I have suggested thus far a few ways to think at anarchy, and I hope to post another when I have the time. But I wanted to stop off a second to make something clear. I can certainly kick out some ideas of what I think anarchy will be like. My ideas might be accurate. But then, they might not. One of the striking aspects of freedom is that you don't know what people will do with it without actually giving it to them, letting them mess around, and seeing what comes out.

Consider, for a second, the following thought experiment. Say I had come to you, 20 years ago, and told you that the U.S. government was considering privatizing the U.S. postal service. Next I would have asked for your prediction: what will the business of carrying mail be like in 20 years? If you had been up on things at the time, you would have predicted UPS would be big, and FedEx too. You probably would have predicted many other package services would have entered the market. But would you have predicted email would dominate the market? Probably not.

Similarly, when I propose ideas for what I think anarchy will be like, it's just that: ideas. The system itself has a logic that may or may not match what I think; and what will happen is what will happen. That's freedom. With most political ideologies, people do things the other way around. They posit the outcomes they want, then they try to construct a political system such that it will force those outcomes to obtain, or at least make them likely (in the opinion of the ideologue). That's what I meant a couple days ago, when I said that "Libertarians try to take a moral framework and construct politics out of it." You take an idea, say, the idea that people should be able to carry around guns. Then you try to create a system such that it must hold true, i.e. a court system chartered with a bill of rights that has the right to keep and bear arms in it. This sort of construction often runs into problems: what's a "arm"? Do machineguns count? Artillery? Shoulder launched anti air missiles? Thermonuclear ICBMs? What does "keep" mean? What does "bear" mean? Etc. etc.

Now, I am a libertarian from the point of view of most people. I support the libertarian (and Libertarian) agenda pretty much without caveat. I also happen to think that anarchy will have a very libertarian politics supervening over it. But, I could be wrong about that. If push comes to shove (and it will, at least in tiny ways), I will take anarchy. As, for example, the RKBA example: a rights absolutist will have to admit that a thermonuclear weapon is not really different from an assault rifle, from the point of view of being "arms". Both are useful for the militia to deter the state. Now most people, even libertarians, would be uncomfortable with the idea of just anyone with a nuclear device. That's an ideological problem. To an anarchist, it's not, because "rights" as such, while convenient ways to think of what the system will produce, are not reified in the system. The protection companies (if that's what evolves) can easily decide to allow their clients to have guns, but not nukes. They are businesses and they don't have to be ideological.

How can a person espouse a system without knowing exactly what it will produce? Well, it's easy to me. I see that most people are generally good, at least publicly, and will fight at least a bit for justice. Give them freedom, and I think it is enough; over time they will create a system, whatever it may be, that will work pretty well. If they keep the simple axioms of liberty in mind, it will be a great system. If they don't, it will have problems, but it will still probably be OK. In this, I point to the current systems that have evolved around us. Sure, they are statist and ultimately unacceptable. They violate rights all over the place, are inconsistent and even dangerous occasionally. Nonetheless, they more-or-less work most of the time. That's not too bad for systems designed and/or evolved without a modern understanding of economics and human evolution. Knowing so much more, we can do even better. And we will.

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