Chapter 5

Anarchism within the state: Quasi-anarchism

In the last chapter, I argued that complete abolition of the state is not a reasonable goal in a technologically advanced society. But as my presentation thus far should have revealed, abolishing the state is not the defining feature of anarchism. It is at best a possible means to the more important end of self-government on the basis of private judgment. If it turns out that retaining state authority is a better means for promoting that end, then it seems we should use that means instead. That, as I have already mentioned, is what I propose.

One of the puzzles to be discussed in this chapter is finding a basis within quasi-anarchist theory for creating a state and granting it authority. The problem is not merely one of when and whether to obey an existing state. This problem faces any moral theory that places emphasis on the individual's moral duty of autonomy. The question is whether a theory based on the principles enunciated thus far can recommend the creation of a state without resorting to the use of extraneous principles such as Rousseau's general will or Jeffrey Reiman's overriding utilitarianism. I argue that there is a traditional anarchist principle, namely respect for rational authority, which can provide a basis for the quasi-anarchist state.

This chapter also addresses the question of how far quasi-anarchism's recommendations for political practice would differ from those found in libertarianism and liberalism. I believe that these recommendations would be quite similar to those of liberalism. Liberalism and anarchism, particularly Godwinian anarchism, have a great deal in common, historically and ideologically. Even a theory that depends, as does this one, on a perfectionist value system, may in the end not have consequences too sharply different from current liberal theories.

Can anarchist principles support the state?

Few anarchists, whether activists or theorists, have regarded the destruction of the state as a sine qua non. Among activists there is a long standing tradition of trying to "live the revolution" by circumventing or simply ignoring the state as much as possible. Syndicalist anarchists have often sought greater worker autonomy and self-management as a primary goal, ignoring the revolutionary aspects of their doctrine when convenient. Bohemian artists sympathetic to anarchism have frequently chosen to create artistic sub-cultures without any expectation that this would result in the destruction of the state. Founders and inhabitants of utopian anarchist communities may not have wished to deal extensively with the state, but they were willing to co-exist with it, and in some cases rely on its police and judicial protection.

Activists, whose propensities are for immediate action, could be expected to tolerate the state simply out of necessity. But anarchist theorists have also sometimes been willing to consider alternatives to the goal of complete statelessness. Some of the classical writers were sufficiently reconciled to the existence of the state that they considered joining it. Proudhon actually served as a member of the French national assembly for a year, though he reportedly regretted it afterward.[1] Godwin is known to have considered serving in Parliament.[2] And although this may simply indicate that these thinkers regarded the state as a necessary evil for the time being, it at least indicates that they did not consider it so irrevocably tainted that it must never be dealt with.

This view sometimes actually found its way into official classical anarchist doctrine. Proudhon wrote an entire book on how to organize federations of independent communities.[3] His recommendations would allow a majority of the members of a federation to outvote the rest, and even compel them to obey the dictates of the majority. An organization with legitimate coercive power is, of course, tantamount to a state, and for this reason at least one commentator has described Proudhon's position as fundamentally liberal, rather than anarchist.[4] My recommendation, however, is that rather than paint the father of Continental anarchism as a liberal, we should examine the potential in anarchist theory for a wider range of positions on the acceptability of the state.

Nor is this leniency toward the state limited to the classical thinkers. Among modern writers, Michael Taylor premises most of his work on trying to discover how stateless order is possible. Still, he conceives of reducing the state without abolishing it as a valid end, worth considering in its own right.[5] This suggests that a theory grounded in the anarchist philosophy need not be premised on unbending opposition to the state. This chapter will show in detail how the essence of the anarchist view can be retained and reconciled with the continuing existence of the state.

A theory based on private judgment regards authority with suspicion at best. My primary task, then, will be to identify the circumstances in which the exercise of authority is justified, and in which obedience is called for. The two basic questions will be: 1. When should one obey authority? and 2. How should the state exercise authority?

When should one obey authority?

Recall, from chapter 1, that Wolff's argument from autonomy fails to establish the need for anarchism. I think, nonetheless, that he is right to point out the difficulty of reconciling autonomy with obedience. Even if we are inclined to believe that the state can be justified in enforcing its decisions, we may be uncertain about how this can be done in a manner consistent with a deep respect for autonomy-particularly if, like Godwin, we view private judgment not only as a duty but as a good, a crucial element of human flourishing.

Potentially even more troubling is the question of how each citizen ought to regard commands by the state. Although Wolff overstates his case when he claims that the state demands slavish, unquestioning conformance to its every demand, there are many occasions in which a state authority (or other authority) expects its decisions to remove the need for deliberation on the part of each citizen. This is not to say that the state intends to forbid deliberation; but it does intend to make deliberation pointless. A state can leave its citizens free to deliberate as much as they like about whether or not to obey the law, but it will still intend that the result of that deliberation be irrelevant to whether their actions are in accordance with the law. Under ordinary circumstances, the state does not entertain the notion that citizens have the right to act on their personal deliberations if those deliberations militate against obeying traffic laws, building construction codes, or workplace safety regulations.

The theory I have been developing places profound emphasis on private judgment; the puzzle is whether it can accept that there are any circumstances in which a citizen ought to disregard his private judgment and obey the commands of the state. I argue that this theory can account for a limited obligation to obey the law. This obligation will not be as sweeping an obligation as many theorists of state authority have sought to provide; but the important task is to show that a theory based on these basic principles can, without the arbitrary addition of extraneous principles, support state authority at all.

Rational authority

Although anarchism values individual judgment, it recognizes that some people's judgment is more accurate than others. Clearly, some people's suggestions for action deserve special attention; indeed, sometimes their advice should be followed without questioning. The classical theorists recognized this sort of authority, which is sometimes referred to as rational authority. The term Godwin uses is 'confidence', and he justifies obedience to such an authority as follows:

Every man will find that there are some points in which he is the equal or perhaps the superior of other men, but that there are certainly points in which other men are superior to him. The superiority in question in the present instance is superiority of intellect or information.
(Book III, Chapter VI; Penguin Enquiry, 240)
Utopian though Godwin was, he knew quite well that not all people have equal talent, knowledge, or ability; and that civilized life would grind to a halt if no one was ever comfortable following someone else's orders.
It may happen that the point in which another man surpasses me is a point of some importance to my welfare or convenience. I want, for example, to build a house, or to sink a well. It may happen that I have not leisure or means to acquire the science necessary for this purpose. Upon that supposition I am not to be blamed if I employ a builder for the first, or a mechanic for the second; nor shall I be liable to blame if I work in person under his direction. This sort of obedience is distinguished by the appellation of confidence... (Loc. cit.)
As the discussion in this and earlier chapters indicates, Godwin has serious worries about relying on other people's judgment; but as should also have been clear, his strongest disapprobation is reserved for those who fail to carry out the duty of the informed conscience "...in those cases of general justice which are equally within the province of every human understanding." (Book III, Chapter VI; Penguin Enquiry, 245) There will inevitably be cases in which I simply must rely on the judgment of other people; I cannot be an expert about every matter that comes before me. So in some circumstances, obedience to those in whom I have confidence is justified.

