Libertarian Party Anarchist Caucus
In the great tradition of jumbo shrimp and government intelligence, yesterday marked the founding of the Libertarian Party Anarchist Caucus by Matt Harris and Paulie Cannoli, and I quickly became a proud member.
It has long been my view that anarchists mingling with minarchists is a very good thing, and that discussing the principles and empirical evidence for market-based law and security will do a lot to swell the ranks of committed anarchists. In my view, most of the minarchists in the LP haven’t consciously studied and rejected anarchism: they have simply continued to carry the common view of anarchy as chaos which is implanted in virtually all of us, and accepted government as a necessary evil rather than as a good. Others simply don’t believe they can effectively persuade people of the validity of anarchy, again more a function of lack of study than anything else.
The LPAC has indicated a commitment to open discussion of anarchy within the LP, while continuing to remain friends and allies with minarchists. The founders also have a sense of humor, which makes for a more pleasant world. Their announcement:
Tom Knapp has offered a more serious argument for it on his site:
I believe that the LP has been a useful halfway house between the status quo and market anarchism over its decades, though I agree it is hard to know the opportunity cost. My own view is that, so long as the LP exists, anarchist involvement is good for the cause of liberty, both to affect the message it sends and to persuade many of the minarchists that, as I have quipped repeatedly, there is something wrong with the theory that free market capitalism is best protected by a socialist monopoly. I see libertarian minarchists as having the same commitment to respect for people’s lives as anarchists, but with a failure to see that institutionalized aggression is the primary threat to that respect rather than its best champion. But many of them DO eventually see that, as the government never stops providing lessons.
I regret there aren’t more anarchists in the LP willing to take the time to discuss the empirical evidence for market-based law and security, but I understand there are other projects where many feel they can make more useful contributions (and I do try and support some of them with a little time and money). For my part, I’m quite pleased by the formation of the LPAC. They have opened a Yahoo discussion group, though it has barely gotten started at this point, at:
They also have a Facebook page at: