Economics, in so far as it is the theory of a free economy, is probably the best studied and most powerfully established and insightful part of all the social sciences - the views of the majority of state-adulating economists notwithstanding.
At least, I have convinced myself in long years of hard study: capitalism not only works, it even works beautifully, and utterly deserves to be praised, promoted, and spread the world over.
Now, what I am not saying is that the foundations, the preconditions of capitalism represent anything nearly as close to a smooth operation as capitalism itself.
And it is on this delicate issue that (many) libertarians and (it seems all) anarcho-capitalists are kidding themselves, to use the American colloquialism.
The mythology that equally inspires and emaciates libertarianism derives its strength from the idea that freedom-based economics works beautifully, as I joyously acknowledge myself, and extends it to the heroic assumption that if we make things work like the free economy does, we shall get them, of whatever nature they are, to be right and properly working and morally satisfying.
In that delusive theory, there appears a term that summarises everything that seems to halt the ideal and natural solution inherent in the concept of a free society: THE STATE.
I will have a lot more to say about THE STATE in future entries. For the time being, let me conclude by pointing out that THE STATE has been, is, and will be part of the overall interaction among human beings. THE STATE does not exist outside nor above that infinitely complex universe of interactions. It is as much subject to it as is any individual human being.
In this spirit I wrote in a comment to an entry at Cafe Hayek:
While Marx did analyse the state very carefully, at times, and still
drew the wrong conclusions about how to deal with it, I have the
impression that many of my fellow-libertarians think they have drawn the
right conclusions about the state to begin with (perhaps by the magic
of Rothbardian apriori) and therefore refrain from emitting the
duplicating waste of analysing it carefully.
I recommend "State Building and Late Development" by David Waldner for anyone to get an inkling of just how complicated the forces are that shape the seeming monolith we call "the state".
I also strongly recommend Joel Migdal's
Happy head scratching to all.
Truth to tell, having discovered just how dogmatic my fellow believers (outside of our circle here at RedStateEclectic) can be, I am having a ball tickling their taboos. Into the bargain, it is great to be utterly serious about something and, at the same time, having chunks of fun just being that serious.