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Anarchy and Legal Order: Law and Politics for a Stateless Society

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ISBN-13: 978-1107032286
ISBN-10: 1107032288
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Editorial Reviews


"Anarchism's case, against the state and for the viability and desirability of a polycentric legal order, receives its most challenging and detailed articulation in Chartier's book."
-Hillel Steiner, FBA
Professor of Political Philosophy, University of Manchester

"Those who defend the legitimacy of the state (even a minimal one) will be forced to reconsider their views by Gary Chartier's clear, sparkling, and trenchant defense of anarchism. This is required reading, not only within the libertarian movement, but by anyone who works in political philosophy."
-Fernando R. Tesón
Tobias Simon Eminent Scholar and Professor of Law, Florida State University

"Anarchy and Legal Order is one of the most important books of libertarian political theory to be published in the last forty years. Libertarians have long appealed to the natural law tradition, but no one has done so with the depth and sophistication of Gary Chartier. And no one has done a better job of showing how the insights of libertarian natural law theory can help us see the ways in which real-world capitalism has been deeply unjust."
-Matt Zwolinski
Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of San Diego

"Gary Chartier's book brings together the natural law and anarchist traditions in ways that are illuminating for both. It illustrates the richness of the natural law approach to ethics, using it to make a compelling case for a stateless society. The book is original, insightful and closely argued. It will help to cement Chartier's growing reputation as a leader in natural law and anarchist thought."
-Jonathan Crowe
Associate Professor, University of Queensland

"This book is a major contribution to debates on the status of anarchism. It deftly combines moral justification with a concern for institutional practicality and bridges the divide between socialist and libertarian standpoints. One of the very best books on the subject I have ever encountered."
-Mark Pennington
Professor of Public Policy and Political Economy, King's College, London

"Chartier takes the insight that there can be law without legislation and develops it into a manifesto, a vision of what socialism could have and should have been: socialism that does not pander to the urge to run other people's lives. Chartier finds kindred spirits across a wide array of traditions, yet the synthesis that emerges is all his own. Anarchist it is, but this is the anarchism of a humanist, not a terrorist, a deeply thoughtful anarchism unlike anything yet seen."
-David Schmidtz
Kendrick Professor of Philosophy, joint Professor of Economics (by courtesy), and Director of the Center for the Philosophy of Freedom, University of Arizona

"Chartier's book is well written, thought provoking, and a welcome addition to the literature. It takes a public choice assumption about how the State works to its own benefit to its logical extreme, and comes to the conclusion that the State is not justified. James Buchanan (1975, p. 3) wrote, "To the individualist, the ideal or utopian world is necessarily anarchistic in some basic philosophical sense." Anarchy and Legal Order provides an outline of these ideals offering both moral and practical support for anarchism." -Edward P. Stringham, Fayetteville State University, Public Choice

"[Chartier's] arguments are laid out with such elegance and precision that any intelligent lay reader should be able to understand them. For most people, the only real challenge will be to their presuppositions and long-held beliefs about the nature of government... Anarchy and Legal Order is an impressive contribution to libertarian thought generally, and in particular to the ongoing debates on anarchism versus minarchism and on libertarianism's place vis-a-vis the left/right dichotomy. It's a must-read for those interested in political philosophy, and it may well challenge readers' long-held beliefs about the nature of government." -Aeon J. Skoble, Bridgewater State University, Reason Foundation

"Gary Chartier's new book is anything if not radical...Austrian scholars of all persuasions will benefit immensely from engaging with its arguments and the intellectual precedent it creates" -Paul Dragos Aligica, George Mason University, The Review of Austrian Economics

Book Description

This book elaborates and defends the idea of law without the state. Animated by a vision of peaceful, voluntary cooperation as a social ideal and building on a careful account of non-aggression, it features a clear explanation of why the state is illegitimate, dangerous, and unnecessary.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 434 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (November 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1107032288
  • ISBN-13: 978-1107032286
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #783,101 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

My motto these days is, "Give peace a chance." I hope my writing and speaking can help people find ways to craft patterns of life marked by peaceful, voluntary cooperation.

