This post is a response to Alrenous‘s post, Steel Anarchism. It contains a few minor edits to the original. I thought it was a valuable discussion leading to Aristocratic Egalitarianism, which is something on which I plan to do more work.
We get into trouble with semantics here. Calling this vision ‘anarchy’ or ‘ancap’ may not be clear. I think that your ‘steel anarchy’ could be called ‘Right anarchy’. When I look at anarchism in practice, I see Spanish syndicalism or Eastern communisms, which is nothing like ‘steel anarchism’ because those practical implementations are Leftist. Leftism has as its goal the destruction of hierarchy. I expand on this here: http://poseidonawoke.blogspot.com/2014/10/leftism-vs-liberalism.html
When I look at syndicalism or communism, I see an innate property/axiom: the destruction-of-hierarchy. Calling this Left Anarchy is redundant in my view, because Leftism is the destruction of hierarchy. Leftism or Anarchism will do and are interchangeable. In theory, it means no leaders.
When I look at AnCap or ‘Right Anarchy’, I see that the destruction-of-hierarchy element is removed. In this version of Anarchy, natural hierarchies are allowed to form. This is what makes it Rightist: the acceptance of hierarchy. Why ‘anarchy’ at all then? The idea is an egalitarianism among the leaders, with each group tending to allow the others to co-exist, not allowing a totalizing, centralized leader to emerge. It contains the the idea of no-hierarchy, but at a different level, a higher level. Small scale hierarchy = good, large scale hierarchy = bad. Basically, totalitarianism = bad. This Western idea is expounded upon by Ricardo Duchesne in his work The Uniqueness of Western Civilization, and he dubs it ‘Aristocratic Egalitarianism’. It is a uniquely Western European formulation.
You and I then both game out ‘Steel Anarchy’/’Right Anarchy’ in the same way: natural hierarchies form. Basically, when Western men are allowed to self-organize (free association/exit) into ‘natural’ (learned over millennia) units, they end up looking like city-states with a central leader (mayor/baron/king). When I looked at what is known as ‘anarchic Ireland’, I see this same arrangement, where a ‘king’ means that you are ‘king’ from this field to the river. We probably relate more to the term ‘sheriff’. I see limited hierarchies, forming a loose confederation of competing (and sometimes cooperating) hierarchies. Of course, we are talking about a homogeneous population here — of Western Europeans.
The semantic problem is that ‘Left anarchists’ assume destruction-of-hierarchy at all levels, but ‘Right anarchists’ assume hierarchy at one level, but limited in scope. For this reason, I don’t really like the term ‘anarchy’ or ‘Right anarchy’ or ‘steel anarchy’, it simply invites confusion on the issue of hierarchy. What we really mean when we talk about ‘Right anarchy’, is free association/exit and the ability to form hierarchies (small groups organized under a singular leader), not the complete destruction of the ‘arch’ form of organization, but barring totalizing hierarchy.
I think the idea is much better formulated and explained by Duchesne and named as ‘Aristocratic Egalitarianism’. Let the Leftists keep ‘anarchy’. 🙂