Interview 1453 – Stephan Kinsella on Law Without the State

by | Jun 25, 2019 | Interviews | 10 comments

Stephan Kinsella joins us today to discuss the concept of law without the state. Is law and order possible without a state? What would that look like? And just what is “the law,” anyway? Find out more in this fascinating conversation on law, history, philosophy and anarchy.

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Corbett Report Radio 099 – Against Intellectual Property with Stephan Kinsella

Banking, Nation States, and International Politics by Hans-Hermann Hoppe

Do We Ever Really Get Out of Anarchy? by Alfred G. Cuzán

“Your Welcome” Podcast #55 – Lyn Ulbricht

Hans-Hermann Hoppe Bibilography

What It Means To Be an Anarcho-Capitalist

The Market for Liberty

Machinery of Freedom: Guide to a Radical Capitalism

The Structure Of Liberty: Justice And The Rule Of Law

Chaos Theory

The Enterprise of Law: Justice Without the State

For A New Liberty

Libertarian Anarchy: Against the State


  1. Baffling.

    Making a legalized fraud industry the new arbiters of society?

    What else would he suggest? Giving Thurston Howell the last word at the end of every episode of Gilligan’s Island?

    • I’m assuming you are referring to the part where he talks about about mandatory insurance for all in the anarchist society?

      That jumped out at me too.

      For starters, how does everyone pay for this insurance?
      How much is it? What would it cover exactly?

      WHO are the insurance bodies?
      Surely not the existing ones (fraud industry)?
      Will they be businesses or non-profit?

  2. Thanks James,
    for setting the UN characteristic straight as it is, not as some may perceive.
    UN is the visible entity standing in to give Global Governance the credibility it does nor deserve.
    UN is the enemy of the people, true and simple

  3. Stephen knows what he is talking about regarding law and I enjoy listening to his other talks. However, I was a bit disappointed because he seemed to dance around some of the pointed questions and gave long, drawn-out responses with multiple different points — each of which could be commented on — but he just kept talking so there were no opportunities for James to respond. One other thing I noticed was Stephen’s use of we. We anarchists; Libertarians believe; etc. He should speak for himself more. I critique Stephen because I like him, not trying to beat up on him.

    Another thing to mention…this is just one man’s idea of what law could look like in a stateless society, not what it has to look like.

  4. Once again, we have a white guy, a lawyer no less, who thinks OJ killed his ex-wife and her friend, the waiter/drug dealer, Ron Goldman. I find this to be the Final Frontier in the non-MSM community. People tend to believe the MSM OJ-did-it story for two reasons, not necessarily in this order: racism and belief in MSM/government propaganda.

    Some excellent books are (titles, followed by A*****n links):

    Legacy of Deception: An Investigation of Mark Fuhrman & Racism in the LAPD

    Killing Time: The First Full Investigation into the Unsolved Murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman

    When Prosecutors Attack!: OJ Simpson, Roderick Scott, George Zimmerman – Baseless Government Attacks and the Media That Lets It Happen

    • While you may be straying from the main topic of this particular interview, one of James’ perennial topics is “propaganda”. The promotion of “OJ did it” is a prime example of MSM propaganda. Stephen Singular speaks eloquently in one of the interviews you cite about the importance of the OJ story in the history of MSM propaganda. It was the first cable news 24/7/365 story wherein a specific narrative was relentlessly hammered into our brains, night after night.

      I believed in OJ’s guilt until I finally looked at the facts of the case. I had to ask myself whether racial prejudice played a role in my failure to question the MSM propaganda, despite the not guilty verdict in the criminal trial.

      This story could serve as a topic of James’ propaganda series, particularly as the facts of the case are so obvious, and the propaganda so blatant and persistent.

  5. Very interesting discussion but I disagree with some of what Stephen said. I believe Stephen has missed the point of Natural/Common Law, which exists beyond (over and above) the realm of the state.

    Stephen is partially mixing two mutually exclusive concepts in my view.

    He states that the U.S constitution was written and therefore novel. He also refers to the English Constitution which he says were ‘unwritten rules of how the government worked together.’ Adding that this is a problem because, if you rely upon the state for your Law it lends itself to law by decree of the state. This is a misunderstanding of the implications of a Lawful Constitution in my view.

    When the original Magna Carta was agreed in 1215 it was a binding contract between the people and the Crown. King John didn’t ‘sign’ the Magna Carta. His signature was not required. What was needed was the Great Seal of the Crown because the Crown only existed by virtue of the extant Coronation Oath which was the ‘custom of the people.’ The Crown exists by agreement of the people. The rule of law is established through the Crown because the Crown itself is a contract with the people. The people rule in other words.

