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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/9226/israel-and-palestine-a-statist-war/

Israel and Palestine: A Statist War

January 13, 2009 by

Violence is of course a hallmark of the conflict. On the one hand, writes Markus Bergstrom, Islamist nationalists in Palestine carry out suicide bombings and grenade attacks against various targets in Israel, as they consider the Israeli government to be illegally occupying “Palestinian” land. On the other hand, the Israeli government bombs Palestinian areas where it claims terrorists are residing, often hitting and killing civilians instead. All these violent attacks incite counterattacks from the opposite party of the conflict, thus creating a unremitting spiral of violence.

The problem, however, isn’t which side is right, i.e., which of the two governments is entitled to control all or parts of the Israeli/Palestinian territory. The problem is the very existence of these two governments to begin with — and the fact that they lay claims to any land at all. FULL ARTICLE


Ireland January 13, 2009 at 9:34 am

If I recall correctly, Mises acknowledged some role of the state, to provide for the order needed by the market and society. In my humble understanding this translates to some governmental roles in civil order, justice and defense areas.

Now with the Palestinian rockets still coming after the withdrawal and fence and whatever, the current situation would seem to fall roughly there. The article however takes it further and refuses any gowernment altogether: “The problem is the very existence of these two governments [...]“.

Are there some theoretical works that give credibility to this “no-government” stance? Thanks in advance for links and opinions. (Yet more thanks for observing the “intelligent and civil” part to the comments, to save us from anarchist/minarchist flamewar.)

subzero January 13, 2009 at 9:41 am

Ireland writes,

Are there some theoretical works that give credibility to this “no-government” stance?

I’d say no. The Mises institute has been hijacked by anarchists, who use Mises’ prestige to promote their own wacky ideas, many of which Mises explicitly disapproved.

Mike January 13, 2009 at 9:47 am

“I’d say no. The Mises institute has been hijacked by anarchists, who use Mises’ prestige to promote their own wacky ideas, many of which Mises explicitly disapproved.”

Hijacked? The MI was founded by anarchists. What are you talking about?

Berend de Boer January 13, 2009 at 9:49 am

Quote: “To end the ongoing violence in the region, many pro-Palestinians are calling for the complete abolition of the Israeli state”

To state this more correctly: the entire Hamas state is calling for the killing of every single Jew in the world. It’s in their charter, look it up: http://pajamasmedia.com/ronrosenbaum/2009/01/04/some-differences-between-hamas-and-the-nazi-party-2/

And Mike, you’re completely right. The idea that if we just had no governments, we would have no wars is so completely out of touch with reality that I suggest the author emigrates to a different universe.

Neal W. January 13, 2009 at 9:49 am

There have been plenty of work discussing the viability of anarcho-capitalism.

Search for “Chaos Theory” in the literature, for example.

Berend de Boer January 13, 2009 at 9:50 am

Quote: “To end the ongoing violence in the region, many pro-Palestinians are calling for the complete abolition of the Israeli state”

To state this more correctly: the entire Hamas state is calling for the killing of every single Jew in the world. It’s in their charter, look it up: http://pajamasmedia.com/ronrosenbaum/2009/01/04/some-differences-between-hamas-and-the-nazi-party-2/

And subzero, you’re completely right. The idea that if we just had no governments, we would have no wars is so completely out of touch with reality that I suggest the author emigrates to a different universe.

Berend de Boer January 13, 2009 at 9:51 am

Mike should have been subzero obviously. Where is that edit button?

Pat January 13, 2009 at 10:13 am

I would say yes. Murray Rothbard’s works for one (e.g.: Power and Market). Also, Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s works (e.g.: The Myth of National Defense). I am not so sure if everybody on the Mises Institute are arguing for a stateless world. It does go without saying where Mises would stand on this issue.

Andrew January 13, 2009 at 10:18 am

I find it very sad when people around the world believe the only way for a supposedly civilized world is to have a government regardless of it’s civics. As human beings if you truly want to be free then rid the world of governments who only cause more pain/suffering not for the people but for the elitist political agenda’s.

I’m not one of the people who believes we need to be told what to do day in and day out or how to live our lives. If we didn’t have a government I would still work to better society as a whole not for personal gain so I can go out and buy a super large TV to impress someone else.

I live in the US where I’m told it’s a free country yet I have to pay taxes by force/fear so my country can go and kill “terrorists”(One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter) thousands of miles away. This great civilized country where I have to go buy spring water from the store because my tap water contains contaminants with no safety standards and not to mention many prescription drugs that are not being filtered out by the water treatment facilitates. Did I mention I pay for my tap water too and my taxes pay for the EPA?

Rid the world of governments and monetary systems and let the people join together as human beings!

darjen January 13, 2009 at 10:18 am

Anarhco-capitalism is simply the logical conclusion of Mises ideas. Now can we please discuss the article? Personally, I couldn’t agree with it more. States have always been the cause of the worst violence in society, far eclipsing private violence.

@Berend de Boer:
“And Mike, you’re completely right. The idea that if we just had no governments, we would have no wars is so completely out of touch with reality that I suggest the author emigrates to a different universe.”

