Anarchy, libertarianism, and monopoly

Jeff Bone (
Wed, 20 May 1998 02:47:17 -0500

Inspired by our recent debate, I went back and reread "Anarchy, State,
and Utopia" by Robert Nozick. Good book, you politico / philosophers
ought to check it out. It reminded me of something interesting: the
basis of anarchic thought is actually anti-monopoly. In the most basic
case, the monopoly anarchists object to is the monopoly on use of force
that is a de facto requirement and attribute of the "state." In
general, though, the objection stands: anarchists are anti-monopoly,
anti-"restriction of individual right to choose." Given that
libertarianism is a particularly well-defined and attenuated form of
anarchy, I find it really interesting that common perception should be
that libertarian free-marketers should on principle object to anti-trust
action. It's clear that most do, but isn't it interesting that the
monopolies are "bad" in one context and "okay" in another?