Still, we should not think that Godwin took lightly the decision to place confidence in someone. Placing confidence in someone who does not merit that confidence is a serious failing: not, of course, simply because of the risk of failing to do one's duty, but also because of the injury to the principle of relying on one's informed, conscientious judgment.

...obedience flowing from the consideration of a penalty is less a source of degradation and depravity than a habit of obedience founded in confidence. ... The greatest mischief that can arise in the progress of obedience is, where it shall lead us, in any degree, to depart from the independence of our understanding, departure which general and unlimited confidence necessarily includes.
(Book III, Chapter VI; Penguin Enquiry, 241-2)
For confidence must be earned. I cannot consider myself justified in taking someone's advice as authoritative unless I know that that person is genuinely knowledgeable about the subject in question. This determination in itself calls for a considerable exercise of judgment on my part.

Furthermore, confidence must be specific to a particular area of knowledge. It is all too common that someone who is an authority in one area of expertise will be thoroughly ignorant in many other areas-and indeed may not even be aware of the extent of his ignorance outside his particular field. So if I am to place my confidence in someone, I should limit this to the specific areas in which I have genuine reason to think that my confidence is well-placed.

Finally, the principle of private judgment advises against placing of confidence for an indefinite or unlimited span of time. My authority's expertise may fade; or I may come to equal or exceed him in knowledge. Or I may decide that the possibility of error in performing my duties is outweighed by my need to develop my own, underused capacities: better, in this instance, to learn from my own mistakes. So I am under a constant obligation to monitor the authority; to judge whether he still merits my confidence; and to assess whether the urgency of my duties justifies my continuing suspension of judgment.

State authority

The key to defending obedience to the state in quasi-anarchism will be to assimilate the case of state authority to that of rational authority. One's obedience to the state will be morally required in those cases where relying on one's private judgment is overwhelmingly likely to be counterproductive. As should be clear, the authority that this account justifies is limited, provisional, and relative to the individual. This should not be surprising, given the ideological roots of this theory. Still, I will argue that this account can allow for a considerable amount of state action.

My position draws heavily on an argument developed by the liberal theorist Joseph Raz. His original presentation of this argument was, of course, not designed to be compatible with quasi-anarchism. In fact, he states that the argument is a corrective to opponents of authority such as Wolff and Godwin. But I will argue that his reasoning is actually compatible with the Godwinian principles already discussed, and indeed provides the best guideline for how a quasi-anarchist ought to view his or her relationship with the state. Raz's political theory is often thought of as odd and idiosyncratic, particularly since he argues against the existence of a general obligation to obey the law. One of the intriguing aspects of writing this dissertation has been discovering the existence of a markedly similar body of work-part of a tradition in which Raz is working-dating back to the eighteenth century.

This justification of authority rests on three theses: i. the dependence thesis; ii. the normal justification thesis; and iii. the pre-emption thesis.

i. The dependence thesis asserts that legitimate authority must base its decisions about orders and recommendations for action upon pre-existing reasons for action: reasons for action which already apply to the people who will act.

...all authoritative directives should be based on reasons which already independently apply to the subjects of the directives and are relevant to their action in the circumstances covered by the directive. (Raz 1986, 47)
Raz notes that this thesis is not the same as the "no difference thesis," which claims that an authoritative decision should have no effect on the obligations of the people subject to that authority. Authoritative decisions based on dependent reasons can change the specifics of what people should do: for example, an authority can legitimately create a convention. A good example is the creation of conventions regarding traffic safety. Traffic should travel on one side of the road. It doesn't matter which side, right or left-as long as we all agree on one side. If there is no agreement, then apparently there is no clear duty to drive on one side in particular. A state-created convention establishing which side to drive on can make a difference in people's specific duties by fixing one side as the obligatory side. So in this case the state has made a difference in people's duties; but this duty still depends on a prior duty to drive safely which would exist regardless of the actions of the state.

The dependence thesis amounts to the claim that the existence of state authority does not inherently involve the creation of new kinds of reasons for acting. The dependence thesis would not provide support for the claim that there can be "reasons of state" that have no ultimate connection to the flourishing of the people who are ruled by the state.[6] So, for example, a fascist or nationalist principle that elevated national glory as an end over and above the welfare of the people of the nation would be contrary to the dependence thesis. The dependence thesis is entirely consistent with Godwin's express views on the matter.

The supreme power in a state ought not, in the strictest sense, to require anything of its members that an understanding sufficiently enlightened would not prescribe without such interference.
(Book II, Chapter I; Penguin Enquiry, 166)

ii. The normal justification thesis asserts that the normal way to convince a subject S to obey an authority A is to demonstrate that S is more likely to fulfill his or her obligations by following A's recommendations than by attending directly to the reasons that are directly evident to S. In other words, authority is worth obeying when its judgment about our duties is better than our own. This reasoning, of course, applies to all kinds of authorities, including state authority.

As Raz points out, other sorts of possible justifications for authority are not terribly persuasive. For example, I may decide to obey someone if my disobedience would hurt his feelings, or if my disobedience would cause other people to act dangerously. Although these sorts of considerations may present me with reasons to do what that person says, those reasons are not based on the person's authority, and they do not bear on the question of whether that person counts as an authority.

Once again, this is consistent with quasi-anarchist principles. On each occasion when I obey someone, my obedience ought to be based on my expectation that they have rational authority, i.e. that they are in a better position than I am to know what to do. Obedience on other grounds is an unjustified surrender of my right and duty to think and act conscientiously.

Finally, there is iii, the pre-emption thesis, which follows from the previous two theses. This asserts that in some circumstances, decisions by an authority are intended to pre-empt the reasons which they are dependent on. That is, the handing down of an authoritative decision removes from consideration some of the reasons on which that decision was based. It substitutes the decision, in the context of its having been handed down by the authority, as the primary reason for action.

...the fact that an authority requires performance of an action is a reason for its performance which is not to be added to all other relevant reasons when assessing what to do, but should exclude and take the place of some of them.
(Raz 1986, 46)
This follows from the previous two theses in the following manner. The dependence thesis placed a restriction on state action: a legitimate authority does not create new kinds of obligations, but should determine its edicts based on reasons for action that already apply to its citizens. The normal justification thesis asserts that an authority is worth obeying just in case its recommendations will help me fulfill my obligations more accurately than my own deliberation.

We can prove the pre-emption thesis by disposing of alternatives. Suppose an authority passes a law or makes a recommendation to me. In what circumstances am I justified in disregarding that recommendation? If the state is attempting to impose a new sort of reason for acting upon me, or commanding actions for which there is no good reason, I might reasonably refuse to obey the law; but a state operating properly, according to the dependence thesis, will base its edicts on already existing reasons. If I have overwhelming reason to believe that the state is mistaken about what action will best achieve the desired end, I may have reason to disobey the state. But in that case, Raz would reply, the state can be regarded as lacking authority (according to the normal justification thesis).

