Quote of the Day: Anarcho-Capitalist "Freedom"

Quoth Ludwig von Mises (H/t to An Anarchist FAQ)

It cannot be denied that Fascism and similar movements aiming at the establishment of dictatorships are full of the best intentions and that their intervention has, for the moment, saved European civilisation. The merit that Fascism has thereby won for itself will live eternally in history.” [Liberalism, p. 51]

Yes, Fascism has really saved civilization. Why? Because it didn’t let Capitalism go down of course. Thus we see the classic example of “Anarcho”-Capitalist where Anarchism is meant to imply Anti-Statism but only when it’s in the interests of the Plutocracy.

And yet, many people still promote these ruling-class apologetics as the only true “Freedom”.

20 thoughts on “Quote of the Day: Anarcho-Capitalist "Freedom"

  1. two things to note here: 1 – Mises was emphatically not an anarchist of any stripe and 2 – this is one hell of a quotation to cherry-pick.

    Immediately preceding:

    So much for the domestic policy of Fascism. That its foreign policy, based as it is on the avowed principle of force in international relations, cannot fail to give rise to an endless series of wars that must destroy all of modern civilization requires no further discussion. To maintain and further raise our present level of economic development, peace among nations must be assured. But they cannot live together in peace if the basic tenet of the ideology by which they are governed is the belief that one's own nation can secure its place in the community of nations by force alone.

    And immediately following:

    But though its policy has brought salvation for the moment, it is not of the kind which could promise continued success. Fascism was an emergency makeshift. To view it as something more would be a fatal error.

    1. This is one hell of apologetic.

      So what is Mises saying? That if Capitalism is about to collapse, a little dictatorial bloodletting to put things in order is appropriate? As long as it's not maintained for too long there's no problem? Hell, he even thinks that Fascism should be praised for this "merit".

      Mises might not have been an anarchist but his followers certainly seem to think that his ideas flow to that end naturally. Of course he wasn't an anarchist and fortunately neither are the "Anarcho"-Capitalists of the "Austrian" school

      1. So, anarchists are all anti-semites because Proudhon was? Fantastic logic on display here.

        Why this blind spot of hatred? It detracts from an otherwise excellent blog.

        As for AnCaps being anarchists – they believe that the state is evil and want a society based upon free voluntary cooperation without the violence of state, or any violence which is not in self defense. They seem more anarchistic to me than those 'anarchists' who practice propaganda by the deed and those 'anarchists' who seek to enforce a way of life upon others (okay, this does include some self described AnCaps).

        Anarcho-Capitlaism was a poor choice of name since anarchists generally use the original meaning for the term rather than the voluntary cooperation meaning, and yes, many AnCaps are idiots, but the same goes for all other branches of anarchism.

        From what I've seen the anarchist movement as a whole needs to grow up and stop mud-slinging and instead engage in dialogue, it might be discovered that there's more in common with each other than previously thought. If not, then at least being you will know more about each other's views and will be able to critique them more solidly (and in a manner which is far more likely to convince).

        1. Oh, I do agree that this is a reprehensible comment from Mises. I also hold that Mises 'capitalism' was exploitative and based upon the appropriation of property from the labouring classes.
          That does not invalidate all of Mises' insights, or those of his followers. In the same way, Marx's failings do not invalidate everything he wrote, and the even bigger failings of his followers do not invalidate them either.

          1. You are right, that the ideas of Mises should not invalidate all of the AnCap movement but the problem is that this kind of mentality has generally persisted in all of neoliberalism. For example Milton Friedman was more than happy himself to do economic planning under a junta (Chile).

            In any case, it is not these kind of quotes that invalidate the movement, it's the whole ideology and methodology which ends up breeding the mentality that would make such quotes.

          2. You are right, that the individual ideas of Mises should not invalidate all of the AnCap movement but the problem is that this kind of mentality has generally persisted in all of neoliberalism. For example Milton Friedman was more than happy himself to do economic planning under a junta (Chile).

            In any case, it is not these kind of quotes that invalidate the movement, it's the whole ideology and methodology which ends up breeding the mentality that would make such quotes.

        2. Why this blind spot of hatred? It detracts from an otherwise excellent blog.

          The dislike have for Neoliberalism is for the same reason I dislike all apologists for exploitation and the actions of the ruling class. I dislike organised religion too for example. Thus I take every opportunity I get to expose their ideological bankrupcy.

