Imagine there is a man with a tumor, lets call him Bob. Bob goes to the hospital to have  his tumor removed. Unfortunately for Bob his surgeon is a medical minarchist, and ends up taking out only 80% of the tumor. After Bob finds out, he is furious and asked the surgeon why he left some of the tumor in. The surgeon look at Bob and says “Well it’s not like I couldn’t take out ALL of it, that’s just utopian.” 6 months later the 20% of the tumor that was left spreads and Bob dies.

Minarchy leaves in the tumor. It wants to cut back the State to 10% of it’s current size and then stops. Instead of going the extra step, minarchy just stops, happy with itself; not knowing that it just made things much worse.

Lets first look at the most obvious problem minarchy causes; it leaves the State in charge of the most important issues facing society, safety and law. Courts and police, the two areas most ripe for corruption, are left to the people that (minarchy admits) should even be trusted with delivering mail. Instead of opening up to private law and security, minarchy forgets all the pro-market sentiment it usually promotes and leaves it in the hands of the government. Private law has a rich history and deep philosophical support behind it, but instead minarchy asks us to leave that power with those that abused it in the first place. On top of that defense is left under the control of the military. I’ll grant that the State is excellent at killing people, but we’ve seen how quickly defense is distorted into imperialism and occupation. Leave defense to the State and you quickly create an incentive for war. Put simply, under minarchy, even when everything else is freed from the yoke of the State, the most important and powerful aspects of society are left to the bad guys.

This brings us to the next problem, by leaving the State in charge of law and defense, minarchy opens the door for the State to start to change the rules to give themselves more power. Look at the example of America. The founding fathers tried their damnedest to create a limited government through writing their constitution, but even before the ink had dried George Washington and his goons were attacking people to make them pay extra taxes on their whiskey. It is in the nature of the State to absorb as much power as possible, and to do so at all costs. No matter how strictly your write your new constitution, within a few hundred years the government you created will be spying on it’s people, starting wars, and telling you what you can and can’t eat. In fact, if you really look at it, the countries that started out with limited governments end up some of the largest States. Again take the example of America, from “limited government” to spying on everyone in the world within 200 years. Just imagine how quickly a new State could gain that power with today’s technology.
This isn’t just happenstance, there is a very good reason that those government that start small always grow exponentially; and that reason is the market. A small State is incapable of interfering with the market leaving it relatively free. Over time this free market starts to generate serious wealth and prosperity (that’s what freed markets do after all) and that growth ends up to be it’s demise as it alerts the State to a new area it can exploit. The larger the market grows, the more the State gets involved to get as much of the power and wealth that it can. Unfortunately, the market does such a good job at creating prosperity that when the State starts attacking it no one minds because there’s plenty to go around, and when it’s to late the State has absorbed so much power that it’s almost impossible to stop. Minarchy creates an environment where that market can grow to wonderful heights and then the State get’s it’s claws in and starts to use it to grow exponentially. Just look at the power generated by the crony relationships in the American market, all because minarchy didn’t cut out the full tumor.

The favorite rebuttal of the minarchist against anarchy is that anarchy is utopian, it’s pie in the sky. Well after reading the points made above which sounds more utopian to you? Leaving the State in charge of the most important aspects of society and crossing your finger in hopes that it doesn’t fail again, or throwing the whole damn thing out and starting fresh. Is it utopian to say that we have to eliminate the State to achieve freedom or is it utopian to say that this time they won’t abuse their power, this time it’ll work? In reality, minarchy is the most utopian position one can have, because noting is more utopian then expecting something to work for you that has failed every other time. In the words of Brad Spangler, “Anarchists are the hard-nosed realists. People who have this fixation on some ideal government, which isn’t fundamentally just a criminal gang with flags, are the starry-eyed dreamers without a firm grasp on reality.”

So ask yourself, should we leave that tumor in? Of should we cut out the whole damned thing and actually recover from the disease of the State?