Is Libertarianism the same as Anarchism?

In your mind, is Libertarianism the same as Anarchism?

No, I should not have added a third option. No, I will not redo this with more options. Some things really are yes-or-no questions.

I believe that Ayn Randian libertarianism is a form of social contract anarchy. We agree to use the gold standard but not much else and do what you will shall be the whole of law. Even the most extreme version of Anarchism will not tolerate unjustified murder. In other words both cede the most limited form of social control, to the state. So Yes


No, most libertarians including Milton Freedman, Ron Paul, Ayn Rand, Gary Johnson, and others are minarchists not anarcho-capitalists. The only major exception is Murray Rothbard.

No. Or more like “Hell to the no!”

Despite what the redwashing “anarchocapitalists” may say, you can not have meaningful anarchism with capitalism. Just…no.

Most libertarians believe a government is needed to play the roll of “policeman” for protecting your rights against people who want to infringe upon your rights. In other words, libertarians believe you do not possess the means to fully protect yourself against people who want to take away your rights, so a government is needed to protect you against them (using laws and guns).

Guys, this is an easy question with a factual answer. IMHO is the wrong forum.

Anarchists do not want a government. Libertarians do want a government. So, they are different.

Since you are talking about big-L Libertarians, then yes, they are the same as Anarchists. The political philosophy of the groups is irrelevant, since neither has a coherent one. They are just people with little dicks who redirect their feelings of inadequacy against the government. Surprising, since they are mainly directed against the US Government, that only one that tolerates them in the first place.

A Libertarian would object to such an authoritarian stance! :slight_smile: But to fit in around here, you should have included the option of “Somalia”.

No. Libertarians want a government. They just want a much smaller one.

Well, no, this is not really “Yes or No” question. Libertarianism* at it’s most extreme* is so close to anarchism as to make no difference. But *mainstream *Libertarianism is not.

This Libertarianism and Anarchism can be compared to two circles in a venn diagram.

Venn diagrams are just a government conspiracy to take away our rights.

Neither. There are actually too many definitions of both to be able to say there are meaningful–in the sense of denotative–differences or meaningful overlap between two terms without clear meaning.

But etymologically, anarchism is “lack of rulers” and the idea came from anti-aristocratic reformers in 19th-Century Europe. Libertarianism is about liberty, and could mean any damn thing you want.

Overlap, but not really the same thing.

But modern “libertarians” can be property-rights minarchists with a rebellious pose, and modern “anarchists” can also be property-rights minarchists with a rebellious pose, so there you go.

No, if only for the reason that no one can agree on what either term means.

However, my own Humpty Dumpty* definition goes “A libertarian is an anarchist who doesn’t hate private property”.

*“When I use a word, it means exactly what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.”

Nope. Anarchism is a black/white proposition. Anarchists do not want a government. Libertarianism is one philosophy for how to run a government.

I suppose you think “an empty bowl” is a flavor of ice cream? And “bald” is a hair color?

The Null Case. :stuck_out_tongue:

The only self-proclaimed “Anarchist” that I have ever met had an incredibly naive philosophy and no real answers to basic issues. He felt that everyone should live in small villages without any form of organized government. That everyone would provide what they could and barter with each other for services.

When I asked him what happened with Serial Killers, his answer was only “everyone would shun them and they’d eventually move on”. Eventually as in after they’d killed everyone and taken their stuff? Or they’d have their feelings hurt and move away? He just kept repeating that people would shun evil people. Which doesn’t seem to be the case in the real world…

So what about law enforcement? How do people get protected from wrongdoing or punished for the same? People will protect each other and shun wrongdoers. Ok, so then vigilante justice where the wrong people get accused and killed or driven off for petty small group political reasons and there’s no one to appeal to? Oh, other people would help those wrongly accused. So small group feuds and gang warfare as the rule of the day then?

So when people needed help? Oh, people would band together to help them. Really? Like they do in the real world where people starve to death or live in poverty in the midst of wealth?

Ok, so what happens when there is a drought and famine? They’d send word that they needed help and barter for food. Ok, so they’d be forced to surrender their possessions to stay alive? Who would transport this food hundreds of miles and on what roads given there is no government? Oh, people would do that because it was the right thing to do, or for barter. And the roads would be maintained by the people in the closest villages because it’s in their best interests.

See where this goes? Pure Pollyanna delusion.

Chimera, to be fair, anarchists don’t have the market cornered on “not thinking things through.” Just look at Europe right now for an example of current American liberal thinking run amok and the consequences thereof.

Also, for every political philosophy, you can find brilliant proponents and idiotic proponents.

(Not that I’m defending anarchism–I think it’s completely absurd and unworkable and really just a word game when it comes down to it.)

Another major difference: a lot of the people who use the label “anarchist” are also pacifists; libertarians, not so much.

It almost sounds like anarchists (by that definition) believe Property is original sin; eliminate it and no one will ever be greedy or selfish, and will tirelessly work for the good of their fellow man out of altruism.

Yup, the STar Trek Federation :stuck_out_tongue: or Karl Marx Socialism world view.

We Humans tend to invent a lot of systems (Political, Economic, Ideological) in which we assume that people will act in the best way possible. Unfortunately, it isn’t true. Nor will Humans necessarily work toward their own self-interest, or act in logical or consistent ways.

Modern Communism (central planning, et al) failed spectacularly because people realized the flaws and exploited them, and mostly people did not, as expected, suddenly all work for the common good. Likewise Anarchy has to make a boatload of assumptions (even if they’re not the same assumptions this guy made) in order to acheive anything close to being workable at any level of operation. But it is the same for Conservatism and Liberalism and Socialism and Fascism.

Economic models and theories have the same flaw of working based on assumptions that cannot possibly be watertight given the variability of Human Nature.

Now if there is an Anarchist on this board who can explain their philosophy better, I would love to hear it. They just need to be ready for people to point out the holes in it.

I agree.

It’s conceivable that this sentence is literally true in a sense other than you intended. American liberalism is pretty big on owing debts to banks, which is a big part of the problem in Europe.

But I’m not sure how the European center-right parties are, “American liberal thinking.” Is it something to do with neoliberalism, the World Bank, and the IMF? Does it go back to the Marshall Plan?

Or do you just like to tar everyone apparently to the left of Nixon with the same brush? :stuck_out_tongue: