Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Stateless and clueless in Somalia

The Mises Institute is "the world center of the Austrian School of economics and libertarian political and social theory." As part of their mission to bring libertarian political and social theory to a wider audience, they have a website which analyses current affairs from a libertarian perspective.

For example, they have an article called "Stateless in Somalia, and Loving It', written by someone who works in financial services, which explains that "Somalia has done very well for itself in the 15 years since its government was eliminated. The future of peace and prosperity there depends in part on keeping one from forming."

This article contends that the problems Somalia faces is because the United Nations and similar big government types keep on trying to force Somalia to have a government, whereas in fact Somali culture is tribal and is based on customary law which is like the laws of nature, so democracy would not work. Furthermore, while media sources such as the BBC report on famine, disease and civil war, they neglect to mention that Somalia's telecommunications industry is apparently flourishing.

One of the features of the Mises Institute's website is that it allows its readers to give all of its articles 'tags', which generate a weblink which describes the content of the article so that people who are interested can read other, similar articles.

So you can read the full libertarian analysis of how Somalia benefits from not having a government by following any of these links:

http://mises.org/tag/hilariously wrong
http://mises.org/tag/libertarianism debunked in one article
http://mises.org/tag/who needs a governement when we have cellphones
http://mises.org/tag/send all libertarians to somalia


At 9:38 am , Blogger Nick said...

For some reason the phrase "If you like it so much why don't you go and live there?" comes to mind...

At 5:20 am , Anonymous Pigsy said...

It could be worse. I notice the article is from 2006, a time when most people thought Somalia was an alternative to rice pudding.

At 5:07 am , Blogger Voluntaryist said...

The only substantive point that was made is this:

"Furthermore, while media sources such as the BBC report on famine, disease and civil war, they neglect to mention that Somalia's telecommunications industry is apparently flourishing."

The Miami Herald has published a piece exposing the political origins of Somalia's famine:


"The callous uses of military and political power against poor people have produced a catastrophic famine." Of course, without skipping a beat, the author goes on to diagnose Somalia's problem: lack of a government.

(Sarcasm on) Governments causing famine in Somalia proves that a government is needed in Somalia (Sarcasm off).

As Robert Murphy stated here:


Somalia is undeniably experiencing progress according to several criteria, despite (or, some would say, because of) its lack of a strong central government.

Somalia is much better without a state than it was with one. The standard statist put-down — "If you Rothbardians like anarchy so much, why don't you move to Somalia?" — misses the point. The Rothbardian doesn't claim that the absence of a state is a sufficient condition for bliss. Rather, the Rothbardian says that however prosperous and law-abiding a society is, adding an institution of organized violence and theft will only make things worse.

From 1991 to 2011:

Life expectancy: 46 years to 50 years
Death rate: 19 to 16
GDP per capita: $210 to $600
Infant mortality: 116 deaths <1yr, per 1,000 births to 109
Adult literacy: 24% to 38%

At 5:47 am , Blogger Voluntaryist said...

I'll also add that Anarcho-capitalism is a system of free markets. This implies property rights, the homestead principle, self-ownership, and the non-aggression principle. Somalia isn't completely respectful of these ideas.

Anarchy is "no government", but anarcho-capitalism is that combined with "respect for libertarian principles". A society can be slow to adopt property rights, even without a government.

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