Saturday, March 8, 2014

Explaining Anarcho-Capitalism

In many of my posts, I mentioned "anarcho-capitalism." And since reading Murray Rothbard's For A New Liberty, I have become an "anarcho-capitalist" or "ancap" (in short) after reading the chapter on private defense and law.

So I will dedicate this post to defining what "anarcho-capitalism" is, addressing some concerns, and explaining why I find it to be compatible with Christianity.

The Meaning of Anarcho-Capitalism

Anarcho-capitalism is a strain of libertarian ideology that opposes the existence of the State in favor of a stateless, libertarian society. Basically, it is a "separation of [money, defense and law, banking, church, governance, etc.] and State," with the State being non-existent and voluntary interactions and exchanges being the foundation of governance within society. Famous proponents of this ideology include the late 19th century liberal Gustave de Molinari, Murray Rothbard, Robert LeFevre, George Smith, Wendy McElroy and Joseph Peden in the 20th century, and in the 21st century Lew Rockwell and Stefan Molyneux. Unlike other forms of anarchism, anarcho-capitalism accepts "capitalism" and the free market as compatible with statelessness, whereas other forms of anarchism have a negative view of capitalism, seeing it as "statist."

"Anarchy" comes from the Greek word anarkhos, which merely means "no ruler." While most people imagine chaos and warlords when the word "anarchy" comes up, the anarcho-capitalist holds his anarchy as the truly ordered system. His anarchy allows for "governments" without the State (an organization that holds a territorial monopoly, prohibiting competitors from offering similar services). That means that while the State won't exist in the anarcho-capitalist society, church governments, private defense organizations, private community localities, and other forms of "governance" can exist, all without the use of exploitation and initiation of force.

In fact, some of our best forms of law were developed independently of the State, as Murray Rothbard explained in his book For A New Liberty. For example, common law and merchant law were developed not by State courts but by non-governmental, private courts. And the example of ancient Ireland is an example of a working, stateless society that existed before it was conquered by England.

So, anarcho-capitalism, unlike classical libertarianism, takes the non-aggression principle to the most logical conclusion possible: the State is inherently based on aggression and initiation of force, and it should not exist.

Addresing Some Criticisms of Anarcho-Capitalism

#1. Libertarian anarcho-capitalism will lead to chaos, and people will fight each other to the death without the State. An ingrained assumption that is taught to us by conventional political science is that without the State, order would disintegrate and chaos would ensue. The anarcho-capitalist society, in its support of the free market, will not support chaos, however. I know that this statement will shock some people who hear this, but the anarcho-capitalist society is a purely free-market society. In a free society, chaos would be bad for order, and instead of the State to provide order, order and structure can naturally arise through private property contracts, voluntary exchange, private defense and other forms of non-State law and order. Even while libertarians may not always agree on the finer details of law, they will agree on the general idea of law, which is non-aggression and respect for just property titles (property that is acquired through voluntary exchange and homesteading of virgin land is just; property that is gained through violent aggression is not just).

#2. In an anarcho-capitalist society, private defense agencies would battle each other to the death. This particular argument is popular among the late libertarian novelist Ayn Rand and her followers, the Randians. They argue that since there is no "State" to prevent violent force, then private defense agencies would battle each other with violence and lead to chaos. But can anyone guarantee that there will be no such action? I won't say that there would be a guarantee of non-chaos, but overall I find it very unlikely. Roderick Long, an anarcho-capitalist philosopher, says in his article "Libertarian Anarchism: Responses to Ten Objections,"

The question is: what’s likely? Which is likelier to settle its disputes through violence: a government or a private protection agency? Well, the difference is that privateprotection agencies have to bear the costs of their own decisions to go to war. Going towar is expensive. If you have a choice between two protection agencies, and one solvesits disputes through violence most of the time, and the other one solves its disputesthrough arbitration most of the time – now, you might think, “I want the one that solvesits disputes through violence – that’s sounds really cool!” But then you look at yourmonthly premiums. And you think, well, how committed are you to this Vikingmentality? Now, you might be so committed to the Viking mentality that you’rewilling to pay for it; but still, it is more expensive. A lot of customers are going to say,“I want to go to one that doesn’t charge all this extra amount for the violence.”Whereas, governments – first of all, they’ve got captive customers, they can’t goanywhere else – but since they’re taxing the customers anyway, and so the customersdon’t have the option to switch to a different agency.So in contradiction to the myth of anarcho-capitalist chaos, in fact anarcho-capitalism would probably be less violent than a society ruled by the State. Private defense agencies would not really be likely to go to war, for not only would they not want to lose their clientele but there is also no State to subsidize their bad decisions or protect them from the negative consequences.

