Schools of Thought in Classical Liberalism, Part 6: Anarcho-Capitalism
What is an anarchist? Most people associate the word “anarchist” with the political left. However, there are anarchists who advocate for completely unrestricted capitalism, also known as anarcho-capitalistism. Two prominent anarcho-capitalists are Murray Rothbard and David Friedman, both of whom believed there should be no government. Dr. Nigel Ashford discusses the views of Rothbard and Friedman.
Rothbard favors anarcho-capitalism based upon his belief that it is always wrong to use force, except in self-defense. For Rothbard, the government is illegitimate because it relies on coercion. David Friedman, on the other hand, argues for anarcho-capitalism based on empirical evidence. Friedman believes that the market is always more efficient than the government.
Both believe there should be no state at all. Rothbard criticizes government for its use of force, while Friedman criticizes its inefficiency. Both argue that there are free-market alternatives to all government services. While many libertarians favor a minimal state, Rothbard and Friedman suggest that any state is likely to grow well beyond its intended role.