ABSTRACT

This chapter discusses anarchist responses to various arguments which purport to show states have legitimacy and authority. It also discusses general responses to the issue of whether state agents enjoy special immunity. The chapter covers the question of whether the state, and only the state, can punish. When a number of persons conduct any joint enterprise according to rules and thus restrict their liberty, those who have submitted to those restrictions when required have a right to a similar submission from those who have benefited by their submission. The standard or prevailing statist view is that government agents enjoy a special or privileged status when they commit unjust actions. Government agents—or at least the agents of democratic governments—enjoy a special immunity against being deceived, lied to, sabotaged, attacked, or killed in self-defense or defense of others. Government property enjoys a special immunity against being damaged, sabotaged, or destroyed.