#3. Anarcho-capitalism would lead to a society in which there is no general knowledge of law. This assumption assumes that law is based off of legislation from the State, and that it cannot arrive spontaneously and free from the State. However, I can point to several historical examples of law that developed independently from the State legislatures. One example would be the Law Merchant, which developed because throughout Europe, there were many different laws that were not equal to one another, and the developers of the Law despised this unpredictability. So they created the Law Merchant independently from the State, thus allowing for a general knowledge. Also, common law was developed in a libertarian fashion.

Murray Rothbard says in his book For A New Liberty:

Finally, the major body of Anglo-Saxon law, the justly celebrated common law, was developed over the centuries by competing judges applying time-honored principles rather than the shifting decrees of the State. These principles were not decided upon arbitrarily by any king or legislature; they grew up over centuries by applying rational — and very often libertarian — principles to the cases before them. The idea of following precedent was developed, not as a blind service to the past, but because all the judges of the past had made their decisions in applying the generally accepted common law principles to specific cases and problems. For it was universally held that the judge did not make law (as he often does today); the judge's task, his expertise, was in finding the law in accepted common law principles, and then applying that law to specific cases or to new technological or institutional conditions. The glory of the centuries-long development of the common law is testimony to their success.

Rothbard also points out that there was an absence of "supreme courts," quoting libertarian jurist Bruno Leoni:

. . . it cannot be denied that the lawyers' law or the judiciary law may tend to acquire the characteristics of legislation, including its undesirable ones, whenever jurists or judges are entitled to decide ultimately on a case . . . . In our time the mechanism of the judiciary in certain countries where "supreme courts" are established results in the imposition of the personal views of the members of these courts, or of a majority of them, on all the other people concerned whenever there is a great deal of disagreement between the opinion of the former and the convictions of the latter. But . . . this possibility, far from being necessarily implied in the nature of lawyers' law or of judiciary law, is rather a deviation from it . . . .

Later, Rothbard says on this:

Apart from such aberrations, the imposed personal views of the judges were kept to a minimum: (a) by the fact that judges could only make decisions when private citizens brought cases to them; (b) each judge's decisions applied only to the particular case; and (c) because the decisions of the common-law judges and lawyers always considered the precedents of the centuries. Furthermore, as Leoni points out, in contrast to legislatures or the executive, where dominant majorities or pressure groups ride roughshod over minorities, judges, by their very position, are constrained to hear and weigh the arguments of the two contending parties in each dispute. "Parties are equal as regards the judge, in the sense that they are free to produce arguments and evidence. They do not constitute a group in which dissenting minorities give way to triumphant majorities . . . ." And Leoni points out the analogy between this process and the free-market economy: "Of course, arguments may be stronger or weaker, but the fact that every party can produce them is comparable [p. 230] to the fact that everybody can individually compete with everybody else in the market in order to buy and sell."

So one does not need the State to develop law; law can be received supernaturally or naturally, and it can't be made up or invented, but rather discovered through the process of freedom. 

Why I Find Anarcho-Capitalism To Be Compatible with Christianity

OK, says the critic of anarcho-capitalism, all of these things may be true. But the Christian critic might respond, is it compatible with the claims of Christianity? Is it compatible with the ideas of Scripture? I believe it to be so, and I believe that a Christian can be an anarcho-capitalist. The State attempts to be in place of God, attempting to replace Him as ruler. 

#1. Anarcho-capitalism rejects aggression, especially legalized aggression in the form of the State. The anarcho-capitalist ideal has at its basis opposition to the State, opposition to the institution of legalized exploitation, plunder and theft. One example of a Scriptural condemnation of the State would be the situation regarding the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11). The opposition to God was led by who one could call the first State ruler, Nimrod. The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, himself not a Christian, had some interesting insights regarding the origin of the State in consideration of the situation in Babel: 

