Labels - Why I am not an Anarcho-Capitalist

Why I am not an Anarcho-Capitalist

The title is sensationalist, so before you get too excited…


  • Labels as Categories
  • Labels are problematic
  • The Anarcho-Capitalism Movement
  • Moral Appeals, and NAP Ambiguity
  • Dogmatism, and Black-and-White Mentalities
  • Failure to recognize intangibles

Labels as Categories

The title of this article, *"Why I am not an Anarcho-Capitalist"* is perhaps slightly misleading. I, JamesCarlin, support the abolition of mandatory government, while supporting strong property norms. To the best of my awareness, the closest label or categorization for that is "Anarcho-Capitalism." What is labeling good for?

  • Labels as categories are highly useful for brevity and efficiency.
  • Labeling also provides a means of community. AnCaps may band together, research subjects, and advance the subject.
  • Labeling allows for ease of finding related materials. LMYTFY "Anarcho-Capitalism."

However, I strongly hesitate to call myself an Anarcho-Capitalist. why is that?

Labels are Problematic

Labeling, especially self-labeling carries many explicit and implicit adverse implications. I could not hope to adequately address or 'prove' them all within a few short paragraphs. Each of the following points could easily be expanded into it's own article, so instead I merely suggest that reader takes the following into consideration:

  • Labels are package-deals. *i.e. A label may include A, B, and C which are desirable, but D and E which are not. Rather than merely adopting only A,B, and C, many fall into the trap of implicitely adopting D and E as well.*
  • Labeling often results in self-identity and self-stereotyping. Beyond mere categorization, a person attempts to adhere to the explicit and implicit subtleties of the label.
  • Labeling enables manipulation. *i.e. "If you were really an AnCap, you would X, Y, and Z."*
  • Labeling inhibits free-choice and free-thought. *i.e. "I'm an AnCap and AnCaps believe/advocate X,Y, and Z"* or *"All AnCaps believe in the NAP"*
  • Labeling carries baggage. *i.e. "Anarcho-Capitalists are 20-something year old male college students with an obsession for philosophy, computers, and meticulous debates"*

The examples above are not intended to be accurate in all cases, but rather demonstrate how labels are trend towards self-reinforcing, stereotyping or a variety of other problems. Applying the above to something one strongly disagrees with *"i.e. demorats / republicans / etc"* will likely result in more obvious examples.

The AnCap Movement

The *"Anarcho-Capitalism"* community often behaves in a somewhat tribal manner. Recognizing tribal behavior from within the 'tribe' is often difficult, and as such it's best to examine 'tribal' behaviors from other 'tribes.' For that, I highly recommend the following articles from

As much as I agree with the core values of ownership and anti-servitude, the movement itself sometimes drifts in directions I strongly disagree with.

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