Academic journal article Geopolitics, History and International Relations

Libertarian Anarchy: Against the State

Academic journal article Geopolitics, History and International Relations

Libertarian Anarchy: Against the State

Article excerpt

Libertarian Anarchy: Against the State Gerard Casey (University College Dublin) Continuum: London-New York, 2012, 188 pp. ISBN: 978-1-4411-2552-1

Casey makes the case for libertarian anarchy and for the illegitimacy of the modern state, arguing for the presumptive application of ordinary moral standards to the actions of the state and its agents. The only mode of social organization that is ethically acceptable is anarchy - the spontaneous order that arises from free and mutually acceptable human interactions. Through taxation, the state aggresses against the property of the individual and the free exchange of goods and services in the area of which it claims control (taxation and confiscation are morally equivalent to theft). Much of what is described as capitalism is a form of mercantilism in which certain economic actors seek and obtain privileges from the state in return for their support. Casey holds that the state as we know it today is historically contingent, functionally unnecessary and illegitimate: it is unique among wrongdoers in asserting its legitimacy, has different moral standards applied to its actions, and relies for its effects on force and coercion. The legitimacy of the state cannot be justified by recourse to democratic or constitutional theories, and gets some support from its close connection with natural authority (authority is legitimate power). …

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