If obeying in this case would grievously stunt my moral and intellectual development, then it would be preferable to follow my own judgment, even at the risk of making mistakes and failing to perform my duty. Raz recognizes that this is a legitimate reason in some cases: he specifically recommends obeying authority only "where improving the outcome is more important than deciding oneself." (Raz 1986, 69) In this sort of circumstance, one can regard oneself as attending to an overriding duty which must be fulfilled by dint of one's own efforts.

But suppose that none of the preceding conditions apply. The state orders me to perform an action which is intended to help me carry out a pre-existing duty; I have good reason to think that the state has epistemic authority in this matter; and carrying out the duty is more important than educating my judgment in this area of knowledge. Is there any remaining reason not to let the state's judgment pre-empt my own? One might argue that one ought to take the authority's reasoning not as pre-emptive, but as an additional factor to weigh in one's own reasoning. But, as Raz argues, this is not a rational option. In those situations where the authority can be depended upon to produce more reliable results than one's own independent judgment, one ought to use its commands as the basis for one's actions, rather than depending on the independent reasons which one would use in one's own deliberations if the state had made no recommendation. The state's commands should remove those independent reasons from consideration, or pre-empt them. For the pre-empted reasons have already been taken into account in the authority's process of judgment. As Raz points out, using the pre-existing reasons as well as the authority's recommendation would be to count the same reasons twice, which threatens one's epistemic accuracy.

Once again, we can readily find examples where obedience to law is entirely appropriate and indeed called for by anarchist principles. An example that I have already mentioned is obeying traffic laws. One of my duties while driving an automobile is to drive safely. Traffic regulations are a state-imposed means of enhancing my ability to carry out that duty. They do this, in part, by suspending the need for an extensive process of private judgment with regard to whether to stop at certain intersections, what speed to travel at, what side of the road to drive on, and so on.

Ultimately, the benefit results from putting decisions of this sort in the hands of those who are best qualified-by aptitude, training, and personal research and experience-to make them. Even if I have the basic intelligence necessary to understand the operation of a piece of complicated machinery, or the best way to navigate a heavily traveled highway, I do not have the time necessary to study each of these items and determine my duty in each case-not, at least, if I am to do anything else, including carrying out much more important duties that I am better placed to perform. So I am justified in placing my confidence in these experts, provided that their judgment is demonstrably better than mine at determining my duty.

One interesting question that this account faces is whether state creation of standards and conventions actually counts as a species of epistemic authority. For example: suppose that an unimpeachable expert determines that the safest and most efficient way to use a certain stretch of highway would be for everyone to travel on it at around 65 miles per hour. The state agency in charge of the highway, however, gives the matter little attention and sets the maximum speed at 55 mph.

If we are willing to grant that this agency has authority to make this sort of mistake, which seems prima facie reasonable, we are faced with two problems. One is that we seem to have granted authority even in the absence of epistemic privilege. The second is that this non-epistemically privileged authority has been able to change people's duties: for assume that most people now obey the lower speed limit, and that traveling at 65 mph when most others are going at 55 is dangerous. Granted those assumptions, it now appears that one's duty is to travel at 55 rather than 65.

These are intriguing puzzles for this theory to deal with, but they can be solved; indeed, the second puzzle is the key to solving the first. We must first note that one's duties in traffic are highly dependent on prevailing circumstances. This applies to our highway example: although the highway might be safest if everyone were to travel at around 65 mph, this does not yet establish that any individual has a duty to drive at that speed. The duty to drive at 65 mph is a potential duty; it is only a duty if the practice of driving at 65 mph is widespread. In other circumstances, such as the ones created by the state's action, my duty may well be to drive at the legal and prevailing speed of 55. This would be my duty because of the change in others' behavior, and would apply even if the prevailing speed were 55 for reasons unrelated to state action.

The state's action has changed other people's behavior, and in so doing has altered the context in which my duties are determined. Can this be legitimate in the absence of epistemic advantage? Interestingly enough, we can argue that the state's position as an authority creates a special kind of epistemic advantage: that of the self-fulfilling belief. In this case, the state authority believed that people had a duty to drive at 55 mph, and its actions on the basis of that belief made that belief true.[7],[8] This implies that being a de facto authority can by itself fortify one's claims to having the epistemic advantage necessary to be a legitimate authority. This result is in keeping with traditional views about the need to possess some de facto authority in order to qualify for de jure authority.[9]

If we accept that this analysis of authority is supportable, we face the task of determining the extent of state intervention that it allows. It seems apparent that a state based on this theory should recognize my need to diverge from its rule in some circumstances. This is already true with regard to some cases. Traffic laws, for example, are tacitly understood to be somewhat flexible. If I need to drive someone to the hospital in an emergency, it may be appropriate to make my own decisions about whether to run a red light or to exceed the speed limit. In situations like this, allowing state directives to determine how I should carry out my duties can be less effective than making such decisions myself. The state-as-rational-authority would recognize its own fallibility in situations of this kind. And, as I have mentioned, existing states sometimes act in this way; another example is the institution of conscientious objection to military service.[10]

This argument does not create a general obligation to obey the law in all circumstances. One will be obliged to obey the law only in those cases where the state actually has an epistemic advantage. If I know that the state's knowledge of my duty is inferior to my own, then this obligation to obey on the basis of authority no longer applies. Of course, as noted above, there may be other reasons to do what the law demands, even though those reasons are not based on the law's authority in the matter. One might obey a mistaken law in order not to encourage other people to break the law in ways that might cause harm. But we recognized at the outset that there may be any number of independently existing reasons to do what the law requires, and that such behavior, since it is not based on taking the law's imperatives as pre-emptive, does not count (in Wolff's sense) as obedience to authority.

Government based on these principles would seek to limit its exercise of authority to cases in which that authority could genuinely be deemed rational authority. The creation of conventions and standards, including such things as licensing requirements, is one way for state authorities to help people carry out their duties. Another legitimate exercise of government is to create coordinative agencies to help channel and direct the activities of well-intentioned citizens whose efforts would be diffuse and ineffectual otherwise. This is how some massive governmental activities have been carried out in the past. One notable instance is the U.S. government's coordination of volunteer state militias during the Civil War.

We should keep in mind, though, that the legitimate power to help citizens carry out their duties should be limited to those cases where the state authority is plausibly in a position of epistemic advantage. Standards, conventions, and coordination are powerful tools, but if the need for them can be met by voluntary association and the free market, then the state would not need to intervene.[11] Furthermore, a state constituted along these lines should also take very seriously the need for its citizens to maintain an attitude of skepticism and constant evaluation of the government. As Godwin noted in the passage quoted earlier, an unjustified or casual confidence in authority is considerably more dangerous to one's own powers of judgment than an attitude of passive obedience under protest.

