This film described how the corrupt government police murdered Fred Hampton in his home.


Most black people felt that was unjust. Yet, most black people also vote for larger government. Both Democrats and Republics strive to expand government.

black demographics

So why don't more black people embrace anarcho-capitalism as an alternative, where Black Panthers would be one choice among many for security? I realize some do:


But the majority still does not.

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    You are asking why a majority of a particular group of people within a large first-world society don't embrace anarchy? I think the answer is simply because anarchy simply isn't a widely embraced political philosophy within any particular group in a society like ours.
    – user1530
    Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 22:19
  • 3
    There are plenty of countries where centralised law and order has failed, and people have turned to local private militias or bands of militants for protection. It doesn't usually end well. Especially for those in less wealthy communities, and those at risk of being targeted for ethnic reasons... Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 0:16
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    It could simply be that the government is made up of more than just the police, and most people realize this.
    – Geobits
    Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 0:35
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    @user568458 Can you give examples and the GDP/capita of the region? Did it end poorly because they were poor compared to USA, or because of other reasons? We know poor people fair poorly no matter what the system.
    – Chloe
    Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 22:30
  • 1
    Question universally ascribes the interest of expanding the government to every Democrat and Republican. Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 17:32

4 Answers 4


I think the premise of your question is broken

You are working under an assumption that 'black people' want a Black Panther movement when the body of evidence doesn't support that there is a national desire among 'black people' to have a Black Panther movement.

Currently young African Americans seem to be gravitating towards a message that is being popularized by Kendrick Lamar. This message does surround racism in its many forms from rating of individuals based upon their complexion to the inordinate amount of male black youth that are shot by police compared to other ethnic groups.

To answer your question

So why don't more black people embrace anarcho-capitalism as an alternative, where Black Panthers would be one choice among many for security?

Anarcho-Capitalism does nothing to further an idea of equality nor does it rid the State of Institutionalized Racism. Certainly there is an argument that institutionalized racism doesn't even exist. I do not subscribe to such a belief system when crack cocaine sentencing is 10x the length of powder cocaine.

Ultimately what would be the benefit to no government? The Federal Government has stepped in repeatedly to assist with thing like voters rights as well as investigating major police departments across the United States. This includes the tiny city of Ferguson as well. Perhaps African American youth are embracing the ideas of mentally abolishing racism and are not interested in an uprising and having to protect themselves against the State alone. The past has shown that standing up against the State doesn't work and that violent response is untenable.

  • 1
    Wait, what do you mean it doesn't "rid the State of Institutionalized Racism"? It rids the state completely! The state imposes and institutionalizes lots of racist policies and laws. The state enforced Jim Crow laws. Even if you owned a restaurant and wanted to serve 'colored' side-by-side, you were prevented from doing so by the state. The state imposes harsh drug laws which, surprise surprise, are enforced more readily in minority neighborhoods.
    – Chloe
    Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 15:38

Anarcho-Capitalism is not ideologically representative of the Black Panters.

Like. At all.

We Want An End To The Robbery By The Capitalists Of Our Black Community.

That's point number three of the Ten-Points Program, a manifesto written by Black Panther founders Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. I don't know how much more direct you can make it.

The Black Panthers were Marxists, students of a school of conflict sociology. AnCaps and other neoliberals will characterize an essential conflict in government vs. private interest, but that is not, precisely, fundamental to the Marxist conceit. Rather, the essential conflict is class based, with capitalism being the most recent development in exploitation. For Marxists like the Black Panthers, racism is not just some kind of hateful whimsy that only becomes violently destructive when the government jackboots get in on it. Rather, it is itself a product of capitalist self-interest.

You've heard of how "workers must seize the means of production," right? In chattel slavery, such as was practiced in the American South, the workers are indistinguishable from the means of production; they're owned as property in exactly the same commodified manner as a plantation field or a cotton 'gin. Racist exclusion was no less useful for maintaining an exploitable underclass after the civil war, either. For example, the prisoner leasing programs provided slaves-in-all-but-name as a direct byproduct of racist belligerence among law enforcement. The draft during the Vietnam War press-ganged thousands of young men to fight the enemies of capitalism, but passed over people who were in university, which, generally speaking, did not include a lot of black people. Finally, because obviously there are also plenty of working-class white people, racism is a method of division which foils any effective anti-capitalist sentiment by stirring up proletariat infighting.

