What Are Some Real Life Examples Of Anarchy On A Large Scale?

There are none that involve a division of knowledge and labor.  The reason being that human beings are extremely hostile to involuntary transfers, and most humans perceive price competition via the local market – as members of an extended family – as involuntary transfer. They percieve quality variation as acceptable but not price competition.   They are correct in this perception, however. This involuntary transfer creates a virtuous cycle of innovation and price reduction, and greater participation in the market by consumers because of it, so we sanction this involuntary transfer by casting it as a virtue.

Secondly, increasing the size of a market requires shared investment. People need a means of making this shared investment.  However, people will not make a shared investment if it is open to privatization. Governmnets have the ability to forcibly extract taxes from the market to use to construct infrastructure (largely, city walls and soldiers to defend them) as well as misuse tax money.  But they also have the ability to create legislative directions, which we call laws, to forbid privatization and free riding of these investments. As such these institutions (governments) make it easier to invest in commons (infrastructure) than would be possible without them, due to the pervasive nature of human free-riding, privatization and corruption.

It is arguable that taxes (fees) of some minimum amount are legitimate fees for preventing free riding on the commons.  However, it has proven very difficult to control the expansion of the commons and the government, and therefore taxes.  As such governments have become instruments of rent-seeking and corruption every time humans have invented them for the purpose of avoiding free-riding and privatization.

This should be the correct, or at least, most correct answer that we currently know how to provide to the near absence of anarchic social structures: to prevent free riding, which all humans find morally objectionable.


Leave a Reply