“Concerning The Tower Of Babylon, And The Confusion Of Tongues.”
When they flourished with a numerous youth, God admonished them again to send out colonies; but they, imagining the prosperity they enjoyed was not derived from the favor of God, but supposing that their own power was the proper cause of the plentiful condition they were in, did not obey him. Nay, they added to this their disobedience to the Divine will, the suspicion that they were therefore ordered to send out separate colonies, that, being divided asunder, they might the more easily be Oppressed [by God]. 
2. Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such an affront and contempt of God. He was the grandson of Ham, the son of Noah, a bold man, and of great strength of hand. He persuaded them not to ascribe it [their success] to God, as if it was through his means they were happy, but to believe that it was their own courage which procured that happiness. He also gradually changed the government into tyranny, seeing no other way of turning men from the fear of God, but to bring them into a constant dependence on his power. He also said he would be revenged on God, if he should have a mind to drown the world again; for that he would build a tower too high for the waters to be able to reach! and that he would avenge himself on God for destroying their forefathers! 
3. Now the multitude were very ready to follow the determination of Nimrod, and to esteem it a piece of cowardice to submit to God; and they built a tower, neither sparing any pains, nor being in any degree negligent about the work: and, by reason of the multitude of hands employed in it, it grew very high, sooner than any one could expect; but the thickness of it was so great, and it was so strongly built, that thereby its great height seemed, upon the view, to be less than it really was. It was built of burnt brick, cemented together with mortar, made of bitumen, that it might not be liable to admit water. When God saw that they acted so madly, he did not resolve to destroy them utterly, since they were not grown wiser by the destruction of the former sinners; but he caused a tumult among them, by producing in them divers languages, and causing that, through the multitude of those languages, they should not be able to understand one another. The place wherein they built the tower is now called Babylon, because of the confusion of that language which they readily understood before; for the Hebrews mean by the word Babel, confusion. The Sibyl also makes mention of this tower, and of the confusion of the language, when she says thus: “When all men were of one language, some of them built a high tower, as if they would thereby ascend up to heaven, but the gods sent storms of wind and overthrew the tower, and gave every one his peculiar language; and for this reason it was that the city was called Babylon.” But as to the plan of Shinar, in the country of Babylonia, Hestiaeus mentions it, when he says thus: “Such of the priests as were saved, took the sacred vessels of Jupiter Enyalius, and came to Shinar of Babylonia.”
Source: The Antiquities of the Jews; Book I, CH. 4

So one could see that the situation in Babel was not a spontaneous order as Hayek described but rather created by a state ruler who appealed to the sinful nature in mankind. This is a very fitting description of Acton's dictum: Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely

#2. Anarcho-capitalism is compatible with Christianity because it supports freedom. The anarcho-capitalist creed has at the center of its doctrine the concept of freedom and liberty, which is defined as nonaggression and non-invasion of the rights of others. The Christian doctrine can also be said to support the anarcho-capitalist doctrine, and in many Scripture passages the message of liberty is affirmed, not only in the sense of Christian liberty (Galatians 5) and in freedom from sin, but also in the sense of freedom as an absence of aggression and initiation of force against peaceful, noninvasive persons. 

Many Scripture verses speak of liberty in very positive terms; for example, the Story of Exodus is a story of freedom from slavery, where Hebrew people are leaving the State of Egypt and are freed by God. In Isaiah 61, the Scriptures predict Christ bringing liberty to the captives, and in Matthew 17:24-27, Jesus even asserts that the disciples don't have to pay taxes (paying taxes, however, is wise, because the force of the State will be used upon us if we don't; in fact, in that same passage, Jesus admonishes Peter to still pay the tax "lest we offend them.")! 

James Redford, in his beautiful essay "Jesus Is An Anarchist," (which I highly recommend) says of taxes and Jesus:

