The idea of having markets in everything overwhelms some people. They cannot imagine having a market of “laws,” currencies, protection, defense, and so on. Their stance is that such a competition could only lead to chaos.
This is a bizarre stance. Look at its implication: if competition and markets lead to chaos, then it must be the case that monopolies lead to order. If that’s true, then why not monopolize everything? Another problem is, how does having access to dozens of choices lead to chaos? Surely choosing between a dozen cola companies, as opposed to one, does not entail any social problems?
But then our statist objector might reply “it’s all very well and good for colas, which are not essential, but law is essential, as the law is the framework within which the market operates.” This belief that government must enforce some monopolies that are somehow “necessary” for the market to exist is sadly popular amongst minarchists.
But this brings me to the second point: why do markets operate very well within Anarchic systems with varying law codes? Take the world, for instance. There are millions of different law codes in the whole world, and yet we still have international trade on a scale that is impossible to imagine. If monopoloid law is necessary for trade, then how could this be?
But also consider that each city, each state or province, and each region has different customs, mores, law codes and regulations. If we follow the reasoning to its logical conclusion, it should be impossible for people to travel from city to city or from region to region. But obviously it’s not…! People deal with having different currencies, “laws,” police forces, and so on, by knowing the differences and dealing with them accordingly. Why couldn’t we do this at a smaller scale?
Would it be inefficient? Not necessarily. After all, we already deal with varying credit card companies, and people living in different states and “countries” trading with each other. And it’s not an insurmountable problem by any stretch of the imagination.
I think these rationalizations are mainly driven by the fact that statists have a problem: they have to defend monopolies and make them look good, because what they are proposing is nothing more than a destructive monopoly on a grand scale. Monopolies are bad, everyone knows this. To justify the State, the biggest monopoly of them all, and the organization that creates all other monopolies through force, is a tall order considering that fact.
The statists try to justify supporting monopolies by claiming that we need the State in order to stop other monopolies… even though no monopoly in history has ever existed without the support or outright enforcement of the State!
If monopolies really did lead to order, then government should lead to the most order of all. But instead we find the opposite: government leads to chaos, violence and death.