But these general statements leave a great deal unexplored about how such a government would actually function. Would it resemble the libertarian minimal state? Might it be dangerously prone to paternalism, driven by the imperative to declare that the state knows best? I suggest that with some exceptions, it would look a great deal like the sort of state called for by liberal theory, rather than libertarian theory. The reasons for this claim, plus an examination of the best organization of government, are the topic of the next section.

How should the state exercise authority?

Voluntary federations: an untenable position

As I have mentioned, there is some precedent in anarchist thought for a position that tolerates the existence of government. The classical theorists were aware that modern life involves more large-scale social and economic interdependence than did pre-agricultural acephalous societies. Most of them therefore grudgingly acknowledged the need for some institutions that would extend beyond community boundaries and take up some of the coordinative functions of the state. The most common term for the coordinative institution was 'federation'. The idea of federation was an attempt to find a middle ground between complete absence of coordination and coercive government. Ideally, federations would differ from states because they would be made up of communities on an equal footing whose participation was fully voluntary.

Concessions to the need for coordinative authority are easy to find in Godwin, whose arguments are full of hedges and qualifications.[12]

It is earnestly to be desired, that each man should be wise enough to govern himself, without the intervention of any compulsory restraint; and, since government, even in its best state, is an evil, the object principally to be aimed at is, that we should have as little of it, as the general peace of human society will permit.
(Book III, Chapter VII; Toronto Enquiry, v. 1, 246)
This assertion is remarkably uninformative; it means almost nothing without a prior understanding of just how much or how little government "the general peace of human society will permit." Depending on one's views of the perfectibility of humanity, it could allow for no government at all or for a great deal. Other passages give us a better idea of how much government Godwin thought would ultimately be necessary. He has a marked preference for government on the local scale, limited to parish size.[13] Within the limited boundaries of that jurisdiction, he asserts,
Government can have no more than two legitimate purposes, the suppression of injustice against individuals within the community, and the common defence against external invasion. The first of these purposes, which alone can have an uninterrupted claim upon us, is sufficiently answered, by an association, of such an extent, as to afford room for the institution of a jury, to decide upon the offences of individuals within the community, and upon the questions and controversies, respecting property, which may chance to arise.
(Book V, Chapter XXII; Penguin Enquiry, 544-5)
The first purpose of government, suppression of injustice, seems to have the potential to encompass a large variety of governmental functions, depending on how one understands the notion of 'injustice against individuals'. But focusing for the time being on basic functions of the criminal law, what of the concerns we noted in the last chapter? Can such communities deal with criminals who flee?
It might be easy indeed for an offender, to escape from the limits of so petty a jurisdiction; and it might seem necessary, at first, that the neighbouring parishes, or jurisdictions, should be governed in a similar manner, or at least should be willing, whatever was their form of government, to cooperate with us, in the removal or reformation of an offender, whose present habits were alike injurious to us and to them. But there will be no need of any express compact, and still less of any common centre of authority, for this purpose. General justice, and mutual interest, are found more capable of binding men, than signatures and seals.
(Op. cit., 455)
Not only is small-scale government permissible; federations of such jurisdictions are also allowed, though such alliances must be as temporary as possible, and completely voluntary. As elsewhere, Godwin argues that rational self-interest and considerations of justice will by themselves be enough to ensure that such federations are effective. Indeed, before humanity achieves universal rationality, Godwin might even allow the adoption of permanent arrangements for cooperation between jurisdictions, as long as they were still voluntary.

What real difference is there between this sort of federation and a state? Assuming that there is a difference, are voluntary federations preferable to states? Can they solve the practical problem of maintaining justice and peace?

One difference is that federations, unlike states, would be built "from the ground up." The classical writers argued that the state inherently sought to accrue power to itself by whatever means were available, and that this meant weakening or forcibly incorporating independent centers of power. The power of a federation, on the other hand, would depend on the prior existence of independent and self-sufficient communities. States control; federations coordinate.

Furthermore, and crucially, federations are voluntary organizations. Theoretically, a community which finds that its needs are not appropriately served by its federation may decide to sever ties, or to limit its cooperation with the federation in whatever manner it chooses. This stipulation would preserve the local communities' right to self-governance.[14]

Unfortunately, however, voluntary coordination can not be counted on as an effective means of cooperation. A completely voluntary federation cannot resolve a conflict without achieving full agreement from both of the parties involved; and this is not always possible. Recalcitrant groups can take advantage of a requirement of unanimous agreement, paralyzing a voluntary organization by refusing to compromise in their demands. A group which finds itself politically outweighed or outmatched by other groups in a federation has considerable incentive to leave the federation.

In practice, most actual federations have fallen apart in the face of entrenched disagreements among their member communities.[15] This was not a serious problem in less technologically advanced times. In pre-agricultural societies, irresolvable conflict between community factions was typically solved by one faction physically moving away from the original community. This "fissioning" of communities was probably a common reason for the founding of new villages. But fissioning is no longer a viable alternative in most cases. The world is a smaller place now, and distance is no longer a serious barrier to involvement and interdependence.

This is not to say that the basic rationale behind Godwin's (or Proudhon's) federative principle is misguided. Even if we admit the need for a supreme coercive authority, we may still want most power to be decentralized, and the state to be largely unintrusive. But we will still have a state, and we ought not to shrink from that admission. A state taking the form we are considering could still be a kind of federation, but it would not recognize an unqualified right of independent action or of secession for its constituent communities. Of course, secession or partition might be a negotiable option in some cases, such as the recent case of the partition of Czechoslovakia. But the stress in this phrase is on 'negotiable': secession or divergence from federation policy would have to be a matter for the entire federation to decide. As Abraham Lincoln said regarding these matters in his First Inaugural Address:

...if the United States be ... but an association of States in the nature of contract merely, can it, as a contract, be peaceably unmade, by less than all the parties who made it? One party to a contract may violate it -- break it, so to speak; but does it not require all to lawfully rescind it?
(Lincoln 1989, 217)

Anarchism and libertarianism

The presentation thus far leaves open many important questions about the policies most appropriate for the legitimate state. Given the enormous scope of this question, my remarks here will be unavoidably brief. I should also note that there is relatively little guidance on this issue from my main sources; aside from Proudhon's book, this topic is not much addressed in anarchist literature, to say the least.