So here we have it: Jesus Himself said that He came to proclaim liberty to the captives and to set at liberty the oppressed--and yet Jesus also said that those who are required to pay taxes are not free! 
Some may attempt to get around this glaring fact by pointing out that the word "free" in Matthew 17:26 is a translation of the Greek word eleutheros, whereas the word "liberty" in Luke 4:18 is a translation of the Greek word aphesis. But eleutheros is the adjective form of the noun eleutheria, and means: freeborn, i.e., in a civil sense, one who is not a slave, or of one who ceases to be a slave, freed, manumitted; or at liberty, free, exempt, unrestrained, not bound by an obligation--and aphesis means: release from bondage or imprisonment; forgiveness or pardon, i.e., remission of the penalty. Thus, when used in the context above these two words are completely congruent in meaning with each other. As well, if one desires to go back further to the original Hebrew of Isaiah 61:1 which Luke 4:18 is quoting from, the word aphesis is a translation of the Hebrew word rwrd (which roughly transliterates as "darowr") which is a noun that means: a flowing (as of myrrh), free run, or liberty. And so this word, too, is completely congruent in meaning with eleutheros when used in the above context. Indeed, the Greek Septuagint translates this Hebrew word in the above passage as aphesis. Thus it cannot be honestly maintained that Jesus had in mind two separate meanings when he spoke the above words, as the only sensible meaning of these separate words are completely congruent with one another when used in their above context. 
It might be pointed out by some that the New International Version translates the Greek word eleutheros in Matthew 17:26 as "exempt." But this is a damning example of how some modern Bible translations have been Bowdlerized in order to avoid inconvenient facts--particularly political ones--that are often found in the Bible. As was mentioned before, if indeed this were assumed to be the correct translation of this word, then for Jesus to make such an utterly pointless and vapid comment would have been totally insipid on His part--again, not something Jesus was ever known for, at least from the true Christian's perspective. The only meaning in which this comment by Jesus can be taken which actually makes any point whatsoever and avoids meaningless, inane and idle talk on His part is for the Greek word eleutheros in Matthew 17:26 to be translated as "free" (or otherwise "at liberty," etc.)--which is precisely how the King James Version and most other English Bible translations have handled this passage. Again, trying to avoid this most obvious and direct translation renders Jesus's comment here absolutely irrelevant and inane.
Some may argue that "total freedom" is an impossibility because of many aspects, including Private Property. However, the great economist and theorist Murray Rothbard pointed out in Power and Market (p. 242), 
This criticism misuses the term "liberty." Obviously, any property right infringes on others' "freedom to steal." But we do not even need property rights to establish this "limitation"; the existence of another person, under a regime of liberty, restricts the "liberty" of others to assault him. Yet, by definition, liberty cannot be restricted thereby, because liberty is defined as freedom to control what one owns without molestation by others. "Freedom to steal or assault" would permit someone--the victim of stealth or assault--to be forcibly or fraudulently deprived of his person or property and would therefore violate the clause of total liberty: that every man be free to do what he wills with his own. Doing what one wills with someone else's own impairs the other person's liberty.
3. But what about Romans 13? In my defense of anarcho-capitalism, some might be quick to mention the passage of Romans 13 and the other "pro-government" passages (1 Peter 2:13-18; Titus 3:1; Ephesians 6:5-10) as examples of anti-ancap messages within the Scripture and how the Bible is not anti-state. However, the popular interpretation of Romans 13 and these passages are flawed and misunderstanding of the context and real meaning of these passages. Let us again refer to James Redford:

It is often claimed that Christians are required to submit to government, as this is supposedly what Paul commanded that we are supposed to do in Romans 13. Thus: 
Romans 13:1-7: Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience' sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God's ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor. [Emphasis added] 
But in actual fact Paul never does tell us in above excerpt from Romans 13 to submit to government!--at least certainly not as they have existed on Earth and are operated by men. In fact, Paul would be an outright, boldfaced hypocrite were he to command anyone to do such a thing: for Paul himself did not submit to government, and if he had then he would not even have been alive to be able to write Romans 13. For Paul himself disobeyed government, and it is a good thing that he did as we would not even know of a Paul in the Bible had he not disobeyed government. As when Paul was still only known as Saul he escaped from the city of Damascus as he knew that the governor of that city, acting under the authority of Aretas the king, was coming with a garrison to arrest him in order that he be executed. This was right after Saul's conversion to Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus. The Jews in Damascus, hearing of Sauls conversion, plotted to kill him as a traitor to their cause in persecuting the Christians. Saul was let out of a window in the wall of Damascus under cover of night by some fellow disciples in Christ (see Acts 9:23-25). In none of Paul's later writings does he divest himself, or disassociate himself, from these actions that he took in knowingly and purposely disobeying government: in fact, this very event is one of the things that he later cites in demonstration of his unwavering commitment to Christ (see 2 Cor. 12:22-33)! 
Indeed, ever since Paul's conversion to Jesus Christ, he spent the rest of his entire life in rebellion against mortal governments, and would at last--just as with Jesus before him--be executed by government, in this case by having his head chopped off. Paul was continuously in and out of prisons throughout his entire ministry for preaching the gospel of Christ; he was lashed with stripes 39 times by the "authorities" for preaching Christ; he was beaten with rods by the "authorities" for preaching Christ; and none of these rebellions of his did he ever disavow: indeed he cited them all as evidence of his commitment to Jesus (again, see 2 Cor. 12:22-33)!
Redford is right on when he argues that Paul and the apostles would be hypocrites if the conventional reading of Romans 13 were true, for Paul was in fact disobeying the State in his preaching of the Gospel. Some might argue that this was a case of "obeying God rather than men," but one must note that Paul was still disobeying the government in his preaching. So how does Redford deal with this tricky issue:

