The city of Philadelphia is not exactly known as being friendly to the principles of liberty. In our town, of course, we have the Tyrrany Bell and Dependence Hall, two relics from the racket that was the American Revolution, which, from this distance in history, must surely be judged to have been a failure. Hell, even from the day the Constitution was ratified it should have been apparent that the American Revolution was for naught. Consider this: Though George III was a tyrant, his authority to tax was at least in legal dispute; the Constitution, on the other hand, gave Congress, from day one, the power to levy taxes.
Philadelphia is also known as one of the most labor union-friendly cities one can find. Even readers from far away are likely to remember the redundant plumbing that was installed a number of years ago in the Comcast Building, Philadelphia’s tallest (and ugliest) skyscraper.
Given the challenges presented by the prevalence of collectivistic thought in urban settings, and keeping in mind the particular degree to which this unfortunate circumstance exists here, when I batted around the idea of starting a local discussion group for anarcho-capitalists, I kept my expectations low. I thought we’d be lucky to get ten people. I wrote a fellow voluntaryist to see if he thought there was sufficient interest, and he did. Facebook makes this kind of thing easy, and I was amazed that, within hours of posting the group, we had eleven people. Within two days we were up to twenty-three.
Big deal, right? Here’s some perspective: I formed a group about the Austrian composer (not economist, for a change!) Anton Bruckner—hardly a controversial figure. That group’s membership languishes somewhere in the low 20’s. One would expect it to be much more. In any case, it is the ideas that matter; not the mob-rule mentality of gathering as much of a following as possible. The an-cap group is decidedly young, and seems to consist mostly of college students. After all, old men don’t like new ideas. I can tell already that it is composed of passionate people who would rather read the right books than watch the most popular TV shows. It should be an opportunity for us all to learn. If you live in the area and are an anarcho-capitalist interested in joining, the information is here.