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Anarchy, State, and Utopia - Robert Nozick

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I read this book and took notes for my own interest. I wanted to read it in order to see the development of American libertarianism (e.g. the kind we see at Cato), as part of my wider goal to see why people conflate Objectivism with libertarianism (besides the obvious similarity of both aligning with laissez-faire capitalism). I still suspect that libertarianism is all essentially anarcho-capitalism, thus always wrong. So I went with a book by Nozick who seems pretty far from an ancap. What I note here is what I find interesting and worth mentioning from his book.

Distribution and Justice

Nozick explains several ways to think of justice. He focus on distributions after an injustice occurs. It answers why there me be more distribution after it has already happened. Distribution here is about who is entitled to the holdings they possess. Redistribution is proper, then, if people are not entitled to their holdings. For instance, how are you entitled to your TV? And if you aren't entitled, if it were stolen for example, then what?

A just distribution would depend on the original acquisition of holdings, and transfer of holdings.

Some judge if the distribution is good or bad based purely on now, or as Nozick phrases it, current time-slice principles. In other words, how things used to be or how they started doesn't matter if right now the distribution is unjust. The current distribution has a pattern that unravels in a certain way (e.g., there is a specific distribution of wealth of some sort).

A (laissez-faire) capitalist type of distribution has no pattern beyond individuals. In a capitalist society people often transfer holdings in accordance with how much they perceive others benefiting them. Nozick phrases it this way:
"From each as they choose, to each as they are chosen."

Entitlement to Property

Nozick follows Locke when it comes to property:

Acquiring the thing
Mixing ones labor into something
There is enough and as good left over.

This problematic for the obvious reason that Nozick doesn't base this on man's needs of life. It's more focused on the actions in a consequentialist way such that distribution is not done improperly. He seems to take the time to mention Rand in a footnote, but waves her off as merely saying "property is that which one uses to live", or as if she begs the question of what property is by saying there is a right to life. (This is on page 179). Either way, he makes no mention of products of the mind, or means of survival. 

Contra Rawls

Nozick later criticizes Rawls:

Politics is constructed by Rawls without reference to moral principles. Distribution from a veil of ignorance where no one knows what he is or could be deserved through actions in the past. Imagine we were all in a room, ignorant of our past actions, our strengths, our weaknesses, etc. So, given this starting point, Rawls wants to figure out how distribution should be.  (My note: Don't equate this with Communism. This is more like the modern liberal who wants a fair and balanced distribution for all. A Communist would judge your past and take from capitalists that are seen as exploiters. Capitalists care about neither.)

When faced with these (developing) principles, the next generation develops a particular sense of psychology and justice, and the next generation, and so on, converging to P at the limit. P would be the ideal distribution, that is, the state of the world would be more just in time.

Some may see capitalism as providing a distribution in accordance with natural assets, perhaps in the "Social Darwinism" sense. Nozick says that Hayek argued that under capitalism the principle is not distribution in accordance with natural assets; differences in natural assets will be two differences in holdings according to perceived service to others. Distribution here would be based on value offered to an individual, not being "born" better, or being an heir to a billion dollars. Assets impact what we do, that's as far as they goes.

Moral Defense of Capitalism

Nozick actually makes no attempt to provide a moral defense. He doesn't try or attempt to say what is morally superior, apparently he only offers good consequences.

He doubts the value of unified explanations of all conjunctions. He asks: What would our theories of the world look like if we require unified explanations of all conjunctions? Not merely the conjunction of separate and disparate explanations (which may be compatible), but unification.

Nozick rejects a unified theory of moral facts apparently, or just that they can't be applied so widely. There would be no total integration, which he sees as fine. Either way, we'd recognize this as moral grayness, where morality cannot offer an answer to capitalism or any other theory.

Inequalities

Nozick rejects having to explain inequalities, but in order to make this claim, seems to reject any notion of needing reasons to do something. And he seems to mean this in any moral context, not just on the political level. That is, it is not necessary to explain oneself even to oneself. Perhaps we could, but Nozick doesn't think it matters.

Some major points:

if people don't deserve their natural assets, then they don't deserve the fruits of their labor

if differences are eliminated, then envy might grow more severe because it becomes more apparent that the advantages someone has. On top of that, there will be fewer ways to become better as an individual or in comparison. [My note: If math ability were the single permitted difference, then more people will seek their values this way while needing to ignore others.]

