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The Ethics of Anarcho-Capitalism

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Published February 10, 2020

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Kristopher A. Borer

2 books8 followers

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5 stars
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4 stars
10 (29%)
3 stars
2 (5%)
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1 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 reviews
Profile Image for Henrik.
114 reviews
January 10, 2022
Within Austrian economics there is a recurring theme of explaining the fundamentals of economics through Robinson Crusoe, stranded on an island. In this way lots of different key concepts (eg. subjective value, work/leisure, capital, saving/investing) can be introduced, and when Friday arrives even more (eg. specialisation, trade, division of labour).

Borer's book The Ethics of Anarcho Capitalism adopts this idea and strands "you" on an deserted island - and uses a fictional style of narration to let you discover the ethical system based on the Non Agression Principle (NAP), especially with the introduction of, in turn, two more people on the island.

I think the basic idea is fantastic; initially eliminate all the "noise" that can might be introduced by trying to analyse conflicts within a larger society by having the story take place in the context of original appropration. Borer's approach is also interesting, with the emphasis being quite strictly on the NAP rather than property rights. It highlights areas where ethical analysis is inherently complex and no easy answer can be found.

Having it be an actual story has the benefit of it being an easy read, perhaps making it seem that the target audience is (or can include) a somewhat younger audience. A downside is perhaps that the narration can feel a little forced; the problems are exemplified from the story, but the conclusion must also be explicitly written out (and I think they sort of have to), which sort of breaks the narration style a bit. However, I have no problem in accepting this trade-off - and it seems more natural in the second part of the book when (spoiler alert) they escape the island and arrive in a libertarian society.

I think this easily digestible introduction to libertarian ideas is a good way to get people (especially young) thinking in these terms.
Profile Image for Jose Guerra.
6 reviews
November 9, 2020
Very interesting book and even though I know most of the ideas and concepts of the book it still introduced new ideas and helped clarify certain things for me. Reason for 4 stars was the pacing of the book. I feel that the tempo was a slower than I would like and some redundancy of the explaining of certain points contributed to that. The tempo I would say is broken into fourths: 1/4 of the book was great, 2/4 a bit slow, 3/4 picked up again, 4/4 somewhat slow but not as slow as the 2/4. I would recommend this book to those that would like to understand how a ancap society would look like from a high level. This book doesn't go into the nitty gritty nuts and bolts of how a ancap society would run things but I didn't expect that. Shout out to Tom Woods for suggesting the book.
26 reviews1 follower
June 24, 2020
The Ethics of Anarcho-Capitalism is a great introduction to the subject. It's surprisingly approachable and easy to read, making no assumptions about prior knowledge, and the writing style is easy and unpretentious. The book weaves together philosophical discussion with a story of escape from a desert island which illustrates the practical implications of the philosophical concepts, which is a great way to make everything stick.
67 reviews2 followers
January 31, 2021
Written for kids maybe? Or a complete newb being treated like a kid.
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