Straw-man. That is not the contention of anarcho-capitalism, and is nowhere to be found in this article.

8 January 13, 2009 at 10:21 am

Without an understanding of religion these arguments veer off course. Does the author reject the Koran? It makes land claims that even non-state actors can enforce.

Also, in this case, states have peace treaties: Israel with Egypt, for instance. It is the states of Israel, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Jordan that do not fight. It is the stateless actors in the form of Hamas and Hezbollah that use violence. I do not defend these governments, but the idea that anarcho-capitalism will result in a happy-go-lucky society in the Middle East (as it would in the West), suffers from the same delusions as George Bush. If anything, we’ve seen stateless areas in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the result is tribalism.

Arend January 13, 2009 at 10:24 am

As much as I concur with the analysis of this war being a statist one I cannot get around the statement without nuance that this war is just another result of many of the clusterfuck of three monotheistic desert religions.

One can rule out the state in this equation, but this doesn’t rule out the (by definition) wish of attaining state (like) power by force by these three desert ideologies (three, because it includes mostly Christian inspired ‘leaders’ from the EUSSR and later the USSSR (Obama)).

My firm belief is that any educated person can analyse this quagmire. But no educated person be taken seriously when unambiguously taking sides in this – fill in a random fancy word to describe this situation.

Kevin B January 13, 2009 at 10:34 am

Not all States are composed of the same number of individuals. If a single actor effectively uses aggressive violence to achieve its goals, can it not be thought of as a State consisting of one individual?

Inquisitor January 13, 2009 at 10:36 am

“I’d say no. The Mises institute has been hijacked by anarchists, who use Mises’ prestige to promote their own wacky ideas, many of which Mises explicitly disapproved.”

If by “wacky” you mean “correct”, yeah… BTW, did Mises ever directly address Rothbard’s claims? To answer: no, he didn’t. He just dismissed them, offering nowhere near the care he offered in dismantling socialism. Mises, to the extent he supported a state, was *shock horror!* a socialist.

“If anything, we’ve seen stateless areas in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the result is tribalism.”

Oh have we? We’ve also seen governments intervene time and time again and fuck it up. Why should we continue to endure the nonsense caused by these parasites? If these areas “devolve” into tribalism (as opposed to tribalism at large engendered by states) so be it.

“And subzero, you’re completely right. The idea that if we just had no governments, we would have no wars is so completely out of touch with reality that I suggest the author emigrates to a different universe.”

Nope… it suggests you’re too afraid to part ways with a coercive monopoly on the use of force. If anything, the idea that a serial violator of rights can protect them is the most delusional out there. So yeah…

CA January 13, 2009 at 10:53 am

In the mentioned “Chaos Theory” article, government is replaced by private organizations that provide services of law and defense — and the citizens vote for them with their money. If an organization starts abusing its powers or engage in (what people consider) immoral activities — or simply does not judge or defend in the manner people like, people will “stop sending their paychecks” to this particular organization.

Sounds nice. And extremely naive. Why didn’t this happen to begin with? The world was not created with governments already existing — people started from anarchy state and somehow ended up with totalitarian governments, some of which were converted by people into democratic governments. Why did this happen? Because people themselves allowed for this. They believed they needed a king. They believed that waging wars and eradicating other tribes and conquering their land was moral — and therefore supported their governments.

The described model of anarchy will only work if all people in the society are moral, very educated, understand the benefits of mutual cooperation, peace and freedom. (And even then major problems remain. What about children, for instance? Whom do they belong to? What if someone wants to abuse his children but doesn’t want to sell them, as Robert Murphy suggests?)

Israel–Arab conflict is the best example of how this will never work — at least in near reality. Arab children are being indoctrinated by Arab leaders with only one idea: destruction of Jews. Kicking Jews out of the land much of which was purchased originally by Jews themselves. So, people raised with such ideals support the private terrorist organization for providing them with such “law” and “defense” (i.e., “attack”).

On the other hand, Jews are fighting back through organization they themselves established for the primary purpose of protection (the main motivation for Israel’s necessary existence surfaced after WWII).

The mathematical models presented by Robert Murphy and Roderic Long don’t work here — the organizations and people are not driven by profit and loss but by two agendas: conquest, death and destruction on one side and survival on the other.

So, I could debate whether anarchy may be a good system for Israel — where Israeli government is replaced by private Jewish organizations providing law and defense (whereby this law would be Halacha for religious Jews and secular law for secular Jews, eliminating conflicts; at the same time, defense organizations will not care as much about international public opinion and will do their job more efficiently), but it will never work for Arabs — they will still spontaneously revert to terrorist totalitarianism.

And the war will continue, because Arabs will believe that their rights have already been violated by Jews living in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Sderot and Jerusalem. (Btw, some religious Jews think the same regarding Arabs living in Gaza — see this, for example: http://hirhurim.blogspot.com/2009/01/musings-on-gaza.html)

fundamentalist January 13, 2009 at 10:56 am

“After all, the goal of all Palestinian militant groups — to get rid of the Israeli state — would now be fulfilled.”