A right doesn’t go far as to say someone in prison not hearing your words means your rights for speech are denied. Disruption is no violation in that same sense. (But Nozick barely details the idea except as one to think about)

Exploitation to a Marxist always boils down to their solutions becoming capitalist in the long run. Nozick is still arguing by showing the end-state, without regard for moral principles besides homo economicus. It is not true that all people will desire rational ends. All Nozick really has to say regarding moral principles is that we ought to construct a system justified in terms of rational people would do.

[My note: Many people seem to think Rand argues for capitalism because rational people operate that way. But her idea is that capitalism is the best system for a good life, for all people.]

Utopia

A real utopia is a meta-utopia; the environment in which utopia may be tried out; the environment in which people are free to do their own thing; the environment which was to a great extent needed to be realized first for more particular utopian visions to be realized stably

He says particular individuals will differ in the best life one can have. Makes no argument as to how these individuals differ or even their impact on a developing society. Where is the consideration of individuals who wish to destroy or harm? I presume the best life for a Nazi is not in a capitalist society. But this means Nozick doesn't care what societies form - as if Nazis don't exist, or as if other societies always want peaceful resolution.

Anarchy and the Minimal State

Nozick does this part first, but with all the above, his reasoning is like an ancap.

He explains various scenarios of private legal or defense entities, then details a rational way to deal with conflicts as any competing agencies might. Then he goes on to say that an agency that operates like a state where one agency is in charge of a region. That it'd come about by invisible hand means, not particular rules.

This makes it clear to me that even a libertarian as academic as Nozick is a "dressed up" ancap. So, his legitimate state would be a de facto state as opposed to one established de jure - that is, by fiat or by legal declaration to a geographical area. His best moral argument is that this is one way a state can arise legitimately.

Edited by Eiuol

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16 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I read this book and took notes for my own interest. I wanted to read it in order to see the development of American libertarianism (e.g. the kind we see at Cato), as part of my wider goal to see why people conflate Objectivism with libertarianism (besides the obvious similarity of both aligning with laissez-faire capitalism). I still suspect that libertarianism is all essentially anarcho-capitalism, thus always wrong.

I've no comment on Nozick, whom I have not read, but I'd like to challenge this initial notion -- because I think it is a common error among Objectivists.

"Libertarianism," as such, is not a philosophy to be contrasted against Objectivism. It is an approach to politics specifically, and delimited to that sphere. Thus when you say that Objectivism bears the "obvious similarity" of aligning to laissez-faire capitalism, as libertarianism does, that is as much as saying that "Objectivism is libertarian." Which is correct.

The mistake is trying to ascribe a full philosophy to "libertarianism" as such, then finding no agreement among "libertarian philosophers" (including Ayn Rand, even if she rejected the label) and decrying libertarianism for having contradictions. Or finding a self-described libertarian who offers no moral defense for capitalism and then saying that, therefore, libertarianism has no moral defense for capitalism. But it does. Ayn Rand provided it.

Libertarianism is not a specific philosophy, but it is a category of political philosophy, and Objectivism fits within it. Though a particular man may be "libertarian" and irrational, subscribing to mystical notions or other errors in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and etc. -- and though we can recognize that this will ultimately prove fatal to his understanding/application of even those political concepts he professes to endorse (such as "liberty") -- this does not make Objectivism anything other than libertarian.

It is rather like the person who says (and I've met more than one), "Oh, I'm not Christian... I'm Catholic." But Catholics are Christians and Objectivists are libertarians.

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And that approach is derived from people opposed to Rand. American libertarianism is a political ideology that has distorted the word libertarian - a leftist ideology - for the sake of superficial ideas. That is, it is a school of thought with thin justification, with traditions and thinkers, one tradition being capitalism, albeit a self-contradictory one.

I mean, there is a similarity between Objectivism and Marxism, insofar as both care about people missing out on the fruits of their labor, with a huge difference on what one's labor is. Libertarianism has LFC, but the huge difference is toleration towards all action, even tolerance of initiating force as long as a market exists. Nozick is still within the tradition, insofar as he attempts to improve the familiar bad arguments

Or let me tweak it: libertarianism is anarcho-capitalism. The reason this is true is because that IS the logical end of all libertarian thought. There isn't -going- to be a moral defense of capitalism from libertarians. As soon as one makes a moral defense, one is not a libertarian. It depends upon moral relativism.

It started with Rothbard really, not Rand. Neoconservatism isn't a form of Communism, even though Trotsky was an important influence. The point here is that Rand is a difference of kind, not degree, from libertarianism. Libertarianism is not merely an adjective, it is an ideology. Indeed, it is a broad one, but this is precisely because it tolerates essentially everything in politics as long as property is the be-all end-all.