I argue that the quasi-anarchist state, in many respects, would be remarkably similar to the liberal state, with a few key differences to be enumerated shortly. The ways in which quasi-anarchism resembles and differs from liberalism and minimal-state libertarianism will be useful in illuminating the liberal vs. communitarian debate mentioned in chapter 1.[16]

It might seem inevitable that a theory derived from anarchist principles would seek a condition with as little government as possible, and so would end up looking like the minimal-state libertarianism defended in Robert Nozick's Anarchy, State, and Utopia. I think that this would be unlikely, though. One of the legitimate functions of the quasi-anarchist state would be to enhance citizens' ability to carry out their pre-existing duties. This has little affinity with libertarianism. At base, this is because of the sharp contrast between Godwinian and libertarian value theory. As I discussed in chapter 2, Godwin's value theory can be interpreted as a variety of perfectionism, where the good life is conceived of as necessarily involving a highly developed level of rational autonomy.[17]

This suggests that the state-as-rational-authority would seek to insure to each citizen a solid education and substantial opportunity to exercise her private judgment. Some degree of negative liberty-the guarantee that one's choices will be voluntary-is a necessary condition for the exercise of private judgment; but it is not a sufficient condition. In some circumstances, one might be justified in infringing on someone's negative liberty in order to insure the proper development of their or others' capacity for conscientious deliberation.

Libertarian political philosophy, on the other hand, places an unqualified emphasis on negative liberty. Nozick's "side constraints" are absolute, and it is not permissible to infringe upon them even if so doing would produce good results far outweighing the injury done by infringement. Indeed, it is not even permissible to infringe upon negative liberty to insure that person's enhanced ability to exercise negative liberty in the future. One result of this is that we find in some libertarian writings the assertion that contracts which provide for the permanent enslavement of one of the parties would be perfectly legal, provided they were entered into voluntarily. Of course, say these libertarians, there would be good reasons for people to avoid making such contracts; but if someone did happen (for whatever reason) to freely choose to enslave himself, the law should respect that voluntary choice.[18]

As should be obvious, quasi-anarchist philosophy would find such a result utterly unacceptable. Given that there is sufficient reason to produce a state authority in the first place, one of the important roles of that authority would be to protect not only negative liberty, the exercise of unfettered choice, but also positive liberty. The state can legitimately take steps to insure that there actually are opportunities for citizens to make significant choices. This proposal has considerably more affinity with modern liberalism than with libertarianism, and therefore I will turn to a consideration of the similarities and differences between quasi-anarchism and liberalism.

Anarchism and liberalism

The affinity between quasi-anarchism and liberalism that I just mentioned might mislead: perhaps it is only superficial. After all, liberalism has traditionally been understood as depending on a basis of neutrality toward conceptions of the good life. Quasi-anarchism's perfectionist view is clearly not neutral toward conceptions of the good life, and presumably would call for various state policies that would be contrary to the spirit of liberalism. This might mean that quasi-anarchism might support illiberal state policies, in the worst sense of the word: paternalist policies which would favor some groups' views of the good life, potentially exacerbating social disagreements and posing a threat to peaceful social pluralism.

I believe that this is not the case, though. This is partly because liberalism's neutrality cannot be as sweeping as one might believe upon superficial examination of the idea of neutrality. Many writers, both liberal and anti-liberal, have noted in the past twenty years that liberalism is not, and cannot be, neutral with respect to every possible conception of the good life and still be liberalism. The traditional liberal values of individual liberty and equality under the law are neutral with respect to many views of the good life, but they clearly are not neutral with regard to every view of the good life.[19] Liberalism is not neutral with regard to a view of the good life that values racist or sexist subjugation and subordination of citizens. Although a neutralist liberal might not consider it appropriate for a liberal government to criticize or outlaw a racist world view, it would certainly be appropriate for a liberal government to prevent racists from trying to forcibly enact such a view.

Similarly, a liberal government is not acting contrary to its own principles if it intervenes to prevent a husband from beating or physically restraining his wife, even if both husband and wife belong to a community whose moral standards condone such behavior. Nor is a liberal government acting illiberally if it attempts to educate its citizens about their fundamental civil rights, even though some of its citizens may believe that their good life depends, in part, upon making sure that others remain ignorant of their rights.

These reflections should be obvious, unless they are obscured by a mistakenly broad interpretation of what it is for a government to be neutral with regard to views of the good life. In order for a government to govern at all, it must incorporate some view of the good life. One of the features that distinguish liberal government from other forms of government is liberalism's aim of limiting the scope of its theorizing with regard to the good life. Although neutralist liberal theory cannot function without a theory of the good, ideally that theory will be a "thin" theory (to use Rawls's phrase): only as detailed as is absolutely necessary to allow the development of basic principles of justice.[20] Once the structure of basic principles is set, the state should abstain from further attempts to promote or disadvantage any way of life or philosophy about the best way to live. One of the benefits of the state's restraint is that civil society will be the forum in which competing views about the good life are debated and judged.[21] Not the least of the reasons to carry out those debates in civil society rather than in governmental forums is that civil society does not carry out its decisions by using the implicit threat of force.

Recall, however, the worry mentioned in chapter 1 (pp. 1-3) about the appropriateness of a liberal government taking steps to insure the preservation of the social circumstances which help to insure its continuing existence. We have already noted that a liberal government must incorporate a thin theory of the good for the purposes of determining what sorts of behavior to forbid outright; is it necessarily inappropriate for a liberal government to refrain from seeking to encourage views compatible with the theory which it incorporates?

To return to an example I gave earlier: any liberal theory should hold that a man has no legal right to beat or physically restrain his wife solely for the purpose of keeping her subordinate to his will. Nor would it be inappropriate for the liberal state to take action to make sure that women are aware of their right not to be beaten or enslaved. Nor, indeed, would it be wrong for the state to prohibit husbands from threatening domestic violence. Suppose that the state was considering a proposal to issue grants to community organizers whose goal is to promote widespread acceptance of the view that domestic violence is wrong. Here the state has gone beyond merely enforcing the laws forbidding domestic violence and has taken steps to promulgate the view that domestic violence is wrong. Does this violate neutrality? If so, why think that neutrality is necessarily preferable to a less stringent principle that would allow the state to provide support for a view of the good, particularly the view of the good that helps justify the state's authority in the first place?

The debate about the meaning and desirability of state neutrality is involved and complex, and I cannot do it full justice in the time I have available.[22] I can, however, note that the basic spirit of liberalism-the notion that individuals ought to be maximally free to develop and live out their own views of the good life, within the boundaries of just treatment of others-can still be fulfilled even if the state does not take a position of absolute impartiality with regard to every value system. In the example just mentioned, the state would be creating a relative social disadvantage for value systems that condone enforcing male supremacy through domestic violence, over and above the disadvantage caused by the illegality of domestic violence. But this disadvantage would not include outlawing speech or opinion contrary to the state's preferred view; nor would it necessarily link unrelated social or political advantages to people's willingness to support the view promoted in this instance. To adopt the phrasing promoted by Raz, this is an example of combining

...a political pursuit of goals which may be justified by their contribution to a valid conception of the good with a refusal to ram that conception down the throats of people who are deeply opposed to it.
(Raz 1986, 111)
This is a case which puts pressure on the perceived need for absolute state neutrality between views of the good. It appeals to the apparently strong intuition that it can be appropriate for a liberal state to make limited and cautious attempts to advance the cause of some social goods. For such attempts to be suitably limited and cautious, the state's intervention must be limited to the values which are deeply important to the maintenance of a liberal society; and that intervention should consist only of attempts to promote and encourage those values, without outlawing or crippling the expression of opposing views.[23]

If this intuition is correct, then we may find room for a form of perfectionism that is consistent with the basic aims of liberalism. Indeed, the passage from Raz quoted earlier is in the context of his argument for a perfectionist liberal theory, in which the liberal state may legitimately favor some views of the good life, while still allowing the free expression and (in some cases) the free exercise of contrary views. Quasi-anarchism is also a perfectionist view, and arguably its practical consequences would not differ much from those of the liberalism Raz defends.