Pursuant to the last point, I'll also note that, as time went on, the Panters curved away from Black Nationalism and into Revolutionary Internationalism. Yes, the Black Panthers were anti-establishment, but not because they were merely laissez-faire. They were anti-establishment because, in their opinion, the establishment in question was a longstanding edifice of capitalist values. The answer, for them, is not to simply open up a power vacuum where that government stood, if it just means that the consolidated power of the bourgeois withstands the move to "anarchy" and starts cutting deals to trade food to people in return for their eternal bondage. That's just a regression. Rather, to the Black Panthers (and other Marxist groups), the answer is solidarity among the exploited class and opposition to the ideologies which created a class disparity, of which racial disparity is only one kind. That doesn't mean you don't have a government. For many, it means you run one.

So, to answer your question:

Why don't black people embrace anarcho-capitalism when it would encourage groups like the Black Panthers?

Because the only way an anarcho-capitalist encourages an actual Black Panther is by provoking him.

  • I know Black Panthers don't believe in anarcho-capitalism or even capitalism, but that doesn't preclude them from existing and no one is going to bother them if the organization is voluntary and they do not aggress against others. Even communes will exist in anarcho-capitalist societies.
    – Chloe
    Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 21:46
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    @Chloe Your explicit premise was that the embrace of Anarcho-Capitalism by Black Americans would encourage the Black Panthers. If you know that AnCaps wouldn't promote the Black Panthers, why would you predicate a question on that assertion? I'm plenty interested in shaping my answer to meet your fullest inquiry, but if you're going to backpedal, then please do me the courtesy of admitting you're revising your opening position. It's not fun to be found inadequate of a question that hasn't actually been asked.
    – Eikre
    Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 22:35
  • I haven't edited the question. I assume black people dislike being murdered by government cops. Anarcho-capitalism encourages choice and selection among police, and I assume black people would flock to the Black Panthers as an alternative to racist cops. Without a centralized government to systematically wipe out Black Panthers, they can grow their ranks and 'customer' base.
    – Chloe
    Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 22:42
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    @Chloe Very well. So you're interested in why there aren't more Black people embracing Anarchy (irrespective of Capitalism), given that it would open up a space that could be filled with Black Nationalism (with which the Black Panthers had an early dalliance, prior to their more long-lived interest in Marxist intersectionalism). Am I correct?
    – Eikre
    Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 22:47
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    @Chloe. Cool, yeah. Let me try to find some spare time, I'd like to elucidate. I might like to underline the dissonance AnCaps have with other flavors of Anarchist, but the answer after that starts looking more like the other two that have been offered. It ties into a broader disaffection with radicalism, and the particular history that Black Americans have had with Federalism. What it comes down to is that Anarchy doesn't have a ubiquitous place in American/Black politics, so, in order to popularize Anarchy, you actually need to start by organizing activists, which is what the Panthers are.
    – Eikre
    Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 23:25

There's also a very simple response to this question.

Anarcho-capitalism is defined by a removal of regulations. Your argument is that it would remove the law enforcement activities that obstruct private security or militia groups like the Black Panthers.

It would also remove the federal law enforcement activities that obstruct the KKK.

Given a choice between trying to improve accountability and standards in the current system, and switching to a system where un-checked Black Panthers slug it out with un-checked white supremacist militant groups, I know which I'd choose. For one thing, I wouldn't be surprised if the white supremacists started out with more access to funds.

For some practical examples of what tends to happen when centralised law enforcement fails and communities turn to local militia groups for self-defence, look at, to give some examples:

  • Seleka and Anti-Balaka militias in rural Central African Republic, committing massacres and counter-massacres
  • Private paramilitary groups hired by companies in Central America to protect commercial interests such as mining and farming (these are sometimes also called "death squads") and the vigilante groups local communities form in response to such killings (who sometimes grow to become almost as bad as the death squads they formed to oppose, or can become affiliated with narco cartels or militant movements)
  • The civil wars in Moldova and Tajikistan amongst others, where much of the actual fighting and massacres were carried out by informal militia groups formed by neighbouring communities locked in mutual distrust.
  • The Liberian and Sierra Leoneon civil wars, where groups who were initially self-organised defence forces for marginalised communities very quickly became brutal and borderline genocidal, and richer and more powerful the more brutal they became through resources they could seize (from diamond mines to selling victims of their raids into sex slavery), such that more peaceful groups couldn't compete.

Of course, these aren't what Anarcho-Capitalism is supposed to look like, in much the same way that the USSR, Maoist China and Khmer Rouge weren't what Communism was supposed to look like; but they are examples of what can often happen when you have a private militant group formed to defend a community or private interest, with no check or balance on its power, beyond its own ability to compete (much like USSR etc are examples of what can happen when a group with a nominally egalitarian ideology gain total power).

It's no utopia.