My argument is that Objectivist politics is pro-capitalist, as is libertarianism, but this similarity is shallow. Actually, it's more like pro-property, that's the genus. Besides that, nothing.

I used to think as you did. My reasoning here is a change.

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1 hour ago, Eiuol said:

Libertarianism is not merely an adjective, it is an ideology.

Wikipedia writes, "Libertarianism (Latin: liber, "free") is a collection of political philosophies and movements that uphold liberty as a core principle."

Objectivism is a complete philosophy with positions on metaphysics, aesthetics, and so forth. One can be a libertarian without being an Objectivist (meaning: agreeing with Objectivists politically to some apparently great extent, but disagreeing on other fundamental philosophical matters, such as the role of art in human life), but "libertarian" continues to describe the Objectivist Politics, and as such, with respect to its politics, Objectivism itself.

To put it another way, if an Objectivist ran for office and described his political platform in a speech on television (with no specific mention of Rand, Objectivism, or other philosophical topics beyond politics), viewers would not be wrong to think of his platform as being "libertarian."

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It's important to distinguish between persons who identify as "Libertarian" only in the sense that they consider themselves to be fiscally conservative and socially liberal vs. those who understand (or think they do) the ins-N-outs of the philosophical premises and differences of Hayek/Mises (and the Austrian School in general) Hazlitt, Rothbard, the Chicago School of Friedman, and Rand's Objectivism, etc., etc., etc.

The overwhelming majority of people who self-identify as Libertarian simply fall into the "Libertarian =  fiscally conservative & socially liberal" group.  I believe this is how DonAthos is using the term.  And, frankly, most will never explore the more esoteric issues of Libertarianism or Objectivism.  But that doesn't mean that they should be lumped into a "Basket of "Deplorables" as Eiuol is doing.

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Let me be clearer. The claim is this: Objectivist politics is not a form of American libertarianism.

I'm okay with the word libertarian, as long as you recognize there were libertarians besides the American brand of it that arose after Rand (and Isabel Paterson, and Rose Lane Wilder). Rand and others like her I would venture to say were more like the leftist kind as far as rich moral basis and justification. I'd include Thoreau in there, too. On the other hand, Rand put a pro-capitalist bend on all of it. The ancaps - who all amount to American libertarians as I qualified above - were another development from that pro-capitalist end. My deeper point is that those at Cato, for example, use the same reasoning as ancaps do, their arguments are equivalent. Rand uses different ones.

This is separate from, say, Austrian economics. Accepting that school of economics isn't necessarily libertarianism.

Fiscally conservative + socially liberal is the American kind because this is a shallow way to think of politics. Those are the kind of people that really are aligned with Nozick's reasoning, or the kind that haven't taken the time to explore richer ways of thinking. Nozick is the richest I know of. Hence reading the book. 

(I plan to write something up about how American libertarianism is rooted on anti-intellectualism and historical revisionism. That's for another day.)

As for Nozick's book: Do either of you have comments on the notes?

Edited by Eiuol

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21 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

As for Nozick's book: Do either of you have comments on the notes?

 

I read Nozick's Anarchy, State and Utopia probably 30-ish years ago (age 16 or 17) after having read Atlas Shrugged (and most of Rand's other non-fictional works).  Much of it went over my head at the time as I lacked a true understanding of history or philosophy.  About a year ago I browsed Nozick's book for quite awhile at a local bookstore, and took away from it that he was probably reluctant to too heavily reference Rand because of her standing in academia at the time.  The book comes off as dry, uninteresting and academic.

However, it was an important work at the time, in the sense that a Harvard philosophy professor was willing to discuss free markets at the start of a Keynes/Galbraith inflationary period (you are probably too young to remember the 18% interest rates - I thought I was "earning" lots of money in my savings and loans account, lol).  And remember, Skinner's Beyond Freedom and Dignity was published just two years prior.

That being said, I've been critical on this forum for Rand's purely deductive explanation of the moral foundations of Capitalism.  She never went into an in depth explanation of the historical roots of Capitalism, or how it evolved empirically via trial-and-error.  It did not just spring forth from her forehead any more than it did from Locke, Smith, Jefferson, etc.  Old-school Objectivist tended to get too hung-up on spouting "principles" with little attention paid to proposing legislation to transition our current society to a more free one.  In this sense, I'm far more supportive of such institutions as CATO than you are, apparently.

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47 minutes ago, New Buddha said:

Old-school Objectivist tended to get too hung-up on spouting "principles" with little attention paid to proposing legislation to transition our current society to a more free one.  In this sense, I'm far more supportive of such institutions as CATO than you are, apparently.