In that case, one might ask, what difference is there between quasi-anarchism and an appropriately revised liberalism? Mightn't one view quasi-anarchism as a sub-species of or a supplement to liberalism? This suggestion is not entirely off the mark. One of my aims in this dissertation has been to stress some of the continuities between the two views. But we should keep in mind that the perfectionist ideal on which quasi-anarchism is based is a clear theoretical departure from neutralist liberalism. Furthermore, attempts like Raz's to develop a perfectionist liberalism may not adopt quite the same perfectionist ideal as this theory. Finally, some of the arguments native to classical anarchism (such as the undesirability of law and the special role for community) will continue to play a distinctive role. So even if we were to decide that this theory is best viewed as a revision of or supplement to liberalism, we should recognize that its contribution remains significant.

Although there are a number of areas in which quasi-anarchism might differ from mainstream liberal theory, I will concentrate on one in particular.[24] Quasi-anarchism places a considerable emphasis on community as the locus of social order, personal development, and the creation of public meaning. In consequence, it would place special emphasis on efforts-possibly including efforts by the state-to develop and encourage civil institutions. This area is one in which quasi-anarchism more closely resembles some communitarian suggestions. [25] The differences between some of the communitarian proposals and quasi-anarchism may be instructive.

A number of communitarians have proposed that government take steps to strengthen and protect traditional social structures, particularly those which help create the social conditions which allow liberalism to succeed. Typical candidates for such support are families, neighborhoods, and churches. Some communitarian writers have put considerable stress on the need to protect those institutions to which one can be bound by involuntary associations. (For example, family and church: one does not choose which family to be born into, nor what one's hereditary religion will be.)[26] Some have even recommended strengthening the bonds of economic dependence which made these organizations so influential before the advent of the open industrial economy.[27]

It is easy to see why we might be wary of state policies supporting such communities. The social relations produced by these institutions run counter to the goals of both liberalism and quasi-anarchism. As feminist philosopher Marilyn Friedman points out,

The communitarian emphasis on communities unfortunately dovetails too well with the current popular emphasis on "the family" and seems to hark back to the repressive world of what some sociologists call communities of "place", the world of family, neighborhood, school and church, which so intimately enclosed women in oppressive gender politics-the peculiar politics which it has been feminism's distinctive contribution to uncover. Any political theory which appears to support the hegemony of such communities and which appears to restore them to a position of unquestioned moral authority must be viewed with grave suspicion.
(Friedman 1989, 107)
These feminist concerns apply just as strongly to other oppressed groups; African-Americans, for example, would not be very keen on a return to the sorts of community relations that were common in the South in the early part of this century.

Quasi-anarchism suggests, however, that communitarian concerns about strengthening social institutions and liberal concerns about preserving individual liberties can be reconciled. The quasi-anarchist recommends increased attention and support, both from individuals and from the state, for those sorts of communities whose goals and social relations are compatible with the fundamental values of quasi-anarchist theory. That is, quasi-anarchism favors supporting communities where both social and individual autonomy is heightened. Unlike communitarians such as Nisbet, quasi-anarchists cannot adopt the goal of making it more difficult for individuals to escape the bonds of involuntary communities such as families or home towns. Rather, one of quasi-anarchism's goals is the development of egalitarian, voluntary communities which respect and encourage each individual's right to private judgment. For instance, quasi-anarchism seeks to produce such communities in the workplace; this locus of community has often been neglected by both liberals and communitarians.

The value of voluntary communities has sometimes been overlooked or attacked by communitarian writers. Voluntary communities do have some disadvantages when compared to involuntary relations such as families. They are rarely as binding or as influential in the lives of their members. As a result, they cannot give the sorts of guarantees toward disadvantaged members such as infants or the infirm old as do involuntary communities. But voluntary communities can produce many of the same benefits as do involuntary communities: the development of shared values and standards; a sense of belonging; the opportunity for close bonds of affection; and support for their members in their dealings with the larger world. As Friedman writes,

We might describe urban relationships as being characteristically "modern" to signal their relatively greater voluntary basis. We find, in these relationships and the social networks formed of them, not a loss of community but an increase in importance of community of a different sort from that of family-neighborhood-church-school complexes. Yet these more voluntary communities may be as deeply constitutive of the identities and particulars of the individuals who participate in them as are the communities of place so warmly invoked by communitarians. (Op. cit., 117)
State policies and individual attitudes that promote formation of such communities are an important goal of quasi-anarchism.

So in addition to the traditional community structures that Friedman mentions, family, neighborhood, school, and church, a major aim of quasi-anarchism is supporting voluntary communities. Naturally, there are many different kinds of voluntary communities: service organizations; social and political activist groups; book groups and other educational groups; athletic and social clubs; clubs organized around hobbies or enthusiasms; self-help therapy groups; feminist consciousness-raising groups, and so on. While these groups vary widely in their goals and in their apparent utility to society as a whole, they all have potential for value.

Naturally, community organizations cannot simply be created by state fiat or by mere good will on the part of the public. But there are a number of important resources which can greatly assist in the creation and maintenance of such groups. For example:

So one of the practical measures one could take to promote community development would be to help build or rent a community meeting house, which could serve as a meeting place for many different groups. Another would be to provide grants to help groups buy photocopiers, facsimile machines, computers, etc. Yet another would be to help train community groups in the use of this equipment and in the most effective means of organization and publicity. One might try to form a community television or radio network to provide venues for publicity and community outreach. Very importantly, one could help train the groups in fundraising techniques.

One might expect that much of this assistance to community groups could be funded by group dues, voluntary gifts, and foundation grants, as it typically is now. But if such voluntary aid is not forthcoming, the state may legitimately lend a hand. In addition, it may even be necessary for the state to take steps toward creating the core of a community support where such community is lacking: for example, it may be necessary to establish rape and domestic violence crisis centers to take the place of the social support network (friends and relatives) that is often lacking for many women in crisis situations.

