Someone thinks "minarchist" is a useful or informative term.
There isn't a single definition of "minarchist", nor is what any of them want "minimal" ("minarchy" = minimum rule = 0 = anarchy). Essentially the term just means statist or sometimes "someone who wants smaller government than now". It's very vague, because there's no principle behind it, just feels. (DBR)
Traditionally, a minarchist is someone who wants government functions limited to (1) police, (2) courts, and (3) national defense. The problem is that minimal governments do not stay small; they grow like a cancer.
The natural tendency of things is for government to gain ground and for liberty to yield. - JeffersonAlso, there is "the ratchet effect," discussed by Robert Higgs in Crisis and Leviathan. When a crisis occurs, such as war or economic dislocation, state power is ramped up. When the crisis subsides, power may be reduced, but rarely down to pre-crisis levels. [HB]
Related: Limited Government