A summary of the arguments of Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State and Utopia.
Aaron Ross Powell
Aaron Ross Powell is Director and Editor of Libertarianism.org, a project of the Cato Institute. Libertarianism.org presents introductory material as well as new scholarship related to libertarian philosophy, theory, and history. He is also co-host of Libertarianism.org’s popular podcast, Free Thoughts. His writing has appeared in Liberty and The Cato Journal. He earned a JD from the University of Denver.
Powell looks at the “entitlement theory” of justice and the closing words of Anarchy, State and Utopia on how the minimal state can inspire us.
It is important to argue clearly, not loudly.
Libertarian philosophy is a “big tent” and we can learn much from philosophers we may disagree with.
Powell argues against paternalism, demonstrating that it is little more than a way to impose your values on others.
We should never forget that the state is an institution for compelling people to act against their will.
Arguments against libertarianism often take the form of false dilemmas. Powell looks at why they’re so common and what libertarians can do about it.
An introduction to virtue, the life well-lived, and the state’s role in the good life.
An introduction to thinking about the state within a framework of virtue ethics.
Government’s very nature attracts the vicious, corrupts the virtuous, and encourages foolish decisions—so we should limit its power as much as possible.
Libertarians reject an expansive state. But this doesn’t mean they reject social bonds or the benefits of working with others to achieve common goals.
Big government makes it easy to forget what government’s for—and that allows state agents to get away with truly awful acts.
Cogently attacking libertarianism means, at the very least, wrestling with what libertarians actually believe.
Politics encourages us to dehumanize our opponents and, as a result, we dehumanize ourselves.
Politics is what you get when you add violence to discourse.