An immediately evident worry with regard to this recommendation is the question of whether any sort of organization fails to meet the criteria for state support. This worry can be phrased as a dilemma in which either choice is troublesome: on the one hand, if the state fails to make important distinctions between different kinds of groups, it may find itself supporting groups whose aims are in deep conflict with its own declared aims. On the other hand, if the state is too selective in its support for community organizations, it would be open to charges of unjust bias. Or, to put this slightly differently, a quasi-anarchist state would want to avoid both the Scylla of having to support all community organizations up to and including the Shining Path and the Ku Klux Klan; and the Charybdis of funding the College Quasi-Anarchists while denying money to the College Republicans.

While the intricacies of actual social policy would need to be worked out in practice, it is not impossible to come up with rough guidelines for how the perfectionist state can avoid both extremes. Perhaps the most important stipulation, to repeat a point made earlier, is that the state should consider aiding only those organizations whose goals and social relations are compatible with the fundamental values of quasi-anarchist theory. This is not to say that such organizations must be actively working in favor of those values; but they should not be acting in ways which are deeply disruptive to those values. On this reading, it would be acceptable (as above) to give grants to a group trying to promote the view that domestic violence is unacceptable; and it would be acceptable to deny grants to a group trying to promote the view that domestic violence is a man's prerogative. It would be acceptable to fund a community center whose purpose is to encourage education and civic debate; and it would correspondingly be acceptable to refuse funding to a community center which had exclusionary racist membership policies. Liberal governments which have given community grants have had some success in making these kinds of distinctions; there is no reason to think that a quasi-anarchist state would be any less capable of doing so.

If my discussion so far holds water, community formation turns out to be a critical function of public action and government policy, an indispensable supplement to the mere existence of a legal system and police services. Community centers and public access television stations (among other likely projects) are fairly mundane matters, not usually the subject of grand political discourse; but this argument suggests that they are unjustly neglected by most current political and social theory.

A final objection

The neatness of this scheme may not be tenable. The dependence thesis seems vulnerable to the following objection, which may indicate the need to add another basis for state action in quasi-anarchism. The objection starts by noting that a very important function of the state as traditionally conceived is to provide assurance to all citizens that their participation in cooperative schemes will be matched by others' participation.[28] For instance, if there is a need to fund a public project, it may be both more efficient and more just to obtain funds by means of a state-enforced system of taxation than by a purely volunteer effort. The system of taxation is (in principle) coercive; but it is aimed at insuring that the financial burden is spread equitably and that the necessary funds are collected efficiently and completely.

As we have seen, quasi-anarchism has no objection to state action which helps people fulfill their duties. The problem raised by this objection is that there are many cases in which the duty to contribute to a collective effort does not exist without a reliable expectation that others will also cooperate. In the cases where this reliable expectation is not available without a coercive enforcement mechanism, the duty to contribute simply does not exist. That duty comes into being only after the establishment of a coercive means of enforcement. If the state has a legitimate role in assuring cooperation in these sorts of cases, therefore, this role cannot be based on epistemic authority about people's duties, since it creates these duties, in part, by establishing the means to assure that they can be carried out by collective effort.[29]

To take a simple example: suppose that David's community will be greatly benefited by the construction of a large system of sewerage and drainage. This system would be considerably more efficient and less destructive to the local environment than any concatenation of private drainage systems would be. But it would only have these benefits if extended to the entire community, and the enormous expense involved in building so large a system renders it unprofitable to any company unless they are guaranteed compensation for its construction. Does David have a duty to contribute to the construction of the drainage system? If there is no reason to think that the other members of the local community will contribute to the cost of this drainage system, it is hard to see how David could have a duty to pay anything. Indeed, without a guarantee of widespread contribution to the drainage system, local construction companies will refuse to start the project at all; in that case, there would be no project-and hence nothing toward which David could have a duty to contribute.[30]

This objection suggests that quasi-anarchism faces a dilemma. One option is to admit the legitimacy of a state that creates new duties, which adds a principle to the existing principle of the state as rational authority, and pulls the theory further in the direction of traditional statism. The other option is to deny that a state can legitimately operate in this manner, thereby depriving the quasi-anarchist state of many opportunities to do a considerable amount of good that would not be possible in other ways.

Neither of these options is necessarily daunting. A quasi-anarchist theory that incorporated the first option would establish itself as a communitarian form of statist liberalism; one that refused to countenance more assertive state action would look more like minimal-state libertarianism, which is typically willing to bite the bullet and accept that public works would not be an option in the libertarian society.[31] But we may wonder whether there is any other way out of the dilemma, one which retains rational authority as the sole basis for state action but which still would allow the state to act as an assurance mechanism in cases like this. I am not sure that there is, but there are some considerations I would like to propose.

Godwin's answer to this sort of worry would presumably be that in the fully enlightened state of mankind, there would be no need to enforce cooperation in communal projects. Fully enlightened individuals would clearly perceive the need for the project and would have the proper motivations of universal benevolence, and so would freely cooperate without the need for coercion. But we have already rejected this sort of reasoning, which amounts to the claim that in the ideal future society, the free rider problem will no longer exist. We have essentially accepted Michael Taylor's approach, which regards some coercion as inevitable. As chapter 1 illustrated, decentralization sometimes only substitutes one sort of coercion for another: community-applied sanctions may not typically resort to physical threat, but they still count as coercion, even if this sort of coercion is typically less offensive than that applied by the state.

But this reminder of the existence of community methods of coercion may suggest the possibility of using community enforcement mechanisms to assure cooperation in communal projects. It is not obviously impossible for this sort of enforcement to be effective. In a municipality that was extensively organized into active social networks, peer pressure-group recognition of hard workers and condemnation of free riders-in each network might be able to ensure an adequate level of cooperation. This approach generally works in the case of the common good of peace and order; it may also be effective for a number of communal projects.[32]

We should not underestimate the potential for serious abuse of this sort of system of enforcement. It is not claimed to be a non-coercive method, but is explicitly an example of decentralized coercion-no less coercive for being decentralized. The sanctions that make community enforcement possible are generally acceptable in the case of enforcing the vitally important negative duties of non-maleficence. But it is easy to see how face-to-face methods of extracting money and effort for other aims (such as communal projects) could turn into a nightmare of group arm-twisting and extortion.[33] In this case state taxation, though in principle coercive, is in practice much less disruptive of normal human relations, and not incidentally less destructive to the normal bonds of community.

But when we reflect upon the implications that this has for the objection to the dependence thesis, we may find that it provides a means by which the quasi-anarchist state can avoid having to govern on a basis other than that of rational authority. I have just argued that a society characterized by rich networks of active communities would be able to assure adequate public cooperation in important and popular projects, by means of decentralized coercive pressure. In these circumstances, each individual would have the necessary assurance that others would cooperate; hence each individual would have a duty to contribute a fair share. So in these circumstances, the objection to the dependence thesis dissolves. Or, more briefly: in a society with the desired level of community organization and participation, community sanctions could guarantee adequate cooperation; therefore the state is justified in carrying out the task of assurance by the more efficient and equitable methods of referendum and taxation. This has the salutary effect of relieving communities of the onerous tasks of boosterism and public shaming necessary for face-to-face extraction of contributions.