That’s only partially correct. Israel is nothing more than the immediate target. The goal of militant Muslims is a world-wide Islamic state ruled by Shariah law, similar to what Iran has. Similar militant groups are attacking every Muslim country that does not enforce Shariah law. Algeria is a good example. It has been at war with similar militants for over a decade. Militants would never be satisfied with a no-state solution. I can’t see that private security forces have any more success against militant Muslims.

Inquisitor January 13, 2009 at 10:57 am

Yeah, those stupid Arab monkeys, unfit for civilization! What drivel. Continue advocating socialism and slavery, though. All I can say is, if the Arabs do revert to something as primitive as a state, they will impoverish themselves to the point of destitution. A fate fitting any one so deluded to believe in that anachronism, aka the state… why is it that some alleged minarchists are like neocons on the state in the middle east? One wonders.

Inquisitor January 13, 2009 at 11:00 am

BTW, one must wonder, why do the Arabs dislike the Israelis? Might it be because of the state of Israel and its actions? :O

refugee January 13, 2009 at 11:03 am

It should remain Mises *Economic* Blog and try to avoid damaging its reputation of high scholarship by refraining from publishing this this sort of drivel.

Inquisitor January 13, 2009 at 11:10 am

Refugee, how about you DEMONSTRATE that this is drivel? Otherwise that comment is just ipse dixit. For anyone who wishes to take anarchism seriously, engage with Hoppe’s and Ed Stringham’s anthologies on the matter, rather than just posting misleading, weak strawmen on the matter, and stop switching off your economic reasoning when it comes to the market for defence, i.e. remain consistent capitalists. What next, polylogism?

CA January 13, 2009 at 11:25 am

BTW, one must wonder, why do the Arabs dislike the Israelis? Might it be because of the state of Israel and its actions? :O

Well, let’s look at the pre-Israel period. Jews took took desert and swamp and created cultivated land on the territory their purchased themselves. It were these specific actions that Arabs disliked — after all, all that time, they were standing on the side and snickering about stupid Jews trying to turn desert into farmland. And when the Jews succeeded, it annoyed Arabs to no end.

Not only Arabs, by the way. The story repeated itself numerous times throughout centuries. In Russia and Ukraine, for example, where Jews were able to bring business to Ukrainian villages and were hated for this by Ukrainians themselves. Only, in case of Israel, Jews were able to fight back rather than sit and watch their homes being burns and their daughters raped and slaughtered.

CA January 13, 2009 at 11:34 am

Yeah, those stupid Arab monkeys, unfit for civilization!

They are fit for the particular civilization they created themselves. The one they have now, with children crawling in dust with firearms, with toy explosives strapped to their waists.

Forget Arabs — even most of Europeans (east of London) are unfit for basic ideas of capitalism and freedom. Why is it when French started a similar revolution to Americans, it went completely different way, ending up in murder and a totalitarian government? Why is it when liberated from fascism, Europe turned very soon to socialism? Why is it when liberated from socialism, Russians were not able to build a legal and economically free state (despite having almost exact same Constitution as Americans), but reverted to fascism after a decade of “experimentation”?

People deserve the government and the social order they have.

Kevin B January 13, 2009 at 11:43 am

CA: “People deserve the government and the social order they have.”

People deserve the results of the government and social order that they [i]support[/i].

Some people are victims.

Nick January 13, 2009 at 12:04 pm

All governments are chosen by the people who live with them, obey their laws, and pay their taxes.

You can’t do all that and then absolve yourself of responsibility by saying you didn’t agree with them.

As for some folks being victims? Victim is another word for lazy and/or afraid. There’s always something you can do if you don’t agree with your government.

You can write essays on the ‘net. You can write your local paper. You can talk to the people behind you in line at the grocery store.

And if push comes to shove you can pick up a gun and start a revolution.

Eric January 13, 2009 at 12:08 pm

CA suggests that the world began without governments and that people decided that they wanted a king. This is the story in the Hebrew Bible, and CA is clear that he has chosen one side of this battle over the other.

But had CA been born across the desert, he likely would have just as certainly supported the opposite view. He would have been brought up to believe that there was little or no government previously and one was forced on them by Europeans. It was, after all, Europeans who tried to kill all the Jews and then other Europeans created the state of Israel to relieve their feelings of guilt that it was their wars which led to the Jewish Holocaust.

Our human nature leads us to band together. We prefer our own tribe to other tribes. This is a consequence of our DNA and it’s drive towards replicating itself by supplanting other DNA it is in competition with.

Humans have always had a leader, just like chimps. The leader “gene” comes from the need in youth to believe and trust anything their parents and elders tell them, such as, don’t go near the lions. Those that didn’t believe didn’t survive. There wasn’t enough time to ponder logically if their parents were telling them the truth about the lions. But this also affects their other beliefs. This is why most of us once believed in Santa Claus or the equivalent.

So the children in each tribe grow up to believe that their God is the only true God; they are the rightful owners of the land as given to them by their God; the other side is made up of terrorists. Since the others are terrorists, it is ok to kill them.