So what in the world is going on here with Paul and Romans 13? Is Paul a hypocrite? Is Paul being contradictory? Actually, No to both. Once again, as with Jesus's answer to the question on taxes, this is another ingenious case of rhetorical misdirection. Paul was counting on the fact that most people who would be hostile to the Christian church--the Roman "authorities" in particular--would, upon reading Romans 13, naturally interpret it from the point of view of legal positivism: i.e., that such people would take for granted that the "governing authorities" and "rulers" spoken of must refer to the men who operate the governments on Earth. But never does Paul anywhere say that this is so! (Legal positivism is the doctrine that whichever gang is best able to overpower others with arms and might and thereby subjugate the populace and who then proceed to proclaim themselves the "authority" are on that account the rightful "Authority.") 
But before proceeding with the above analysis, what would the motive be for Paul to include such rhetorical misdirection in his letter to the people at the church of Rome? In answering this, it must be remembered that just as with Jesus, Paul was not free to say just anything that he wanted. The early Christians were a persecuted minority under the close surveillance of the Roman government as a possible threat to its power. Here is Biblical proof of this assertion written by Paul himself:
Galatians 2:4,5: And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage), to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. [Emphasis added] 
Paul never intended that his letter to the Roman church be kept secret, and he knew that it would be copied and distributed amongst the populace, and thus inevitably it would fall into the hands of the Roman government, especially considering that this letter was going directly into the belly of the beast itself: the city of Rome. Thus by including this in the letter to the church at Rome he would help put at ease the fears of the Roman government so that the persecution of the Christians would not be as severe and so that the more important task of the Church, that of saving people's souls, could more easily continue unimpeded. But Paul wrote it in such a way that a truly knowledgeable Christian at the time would have no doubt as to what was actually meant.
But what about the verse that says to "pay taxes?"

Redford says:

But does Paul really tell us to pay taxes here? Again, just as with Jesus, nowhere does Paul actually tell anyone to pay any taxes! Paul continues with the rhetorical misdirection that he started in the beginning of Romans 13, knowing--just as Jesus knew before him--that those who would be hostile to the Christian church would automatically assume what they are predisposed to assume: i.e., that the taxes and customs "due" are due to those in control of the governments who levy them. But here Paul was being wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove, as Paul never said any such thing. For when Paul says "Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs" this just begs the question: to whom are taxes and customs due? The answer to which could quite possibly be "No one." And this is precisely how Paul proceeds to answer his own question-begging statement, in Romans 13:8-10: 
Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
So there we have it in no uncertain terms: Owe no one anything except to love one another! Yet since when have taxes ever had the slightest thing to do with love? As was explained above, all mortal governments throughout history steal and extort wealth from their subjects which they call "taxes," yet at the same time governments make it illegal for their subjects to steal from each other or from the government. Thus in taxes we see that historically all governments do to their subjects what they outlaw their subjects to do to them. Thus, all Earthly, mortal governments, by levying taxes, break the Golden Rule which Jesus commanded everyone as the supreme law. 
In the earlier discussion on Jesus and taxes we learned that when Jesus said "Give on to Caesar that which is Caesar's and give unto the Lord that which is the Lord's" he was, in effect, actually saying that one need not give anything to Caesar: as nothing is rightly his, considering that everything that Caesar has has been taken by theft and extortion.
And what of Paul writing in Titus 3:1: "Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work"? As was clearly demonstrated above, Paul was referring to the true higher authorities as recognized by God, not to the diabolical, Satanic, mortal governments as they have existed on Earth--as Paul spent his entire ministry in rebellion against the Earth-bound, mortal "authorities," and was at last put to death by them. (For other cases of righteous disobedience to government in the Bible, see Exo. 1:15-2:3; 1 Sam. 19:10-18; Esther 4:16; Dan. 3:12-18; 6:10; Matt. 2:12-13; Acts 5:29; 9:25; 17:6-8; 2 Cor. 11:32,33.)

