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Chaos Theory: Two Essays on Market Anarchy Paperback – January 1, 2002


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Chaos Theory: Two Essays on Market Anarchy + Against the State: An Anarcho-Capitalist Manifesto + Anatomy of the State
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 74 pages
  • Publisher: RJ Communications LLC; 1st edition (2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933550651
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933550657
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,902,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Currie-Knight TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
As another reviewer notes, this book is NOT about chaos theory (as in the mathematical theory). It is a book written in defense of anarcho-capitalism, the belief that a state is not necessary and that all services the state currently performs can best be provided by markets - the same kind of markets that produce food, cleaning services, computers, cars, and just about everything else that we use in our lives. It is terse, very well-written, and maybe one of the best introductions to the idea of anarcho-capitalism I've seen.

Chaos Theory consists of two essays written by economist Robert Murphy, devoted to explaining how an anarcho-capitalist order can provide for (a) defense and (b) law. So, while the book is not comprehensive in explaining how anarcho-capitalism might work in every area, it focuses on the two areas that will seem to most to require government action. After all, both defense and law are classic "public goods" in that they are non-excludable (it is hard to make the service available to only those who pay for it) and non-rivalrous (use by one party does not reduce the availability of the service to others). Further, law and defense are argued to be so important that their chief value is that they should be available to all, not just those who can pay for them. To put it directly, it will appear to most on first blush (yes, including me) a bit crass to view law and defense as services to be bought and sold, rather than something that justice requires to be available to everyone.

We start with private law. As Murphy envisions it, the most likely source of law will be individuals buying private insurance against theft, violence and other forms of aggression. Since there would be no state to protect individuals, individuals would insure themselves and property.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kyle on September 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
We Libertarians tend to tailor our works toward the education of the mainstream. After all, we are hugely a minority, and as such our mission, first and foremost, is to convince the uninitiated and seemingly inconvincible majority. Chaos Theory by Roberty Murphy is not one of these works; it is unabashedly libertarian, further extending the practicality of libertarian philosophy into better explicable grounds. If you are not already a libertarian, you will be indignant -- nay, you will be absolutely disgusted -- the concepts and scenarios that Murphy presents will be so foreign to you that you'll think you are reading a science fiction story. But, then again, what is freedom inside the current state of civilization but the greatest fiction of all?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By George Edwards on November 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
Robert Murphy is one of those authors that can get you to think. When I read Chaos Theory a few years ago he did just that. At the time I was an Ayn Rand loving minarchist but he really tore away all my predispositions and loyalties to a system that practices monopolistic control over what could be a competitive industry that works for the people rather than for expanding its own power.

Chaos Theory is a book that I lend out to a lot of my friends to introduce them to the ideas of Anarcho-Capitalism. I have since went on to read works by Murray Rothbard, Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, Hans Hoppe, Edwards Stringham, and many more. I cannot thank Dr. Murphy enough for writing what he did.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By O. Nave on April 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
In less than 40 pages of actual content (ignoring intro, footnotes, etc), Robert Murphy destroys the flawed arguments for the necessity of government. It's concise, easy to understand, and extremely effective! Highly recommended as a first book for someone not familiar with the ideas and unwilling to commit to a more comprehensive work (such as 'The Market for Anarchy' by Linda and Morris Tannehill, 'The Machinery of Freedom' by David Friedman, or 'Everyday Anarchy' and 'Practical Anarchy' by Stefan Molyneux).
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By ducttapeworm on April 23, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Many years from now when we live in a truly free society Chaos Theory will be one of the books that got us there.
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