The problem in the Middle East is one of tribal memory, or memes, as Richard Dawkins has written. Each of the warring tribes indoctrinates their youth with their side of the story (taught in the context of religious history and beliefs that go back millennia) and so it continues from one generation to the next. The only way to solve this problem is to break the cycle. The author proposes one solution, the elimination of the two states.

But unless the memories can be purged, unless each child born in the area is taught to respect their neighbors, unless the cycle is broken, human nature is simply too strong to allow peace in the area.

Swood January 13, 2009 at 12:11 pm

Strange that the forums are dominated by ancaps [to the extent that there are almost no minarchists there] but it seems the blogcomments are dominated by minarchists.

nir graham January 13, 2009 at 12:22 pm

I too am an, anarchist. I believe that those individuals presently identified as ‘palestinian’ and ‘israeli’ would surely benefit as much as much as any from freedom from government. Their personal protection would be better provided by private protection agencies, in voluntary societies than the current arrangment.

With this in mind i wish to suggest a possible improvement to the above article (the majority of which i agree with). I feel that the paragraph emphasising that the absence of an ‘israeli state’ would eliminate the specific (and implicity singular) goal for Palestinian Militants, is somewhat overstated. (plus there are militants of other kinds, see al-qaeda, hezballa etc.)

Certainly it would hinder their public relations, and retard the support they receive from those less committed to using violence to achieve religious ends.

Yet, the absence of a ‘jewish state’ would not satisfy those powerful and influencial forces that long for a Caliphate. They make up a significant portion of Militants. A search on google including the three seemingly unrelated words ‘jew’ ‘pig’ ‘ape’ may shed some light on the cultural and religious hatred, that whilst the state of israel exists merely shares the limelight with political hatred, but will surely step up to prominence if the politics gives way. Admittedly, Israeli’s who are not ‘jewish’ but are ethnically or culturally identifiable as other, may have less to fear. (perhaps not if a caliphate does not suit them)

As i said previously, Jews and others who are averse to being citiziens (or state criminals) of a caliphate would be best protected from such evil threats of violence by a well functioning market for private defence

yours sincerely

Nir Graham

Kevin B January 13, 2009 at 12:35 pm


It isn’t practical for a rabbit to turn and fight the fox. If you’re suggesting that I pick up a gun and fight the police, then you’re either mad, or you’re suggesting that I should value my future to be worth less than going out in a blaze that only a minority would describe as glorious.

My long term plan to effect a more peaceful race involves passing on my genes. I cannot do that if I’m dead. Let the aggressive knuckleheads club each other to death, and let the rest of us pass on our genetic blessings of tendency toward intelligence and social cooperation.

Capitalism, as a fruitful enterprise via peaceful trade, appears to be a fairly recent phenomenon. Like you, I see the benefit in sharing our ideas of liberty / prosperity with others. Let’s just not be impractically impatient. Consider the evolutionary means toward your goals.

CA January 13, 2009 at 12:44 pm

First of all, it’s not clear to me what the significance of somebody’s personality or identity is. Are we discussing ideas or their authors?

Second, I agree with the proposed idea that it is a particular group’s memes that make it incapable of currently accepting certain ideas — I never suggested otherwise (obviously I don’t believe that Arabs, Europeans or Russians — or US liberals for that matter — are genetically incapable of having a free society; their culture and “memotype” are to blame).

But how does one get rid of this meme? An idea of stateless society is absurd for both a religious Jew and a religious Muslim — and while the former are in minority in the “Jewish state”, the latter are in majority in the “Muslim states”. So, what do you propose — to “unbrainwash” them all from Islam by dropping leaflets of “Selfish Gene” on Gaza, by sending a team of atheist educators?

As long as there are Muslims in the Middle East that believe that there needs to exist a Shariat-law–based state on every land that was once under jurisdiction of Muslims (including Spain, by the way), these Muslims will support states, private organizations, alien fleets — whatever — whose goal will be establishment of such a state. And if people no longer have such view, then the problem of Arab–Israeli conflict will disappear by itself — with or without anarchy.

Finally, the idea that Arabs are opposed to specifically Jewish state (rather than just Jewish society) is absurd. Arabs are opposed not to a Jewish state per se, but to Jews controlling territory once under Muslim jurisdiction.

Muslims are happy to have Jews live under their authority, pay taxes and suffer a few pogroms once in a while. They will never, however, accept an idea of Jews controlling once-Muslim land, whether through a State and Knesset or through private Jewish law- and defense-providing organizations.

Lara Braveheart January 13, 2009 at 12:49 pm

Ludwig von Mises Economics,

Mr. Dennyson says: “The only way to achieve prosperity is through peace and commerce” and says very little — to my knowledge, correct me if I am incorrect — about abolishing crime and hypocrisy among men; as the only possible means to ever come close to anything remotely resembling honourable — as opposed to fake and deceptive — peace.

