Famous entrepreneurs like Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar

I just listened to an interview with Roderick Long (haven’t read the article yet), but I wasn’t super impressed.  He argues that if the state does not produce law and order that this provides an incentive for entrepreneurs in the private sector to find ways to produce these things.  Well, duh, they do.  They invent the state.  In a word, tyrants gain control.

Which is what we should expect.  We all know that businessmen try to gain monopolies by government power all the time.  So why wouldn’t someone who started a “law and order” business not try to gain exactly that kind of monopoly?

If it were so simple, then we would never have seen the rise of states in the first place.

I can’t help but like Long, and he had better moments than the one I’m commenting on, but Libertarian intellectuals need to stop living in an obvious fantasy.  Medieval Iceland didn’t get “law and order” from an entrepreneur.  That is like getting language from a business startup.  Icelandic society and customs produced law and order cooperatively, without any “entrepreneur.”  (And, by the way, the Althing was not a legislature. Otherwise, it would not qualify as an anarchist precedent.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *