Daily Archives: 10/03/2011

(The Benjamin Ricketson Tucker Institute) Anarchism can be summed up as the movement which positions itself against Authority, Monopoly, and Hierarchy. Throughout history, the institution that embodied the principles of Authority, Monopoly, and Hierarchy was and still is the State.

A state as defined by political theorists of various stripes is an institution that claims a monopoly of violence or ultimate decision making power over a geographic area. According to the liberal philosopher Hans Hermann Hoppe a state is simply a territorial monopolist. To be more clear, a state is a master over land regardless if other people are on that land. Note that simply owning land does not make an individual or an institution a state but if that ownership is monopolized to deny ownership to others who use the land in question then that is a state. So in essence, the institution known as the state is identical to a landlord.

The functions of a state and a landlord are identical. Both institutions claim a monopoly of decision making power over the land. This monopoly and limited franchise of power creates the condition of authority which is simply the inequality of power disbursed among individuals. With this new found authority, states and landlords have the power to do three essential things. First, they can compel tribute otherwise called taxation and rent. Second, they can create law. Third, they can force out dissent or the non-compliant via deportation and eviction.

This is why I look upon anarchism as simply a revolt against landlordism in all its forms. If you end land monopolization, then you destroy authority and hierarchy. It is that simple for me. I will close with a quote from Winston Churchill. “Land monopoly is not the only monopoly, but it is by far the greatest of monopolies — it is a perpetual monopoly, and it is the mother of all other forms of monopoly.”