According, it appears, I guess he disagrees with the philosophy of military gospel according to Homer Lea (Valour of Ignorance, by Homer Lea; military-gospel.co.nr):

“When will that Golden Age be ushered in upon this unhappy earth, and arbitration between individuals substituted for law and dynamic force in which it originates and ends? When will laws made by man for the government of man, together with his courts, his penal institutions, be put aside and voluntary arbitration between man and man take their place?

Only when arbitration is able to unravel the tangled skein of crime and hypocrisy among individuals can it be extended to communities and nations. As nations are only man in the aggregate, they are the aggregate of his crimes and deception and depravity, and so long as these constitute the basis of individual impulse, so long will they control the acts of nations.”

The suddenness with which the precipitating causes of war break upon public consciousness almost invariably hides the true reasons – in all probability extant many years prior – that tend to bring on the conflict; hence it happens – as is the case with this Republic – that nations go rushing blindly along acutely converging lines to that point of contact – which is war.”

Anyway, this shit is going to keep going on, while people choose to believe and participate and focus on Conquer and Multiply Slave and Cannon Fodder Breeding Corporate, Religous and Ethnic ‘Religions’ as ‘Spirituality’. Just my Proud White Thomas GoldWater NeoConservative WorldView.

My 8 year old cousin understands that if you have a farm of 10 acres that can support 5 healthy organic fed free range cows; then if you breed 40, you are going to have to cull 35, if you don’t want to destroy your grazing land, and eat cow meat that tastes like you were training the cows to run marathons in Ethiopia.

So, it’s a constant process of hateful procreation slave and cannon fodder overbreeding and malicious hateful culling wars and depopulation programs; unconscious Eugenics on Steroids, with those at the front line calling themselves ‘Religions’; and very few want to hear about conscious loving procreation; and that’s okay — but what confuses me, is that people appear to not be happy about this situation, and spend an inordinate amount of time playing the Speak With Forked Tongue Bandaids to Braintumours Blame game, pretending to want to solve it, and how many want to address the Root Causes of $lave and Cannon Fodder Breeding Corporate, Religious and Ethnic ‘Religions’ of Conquer and Multiply and Divide and Conquer?

“I really believe that anyone who’s even thinking of having a child in this world is coldly considering an act of cruelty.”

Joe Stoutenburg January 13, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Ireland, your request (wanting references of theoretical works that give credibility to this “no-government” stance) was civil and reasonable. As yet, no one has directly answered with links though names have been suggested.

Before providing a couple of links, I’d like to make a comment on orthodoxy. As you correctly state, Mises advocated a role for the state. If someone wants changeless dogma as dictated by Mises as prophet, anyone suggesting the abolition of all states is clearly heretical. However, most of the people coming here, right or wrong, are a little more independent minded than that. It is quite reasonable to accept the core assertions of Mises while rejecting others or of drawing different conclusions than did he.

As former dean of the Austrian school, Murray Rothbard was influential in prompting many people who frequent mises.org to adopt anti-state positions. A couple of good articles may be found here and here.

Hans-Hermann Hoppe is a current writer who influences the anarcho-capitalist view. Find a list of his daily articles here.

Kyle January 13, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Regarding the discussion of “Chaos Theory”:

I thought Chaos Theory presented a beautifully functioning world, but only in the same way other beautiful utopian worlds are presented in other works. Aldous Huxley’s Island comes to mind, except that Huxley wisely accepted that no violence-free utopia will last indefinitely.

How can a free market for security actually function in the long term? Those who control the means of production for security have the de facto “right” to use that service in the name of their own profits and motives, at the expense of the general public. This rationale works for any other industry, just not one whose sole service is the use of force. The ability to use force allows an entity to interrupt the free markets — the markets only function properly if force and coercion are not present.

In the case of Israel and Palestine, what does the presence or absence of states really have to do with the real problem of use of force? Let’s hypothetically eliminate the state of Israel. Now we have a large and homogeneous group of Jews who are pissed off that they see rockets flying at them from the other part of town. A bunch of them get together in the name of self-preservation and go to Gaza with the intention of apprehending or killing the culprits. The homogeneous group of Arabs on the other side are equally pissed, and do the same. The only difference between this vigilantism and the state-sanctioned brand of violence is the name.

Anarchists: what am I missing?

James R January 13, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Note that Markus Bergstrom is not necessarily arguing that eliminating the Israeli and Palestinian states would automatically lead to peace; he is arguing that the presence of the Israeli and Palestinian states leads to conflict and violence. The distinction is subtle, but important.

When freedom—especially economic freedom—is confiscated, people fight to regain it. Depending on the severity of the confiscation (e.g., property seizure and forced relocation), and the culture of the people thus injured, the fight to regain freedom can take the form of physical violence.

Restoring economic freedom is a prerequisite step for resolving conflict.

