A Guide to the Legitimacy of State Authority for Minarchists

The point of a legitimate monopoly on the use of force is, at a fundamental level, to limit the level of violence. Insofar as it accomplishes this aim the state is superior to anarchism; insofar as this monopoly unleashes unchecked or insufficiently checked violence, it is not. In a situation where multiple agents try to extract rents through the use of force a state modeled simply as a stable protection racket- forget theories of justice or any larger scope of political philosophy- still pays for itself; in a society that largely understands the virtues of cooperation where apathy and where badly calibrated moral outrage over, say, drug laws leads to the disproportionate incarceration of millions of lower-class citizens of minority backgrounds, it does not.

Inspired by: http://thenewinquiry.com/essays/no-kony-is-an-island-death-and-profit-in-central-africa/ , although I didn’t read the whole thing, because it says far too little in far too many words.

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2 thoughts on “A Guide to the Legitimacy of State Authority for Minarchists

  1. Well said!

    And I think many people are starting to recognize state power as the primary instigator of violence in their lives, rather than a source of calm.

    • Yeah? I suppose that varies a lot by region. I’d also be interested to know what the opinions are here amongst “middle class” people and amongst “tribals”, vaguely defined, and amongst the urban poor and all that.

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