I wish to live in a society that is devoid of institutionalized aggression.  I am an antistatist.  However, I am not an Anarchist.  Most people will say that if I am against the state then I am a form of Anarchist.  This is wrong, and I mean very wrong.  Anarchism means no rulers but this is simply a way of putting forth a “flat model democracy.”  The majority of Anarchists believe that this creates political equality because there are no persons who are above them hierarchically.  I do not support this system at all.

Prior to Murray Rothbard, the majority of antistatists supported intervention in the economy and market relationships of others.  There is no doubt that Anarchism as an idea started with William Godwin and he was against private property.  It makes sense that Proudhon and other Anarchists at the very minimum favored restrictions against property because that is the DNA of the Anarchist as passed down from Godwin.  Even Anarchists such as Tucker had caveats to property ownership.

Traditional Anarchists favor market interventions as well.  Spooner railed against the wealthy and the big banks in a way that indicated he did not like the idea of wealth.  Most were vehemently opposed to usury, land rent, and profits.  A true aficionado of anarchist history cannot ignore Anarchism’s relationship to economic intervention.  The two are historically inseparable.

Lastly, Anarchism is a labor movement and this has been the case since the days of Proudhon.  Its primary focus is the promotion and elevation of the laborer in every aspect of society.  It differs from Marxism in only one truly substantial way and that is the Marxist idea that a strong central apparatus must exist in order to implement the goals of communism.  The end result however, which it desires, is the same.  A non-hierarchical system based on material equality.

This is why I am not an Anarchist.  I am an Autarchist, and like many confused AnCaps had wrongly classified myself as an Anarchist.  The meaning of the word Autarchism is derived from Greek just like the meaning of Anarchism.  Auto = self and Arch for Rule means “Self-Rule”.  The Autarchist is a self-ruler; the dictator of himself.  Let me iterate what makes an Autarchist different from an Anarchist.

 

  1. Autarchists do not believe in “direct democracy” because they know that this is majority rule. They know that any so called “Anarchist” who advocates majority rule is not really seeking a world with “no rulers.”  Those so-called antistatists are actually a form of Minarchist who prefers a minimal state with direct democracy as a means of collectivization.  Majority rule, is still rule by somebody over somebody else.  Instead, Autarchists seek only a private law system, because they know that under any system what really matters will always be justice.  If justice prevails without the state, then what more is needed?  Certainly not some system of dictatorship by the majority.
  2. Anarchists are against property, pure and simple. Even those Anarchists who approve of property ownership do so with caveats.  Such as, only allowing the individual as much property as he can occupy and use at any one time.  This is not the case with Autarchists.  The Autarchist believes that property of any kind may be owned as long as it was acquired justly.  Property may be owned that is not in use, and the owner is entitled to exclusive authority over how its utilized.
  3. Anarchists favor intervention in the market through the use of aggressive violence. Just a few of the economic activities they wish to stop are land rents/landlordism, usury, speculation, property ownership, and even the abolition of all money in some cases.  To be fair, some do not understand the difference between fiat currency and sound money.  The Autarchist believes that voluntary peaceful trade should not be interfered with for any reason whatsoever.  Autarchists also understand the difference between voluntary peaceful trade and criminal activities such as the slave trade, or extortion, and many Anarchists do not.
  4. Anarchism is a labor movement created to promote and elevate the laborer above all other groups within society. Herein lies a fundamental difference between Anarchists and Autarchists.  Autarchism is not a movement which elevates one class over another.  It is an ideology which places primacy on property ownership and contracts.

 

Autarchism was first laid out by Robert Lefevre and it is very close to the ideas of Murray Rothbard’s Anarcho-Capitalism.  Lefevre explained Autarchism is the following article Autarchy Versus Anarchy,

“Autarchy as separate and distinct from anarchy is a relatively current development and perhaps cannot fully be shown as an independent line of thought until it is able to throw off the intellectual shackles attached to it by scholars in the field. Those who wish to preserve the term anarchy as a useful means of identifying anti-statists will be eager to add the names of Autarchists to the roll of anarchists, either to extend the latter’s influence by placing the names of eminent men within the socialist framework, or to discredit antistatists by linking them with a questionable doctrine. But the line of demarcation should properly be drawn between antistatists who are socialists and antistatists who are in favor of private capitalism.”

 

The term Anarcho-Capitalist causes many to erroneously associate stateless private capitalism with Anarchism.  Those who perpetuate this error will find themselves in a position that requires them to move to the left or deal with contrary historical evidence.  However, if one recognizes that stateless private capitalism is not Anarchism, then this cognitive dissonance may be avoided.  There are essentially two groups who claim to be Anarcho-Capitalists.  The first group are those who do not support private property and free markets to their fullest extent and these should be considered “Market Anarchists.”

There is a second group that is described by Robert Lefevre and by Murray Rothbard and those should be considered “Autarchists.”  If your views on property and economics follow those of Rothbard and Lefevre closely then you are an Autarchist regardless of your views on abortion and other social issues.  This difference fully explains why Anarchists and Anarcho-Capitalists seem to be at odds about so much. It is because, like me, many so-called AnCaps are not Anarchists at all.

Many will reject this idea because they have for so long associated themselves as Anarchists.  They might even be angry at me for claiming they are anything else but Anarchists.  The point remains however that the vast amount of historical evidence is against them.  While we are proponents of a stateless society we are also proponents of private capitalism and that makes us Autarchists not Anarchists