Steve B January 13, 2009 at 1:25 pm

I second refugee’s motion on the drivel — to which I would add: juvenile logic and reasoning. This just isn’t helpful… to anyone. Academic clap trap, for a lot of the reasons that have already been stated above.

billwald January 13, 2009 at 1:42 pm

“At present the “State of Palestine” is split up into two different areas: the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. These are located some 25 miles apart (40 kilometers),”

Great Britain loves to see the natives killing each other as illustrated by the partition of India. Apparently Israel is hoping for the same thing with their partition of Palestine. I’m sure an air corridor will be established so that the West Bank and Gaza can bomb each other.

nir graham January 13, 2009 at 1:43 pm

to CA:
on ‘religious jews’ abandoning the state.

wheras jesus was famous for asserting do unto others as you would have them do unto you. the famous jewish rabbi that predated him, Hillel, coined “”Do not unto others what you would not have others do to you. This is the whole law; the rest, merely commentaries upon it.”" This is possibly the definition of libertarianism itself, which to my mind entails anarchy (though others see minarchy). surely the commandment (one of ten!) against theft makes it hard to justify a government that sustains itself through involuntary taxation.

Also there is a tradition in jewish culture that the jews adopted kingship government and statehood, because they desired the forms of government their neighbours enjoyed (:-p).perhaps foolishly. religious leaders and the like preached against such earthly authority over men, but ultimately the people beseeched the priesthood/God (as a sceptic i see that for the purposes of telling this story there is little difference) , who adopted a position which can be charicatured as ‘ oh well, if you must have a king to rule you as a state, first try Saul and when he doesnt work out, then go for david,(though i really wish you wouldnt ask))

diogenes January 13, 2009 at 2:18 pm

The Arabs and Jews lived together peacefully enough for hundreds of years. Then, the USA, Britain and other European countries, ashamed of their failure to do a damn thing about Hitler’s mass-murder of Jews, driven by guilty consciences, decided to establish a Jewish State as a form of compensation.

That was without any regard for Arabs, residents for thousands of years. It was a no-cost, no-pain penance for the sins of the Nazis in which the Allies were accessories.

Everything has a cost. No free lunch.. Somebody must pick-up or be forced to pay the tab.

The tab has been forced on the Arabs (Palestinians). Surely THEY have paid more than enough for the sins of the Nazis and the sins of omission by the Allies.

It may never be an ideal solution (it is too late for that) but scrapping the two states and putting the entire land under some form of United Nations control might be the answer.

Student January 13, 2009 at 2:53 pm

1) Mises found faults in his teachers’ and mentors’ works, improved on much, and yet honored them greatly.

2) Mises always encouraged independent discovery and even wrote letters of recommendations for scholars with whom he disagreed with.

raoul January 13, 2009 at 3:36 pm

This article misses one basic and essential historical fact.
For thousands of years the Jews have been persecuted, massed murdered, expropriated, discriminated, etc,
The creation and the existence of the State of Israel is their last refuge.
Do you know any other country which has been attacked daily for 60 years and has kept democratic institutions?
The only solution is two states sharing peacefully a common economic space . Think of France and Germany 80 years ago and how they now live side by side . Maybe after all this chaos, blood and tears enough men of good will rise and their voices will overcome the language of hate and revenge.

raoul January 13, 2009 at 3:36 pm

This article misses one basic and essential historical fact.
For thousands of years the Jews have been persecuted, massed murdered, expropriated, discriminated, etc,
The creation and the existence of the State of Israel is their last refuge.
Do you know any other country which has been attacked daily for 60 years and has kept democratic institutions?
The only solution is two states sharing peacefully a common economic space . Think of France and Germany 80 years ago and how they now live side by side . Maybe after all this chaos, blood and tears enough men of good will rise and their voices will overcome the language of hate and revenge.

Ben W. January 13, 2009 at 3:42 pm

There are a few things that I would like to challenge here: first in terms of the argument that abolishing Israel would mean there was no need for Palestinians “to attack any parts of former Israel, as there would be no Israeli government to fight. In return, there would not be any “need” for former Israeli troops to bomb Palestinian areas in a war against terrorism,” and the selective, PR-friendly quote from the Hamas member in the unbiased Guardian “Our message to the Israelis is this: We do not fight you because you belong to a certain faith or culture.… We have no problem with Jews who have not attacked us — our problem is with those who came to our land, imposed themselves on us by force, destroyed our society and banished our people.” Radical Islam wants to impose its will on the rest of the world. It is at odds with the rest of the civilized world, and especially the Jews. If the land of Israel were to be abolished, the Israelites would surely be massacred. They have a small sliver of land in a see of enemies, and the Iranians who wish to wipe them out along with the Syrians and “Palestinians” would surely massacre them. There is another problem here as well, that the Palestinians are not even a people. This is reflected here: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=28222 (and in numerous other legitimate publications), and in the quote in the article by PLO member Zahir Muhsein, “The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct “Palestinian people” to oppose Zionism.

For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.” Why could not these so-called “people without a homeland” enter into Jordan or any of the countless other Arab countries in the region? The goal of the Muslim world is undeniably to have full control over the Middle East, and they will play the media game to achieve their ends.

As to the argument about private protection agencies operating on a sounder economic basis, the author does not recognize that this is a battle that transcends economic rationale. If you have a people like the Palestinians (not the Israelis) willing to blow themselves up for the sake of a cause, then do you really think they would care about things like inflation, taxes or debt? Some people value religion over economic well-being. When dealing with an enemy that does not value things like life, justice or morality, the only way to defeat them is through force.

