Is Government Inevitable? Comment on Holcombe's Analysis
Peter T. Leeson
George Mason University - Department of Economics
Edward Peter Stringham
Independent Review, Vol. 9, No. 4, pp. 543-549, Spring 2005
Inspired by Holcombe's (2004) argument that government is inevitable, this paper reconsiders some of his claims. We contend that his argument fails on two counts: it both fails to show that anarchy must break down and that limited government will not. The arguments Holcombe raises against the viability of anarchy can be applied to the viability of limited government, and the arguments he uses for the viability of limited government can be applied to the viability of anarchy. We discuss the problems with Holcombe's theoretical arguments as well as historical evidence that casts doubt on his claims.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 15
Date posted: September 18, 2010