The minimal state solution is one wherein the state provides protection for the people in its domain but does nothing else.
Philosopher Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia, published in 1974, cemented libertarianism’s place among the political philosophies taken seriously in academia. In it, Nozick defended the “minimal state”—what latter came to be called minarchism—and showed how it could become a “framework for utopias.”
But Nozick’s interests weren’t limited to political theory. He turned his remarkable mind to nearly every branch of philosophy in such wide-ranging works as Philosophical Explanations, The Examined Life, and Invariances: The Structure of the Objective World.
Nozick’s work, especially his book Anarchy, State, & Utopia, re-interested many people in political philosophy and libertarianism.
The most minimal proposed form of state organization, anarchism, is the philosophy of the absence of government.
Voluntarism argues that individuals should not be coerced into “socially beneficial” projects, but should act voluntarily to assist others.
A libertarian focus on equality mostly focuses on the notion of equal rights and justice systems must operate in a way that maintains these rights.
John Rawls was a political theorist who revived interest in the field. His work can be interpreted in support of some free-market ideas.
What the state should look like varies even among libertarians.
Libertarians believe that laissez-faire policy, or the freest form of economy, provides the greatest net benefit to individuals and to society.
Murray Rothbard’s writings provided a detailed and systematic explanation of politics, society, and economics consistent with libertarian ideas.
Edward C. Feser outlines some common arguments conservatives raise against libertarians and how those criticisms have affected both movements.
Classical liberalism typically refers to liberal philosophers in the 17th and 18th centuries, but whose ideas are carried on by libertarians today.
Also known as the death penalty, capital punishment has divided libertarians over the power of government and the justice of criminal procedures.
The nonaggression axiom or principle mandates that individuals do not use physical force against others or their property, except for retaliation.
Immanuel Kant provided a systematic treatise of morality that, among other things, relied on reason, noninterference both of government and individuals, and peace.
Individual rights function as guarantees of protection and entitlement to a morally granted domain, principally that of self-ownership and choice.
Natural rights are the basic rights held by all individuals by merits of being human; i.e., those rights that exist pre-government and may not be violated.