Finally, as to the point about moral equivalence, that the issue isn’t about which side is right, I do not know how an Austrian can make that case. On the one side you have a democratically elected government of terrorists who have a totalitarian regime that has bankrupt their people, and on the other side you have a government that has made countless land concessions for peace, has by far the highest standards of living and the most tolerance of any nation in the Middle East and has a people that believe in justice and the rule of law (even if their government admittedly has been corrupt like that of the US and countless other ostensibly free nations). This is not to say that the American government should dictate the actions of the Israelis, but it is to say that there is such a thing as right and wrong here, and that people that believe in freedom and justice should support the Israeli cause, as it is protecting its citizens, one of the few just duties of a government.

mike January 13, 2009 at 3:50 pm

I usually like reading this site as an alternative viewpoint to other economics commentary- but this kind of stuff puts it right up there with 9/11 truthers.

darjen January 13, 2009 at 4:03 pm

would you please care to enlighten us as to what is wrong with the article? otherwise, please feel free to shut the hell up.

sam January 13, 2009 at 4:19 pm

the answer to it all is localism.

Tudoe January 13, 2009 at 4:34 pm

After reading these posts it seems there are not quite so many anarchists on this site as I thought. Neither am I. I think this is the limit to libertarianism. In the absence of any form of authority, the fact that private property can be still respected is somewhat naive. And the issue of Israel – Palestine is a perfect example. As I see it, even the nature of the conflict itself is misunderstood. I understand how important for the anarchists it is to demonise the state (both Israeli and Palestinian). The Arabs hated the Jews coming and taking their land (although, from some of the stuff I’ve heard, some were simply exercising their right to private property, buying the land, on which Arabs [i]who did not own it [/i] lived. The conflict arose even before the UN mandate and creation of the Israeli state.

Furthermore, we are given a quote from a Hamas leader, again, supposedly attacking the [i]state[/i] of Israel, and not Israelis themselves. I honestly think that’s probably the ONLY such quote in which such a distinction is made, and I can in return find countless hate statements, saying they will not stop until every man, woman and child in Israel is pushed into the sea. To suggest that an ethnic conflict can be solved by abolishing the state is simply nonsense. The Gaza Palestinians can hardly be called a state. That is exactly one of the causes for the conflict. After the UN mandate, the Jews were able to establish a state, leave in relative peace amongst themselves and develop into the region’s most wealthy nations. That state successfully defended its people on the many occasions when it was attacked by its neighbors. The Palestinians, on the other hand, could not manage to organize themselves, and continued living in disarray (lest I should say ‘anarchy’) and were incapable of maturely getting over the conflict and getting on to minding their own business and living in prosperity.

The article also wishes to put the ‘=’ sign between Hamas, a terrorist organization with the declared purpose of Jewish genocide and the Palestinian ‘state’. As anyone knows, Hamas did not start out as a political group, but as a militant one, status which it has not abandoned to this day, and thus only prolonging and intensifying the suffering on its own people. So obviously, the militant terrorist movement was there regardless of the Palestinian official authority. If anything, it could be argued that it was exactly the WEAK administration which allowed for the formation and growth of such an organization. Hamas and organizations like it do not need a state structure to form (on the contrary), and certainly will not miraculously cease to exist once the Palestinian and Israeli states are abolished. On the contrary, without a proper defense force, the Jews would be immediately under attack by the Gazan militias (and I dare say even civilians).

And did it article actually say Americans were to be blamed for the conflict for trying to support a working state there? So I guess the senseless killing and shooting does not have anything to do with not having an actual, functioning authority, but rather having too much of it? Really, I would like further arguments supporting that the reason for the conflict in possibly the most lawless parts of the world is the rule of the unjust law itself.

I’ve actually heard similar statements like these, and this not from anarchists, but what from what you could call Democrats -that the presence of the troops in Iraq is sustaining the conflict and that by getting them out peace would be restored (this was before the decrease in violence in 2008). Really?! As though those peaceful shiits and sunnits were only attacking Americans, and not blowing themselves up as well. Again, I expect you anarchists to blame this on the American troops, not on the indigenous tension in the region, only refrained by the NATO armies themselves, and before that, by Saddam’s regime. Did I read somewhere around here that Saddam’s tyranny is pretty much the same as the current ‘tyranny’? People like that could seriously use spending some time under a proper dictatorship, either religious, military, or my own favorite – communist. It could really put things in perspective and allow you to really appreciate the freedom which you take for granted.