I'm all for that, see this thread:

 I just don't see Cato Institute as an ally, because I see the ancap similarity as too strong and too dangerous.

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12 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I just don't see Cato Institute as an ally, because I see the ancap similarity as too strong and too dangerous.

I have very little to say about Cato, Nozick, and "ancap," because I know so little about any of them. But here's a brief anecdote about how I initially came to Objectivism:

I was dating a woman who was a libertarian -- very much in the negative sense that usually (and I argue unfairly), for Objectivists, comprises the entire meaning: she only cared about political philosophy and thought, essentially, that none of the rest mattered. Through my association with her, I encountered Henry Hazlitt, the Austrian school, and finally Ayn Rand (who did not impress her much, but shook me to my core).

As a new Objectivist, I did as most new Objectivists do (in my experience), whereby I instantly tried to divide the world into good and evil; my girlfriend did not survive the cut. :) She set out to work in libertarian areas, specifically in the fight to change marijuana laws, while I went to work for ARI. Was she/is she an "ally"? It's hard for me to address such a question, as such, especially since there is SO MUCH history and hard feelings within the Objectivist community over issues of "sanction" and libertarians and etc. (And then there is my own personal history with her.) Yet I will say this: all of these years later, marijuana law has generally improved. It is arguable that, in terms of politics alone, she has more to show for her efforts than I have for mine.

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17 hours ago, Eiuol said:

 I just don't see Cato Institute as an ally, because I see the ancap similarity as too strong and too dangerous.

As someone who has followed the global warming debate closely for the last 8 or so years, the CATO Institute has been a fairly large player in challenging many "findings" by the EPA, etc.  I can't see how they can be labeled "dangerous".

And the CATO Institute is like any other large organization, or group of people who share similar ideas, goals, objectives, etc. - meaning that there will be differences of opinions on a wide range of topics.  Objectivism is not immune to this.

 

https://www.cato.org/research/global-warming

Edited by New Buddha

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42 minutes ago, William O said:

Here is an Objectivist intellectual's response to this claim:

http://www.checkyourpremises.org/2016/03/09/whats-wrong-with-the-concept-libertarian/

Even so, the -content- of American libertarianism is quite different, and at best Rand is a libertarian only in the original meaning, but uniquely pro-capitalist.

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Just now, New Buddha said:

I can't see how they can be labeled "dangerous".

Longer term demise in actual liberty, as evidenced by how claims about government amount to abolition of government. 

Nozick has good points that are undermined by his minimal "state".

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On 6/8/2017 at 0:04 PM, William O said:

Here is an Objectivist intellectual's response to this claim:

http://www.checkyourpremises.org/2016/03/09/whats-wrong-with-the-concept-libertarian/

After the initial essay, there is a comment thread within which the essay's author writes:

Quote

I agree that there are ways that the word "libertarian" might be (or has been) defined in which I'd be happy to describe my views as (broadly speaking) "libertarian"...

This captures both my sense of it and intended meaning. Salmieri then goes on to say:

Quote

...but this is true with the terms "liberal" and "conservative" too. And none of these definitions of these terms capture well the way the words are used and understood today, so I don't use them to describe my views.

Yet the way "libertarian" is defined by Wikipedia, quoted earlier in this thread -- which I would argue reflects on how that term is used and understood today -- does seem to capture the essence of Objectivist political philosophy. Further, as I'd suggested earlier, an Objectivist who described his political views with no specific telltale reference to Rand, or etc., would be received as a "libertarian" (or I suspect so, at least), which again says to me that the way we currently use "libertarian" does indeed serve to describe the Objectivist Politics (broadly).

Quote

It would be convenient to have a single term, but it's no great tragedy that we don't. There isn't such a term for most positions on most issues. One can give an essentialized description of one's view. For example: I think that the sole proper function of government is to protect individual rights.

Precisely. And I believe that among the vast majority, if I were to say that "I think that the sole proper function of government is to protect individual rights," the response I would receive in return is: "oh, so you're a libertarian."

If the problem is that some (even prominent) people have used "libertarian" as a cover for anarchist views, then that's certainly a problem for intelligible use of the term -- and it may demand clarification. But I don't think it's necessarily a worse problem than embracing "selfish," when so very many abuse that term, or even "Objectivism" as a philosophy of reason when so many self-described Objectivists turn out to be unreasonable.

Edited by DonAthos

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3 hours ago, DonAthos said:

the way we currently use "libertarian" does indeed serve to describe the Objectivist Politics (broadly).

