). This short article, only 7 pages of text, is one of those little pieces of conceptual dynamite that blows apart the way you've seen the world.

Cuzán challenges the notion that we are ever really under "Government" if what Government means is a "third party" external to all relations in society. He points out that "such a 'third party' arrangement for society is non-existent among those who exercise the power of government themselves." (p. 152) Therefore "whereas without government it was market or natural anarchy, it is now a political anarchy, an anarchy inside power." (pp. 152-3) Cuzán goes on to explain that not all these political anarchies are created equal. Some are more violent than others. The least violent political anarchies begin to look more and more like market anarchy... So wouldn't outright market anarchy be the least violent of all? Read the whole thing.

For more on this topic see the Anarchy subject. This is part of the new Libertarian Studies category of the Study Guide which I have been creating to categorize the large amount of non-economic libertarian literature in the Study Guide.

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