Problem of Political Authority: An Examination of the Right to Coerce and the Duty to Obey

The Problem of Political Authority: An Examination of the Right to Coerce and the Duty to Obey


The state is often ascribed a special sort of authority, one that obliges citizens to obey its commands and entitles the state to enforce those commands through threats of violence. This book argues that this notion is a moral illusion: no one has ever possessed that sort of authority.

More details

Most upvoted comment

Statist looking for AnCap material(r/Anarcho_Capitalism)

The two main types of anarcho-capitalists are the Rothbardians and the consequentialists. Murray N. Rothbard, a titan of libertarianism, is chiefly an economist working in the Austrian tradition of Menger, Bohm-Bawerk, and Mises. The Rothbardian worldview came into being when he took the ideas of Austrian economics (which per se entails no normative policy, and is strictly positive economics) and synthesized them with the natural rights tradition. Man, Economy, and State is his best known work on economics. The Ethics of Liberty is his work on libertarian ethics. For A New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto is a central work which outlines the main ideas of libertarianism and has a discussion about how libertarian ideas can confront modern issues. Although Rothbardians seem to rely more on an objective sense of justice to justify anarcho-capitalism, to varying degrees they utilize consequentialist arguments as well.

The consequentialist anarcho-capitalists may or may not appeal to Rothbard’s ideas. Probably the best known name is David D. Friedman (son of Milton Friedman). The Machinery of Freedom is his best known work. Friedman, like his father, works in the Chicago tradition of economics. A recent author whose work has been given a great deal of praise (and rightly so, in my opinion) is Michael Huemer, a philosophy professor at Boulder, CO. His book The Problem of Political Authority is a “common sense” critique of statism, and a defense of anarcho-capitalism.

That’s enough to get you started. If you want a work that will directly challenge your worldview, read Socialism by Mises. Or at least acquaint yourself with Mises’ central argument, the economic calculation problem. You should also try to make an effort to sort out the different use of terminology (e.g. the words capitalism, socialism, etc) between socialists (broadly speaking) and those who support “laissez-faire”. For example, anarcho-capitalists don’t consider the modern world to be an example of the “capitalism” they advocate.

More details about a book.

Additional Information


Anarcho_Capitalism, DebateFascism

Number Of Links


Sum Of Upvotes


Amazon Price


NSFW Product


Book Binding


Type Code


Book Author

Michael Huemer

Book Edition


Book Publisher

Palgrave Macmillan

Book On Amazon

The Problem of Political Authority: An Examination of the Right to Coerce and the Duty to Obey

Post Title

Statist looking for AnCap material

Reddit Gold


More details