Market-Anarchy, Liberty, and Pluralism

For and Against the State: New Philosophical Readings. John T. Sanders (Editor) and Jan Narveson (Editor), pp. 63-80 (1996)

Posted: 7 Nov 2019

Date Written: 1996

Abstract

Private-property anarchy is better than the state in the enhancement of liberty and welfare. Strictly speaking, market exchange is one aspect of private-property anarchy. But I here focus on market-anarchy as that is a main source of confusion and debate. Similarly, pluralism is another aspect of private-property anarchy. I focus on pluralism as an example of a currently popular topic where private-property anarchy is misunderstood. ‘Pluralism’ here means ‘(tolerating) different ways of life’. ‘The market’ means ‘voluntary exchange’. ‘Anarchy’ means ‘no rule’. Both interpersonal liberty and private property are inherently anarchic: no one is ruled to the extent that these exist. They are also naturally pluralist. The state, by contrast, coercively imposes ultimate control and is thus inherently illiberal and naturally Procrustean. Democratic prejudice obscures these facts.

Keywords: market-anarchy, anarchy, liberty, libertarianism, pluralism

Suggested Citation

Lester, J. C., Market-Anarchy, Liberty, and Pluralism (1996). For and Against the State: New Philosophical Readings. John T. Sanders (Editor) and Jan Narveson (Editor), pp. 63-80 (1996) , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3476754

J. C. Lester (Contact Author)

London School of Economics ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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