RE: the Wild West - 1, see adjective. 2, it's not a misconception.
really, that's your argument?
RE: child labor, I see quite a bit of correlation, not casuation in the last paragraph that you quoted, leaving out the previous paragraphs describing how parents used their childrens' labor, that social pressure, not economic pressure drove labor laws, and that state level laws that were enacted affected labor numbers. It's not surprising that economic historians look at it from an economic perspective, and there's no doubt that child labor being less necessary affected the numbers of kids working, but there's also no doubt that child labor laws exist because children were put in jobs they should not have been doing, and business fought to keep the right to do that.
Anyway, this is a digression.
the fact of the matter is that the way to get rid of child labor is to get to the point where the society is wealthy enough such that the parents work is productive enough and the currency is valuable enough that the children don't have to work. And free markets unimpeded by government is the way for society to produce the most possible wealth for the greatest number of people.
a) Chaos is not the point. If you have a private police force exerting its will over members of society, you have a paid for government. A company is the government.
if you have *one* "private" police force exerting its will over members of society in a given geographical area, then yeah you have a government. Like I said before, a government is a monopoly over the use of force. If you have multiple private protection agencies, you don't have a monopoly.
You're looking at government as an entity. It's not. We had a government in the early 1900's when Rockefeller was violently muscling out his competition. But Rockefeller was also government. He governed his area. It didn't matter what government said, it mattered what Rockefeller decided to do to you. If you have a society in which there are no rules, and the strongest person does whatever he wants to the others, that person governs over others. He doesn't need a title and a structure to do it. What he says goes until someone is stronger than him. Then what that person says goes and he governs over the rest. The entity government exists because the previous example is not beneficial to enough of the population, so the population created the idea of a structured means to coexist. Using tiny isolated populations as examples isn't valid. My family is a small unit of people. Pointing to it and saying we never elected a leader is proof leaders aren't needed doesn't pass the smell test.
Rockefeller haha, you realize the way he got such a huge market share in the oil industry was because his company was just that more productive than all its competitors? His market share rose from something like 4 percent in 1870 to 25 percent in 1874 then to like 85 percent in 1880, and he cut its cost of refining a gallon of oil from 3 cents to less than half a cent, and he passed these savings along to the consumer - price of refined oil went from more than 30 cents per gallon in 1869 to 8 cents in 1885. If his company hadn't been so much more productive and efficient than the competitors he wouldn't have gotten such a huge market share. This is a natural monopoly, and it's the only way a monopoly can come about in a truly free market, and it's certainly not undesirable as the consumer benefits tremendously from a company that is so efficient that it can cut costs so much and offer such low prices.
If you have a society in which there are no rules, and the strongest person does whatever he wants to the others, that person governs over others.
no government doesn't mean no rules! lol