Anarcho-capitalism (or, colloquially, ancap)[3][4] is an anti-statist[5] libertarian[6] political philosophy and economic theory that seeks to abolish centralized states in favor of stateless societies with systems of private property enforced by private agencies, the non-aggression principle, free markets and the right-libertarian interpretation of self-ownership, which extends the concept to include control of private property as part of the self. In the absence of statute, anarcho-capitalists hold that society tends to contractually self-regulate and civilize through participation in the free market which they describe as a voluntary society.[7][8][9] In a theoretical anarcho-capitalist society, the system of private property would still exist and be enforced by private defense agencies and/or insurance companies selected by customers which would operate competitively in a market and fulfill the roles of courts and the police.[9][10][11]

The black and gold flag, a symbol of anarchism (black) and capitalism (gold) which according to Murray Rothbard was first flown in 1963 in Colorado[1] and is also used by the Swedish AnarkoKapitalistisk Front[2]

According to its proponents, various historical theorists have espoused philosophies similar to anarcho-capitalism,[12] but the first person to use the term anarcho-capitalism was Murray Rothbard, in the 1940s.[13] Rothbard synthesized elements from the Austrian School, classical liberalism and 19th-century American individualist anarchists and mutualists Lysander Spooner and Benjamin Tucker while rejecting their labor theory of value and the anti-capitalist and socialist norms they derived from it.[14][15][16] Rothbard's anarcho-capitalist society would operate under a mutually agreed-upon "legal code which would be generally accepted, and which the courts would pledge themselves to follow".[17] This legal code would recognize contracts, private property, self-ownership and tort law in keeping with the non-aggression principle.[17][18]

Anarcho-capitalists and right-libertarians cite several historical precedents of what they believe to be examples of anarcho-capitalism,[24] including the Republic of Cospaia,[25] Anglo‐​Saxon England,[5][7] the Free cities of medieval Europe, Medieval Iceland, the American Old West, Gaelic Ireland, Somalia from 1991 to 2006, and law merchant, admiralty law, and early common law.

Anarcho-capitalism is distinguished from minarchism, which advocates a night-watchman state limited to protecting individuals from aggression and enforcing private property.[26] Anarcho-capitalism is also distinguished from anarchism, an anti-capitalist movement that opposes unnecessary coercion and hierarchy, and social anarchism, a branch of anarchism that sees individual freedom as interrelated with mutual aid. Anarcho-capitalists reject the libertarian socialist economic theories of anarchism, arguing that they are inherently authoritarian or require authoritarianism to achieve, while believing that there is no coercion under capitalism. Despite its name, anarcho-capitalism lies outside the tradition of anarchism and is more closely affiliated with capitalism, right-libertarianism, and liberalism.[27][28][29][30][31][32] Traditional anarchist schools of thought oppose and reject capitalism, and consider 'anarcho-capitalism' to be a contradiction in terms.[33][34][35] Anarcho-capitalism is usually seen as part of the New Right.[30][36]

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