Chaos Theory: Private Law & Private Defense – By Austrian Economist Robert Murphy

Private Law you say?  What is that?

Listen to this essay by Robert Murphy on how a truly free society would enforce law and order.  Murphy even gets into the nitty gritty of how national defense would operate under a system without taxation.  Believe it or not, the rules imposed by the market on civil behavior dwarf those imposed by the State today.  The free market demands we respect one another or face a very bleak existence indeed.

I must say I was blown away by a few points of logic he makes.  He provides more robust examples of how private law would be administered and enforced than Hoppe does.  The essays are absolutely brilliant.


Anyone interested in exploring the farthest reaches of anarchist theory must come to terms with this account by Robert P. Murphy. Read by Jock Coats.

Among the most advanced topics in the literature in the Austro-libertarian milieu is that which deals with the workings of the fully free society, that is, the society with no state, or anarcho-capitalism. Robert Murphy deals with this head on, and makes the first full contribution to this literature in the new century. Working within a Rothbardian framework, he takes up the challenge of Hans Hoppe regarding the role of market insurance in property security to extend the analysis to the security of person.

His applications are part empirical and part speculative, but unfailingly provocative, rigorous, and thoughtful. The title itself refers to the supposed chaos that results from eliminating the state but Murphy shows that out of chaos grows an ordered liberty. Anyone interested in exploring the farthest reaches of anarchist theory must come to terms with Murphy’s account.


Robert P. Murphy is an Austrian School economist and free market-oriented author. He is the author of the books, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism and The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal. Mr. Murphy is a senior fellow in business and economic studies at the Pacific Research Institute, and is an adjunct scholar for both the Ludwig von Mises Institute and Mackinac Center for Public Policy, and is an economist for the Institute for Energy Research. He writes regular columns for and

Read Robert P. Murphy’s complete book ‘Chaos Theory’ online:

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  • Drcarroll Mba

    Without government, is there property? With whom is my property registered, and from where is that registering body’s power durived? If the market chooses the most ept registering body, what happens to those with property listed with the bodies that lose in the market for sharp dealing? If one body is designated, who does the designating, and what gives them the right? In any event, how can corruption be avoided? Again, if the market punishes bad actors (which can only be a reaction to bad acts), what happens to those who are harmed? My guess is that ‘market anarchy’ is an oxymoron, property requires a state, and states oppress.

    • Hoppe gives a good answers to your questions in this lecture:

      The State does not grant us private property rights. The State destroys private property rights through taxation. Private security services and private courts could protect private property rights far better than the State ever could.

      Since the State entails taxation, and since taxation is theft, it is an oxymoron to say the State can protect property rights since the State is predicated on destroying them.