WAR: 3 major players.

  1. Those who decide on war: the politicians.
  2. Those who profit from war: those who supply military materials or are paid for military skills.
  3. Those who pay for war: the taxpayers.

The first and second groups, of course, overlap. In other words, the corporation that profits from supplying arms to the military is paid through said taxation and under no other circumstances could the transaction exist since the risks associated to destruction are greater than any profit that could be made.

Now, if those who decided on war also paid for it there could be no such thing as war, however those who decide on war do not pay for it. That unpleasant task is relegated to the taxpayers, both current in the form of direct taxes, and in the future in the form of national debt.

The risk of war is delegated to the frontline soldiers but, of course, those soldiers would not be in the line of fire if they weren’t paid and armed by state taxation.


Wars will continue until the state collapses or the world flames into ash. The state IS war.

If the above is understood then the hostility of anarcho-capitalists toward the state should now be a little clearer. In the anarcho-capitalist view the state is a fundamental moral evil not only because it uses violence to achieve its ends but also because it is the only social agency capable of making war economically advantageous to those with the power to declare it and to profit from it.

It is only through the governmental power of taxation that war can be subsidized to the point that it becomes profitable to certain minorities.

Destruction can only ever be profitable when the costs and risks of violence are shifted to the taxpayers while the benefits accrue to the few who directly control or influence the state.

Why not just “reform” the state?

As long as the state exists, this violent distortion of costs, incentives and rewards can never be controlled or alleviated.  As long as the state exists mankind shall always live with the terror of war. One cannot oppose war without opposing the state.

The state and war are two sides of the same bloody coin.

(* Transcript passage from a video by Stefan Molyneux “War: What They Won’t Tell You” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0q71ypkU6c&list=TLYb2VPbBoUYk  published on June 8, 2015.)