Everything I've published to date has been non-fiction. I write about law, politics, ethics, and religion, largely from a philosophical perspective.

My philosophical work is very much in the analytic tradition, though I'm inclined to embrace the process metaphysics of Alfred North Whitehead, Charles Hartshorne, John Cobb, and David Ray Griffin. In moral and political philosophy, I've been influenced by people including Thomas Nagel, John Finnis, David Wiggins, and Owen Flanagan, along with my Center for a Stateless Society compatriots Roderick T. Long, Charles W. Johnson, Kevin Carson, Sheldon Richman, Joe Stromberg, and Brad Spangler. In philosophy of religion and philosophical theology, I've gained a lot from current and not-so-current thinkers including, apart from people I've already mentioned, Karl Rahner, Nicholas Lash, Austin Farrer, David Brown, John Macquarrie, Nicholas Wolterstorff, Robert Adams, Fritz Guy, Charles Teel, Jr., David Larson, and John Hick.

Politically, I'm a left-wing market anarchist. I take anarchism to be the project of doing without the state. I support the elimination of states and their replacement by a diverse array of consensual communities in which people experiment with ways of being human and of being free.

I'm a market anarchist because (while I don't think everyone should be forced into a cookie-cutter mold), I'd opt for a state-free community in which people enjoyed robust individual possessory rights and were free to structure relationships through exchange. My market anarchism is left-wing because I support inclusion and oppose subordination, deprivation, and aggressive and preventive war. I own the American individualist anarchists, especially Benjamin Tucker and Lysander Spooner, as forebears; thus, I'm happy to identify as a socialist in something like the sense suggested by Tucker's work.

My day job is as associate dean of La Sierra University's School of Business. At La Sierra, I teach courses in business ethics, global poverty, employee and labor relations, religion and science, political philosophy, and social theory. On a more personal level: I'm sentimental and nostalgic. I'm an insomniac, an early riser, a geek, a technophile, and a vegetarian. I abhor positional authority. Friendship is central to who I am. Born in Glendale, I've lived in SoCal most of my life and it still moves and excites me. I devour TV shows via Netflix. And I read, and read, and read.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Edward Stringham on August 17, 2015
Format: Hardcover
Here is a shortened version of my review of Anarchy and Legal Order in the journal Public Choice:
"Is government benign? Public choice economists have documented how governments encourage rent seeking, hold back free enterprise, create macroeconomic instability, bring their citizens into war, and imprison large numbers of innocent people (Coyne, 2008; D’Amico, 2010; Higgs 2006; Holcombe, 2005). Public choice economists have also asked whether government even justified. To Winston Bush, 'Anarchy as an organizing principle for society must appeal to anyone who places individual freedom high on his scale of values' (in Tullock, 1972, p.5). Although many believe that a stateless society would lead to disorder (Holcombe, 2004), others argue that ordered anarchy is indeed possible (Boettke, 2011; Leeson, 2007; Powell and Stringham, 2009). The literature on the economic analysis of anarchy has been growing substantially in recent years and it raises many legal and ethical questions. For this reason I was very glad to see Anarchy and Legal Order by Gary Chartier who has a dual background in law and ethics (J.D. from UCLA and a Ph.D. from Cambridge).

Chartier’s book starts with a set of basic principles—especially a detailed justification for property rights and rules that draws not only on natural law sources but also on the work of public choice influenced scholars including Armen Alchian, Anthony de Jasay, and David Schmidtz—and gradually builds up to discuss such complex issues as the legitimacy of state authority. His conclusion: at least under normal circumstances, there isn’t any. Chartier recognizes that political philosophy was not invented in 1971 and that traditions well outside the mainstream have a lot to offer contemporary theorists.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By CW on June 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I entirely agree with the last reviewers remarks, indeed, what is going on with the price of this, and indeed so many other texts? Well the answer is of course profit maximization for greedy publishers, an aim entirely at odds with the authors central philosophy as contained in the book, and the wider ideal that we should have an educated mass of people. Indeed the book addresses some central, if not urgent questions, questions I'd like others to benefit from pondering, so here's how to get it for free, just follow the link [...] (its safe, no hidden nastiness :).
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