Is Government Inevitable? Comment on Holcombe's Analysis

Independent Review, Vol. 9, No. 4, pp. 543-549, Spring 2005

15 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2010

See all articles by Peter T. Leeson

Peter T. Leeson

George Mason University - Department of Economics; George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Edward Peter Stringham

Trinity College; American Institute for Economic Research

Date Written: 2005

Abstract

Inspired by Holcombe's (2004) argument that government is inevitable, this paper reconsiders some of his claims. We contend that his argument fails on two counts: it both fails to show that anarchy must break down and that limited government will not. The arguments Holcombe raises against the viability of anarchy can be applied to the viability of limited government, and the arguments he uses for the viability of limited government can be applied to the viability of anarchy. We discuss the problems with Holcombe's theoretical arguments as well as historical evidence that casts doubt on his claims.

Suggested Citation

Leeson, Peter T. and Stringham, Edward Peter, Is Government Inevitable? Comment on Holcombe's Analysis (2005). Independent Review, Vol. 9, No. 4, pp. 543-549, Spring 2005, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1674461

Peter T. Leeson

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Fairfax, VA 22030
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HOME PAGE: http://www.peterleeson.com

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

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Arlington, VA 22201
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HOME PAGE: http://ppe.mercatus.org/scholars/peter-leeson

Edward Peter Stringham (Contact Author)

Trinity College ( email )

Hartford, CT 06106
United States

American Institute for Economic Research ( email )

PO Box 1000
Great Barrington, MA 01230
United States

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