Norman Horn argues in his essay "The New Testament Theology of the State,":

Verses 5-7 [the verses regarding taxes] expand upon the reasons for submitting and include practical ways the Roman Christians were to respond to Paul's message. Cobin says, "The reason we must submit to government is to avoid wrath or worrying about being harmed by the state authority. God does not want us to be entangled with the affairs of this world to the point where such involvement detracts from our primary mission" (Christian Theology of Public Policy, 125). The word "conscience" in verse 5 should be interpreted in a similar manner as 1 Corinthians 10 (regarding food sacrificed to idols). The believers were concerned that the Roman state would find a legal reason to persecute them. One cannot use this verse in an absolutist senseto say that Christians can never participate in removing any authority, such as in the American Revolution. Paul also encourages Christians to "overcome evil with good" as understood in Romans 12:21 (this includes evil authority), and to work to be free if at all possible (1 Corinthians 7:20-23). 
Paul also says to submit to paying taxes for the same reason: avoiding state wrath in order to live for God. One despises paying taxes, but in order to abate the state's wrath one pays them. Likewise, "pay to all what is due them" is commanded for the same purpose, especially considering the political tumult of the time. But does this mean that a man sins if he makes a mistake on his Federal tax return? Paul would very likely answer no. Modern taxes are very different from Roman taxes. In fact, the Greek word for "taxes" in verse 7 is more accurately rendered "tribute," which is specifically the capitation tax (or "head tax") in a Roman township census. The Romans would send soldiers from house to house, count the residents there, calculate the tax, and then demand full payment immediately. If a Christian did not comply at once, then he, his family, and possibly even his fellow believers could be in imminent, serious trouble. Paul says to not resist these men when they do this, just pay the tax. Refusal to pay would identify them as part of the tax rebels and political rogues of the day, and would give the Romans a reason to persecute Christians in Rome and perhaps throughout the empire. Paul wanted the Roman Christians to avoid becoming public spectacles and government targets. 
As a general principle, modern Christians should do the same when immediate threat of state force is upon them, taxes or otherwise. However, modern taxes are not often like this; tributes and tariffs are not culturally transcendent forms of payments to states. Hence, one is most certainly not sinning if a mistake is made on a tax return. Cobin would even go so far to say that some taxes can be completely avoided without guilt (Christian Theology of Public Policy, 129).
C. Jay Engel also says further on the taxes issue in his article on this topic:
If the government says pay taxes, it is wise to pay them.  We as Christians are not trying to make enemies. Again, this is a turn the other cheek principle.  Submit your hearts to trusting God by giving up the money that the government aims to steal.  Both “turning the other cheek” and “paying your taxes” do not make slapping or stealing legitimate.  But we still turn and we still pay. 
In summation of the passage, it should not be used as a justification for whatever the State does and however it acts.  Paul is dealing with a specific problem amongst the Roman Christians in the first century.  However, we are to obey God rather than man (Acts 5:29) whenever we are told to act in a way that is immoral, unethical, or unjust.
So I cannot say that the passage in Romans 13 is a legitimizing of the government or its activities; neither is it a legitimization of taxes or the formation of a State. And the State, whether it exists, should only punish evil and aggressive deeds, not good and non-invasive deeds. And it should not prohibit the formation of police services and other things that are outside the State's license. Also, "government" does not equal the State, and it can be formed in the "free market" and through voluntary means rather than coercive and monopolistic means (like the State is).
In conclusion, with the words of Norman Horn,

"Christian obedience to government is for the purpose of expedient peaceful living and bringing no dishonor to the name of Christ. We are not obligated to follow every jot of public policy. Moreover, we are not supposed to follow any law that goes against the law of God. If we are to be persecuted, it should be for the name of Christ and what he stands for, not for refusing to follow some random law when directly threatened by state action."
And I will also add that the issue of anarcho-capitalism needs more study, more research, more writing, and more effort not only by me but also by all Christians, especially Christians who are believers in anarcho-capitalism and libertarianism. And I, as a libertarian and a Christian, need to grow and learn more about these issues, including theology and polity.
But I conclude that anarcho-capitalist polity is compatible with Christianity and is not in contradiction to it.
Some resources that will be helpful regarding this topic (I will update this more and more, and I will include links when I get the chance).