This solution depends on the defeasible empirical thesis that community sanctions would actually be effective in assuring adequate levels of cooperation. At present I cannot offer other than anecdotal evidence for this thesis.[34] But it does suggest, first, that the state's rational authority regarding many matters depends to a very great extent on the potential that these matters have to produce a level of consensus sufficient to warrant community enforcement. Less verbosely: rational authority regarding matters of positive action requires broad agreement. The best way to be sure that such agreement exists is to subject governmental decision to regular popular review. Second, rational authority also depends on the existence of communities that could potentially provide assurance if the state were unable to do so. This provides even more emphasis of the fundamental importance of community in the theory of quasi-anarchism. One of the most important goals of a state, if not the single most important, must be to provide for the growth and maintenance of healthy communities.[35]

Notes to chapter 5

[1] See Marshall 1993, 244ff.

[2] See St. Clair 1989, 139-140.

[3] Proudhon 1979.

[4] Marshall 1992, 253.

[5] See Taylor 1982, 138-9, 169-171; and Taylor 1987, chapter 6.

[6] Kurt Baier suggests a reasonably similar condition in "The Justification of Governmental Authority" (Baier 1972). He asserts that in order for subjects to have reason to comply with authority, the authority's commands must not be "imposed," i.e. there must be reason to do the action other than simply fear of punishment or retribution. See 708-710.

[7] This analysis was suggested to me by J. David Velleman, for which I thank him. It is analogous to his analysis of action and individual self-awareness in Practical Reflection (1989), especially chapters 1 and 2.

[8] Baier makes a similar argument: see Baier 1972, 715.

[9] On this topic, see Raz 1986, 75-76.

[10] An example which applies in a very wide range of circumstances is the necessity defense. If breaking the law is necessary to (for example) save a life, then in many cases this can suffice as a reason to break the law.

[11] I do not mean to trivialize the need for these conventions to be just, equitable, and efficient. Some market-created conventions (for example, those found in assurance game-like situations) place unjust burdens on some of the parties involved. Depending on the situation, state action may be appropriate in a wide range of cases. But one can regard state action as justifiable while still holding that the state ought not to be the venue of first resort for the creation of conventions or for conflict resolution.

[12] The most extreme (and most amusing) example of this is in his preface to the second edition: "The Enquiry concerning Political Justice has been treated by some persons as of a seditious and inflammatory nature. This is probably an aspersion." (Penguin Enquiry, 73) One wonders how much evidence Godwin would need to feel confident about dropping the qualifier 'probably'.

[13] Godwin notes: "The word parish is here used without regard to its origin, and merely in consideration of its being a word descriptive of a certain small portion of territory, whether in population or extent, which custom has rendered familiar to us." (Book V, Chapter XXII; Penguin Enquiry, 545)

[14] Though as I noted earlier, Proudhon does not adhere strictly to this principle of voluntarism. Under some circumstances, the federation is justified in coercing some of its constituent members.

[15] See discussion in Taylor 1982, chapter 2; and historical material in Sonn 1992.

[16] Godwin's theory has been described as essentially liberal: see William Godwin: A Study in Liberalism (Fleisher 1951) for an interpretation along this lines.

[17] This does not mean that the good life is limited to rational autonomy, only that rational autonomy is an essential element of it.

[18] This position is advanced by both Nozick (1974, at 331) and Philmore (1982). Philmore is particularly forthright and detailed in his defense of voluntary slavery contracts.

[19] This observation has been made by, among others, Alasdair MacIntyre (1981) and John Gray (1989, 217-266).

[20] See Rawls 1971, 395ff.

[21] Kymlicka stresses this benefit of liberal neutrality. See Kymlicka 1989, especially pp. 893-95.

[22] See Raz 1986, chapters 5 and 6, for an extended discussion of this issue.

[23] Depending on how one defines neutrality, it could be possible to argue that this sort of promotional activity by government is not a violation of neutrality at all. One way to do this would be to argue that promoting the acceptance of a set of liberal values was indispensably necessary for the state to carry out just enforcement of laws incorporating those values. The plausibility of this defense, though, would depend on the plausibility of showing the indispensability of the promotional effort.

[24] The most notable omission in this treatment of quasi-anarchism is the scanty attention paid to the need to democratize the workplace. The importance and complexity of this issue unfortunately demanded either a great deal of attention or very little, with the hope that I can eventually give it the attention it deserves. I have chosen the latter course.

[25] For citations, see chapter 1, note 1.

[26] Naturally, one can change one's religious affiliation or abandon religion entirely. One can also decide to sever ties with one's family. These possibilities do not, however, nullify one's history with those groups; and apparently one possible communitarian recommendation could be to make it more difficult to sever these ties.

[27] See Nisbet 1953. The similarity between this view and the views of community discussed in chapter 4 is not coincidental.

[28] See the discussion in chapter 1 of the free rider problem for further explanation.

[29] The cases to which this objection applies seem to be ones in which the duty is a "positive" duty, i.e. a duty of benevolence. It would be challenging to construct an example in which the existence of a "negative" duty, a duty of non-maleficence, is contingent on a wide level of cooperation from others.
We should also note that this sort of creation of duties is not the creation of new categories of duties. We have already seen that a quasi-anarchist theory cannot countenance the idea of "reasons of state," or of national glory, that have no ultimate justification in the benefit that will accrue to individuals. Rather, in the cases envisioned by this objection, the state's action is like a focusing mechanism. Its actions give each individual the duty to produce a specific good, thereby fulfilling a prior, general, duty to do (unspecified) good.

[30] This is not to say that David is excused from all duties that might relate to community drainage; for example, he may still have a duty to educate other community members about the need for a drainage system. Indeed, it may even be that he has a duty to try to create a universal enforcement mechanism for collecting the costs of the system.

[31] Though this admission is often accompanied by the claim that the free market would provide the same or better services, more efficiently and without requiring coercion. We have already seen some reason to doubt these sorts of speculations.

[32] To take one possible example, churches often can undertake quite impressive communal projects without having to rely on support other than what its members voluntarily provide.

[33] This is particularly true in systems of community organization that are not egalitarian, but enforced by a system of top-down authoritarian rule. Pressure for group conformity is even more frightening when non-compliance carries with it the threat of reprisal-upon the individual or the group-from boss or commissar.
On the other hand, in social networks that are truly egalitarian, effective peer pressure usually works only for causes that are genuinely popular. Although coercion on the minority may be no less unpleasant for all that, at least this will not result in pressure to contribute to deeply unpopular causes. Not to mention that tyranny of the majority is a problem for statist systems as well.

[34] Some examples are the success of United Way and other volunteer efforts (such as disaster relief).

[35] Another role worth pursuing for communities is to include them as part of the process of governmental policy-making. A very interesting study of the implications of involving non-governmental organizations in policy is carried out in Cohen and Rogers 1993.

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