Anarcho-capitalism is a political philosophy and school of anarchist thought that advocates the elimination of centralized state dictum in favor of self-ownership, private property and free markets. Anarcho-capitalists hold that in the absence of statute (law by arbitrary autocratic decrees, or bureaucratic legislation swayed by transitory political special interest groups), society tends to contractually self-regulate and civilize through the spontaneous and organic discipline of the free market (in what its proponents describe as a "voluntary society"). In an anarcho-capitalist society, law enforcement, courts and all other security services would be operated by privately funded competitors selected by consumers rather than centrally through confiscatory taxation. Money, along with all other goods and services, would be privately and competitively provided in an open market. Personal and economic activities under anarcho-capitalism would therefore be regulated by victim-based dispute resolution organizations under tort and contract law, rather than by statute through centrally determined punishment under political monopolies, which tend to become corrupt in proportion to their monopolization. Business regulations, such as corporate standards, public relations, product labels, rules for consumer protection, ethics, and labor relations would be regulated voluntarily via the use of competitive trade associations, professional societies, and standards bodies; this would, in theory, establish market-recourse for businesses' decisions and allow the market to communicate effectively with businesses by the use of consumer unions, instead of centralized regulatory mandates for companies imposed by the state, which anarcho-capitalists and other libertarians argue is inefficient due to regulatory capture. Various theorists have espoused legal philosophies similar to anarcho-capitalism. However, the first person to use the term was Murray Rothbard who, in the mid-20th century, synthesized elements from the Austrian School of economics, classical liberalism and 19th-century American individualist anarchists Lysander Spooner and Benjamin Tucker (while rejecting their labor theory of value and the norms they derived from it). A Rothbardian anarcho-capitalist society would operate under a mutually agreed-upon libertarian "legal code which would be generally accepted, and which the courts would pledge themselves to follow". This pact would recognize self-ownership, property, contracts, and tort law, in keeping with the universal non-aggression principle (NAP). Anarcho-capitalists are distinguished from minarchists, who advocate a small Jeffersonian night-watchman state limited to protecting individuals and their properties from foreign and domestic aggression; and from other anarchists who seek to prohibit or regulate the accumulation of private property and the flow of capital.
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