  • Interesting. What is the GDP/capita in those areas? Poor people get shafted everywhere. Wealthy countries can afford institutions that are less violent. How do those examples compare to Mexican farmer vigilante groups fighting drug cartels, Seattle private security, or private security in South Africa?
    – Chloe
    Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 22:45
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    They're all poor by global standards (but in many cases were relatively well-off by their own historical standards). All your examples are countries where there is also some regulation - for obvious reasons it's hard to find an example of complete absence of any effective government in a rich country! The areas of Syria where the government lost control are one possible example, where previously relatively well-off people have to choose between competing unregulated private militias, but there's too much interference from foriegn factions (e.g. Saudi Arabia) for it to be a clean example Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 8:51
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    Answers here are expected to be factual, based in expert analysis and personal experience where appropriate. Can you provide a reference to a source which confirms this interpretation is correct? Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 21:41

The median net worth of white households is 10 times that of black households.

Unless economic regulations are implemented to eliminate existing inequalities by race, it would not stand to reason that African Americans would want to support a system in which they have an existing and nearly insurmountable disadvantage.

The ability to rise above the class in which you were born is called social mobility.

Socioeconomic mobility in the United States refers to the upward or downward movement of Americans from one social class or economic level to another,[1] through job changes, inheritance, marriage, connections, tax changes, innovation, illegal activities, hard work, lobbying, luck, health changes or other factors.


The same wikipedia article demonstrates that social mobility is better in Social Democracies than it is in the slightly more Capitalist United States. Access to affordable healthcare and higher education can improve social mobility.

Multiple reports have found that education promotes economic mobility.

This is also why socialized healthcare and free college afford greater social mobility to poor people; whereas if those things had to be funded entirely privately, then opportunities for personal advancement would be more closed-off to poor people.

The American K-12 education system provides an unequal quality of education for rich and poor people. This is a reason why those who are already poor do not attain good intragenerational social mobility. This could be helped with better federal funding for education, which would fall on the more social side of the economic spectrum.

“At virtually every level, education in America tends to perpetuate rather than compensate for existing inequalities. The reasons are threefold. First, the K through 12 education system is simply not very strong and thus is not an effective way to break the link between parental background and a child’s eventual success. … Second, because K–12 education is financed largely at the state and local level, resources devoted to education are closely linked with where people live and with the property wealth of their neighbors. For this and other reasons, poor children tend to go to poor schools and more advantaged children to good schools. … Finally, access both to a quality preschool experience and to higher education continues to depend quite directly on family resources.”

Pretty much every kind of social program in the U.S. offers some kind of enhancement for social mobility and mitigation of existing inequalities, as do a progressive tax code and an inheritance tax.

Public policy responses addressing causes and effects of income inequality include: progressive tax incidence adjustments, strengthening social safety net provisions such as Aid to Families with Dependent Children, welfare, the food stamp program, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, increasing and reforming higher education subsidies, increasing infrastructure spending, and placing limits on and taxing rent-seeking.
The Congressional Budget Office reported that less progressive tax and transfer policies contributed to an increase in after-tax income inequality between 1979 and 2007.[71] This indicates that more progressive income tax policies (e.g., higher income taxes on the wealthy and a higher earned-income tax credit) would reduce after-tax income inequality.


Basically, African Americans would not benefit from a move towards greater Capitalism, unless the slate is first wiped clean of all existing wealth and possessions, or wealth is somehow put on an even keel. That is because they are already at a large disadvantage in terms of possessing financial capital. Every mechanism that erases this disadvantage is Socialist in nature. That is precisely why they should favor a more Socialist economy, if they are pursuing their own self interests. That also helps explain why the Black Panther movement was a Socialist movement.

However, Americans of color can benefit from a reduction in authoritarian and sometimes racist law enforcement practices. We can reduce the amount of Americans being locked-up in prison unjustly if we effect a reduction in overall law enforcement size, a reduction of unjust drug laws, a reduction of arrest quotas, and an elimination of policies in which police go looking for people to arrest when no crime is reported.

  • Economic regulations to 'eliminate inequality' would be devastating to poor people. The government has attempted to elevate native Americans with extremely negative results. youtube.com/watch?v=pQ4lnDy2xnQ There is income mobility in the US! treasury.gov/resource-center/tax-policy/Documents/… "There was considerable income mobility of individuals in the U.S. economy during the 1996 through 2005 period as over half of taxpayers moved to a different income quintile over this period."
    – Chloe
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 21:29
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    Is a youtube video of a series called "Freeloaders," produced by a Fox News pundit the same thing as a legitimate source?
    – John
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 21:39
  • Answers here are expected to be factual, backed-up by expert analysis or personal experience where appropriate. This appears to be your own opinion. Can you provide a reference to this argument appearing somewhere else? Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 21:41
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    My answer already lists more sources than any other answer. I could always attempt to provide more sources, but it seems like you just downvoted it because your views are different.
    – John
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 21:43

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