Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on December 13, 2014

in Complexity & Emergence, History, Law, Myths and Fallacies

… is from page 10 of Terry Anderson’s and P.J. Hill’s superb and pioneering 1981 Journal of Libertarian Studies article, “An American Experiment in Anarcho-Capitalism: The Not So Wild, Wild West“:

The West during this time [1830-1900] often is perceived as a place of great chaos, with little respect for property or life.  Our research indicates that this was not the case; property rights were protected and civil order prevailed.  Private agencies provided the necessary basis for an orderly society in which property was protected and conflicts were resolved.  These agencies often did not qualify as governments because they did not have a legal monopoly on “keeping order.”  They soon discovered that “warfare” was a costly way of resolving disputes and lower cost methods of settlement (arbitration, courts, etc.) resulted.

See also this more recent essay by P.J.


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