Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Chaos Theory: Two Essays on Market Anarchy” as Want to Read:
Chaos Theory: Two Essays on Market Anarchy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Chaos Theory: Two Essays on Market Anarchy

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  226 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Among the most advanced topics in the literature of the Austrolibertarian milieu is that which deals with the workings of the fully free society, that is, the society with no state, or anarchocapitalism. Robert Murphy deals with this head on, and makes the first full contribution to this literature in the new century. Working within a Rothbardian framework, he takes up the ...more
Trade Paperback, 61 pages
Published 2002 by RJ Communications, LLC
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Chaos Theory, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Chaos Theory

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mar 22, 2011 Daniel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anarchism, philosophy
I went into this book really wanting to like it. I already consider myself an "anarcho-capitalist," and believe any realization of the State is fundamentally incompatible with freedom and liberty.

Unfortunately, I just couldn't get behind this book. I found the arguments presented to be shallow and unconvincing, built on top of a flimsy framework of numerous assumptions and speculations.

Bottom line for me is: a few interesting thought-experiments about how anarchy could turn out, but I wouldn't
Josh Zeringue
Jan 23, 2014 Josh Zeringue rated it did not like it
I think the author's arguments could be portrayed better in a novel. If it were presented as fiction, it would actually be more believable . . . perhaps because reading fiction requires the of suspension of disbelief.

As a minarchist, I'm sensitive to many of the author's concerns, but this book did not convince me to take the plunge into anarchy.

It seems that numerous objections can be raised by those of us who are clearly not statists. To make just one: he assumes that defense firms would abi
Apr 29, 2015 bartosz_witkowski rated it it was ok
Shelves: owned-books
Chaos Theory: Two Essays on Market Anarchy, by Robert P. Murphy is a short book containing the two titular essays - the first on a justice and law system, the second on defense - both in the context of an anarcho-capitalist system.

While reading the book, I didn't have any doubts that the author is knowledgeable about economics and how the free-market system is supposed to work, but I was a bit surprised to learn that the author is an economist. I was surprised because the whole book has a pipe d
Oct 13, 2010 Zinger rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010
I am fascinated with Austrian Economics, but find the books on implementing anarchy lacking. It seems that this author's proposal would create a massive organization of insurance companies that would regulate and individual similar to a tyrannical government we have today. Of course one would be free to decide if they wanted to comply with the insurance company or not, but if they don't, they would be hampered in their activities in society.

Also, I fail to see how anarchy would deal with those c
Apr 29, 2011 Nick rated it it was ok
OK intro text to the economic theory behind anarchic systems of defense, arbitration, law, and security. Answers the standard objections. Very little history here, and very little about non-defense/law. Its pretty targeted in that sense. I don't know what else to say about it. I don't really know why this was considered "advanced". Also it has nothing to do with chaos theory, its just a title.

Anarchic law has been done better by others, but the second essay (on defense) was more recommendable.

Wilfredo Rodríguez Dotti
As a libertarian I find some inconsistent aspects, for instance; I can't find abstract unconditional guarantees of rights. In this book there are many gaps and several things that I don't get to understand clearly because the author didn't elaborate enough. In any case this essay serves as a guide (superficial) to understand everything concerning voluntary interactions, also as a basis to understand, think and appreciate every aspect of individual freedom in a capitalist society (anarcho-capital ...more
Yogy TheBear
As a libertarian minarhist who dose not oppose anarho capitalism I will say that the author is way to confident in his ideas.
I strongly hold the assumption that once we talk about anarhy we need to include into our discution, beside the economics and the arguments from clasical liberalism, a serrious consideration of morality, society, ethics and even theology.
Here the author understands that people will be at a much greater liberty to do evil in an anarhistic world, but insted of reasuring us w
Mark Geise
Sep 05, 2016 Mark Geise rated it really liked it
Bob Murphy is one of my favorite economists to listen to; he is fantastic on the ContraKrugman podcast and his lectures are always informative, interesting, and humorous. I have not read much of what he has written, though I did read “The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal” earlier this year. Murphy is unafraid to confront the more difficult and more contentious topics among libertarians, and in these essays he discusses defense and policing in an anarcho-capita ...more
Mario García
Sep 25, 2011 Mario García rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Being sympathetic with Anarchism, I often disregard self-proclaimed "Anarchocapitalists". Whatever the term, it points out the same set of economic ideas American neoconservatives pray for. Instead, Anarchism -as is- has a longstanding tradition of social criteria far away from the established focus on law and individual property, ingrained in market based societies to all extents (i.e., capitalism, socialism).

