It seems good at the outset to define what exactly “anarcho-capitalism” is, and to lay out a base for some proceeding posts. The simplest definition for “anarcho-capitalism” would be “capitalism without rulers”. In the anarcho-capitalist model of society, the state is eliminated and all voluntary transactions are allowed. The only rule of law is the principle of non-aggression; meaning, I can’t harm your person or your property or use threats of violence to coerce you. In the anarcho-capitalist system, individual liberty is of the upmost importance, and to put it plainly, everything that is not pre-aggression or a threat of aggression is permissible. The Wikipedia entry on anarcho-capitalism is not terrible, and should give the reader a general idea of the economic and social philosophy. It should also be noted that anarcho-capitalism differs from anarcho-socialism in that in the former system, individual property rights are recognized.
Moving on now, for all my Christian readers, there will probably be some immediate objections to the idea that prostitution, drug use, and many other activities believed to be immoral should be designated ‘not illegal’. It is my intention to address these kinds of general objections and other biblical defenses for the tenants of ANCAP in a series of following posts,but for now I would like to lay the foundation from a biblical perspective, the ideal social system Yahweh instituted for His people.
“In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.” – Judges 17:6 (NASB)
We are often taught as Christians, that the political and social landscape described in the text of Judges 17 is one of immorality, and rebellion towards God. This most assuredly might be the case if one was to assume that there were no Israelites that sought after the will of the Lord, but to those that sought to keep the commands and recognized Yahweh as their King, how wonderful life must have been. It is important to understand that no king was given to rule over Israel until they rejected Yahweh as their King and asked for someone to rule over them “like all the nations”( 1 Samuel 8:5-6). This was exceedingly displeasing in the sight of Samuel, to the point where Yahweh sought to console him by assuring Samuel “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them.” In the mind of Yahweh, His children searching for someone to rule over them was tantamount to their rejection of His rule. To put it plainly; in Yahweh’s ideal, the system He set up for His children, there was to be no man ruling over them, only Himself.
As we have seen from the definition of “anarchy” given above, “without rulers” or, only Yahweh as King is initially how the children of Yahweh were intended to live. Yahweh even speaks through the prophet Samuel, and tells the people what will be the result of their seeking for a ruler over them like all the nations. See if you notice any parallels to our own times.
“This will be the procedure of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and place them for himself in his chariots and among his horsemen and they will run before his chariots. He will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and of fifties, and some to do his plowing and to reap his harvest and to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will also take your daughters for perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and your vineyards and your olive groves and give them to his servants. He will take a tenth of your seed and of your vineyards and give to his officers and to his servants. He will also take your male servants and your female servants and your best young men and your donkeys and use them for his work. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his servants. Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.” – 1 Samuel 8:11-18
It seems evident at this point, that the political and social system given to the people of the Most High, was one in which no sole individual or group of individuals ruled over the majority, or any percentage of the people. Strictly speaking, every man did what was right in his own eyes, within the framework of the Law of Moses, and this is exactly how Yahweh wanted it. It was only as a concession, and amidst warnings of what was to come, that Yahweh gave Israel a king. I think one could even make the case, that such ruler-ship was an act of judgement upon the Israelites for their rejection of the rule of the Most High in favor of being “like all the nations”.
Now that the groundwork has been laid for a biblical model of the “without rulers” social system, it is my desire in future posts within this series to lay out, from a biblical perspective; moral implications, the case for property rights, what exactly is evangelism, freedom and liberty of the individual, and the pros and cons of the ANCAP system from a biblical perspective. I hope to see you then.