Oh, and I almost forgot. Security would be assured by private companies? So you honestly don’t think that in a region where Arabs and Jews are fighting, and Arabs and Arabs are fighting, peace would be magically restored and held in place by ARMED GROUPS? My God! I see now! Hamas is not a terrorist organization, they’re Peace Forces! If such is the case, than how come we haven’t seen that happening already? In Africa, not just dictatorial regimes are committing genocide, but also armed militant groups! But that’s not possible! They should be defending property rights and getting paid for it in return, no? You wrongfully assume that one’s interest is ONLY to safeguard his own property. While that is correct, the urge to TAKE what you do not own, by force, if it is possible is part of human nature. As are the needs to feel part of a group, tribe, nation, as is the tendency to dissociate from other groups and not necessarily conduct peaceful trade transactions with them. If indeed without the rule of the state people would coexist peacefully, on the bases free markets, and the right to own property, than how come we did not see this happening in the thousands of years before states developed?

Back to the former state of Israel, private firms would not only safeguard its internal well being, but also defend it from outside threats(!). Can anyone seriously believe that? The author claims that militia groups are more effective than an organized army! Absolute drivels, as you like to say. By the reasoning that more armed groups is better than just one, the Egyptians, Syrians, Jordaniens, Lebanese and God know what other countries fought should have kicked some Israeli butt in the wars they had. This did not happen precisely because of the well equipped, well organized, professional Israeli army.

One poster said something along the lines of ‘if they can’t help but evolve to a state of primitivism, we should just let them’. Oh, so anarchy would not turn out to be such a great thing? If it couldn’t work here, what guarantees we have that it might work elsewhere? Maybe in a more advanced society, with civilized people, who care for themselves and each other, that would work? That’s flat out socialist utopia! If we were such perfect beings, hell even communism could have worked. Yes, yes, I know, that not by collectivism we’d go forward, but through self interest! Agreed, but in the absence of an authority to guarantee property, self interest is also what drives us to plunder, loot, steal, rape, enslave! That’s why we created our states, so that we could have the possibility to make use of what we own, without the fear of some barbaric horde coming and doing as they feel with our goods and our lives.

Anarcho-capitalism is not too different from communist anarchism, in the sense that it preaches the TOTAL abolishing of the state, after which we would all just get along in peace and harmony. While a-communists don’t see the need for private property at all their capitalistic counterparts seem to think that this would be achieved in spite of human nature and of what history has to teach us.

PS: I agree with the Austrian School’s take on economic issues, on the advantages of free markets and reduced state control. Understanding, like yourselves the importance of property rights, that is exactly why I pleaded for a reduced authority, and not a total lack of it, as that would only lead to those rights which we hold so dear to be trampled.

Tudor January 13, 2009 at 4:42 pm

* The 4th paragraph refers to the situation in Somalia.

California January 13, 2009 at 6:52 pm

This article is the first time I’ve heard of protection agencies in a context devoid of any government of any type.

Three questions (1 rhetorical, you decide which one) that may have already been addressed in other literature but which I don’t see directly addressed in the previous discussion or the the article.

Is protection a natural monopoly? It seems that there are definitely economies of scale with having access to nuclear weapons versus 10 guys with guns, I know where I would put my money and the barriers to entry are quite high for new entrants which a free market would require to not end up in an oligarchy.

If there is no government body and I have a $100 contract with a protection agency to protect me for a year and the agency decides not to fulfill their contract, where would I turn to enforce such a contract? Do we end up in a world where each law firm has its own “muscle” to enforce its clients contracts?

D. Saul Weiner January 13, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Every time that anarchy is raised here there is an uproar since Mises did not believe in such an approach. Yet Mises did think conscription was OK. How many would object if a blogger disapproved of conscription? None. Every thinker has his blind spots and this is true of Mises as well, as brilliant and accurate as he was about many things. Now I am not saying that Mises was definitely wrong about anarchy and still wrestle with that construct myself. But I do see a correspondence between Mises’ argument that there is “No 3rd way” and Rothbard’s “Power versus Market”. To Rothbard, there was not a middle ground where a “night watchman” government could be counted on to do what everyone wants it to do and no more.

chosen January 13, 2009 at 10:37 pm

visit the http://www.liberty.com website if you are worried about this shit.Go boy go.

gooddebate January 14, 2009 at 12:19 am

One thing about it, this is an interesting read. The anarchist sentiment on one hand and the realist sentiment on the other. I have to say that for me anarchism raises a yellow flag in my mind. I see anarchism as another libertarian self marginalization.

I think that the thing that is missing from the argument for anarchism that would make anarchism possible is a common code of conduct. Some anarchists have tried to say that peoples own private property concern would be the driver to make it possible. But we know that this isn’t true. The people in the Palestine conflict both have a completely different code of conduct that isn’t compatible with one another.

And to suggest that the Jews were muscled into Palestine by the allies as if this is unjust is looking at history in a shallow way. Um, the Jews built Jerusalem and controlled all of Palestine for hundreds of years BC.

Ironically, the only anarchist people that maintained a society for any length of time was the Jews (Ok, ancient Israel). I’m sure all the anarchists are up on this fact? During a period called the Judges. But why did it end? Notice the reason the people gave, “We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.” The era of the private army was over (or army not associated with a government if you prefer).

BTW, a sure sign that you don’t see this as a healthy debate is to accuse the opposition of an “uproar”. This is a leftist tactic to make the reasonable seem unreasonable.

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