    In order for a constitution to be ‘codified’ it must be ‘authoratative,’representing a higher law than mere legislation. It must be ‘entrenched,’ virtually impossible to amend or abolish, and it must be ‘judiciable,’ meaning other laws can be judged against it to determine if they are constitutional. The original Magna Carta meets all of these criteria. It is the written constitution of the Britons (& Anglo Saxons).


    Therefore the Magna Carta, the basis for the 1689 Bill of Rights and the subsequent U.S constitution, is a written ‘codified’ constitution which exists over and above the state by virtue of compact (contract) of, by and amongst the people.

    This is why, from the moment of its creation, governments of all persuasions have done everything they can to hide, obfuscate and ignore this very inconvenient fact. For example, as soon as the Magna Carta was signed Pope Innocent III issued a papal bull annulling the Magna Carta. This is something the deniers of the true constitution of the Britons constantly refer to. Herein lies the heart of the deception. The Papacy was not a signatory to the Magna Carta ‘contract’ and, like government, had no authority over it. The annulment was a ‘legality’ and meaningless because the Magna Carta is the Law of the Land which stands above the law of the church (and God’s law which is a religious interpretation Natural Law which knows no theology.)

    [SNIP – Please keep comments to 500 words. Longer comments can be broken up into multiple comments. – JC]

    My post:

    My post:

    The Common Law Courts:

    The British Constitution Group:

    The New chartis Movement:

    Also I highly recommend reading Ken d’Oudeney Democracy Defined: The Manifiesto

  6. . . . continued

    (sorry James, I’ll get the hang of it.)

    I think Stephen has confused ‘codified constitution’ with Law under statute. They are not necessarily the same thing. Though arguably the U.S constitution is such an arrangement. I do not say this to make some sort of jingoistic point but rather to suggest that legislation has nothing whatsoever to do with it and it cannot be amended by legislation nor government, religious proclamations nor intergovernmental policy.

    I agree that the legal system we have (both sides of the pond) is ‘law by decree’ of the state. But the point he has missed, in my view, is that this is not Law. It is statute (legality) which is entirely separate from the concept of Law (Natural/Common Law.)

    He states that the role of the Judge is to ‘do justice.’ And that the point of law is to deliver ‘justice.’ This isn’t the role of judges in either statute or Common Law. In statute law their role is to protect the contractual ‘corporate’ interests of the state in conflict with the corporation that is the ‘person’ (lost at sea – dead) in the dock. In all circumstances statutory courts are a place of business, not law. The ruling of legal judges couldn’t be further removed from the notion of justice. This is not to say they are incapable of delivering justice only that justice is not a requirement.

    In the constitutional rule of law (Common Law) the term ‘Judge’ has no meaning. That was a statutory (Witan) change from the correct term ‘convenor.’ The role of the convener is merely to administer the ruling of the jury. The jury and only the jury are the arbiters of justice. Justice is determined from their unanimous agreement on the application of Natural Law (‘judicium parium’ government by trial by jury.)

    Therefore the basis for anarchy of all types (as reflected by the international law discussion) already exists. It is the Common Law which, by definition, is the rule of the people not government.

    So how could anarchy take hold in wider society if it is reliant upon law when this appears a contradiction from the outset? As illustrated by the Magna Carta you don’t need a ‘government’ to establish an agreed compact. It represents a constitutional arrangement which is agreed by all people as only the people are named parties (ie. The people had already agreed their ‘will and custom’ to form the Crown.) The confusion comes because we now refer to the Crown as the Head of State, whereas the Crown is itself only a contract between the people (the Coronation Oath.)

    Therefore the basis for an anarchist society could be built upon such an agreement (a constitution.) A state is not required to enforce that constitution it merely needs to be agreed by the people. Thereafter the communities living under the constitution would be free to self-organise as they see fit. The agreed constitution would be the only Law, based upon Natural Law (do no harm.)

    When disputes arise various communities may have different methods of resolution and remedy (that would be up to them.) However, the ‘might is right’ principle couldn’t be maintained in any community, regardless of any ‘legal system’ they choose to adopt. If an imbalance of power ever causes harm to anyone that would be ‘un-Lawful’ under the constitution.

    The harmed party could always seek remedy under the agreed, and predetermined, Rule of Law. Therefore there would be no point in ever establishing a legal system in any community where the injustice we see today is enshrined by local ‘statute.’ That could be overturned by anybody if it contravened the harm principle of Natural Law.

    There are some links in the linked comment above if you are interested.

  7. Thanks for that reference to the voluntary prison system. I found it very ridiculous that “faith is compulsory” for inmates, but overall that system looks to be 1000x more efficient than state/corporate run gulag-esque facilities.

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