        3. Anarcho-Capitlaism was a poor choice of name since anarchists generally use the original meaning for the term rather than the voluntary cooperation meaning, and yes, many AnCaps are idiots, but the same goes for all other branches of anarchism.

          There can be no voluntary-cooperation without the original meaning of the term (ie egalitarianism). Without it, this voluntary cooperation is simply a mockery. Rather, "Anarcho"-Capitalism is a poor choice of name because they equate Anarchism with simple Anti-Statism.

        4. if not, then at least being you will know more about each other's views and will be able to critique them more solidly (and in a manner which is far more likely to convince).

          The problem is that we already understand the AnCap views and there is a very solid critique against them. The fact that they persist means that the only attitude left is mockery and distancing ourselves from an ideology of apologetics for the ruling class.

      2. I think (based on a cursory examination of that chapter in Liberalism) that Mises clearly states that he believes fascism to have been a knee-jerk reaction to Stalinism, and in comparison, the lesser of two evils. Remember that Mises was also a firm believer in the idea that government was merely a tool, a means to achieving ends, and not evil in its own right. (from Liberty and Property) It's evident from context that he's not singing praises to Mussolini and Hitler.

  2. They seem more anarchistic to me than those 'anarchists' who practice propaganda by the deed and those 'anarchists' who seek to enforce a way of life upon others (okay, this does include some self described AnCaps).

    You see, this is the kind of effect that AnCaps has on the understanding of the term. Anarchism is not simply about not having a state hierarchy above you, it's about not having any hierarchy above you. Under "Anarcho"-Capitalism you trade the hierarchy of the state with the hierarchy of private property. For if anything, the submission of the individual mind during wage-slavery is nothing more than hierarchical rule.

    Anarchists do not seek to enforce any way of life, but rather to stop this enforcement by people who would replace one despotic ruler with another in the name of freedom. The "freedom" to choose masters.

  3. They seem more anarchistic to me than those 'anarchists' who practice propaganda by the deed and those 'anarchists' who seek to enforce a way of life upon others (okay, this does include some self described AnCaps).

    You see, this is the kind of effect that AnCaps has on the understanding of the term. Anarchism is not simply about not having a state hierarchy above you, it's about not having any hierarchy above you. Under "Anarcho"-Capitalism you trade the hierarchy of the state with the hierarchy of private property. For if anything, the submission of the individual mind during wage-slavery is nothing more than hierarchical rule.

    Anarchists do not seek to enforce any way of life, but rather to stop this enforcement by people who would replace one despotic ruler with another in the name of freedom. The "freedom" to choose masters.

  4. I think (based on a cursory examination of that chapter in Liberalism) that Mises clearly states that he believes fascism to have been a knee-jerk reaction to Stalinism, and in comparison, the lesser of two evils. Remember that Mises was also a firm believer in the idea that government was merely a tool, a means to achieving ends, and not evil in its own right. (from Liberty and Property) It's evident from context that he's not singing praises to Mussolini and Hitler.

    1. Then we need to add misinformation to his other failings as Stalinism rose to prominense very much as a reaction to European imperialism against the newly fledged USSR, the tip of which was Fascism and later Nazism.

      In any case, I am not saying that Mises was evil, I'm saying that like a true apologist of the ruling class, he takes a stance appropriate to his nature, and when the working class gets unruly, he fully backs "evil means" long enough to put it down.

        1. Also, when I say "working class" I do not direct my words specifically to the USSR but also for example on the putting down of Italian workers and unions, which was the first course of action by the Fascists.

  5. I don't have to suggest anything. The Russian Revolution WAS a working class uprising. It was hijacked by authoritarian leaders who excused their actions with the fact that a bunch of imperial nations were invading them. Once power was centralized and Stalin took over, he was able to keep industrilizing and militarizing on the excuse that the fascist were outright hostile and preparing for confrontation.

    The hijacking on the Russian revolution would not have been possible without imperialism threatening them.

  6. Wow, that was a bunch of garbage! Fascism causes riots and a permanent lower class. We see the foolishness in this quote, if you just study history. Has it worked a few times…temporarily. It'll be the cause of more murders and hatred than our republican democracy ever did.

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