Anarchy, Minarchy and Kritarchy

Courtesy of Absent Limits:

Anarchy, Kritarchy and Minarchy spring into prominence the moment one considers less government or no government at all.


The absence of government and absolute freedom of the individual, regarded as a political ideal, but most often falsely considered as a state of disorder due to absence or nonrecognition of authority. Its origin is mid 16th cent.: via medieval Latin from Greek anarkhia, from anarkhos, from an- ‘without’ + arkhos ‘chief, ruler.’


Minarchism (also known as minimal statism) is a political philosophy holding that minimal government is essential, and that its only legitimate function is to protect individuals from aggression, theft, breach of contract, and fraud, through the governmental institutions of the military, police, and courts. (It also allows for fire departments, prisons, the executive, and legislatures as legitimate government functions.) Its central tenet is that the state has no authority to use its monopoly of force to interfere with free transactions between people, and to ensure that the state’s sole responsibility is to protect people and contracts between private individuals and property, through law courts and systems of enforcement.

Minarchists often gravitate toward Anarchism (and vice versa) as a result of their inspections and deliberations concerning liberty. For example…

Once being a minarchist myself, as most anarchists once were, I can relate to rejecting anarchism because of many preconceived notions as to what anarchism is and isn’t, and the role of the state. Fundamentally, it is the role of the state where minarchists and anarchists find their greatest disagreements. Source: Minarchy, State, Utopia


Little is served by discussing Anarchy or Minarchy further. Much literature serves both, yet the question remains – Which of the two best accommodates the nature of Man, his unalienable rights, natural law, morality and justice. The answer is neither, because both portend a solution “for” Man instead of that which is “of” Man. Although this preference for law, morality and justice to be “of” Man is best described by Kritarchy, it was not the intention of the authors of this site to present it. Instead, Kritarchy presented itself, after these pages had been written. It confirms all that is on this website, minor differences accepted, best explained in an article by Frank van Dunn that I urge readers to study. Here is his description.

The term ‘kritarchy’, compounded from the Greek words ‘kritès’ (judge) or ‘krito’ (to judge) and ‘archè’ (principle, cause), appears to be coined in 1844 by the English author Robert Southy. According to its etymological roots, a kritarchy is a political system in which justice (more exactly the judgment that seeks to determine justice) is the ruling principle or first cause. Source:

Such a description, and indeed the whole of van Dun’s article, follows perfectly from the last page concerning Objective Law. It should not be presumed that this website is an analysis or explanation of Kritarchy, rather that if one studies and follows the core principles arising from the nature of Man to their logical conclusion, the parallels between this website and van Dun’s article on Kritarchy are inescapable.

A political system without the institution of political rule.

This itself addresses the matter of a solution being that which is “of” Man. As van Dun explains

The distinctive characteristic of a kritarchy is therefore that it is a political system without the institution of political rule. If one thinks of it as ‘the rule of judges’, one should remember that these judges enjoy no particular privileges or special powers. It is ‘the rule of law’, not the rule of legislators, judges or any other category of privileged officials. Source:

By this reckoning there can be no government as we know it. The strength of van Dun’s article is much more, however. In a short but masterful historical description he describes how the original ideas concerning natural law have between twisted so that … “wealth and welfare were taken to be the true ‘natural rights’ of men, and ‘justice’ was re-interpreted to mean the efficient production and ‘fair’ distribution of wealth.”

This is exactly what the Constitution of Man is intended to forbid. The notion that all people who, because of their citizenship or residence are presumed to be subject to the authority of the state and bound by its deliberations and decisions, directly violates the natural rights of the ‘one people.’

At the end of the second millennium before Christ, the Jews lived in a system described in the biblical book of the Judges. Their ‘judges’ were not judges in the technical sense of the modern legal systems. They were influential respected men who provided leadership and counsel without having power to coerce or tax. Source:

That morality explains the foundation of the Rights Commission.

Law is non-directive

It is a grave error to believe that the desire for wealth and personal betterment leads Men along the road of material progress and conclude therefrom, that material progress (‘progressive evolution’) is the ‘natural law’ of the human world. The error arrises from believing that ‘personal advancement’ means ‘human advancement’; clearly evident in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights where singular rights become collective rights, (as though possible), as the document unfolds. Belief, even subconsciously, that ‘individual’ (personal) growth equates to ‘collective’ (human) advancement, too easily permits the (italics) quotation above.

