Anarchism and Dualism
Geoffrey Allan Plauche, over at Libertas, engages my point that there is (or has been) a profound relationship between anarchism and dualism.
In my reply to Roderick Long's critique of Total Freedom, I wrote:
Though I identify certain problems with anarchism, Iím equally suspicious of minarchism. I take very seriously some of the trenchant anarchist criticisms of limited government. I greatly value the contributions of anarchist thinkers to libertarian class theory and revisionist historical understanding. If my own perspective helps minarchists and anarchists to move toward a dialectical resolution of sorts, I will be pleased. And if it contributes to a similar transcendence of the conventional left-right continuum that both Long and I reject, I will be even more pleased.
In Total Freedom, I actually held out some hope for a "nondualistic anarchism." The fact that anybody other than Sciabarra and Long is even thinking about this issue makes me smile.
As for Geoffrey's points, I actually agree with him that statism introduces various dualities into social life. I also agree with him that there is a distinction between "government" as an ideal concept and, at the very least, every existing historical example of the "State." But I'm not fully convinced that "anarchism" and "statism" are not two sides of the same dualistic coin. Perhaps it all comes down to what Plauche says: "there are different kinds of anarchism" (just as there are different kinds of statism, of course).
My chief point in part two of Total Freedom was that Rothbard endorsed one kind of anarchism that seemed to reify (as "dualistic") a number of legitimate distinctions: personal morality v. public ethos; the voluntary v. the coercive; the contractual v. the hegemonic; market v. state; liberty v. power; culture v. politics. On one level, his analysis showed much more interaction between these distinctions than his more "monistic" resolution would allow.
In any event, good to see some discussion of this.
Comments welcome, but check out Geoffrey's post too.