Out of curiosity -given the good choice of a tittle- I decided to give this book a lit
Jun 16, 2013 Stephen rated it liked it
Good, not great. For a book as short as this, I suppose one shouldn't expect more than an introduction, and with that as the standard Chaos Theory holds up pretty well. Sets forth the argument for market based law, law enforcement, and defense, the ultimate bulwarks of the minarchist, as provided by competing insurance agencies. Again, with approximately 40 pages allotted to each subject, I doubt the author was aiming for a comprehensive defense of his theory; even still this book leaves somethi ...more
Nathan Titus
I've been an anarchist for as long as I can remember, and for just as long I've had some nagging doubts that it couldn't work for long. Most anarchist books, such as Laws of the Jungle, tend to underline my point: they have no particular ideology apart from anti-government. The thesis running throughout them seems be: just get rid of the government and see what happens. I believe what would happen (and there are a few historical examples here) is the immediate establishment of a new and quite po ...more
Jennell McHugh
Nov 17, 2008 Jennell McHugh rated it did not like it
Read as recommended. Disappointing and not provocative. It was a jumpy series of important topics with weak arguments and vague implications (at which I had to laugh). I believe in the importance of uncovering and researching new/refurbished/hybrid economic theories and enactments but its mindblowing that people could blindly dedicate themselves to this theory of "Free market anarchy" that is so unfathomable on a grand scale and thankfully as it sounds horrific run by the like of lawyers, insura ...more
Lukas Lovas
Feb 19, 2014 Lukas Lovas rated it it was amazing
Very well put. The idea of capitalistic anarchy...or rather, anarchy with free quite refreshing. We can always find problems with theoretical systems. But there are countless more with our current way of living. Truly free market does have it's dangers, and the fact that money rules is somewhat frightening. Then again...isn't it kind of similiar now? :D
Well worth reading and thinking about. Keep in mind...there is no ideal political system...not the market anarchy, and not the capita
Jan 30, 2013 Geir rated it liked it
A very interesting and thought provoking book! I'm sure it will help a lot of people to "break" the State in their heads. However, for me this is not necessary. I don't have to know what "could" happen once the State is out of the way. Free people have always and will always find solutions to their problems. The politicians either steal the solutions of free people, or hinder their birth.

Very interesting but in the end of the day: Only a thought experiment and not exactly my cup of tea. I would
Brendan Martin
May 22, 2013 Brendan Martin rated it it was amazing
Just pure fun. No, this is not the perfect model. It shows though, that in a relatively small amount time, one economics professor came up with a model that could possibly work. If he was able to do this much, how much closer to perfect could we make it if everyone committed to the endeavor? To clarify, the endeavor is to have a society without aggression, one that operates on completely voluntary interactions, and fully respects property rights.
Adrián Sánchez
Oct 06, 2015 Adrián Sánchez rated it really liked it
Shelves: libertarismo
Dos cortos ensayos que hacen un análisis de lo que sería el Derecho privado y las agencias de seguridad privadas, lectura altamente recomendada para aquellos quienes tienen la duda de cómo se aplicarían los servicios de legislación y seguridad sin la necesidad del vicioso monopolio que tiene el Estado.

Se puede conseguir gratuitamente desde
M.G. Bianco
Oct 27, 2009 M.G. Bianco rated it really liked it
Shelves: political, economics
Just as it was once believed that the world could not exist without the institution of slavery, it is now believed the world could not exist without the institution of government.

Robert Murphy delivers powerful blows against that thinking, proposing solutions to the most difficult questions, like law enforcement, justice, and national defense.
David Robins
Jan 03, 2013 David Robins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fills in some detail and theory of market-based provision of arbitration and defense, frequent bugaboos of those that demand a state monopoly on these services that are really far too important to leave to it, dispelling myths and providing practical solutions.
Dec 26, 2012 Joredos rated it liked it
Good points,but not applicable in our stupid society nowadays.In some ways Swiss doing private defense.The book is skim in some parts,however the directions are right and interesting.Is tough for me to understand that anarchocapitalists ideas sometimes because money are the biggest devil in world.
Bryan Smith
Aug 25, 2015 Bryan Smith rated it really liked it
Great two essays. As Bob even mentions himself, they are not complete theories but just showing that an anarchist society IS in fact possible from the two topics written about.
Mike Price
Mike Price rated it it was amazing
Aug 06, 2011
Jimmy Morrison
Jimmy Morrison rated it it was amazing
Nov 09, 2015
Henry Stoltzfus
Henry Stoltzfus rated it it was amazing
Nov 08, 2012
Davis Hipps
Davis Hipps rated it really liked it
Jul 08, 2014
N J rated it liked it
Dec 18, 2016
Michael Strawser
Michael Strawser rated it liked it
Nov 11, 2012
Robert Heckner
Robert Heckner rated it really liked it
Jan 11, 2015
Josh Hanson
Josh Hanson rated it really liked it
Feb 09, 2010
Marco De wit
Marco De wit rated it it was ok
Oct 26, 2012
Olexandr Demura
Olexandr Demura rated it did not like it
Jan 04, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Rollback: Repealing Big Government Before the Coming Fiscal Collapse
  • Bourbon for Breakfast: Living Outside the Statist Quo
  • Anatomy of the State
  • Against Intellectual Property
  • Defending the Undefendable
  • The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War
  • The Left, The Right and The State
  • The Problem of Political Authority: An Examination of the Right to Coerce and the Duty to Obey
  • Omnipotent Government
  • Principles of Economics
Robert P. "Bob" Murphy is an Austrian School economist and anarcho-capitalist.
More about Robert P. Murphy...

Share This Book