Anarcho-capitalist literature

Anarcho-capitalism has been the subject of a number of works of literature, both nonfiction and fiction.


The following is a partial list of notable nonfiction works discussing anarcho-capitalism. Works by Bastiat, de Molinari, and others were written before the terms "anarcho-capitalism" or "libertarian" existed. These thinkers and their writings are often considered the predecessors of modern market anarchism. Anarcho-capitalism has been heavily influenced by and intertwined with the Austrian School of economics, reflected in works by Rothbard and others.

* Barnett, Randy E.: "The Structure of Liberty"
* Bastiat, Frederic
** "The Law"
** "The State"
* Benson, Bruce
** ""
** ""
* Davidson, James Dale and Rees-Mogg, William: "The Sovereign Individual"
* Friedman, David D.: "The Machinery of Freedom"
* Gordon, David: "Secession, State & Liberty"
* Herbert, Auberon: "The Right and Wrong of Compulsion by the State"
* Hess, Karl: [ "The Death of Politics"] , Interview in Playboy, March 1969.
* Hoppe, Hans-Hermann
** ""
** "The Economics and Ethics of Private Property"
** "The Myth of National Defense"
** "A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism"
* Jasay, Anthony de: "The State"
* Konkin, Samuel Edward III: "New Libertarian Manifesto"
* Molinari, Gustave de: "The Production of Security"
* Murphy, Robert P.: ""
* Nock, Albert Jay: "Our Enemy, the State"
* Oppenheimer, Franz: ""
* Rothbard, Murray N.
** "Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature and Other Essays"
** "The Ethics of Liberty"
** ""
** ""
* Spencer, Herbert: "Social Statics"
* Spooner, Lysander
** "Natural Law; or The Science of Justice"
** "No Treason"
** "Let's Abolish Government"
* Edward Stringham: ""
* Tannehill, Linda and Morris: "The Market For Liberty"


Anarcho-capitalism has been examined in certain works of literature, particularly science fiction. Vernor Vinge's short story "The Ungoverned" depicts anarcho-capitalists defending against an invading government. Example contract corporations in this story include Big Al's Protection Racket (a police service) and Justice, Inc. Anarcho-capitalism is also discussed in Vinge's novels "The Peace War" and "Marooned in Realtime", which both occur in the same literary milieu as "The Ungoverned". The short story "Conquest by Default" depicts an anarcho-capitalist alien race which prevents monopolistic groups via antitrust religious customs.

Anarcho-capitalism also plays a major role in Neal Stephenson's novels "Snow Crash" and "The Diamond Age". In "Snow Crash", territory is primarily controlled by corporate franchises, termed "Franchise Operated Quasi-National Entities" such as "Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong" and "Nova Sicilia," with privately-operated police forces and justice systems, where the landscape has been turned into a patchwork quilt of franchise enclave communities, the roads are private entities one subscribes to, and the Federal Government is just one more competitor (albeit an inefficient one losing market share by the day) in a free market for sovereignty services. Its sequel, "The Diamond Age", depicts a more mature anarcho-capitalist society where Common Law and other international private law conventions have evolved into a Common Economic Protocol to which all non-outlaw phyles and FOQNEs subscribe in their own legal systems.

The 1966 novel "The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress", by Robert A. Heinlein, is a fictional exploration of anarcho-capitalism which he calls "rational anarchism." Heinlein's imaginary lunar society has a very limited central government. He speculates on how a society would operate if it had no formal laws or legal system, a private currency, and no social security or other forms of welfare provided by the government. His imaginary society works quite well, although newcomers have a relatively high death rate. However, through one of his characters, Heinlein seems to posit near the end of his book that a true anarcho-capitalist society is inherently unattainable, and will eventually devolve into a traditional statist society.

The "Hostile Takeover Trilogy" by S. Andrew Swann depicts a world called Bakunin that operates on anarcho-capitalist principles, and examines the particular problem of an anarcho-capitalist society defending itself against a statist aggressor when that aggressor hires so many of the Anarcho-capitalism society's own denizens as mercenary forces.

L. Neil Smith's series of novels starting with "The Probability Broach" take place in an alternate history where the United States becomes the "North American Confederacy", which is basically anarcho-capitalist in nature, although there is the vestigial remnant of a government whose Continental Congress might meet every few decades.

J. Neil Schulman's novel, "Alongside Night", features a group called the "agorists" (from a Greek word for "marketplace") who form a literal "underground economy" (in a cavern beneath Manhattan) to practice anarcho-capitalism until their revolution takes over outside society.

Although Ayn Rand often criticized anarcho-capitalists, the heroes in her popular 1957 novel "Atlas Shrugged" create an isolated community with no government, that operates strictly according to the non-aggression principle.

Max Barry's 2003 novel "Jennifer Government" features a form of anarcho-capitalism called "Capitalizm" where US corporations dominate much of the world, with a weak, underpowered, privatised government.

Ken MacLeod's four-part series "Fall Revolution" deals extensively with several different visions of anarchist societies. "The Stone Canal" deals with the interactions of an individualist anarchist, Johnathon Wilde, who is reborn as a clone into a high-tech anarcho-capitalist society influenced largely by an adversary from his past.

Cecelia Holland's only sci-fi novel "Floating Worlds" depicts an anarchist future earth in the early scenes. In particular it shows how such a system might deal with such issues as unemployment, theft, and poverty.

Related topics

*Libertarian science fiction
*Prometheus Award

Further reading

*Hoppe, Hans-Hermann, [ "Anarcho-Capitalism: An Annotated Bibliography"] , "", December 31, 2001.

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