In order to clarify the notion of natural law, we have first of all to dispel the common idea that in ‘natural law’ the word ‘law’ stands for a command, rule, norm or other directive statement, or that it states an exception to such a directive. According to that interpretation a law commands, forbids or permits — as if the meaning of a ‘law’ is that something ought or should be done or omitted, or that doing or omitting it is left to the discretion of those to whom the law is addressed. Source:

Does natural law have directive content? No. Does natural law have obligatory content? Yes. It has the power to oblige without anyone’s consent, because it is of nature, but has no power to enforce, because initiated force (link) is the antithesis of nature.

Equal Rights of Others

This answers the Anarchy and Minarchy question in one. By the documents presented on this website, “absolute freedom of the individual”, considered anarchy and “regarded as a political ideal”, is quantified by obligation, not regulation. Given that freedom is singular and Liberty is plural, Thomas Jefferson’s statement can now be paraphrased to read – “Freedom is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.”

Freedom, of (individual) nature thus, is explicitly denied power to enforce; government is denied likewise. That ends Minarchy, and that newly emphasises the Declaration of Individual Rights, the Constitution of Man, and a Rights Commission.

Purpose and Rule of Law

Once ‘obligation’ overrules ‘regulation’, then “law” means order – the natural order of the world that we, the one people, inhabit.

Law is not a command, rule or norm, nor is it a collection or system of such directive elements. It is an objective condition that many people may and in fact do value. As such it may inspire them to formulate rules of conduct that help to bring it about or to restore it when it is impaired. We may call such rules ‘rules of law’, but we should then always remember that they are only related to law as means to an end — and that they deserve to be called rules of law only because they have the establishment or restoration of law (or ius) as their end. Source:

Observe natural order in that quotation. Read it carefully. People, then value, then inspiration to rules of conduct and reparation as the means to maintain all that is good. Isn’t that what everyone expected from Government? Did it ever deliver on that promise? Do you still want what it delivers instead? Who could possibly burn ‘liberty’ on the alter of ‘security’, fully coherent of the meaning of both?

When human affairs are in order, no person need fear that others realise their projects, or take credit for his words, actions or works at his expense but without his agreement. No one can successfully hide his own responsibility for what he said, did or brought about. There is then no confusion as to who is innocent or guilty of a crime, who owes a debt to whom, who was and who was not a participant in some particular undertaking or practice, who participated voluntarily and who was forced or tricked to participate, which exchanges were concluded by mutual consent and which were not, and so on.

To each his own

To each his own’ is therefore the defining characteristic of law. To maintain that order requires respect for it, i.e. justice, is the guiding principle of human action. That respect includes the constant will to leave or if necessary to return to each his own — that is to say the will to avoid causing physical damage to the person, work or property of any other, to honour lawful contracts and to provide full restitution or compensation to those to whom one has nevertheless caused unlawful harm, as well as the will not to hinder those who seek lawful remedies for unlawful wrongs done to themselves or others. Source:

I could go on, but to do so would require more copious copies of other’s writings.

Rights Commission

One matter remains, that being ‘objective rules’ to be used for the protection of man and his unalienable rights.

The retaliatory use of force requires objective rules of evidence to establish that a crime has been committed and to prove who committed it, as well as objective rules to define punishments and enforcement procedures. Men who attempt to prosecute crimes, without such rules, are a lynch mob. If a society left the retaliatory use of force in the hands of individual citizens, it would degenerate into mob rule, lynch law and an endless series of bloody private feuds or vendettas.

If physical force is to be barred from social relationships, men need an institution charged with the task of protecting their rights under an objective code of rules. Source

This last emphasises the need for a Rights Commission, with the proviso as Rand stated, that “objective rules define punishments and enforcement procedures”. Reparation and restitution should be added to that list.

In the several quotations above, from Frank van Dun, issues are raised that point to the nature of these “Objective Rules”. Such rules are not for Man’s rule, rather objective standards for the institution of Man’s protection; the Rights Commission on this website.

Formulation of these rules is a task for Philosophers of Law, and for that, I cannot more highly recommend and urge that readers study Frank van Duns works.

The document I’ve quoted on this page can be downloaded in a PDF file here. (This webpage elaborates on these principles.)

Is this (absentlimits) website an expose of Kritarchy? You decide, but if truth is your yardstick it will only lead you to truth. All else will vanish.

Back to The Founding Principles index



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