I went to the emissions testing place a couple days ago, to get my car tested. Passed, by the way. While I was standing in the waiting area, they completed the test of the person before me. She mutters, "what a joke" on the way out, past me. Anyway, that's what it sounded like. And, it probably is a joke. There are many exemptions to the testing, and the limits don't seem particularly stringent. Every month I see some car on the road visibly belching smoke.

Nonetheless, I did it reasonably cheerfully.

But wait, you say. Aren't anarchists are supposed to hate that sort of thing? Which reminds me of the last time I was in Boston, my brother asking me "what about traffic lights"? In anarchy, don't you get to disobey any and all laws?

Anarchy, at least for those who can think rationally, is not about "no law". It's about no state. No sovereignty principle. Oh, I know there are plenty of left-wing "anarchists" who think that all authority should be abolished. At least, there exist people who ideologize that way. But they obviously have little contact with the real world. In the real world, there are rules surrounding almost anything people do. Some of the rules are imposed; you have to get the car inspected or else you can't drive. Some are imposed by social pressure: you don't cut in line. We must have rules to live together; that's part of what is implied by scarcity.

Anarchocapitalists believe that private property is the means to implement rules. Well, everyone believes that; what we believe is that private property is both necessary and sufficient to get enough rules for social harmony, peace, prosperity, and justice.

Getting back to car inspections and traffic lights: the roads belong to the state. They own 'em. So, they dictate the rules upon their use. And by "dictate" I do mean both senses of the word. Their rules don't have to be nice; they might put a $5000/year price on the driver's license. It's their right to do so.

Practically speaking, democracy does strongly limit what the state will actually do with its property. So I don't worry about flagrant abuse. (Nonetheless, private ownership would be better.)

So if they can dictate the rules on roads, what about other things? What is there to complain about for an anarchist? Well, mainly that they do, in practice, also dictate the rules for me. They take my property; they threaten me if I possess certain things, perform certain actions that hurt nobody. If they owned me, owned my body, that would be their right. But people are not roads; they should not be owned. Yet - they are. I am owned. You are owned.

The state should not own me. You shouldn't own me. Please, stop it.

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