Hopefully Anonymous (I hope he does not rest in peace) used to recommend I preserve comments made elsewhere. But usually they don’t seem worth the effort. However, recently at Attack the System I started spitting out too many associated ideas that I thought I might have to lay back on the links for fear of tripping a spam filter. So here goes below:

David, part of the problem is, as Bob Black explained in My Anarchism Problem, anarchy itself is rather poorly defined. As Black notes, Kropotkin seemed to think the medieval towns were anarchic. From the other end of the spectrum, Hans Herman Hoppe seems to have a fondness for that era, Spencer Heath’s vertically integrated proprietary communities (”Georgism turned on its head”) are something like it, and your son Patri’s Seasteads are similar. This is also why left-wing critics often deride plumb-line or right-libertarians as feudalists or royalists.

Nick Szabo, who is somewhat libertarian but not an anarchist, has written a lot about feudalism and property rights in jurisdiction. He is quite critical of your use of the Coase theorem in discussions of anarcho-capitalism. I’d be interested to hear your response to him.

keith, your note about anarchy being possible within similar communities seems sort of supported by Elinor Ostrom’s work on self-governing commons. David himself made a similar point in his video/lecture on market failure/public goods. I haven’t read it yet, but Ellickson’s “Order Without Law” gives examples of that happening among neighboring farmers in California (though this is an example of people already living under a state). Will Wilkinson did a diavlog a while back with the author of a book criticizing economics called “The Dismal Science”. His main counter-example is the Amish, who are of course a small likeminded religious group who don’t find a state necessary. I apologize if I’m throwing out to many references, but Jane Jacobs’ “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” says one of the major differences between cities & suburbs (or small towns) is the presence of strangers. The mechanisms that smaller communities rely on break down with strangers, whereas cities rely on their heavy presence (yet also having some long-established local figures to play key roles). Cities need to rely more on impersonal interaction and institutions which support them. This helps to explain why, as Ed Glaeser has pointed out, urbanization leads to liberalism.

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