Anarchism and minarchism; no rapprochement possible: Reply to Tibor Machan

Journal of Libertarian Studies 21 (1):61-90 (2007)
THERE HAS BEEN FOR MANY years a tension between the anarcho-capitalist or free-market anarchist, and the limited government or minarchist wings of the libertarian movement. This dispute has both enriched debate within such institutions as the Libertarian Party, the International Society of Individual Liberty, the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and the Cato Institute, and magazines such as Liberty and Reason, and has engendered greater insights as to the core of the overall philosophy shared by both.1 While this intralibertarian debate has had its staunch supporters on either side, for many participants it has not been a pressing issue. After all, modern society resembles neither vision, and present governments will have to be radically reduced in scope and orientation before the divisions between these two alternatives will become a matter of practical interest. Thus many have agreed that this debate, except as a matter of intellectual curiosity, will have no practical relevance until that happy day when present governments are reduced to, say, 5 percent of their present size and influence.2 But intellectual curiosity and political philosophy are integral parts of libertarianism. Accordingly, analysis of government can.
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