Even many who are relatively sympathetic to free market minarchist and mutualist ideals where as much as possible is done through voluntary rather than coercive statist mechanisms often have a problem envisaging a system in which no state apparatus exists.  Two of the most common objections are that we at least need a state to administer “justice” and to ensure “national defense”.  Even intellectual heavyweights such as Robert Nozick felt that a de facto “state”, at least at a local level, would emerge from private law enforcement agencies.

So I’m often on the lookout for literature that explains how a private law based society would work, indeed would vastly improve upon the current predominant state run model, and so I am delighted to point my reader to “Chaos Theory”, a pair of short essays, one on “justice” and the other on “national defense” by Robert P Murphy.  It is available as a freely downloadable PDF at the Mises.org site.  You can also buy a dead tree version (though I find delivery costs too high at Mises.org to justify having these sent to the UK).

It also provides further illustration of the point I was making in my previous piece on how respect for private property and contracts frees us from the need for a state.

I have also prepared an MP3 audiobook version, which is attached to this post.  It’s mainly just for me to listen to again on the way to work, but if you’d prefer to listen than to read, and can face my dulcet tones, feel free to use it, Robert Murphy has given his permission.  It’s only an hour and a half long, so you can judge how long it will take you to read this very accessible introduction to some of the ideas involved.

Particularly on the “justice” side, I can see ways in which the Mutualist ideal of creating such institutions and mechanisms within the current system could be successful.  Since the non-aggression principle would not rely on the same ability conferred on state agents (i.e. the police) to arrest someone, there is no reason why such mechanisms could not operate successfully on private property at present.

Chaos Theory, Robert Murphy, PDF

Chaos Theory – Two Essays on Market Anarchism

Justice and defence the anarchist way