In the common dialogue people use, yes, but the common ways of speaking about politics is so convoluted that the way "we" use it is confused and wrong. That goes for many terms. It would resemble either classical liberalism and probably libertarian in the broad sense. But when people use libertarian in the narrow sense, they mean people like Rothbard on the totally extreme side, or people like Nozick on the pragmatic side. Rand is not like either one in the narrow sense at all. If you mean libertarian in the broad sense, your position is fine.

If you DO mean at least Nozick (even if you reject Rothbard), how so? (Refer to my notes, or look here) "Pro-capitalist" isn't a good distinction.

3 hours ago, DonAthos said:

the response I would receive in return is: "oh, so you're a libertarian."

Not really. You'd be called most likely, classical liberal. Or perhaps libertarian broadly speaking if you explained your reasoning (I suggest that Objecctivism is an integration of both as far as politics). If you were called a libertarian as in "socially liberal, economically conservative", that person is either ignorant of politics and has a lot to learn, or you didn't describe yourself well.

3 hours ago, DonAthos said:

If the problem is that some (even prominent) people have used "libertarian" as a cover for anarchist views, then that's certainly a problem for intelligible use of the term -- and it may demand clarification.

Yes, this is it. Libertarian in the narrow sense at least logically entails anarcho-capitalist beliefs (hopefully they turn away from it before turning full-on ancap). This is why I made the thread.

Edited by Eiuol

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2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

If you mean libertarian in the broad sense, your position is fine.

I mean libertarian as Wikipedia has it -- "a collection of political philosophies and movements that uphold liberty as a core principle" -- which is also what I believe most people to mean when employing the term. And if this also serves to describe the Objectivist Politics (and I believe that it does), then the Objectivist Politics is libertarian.

2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

But when people use libertarian in the narrow sense, they mean people like Rothbard on the totally extreme side, or people like Nozick on the pragmatic side. Rand is not like either one in the narrow sense at all.

But then people could equally "use libertarian in the narrow sense" of referring to Ayn Rand. Her disavowals notwithstanding, it's my understanding that many people do indeed consider her a libertarian -- and I believe with great justice, appealing once again to the common understanding of the term (which is reflected in the Wikipedia entry).

Again: because some Catholics do not consider themselves Christian, it does not change the fact that Catholics are Christian. And because we observe that (in the narrow sense), some Christians are Catholics, some are Methodists, some are Baptists, we know that not all Christians share identical views. Equally, some libertarians might consider themselves to agree with Rothbard or Nozick (whatever their views are) or with Ayn Rand. It doesn't change what "libertarian" is.

2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Not really. You'd be called most likely, classical liberal.

You sincerely believe that most people -- even informed political observers -- are prone to think in terms of "classical liberal," and not "libertarian" (which also happens to be the name of a prominent political party)?

If so, agree to disagree.

2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Libertarian in the narrow sense at least logically entails anarcho-capitalist beliefs (hopefully they turn away from it before turning full-on ancap). This is why I made the thread.

What? Why would you believe that the term libertarian "logically entails" the beliefs of Rothbard or Nozick, but not Ayn Rand? Why wish a person to turn away from libertarianism before "turning full-on ancap" rather than encouraging them to stick with libertarianism until "turning full-on Objectivist"? Are you concerned that Rand's arguments are less persuasive than those of Rothbard or Nozick or etc.?

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18 minutes ago, DonAthos said:

which is also what I believe most people to mean when employing the term.

It isn't. The average person means the narrower sense.

20 minutes ago, DonAthos said:

it's my understanding that many people do indeed consider her a libertarian

Most people consider her the narrower kind and are wrong about that.

22 minutes ago, DonAthos said:

because some Catholics do not consider themselves Christian

This is not a word rife with the same twisting of words like libertarian (or selfish, or gluten free, or feminist, or fascist). So, we end needing to worry about the wide and narrow senses. I think we agree that libertarian in general is a fine term, so you and I don't seem to disagree. As long as you know that libertarian should broadly include leftists like Noam Chomsky, that's fine - their self-contradictions or errors not withstanding. But the average person doesn't really know that.

33 minutes ago, DonAthos said:

Why would you believe that the term libertarian "logically entails" the beliefs of Rothbard or Nozick, but not Ayn Rand?

In the narrow sense... yes. The point of the thread is that I think at least Nozick's beliefs logically entails anarcho-capitalism. My why is the entire OP.

36 minutes ago, DonAthos said:

Are you concerned that Rand's arguments are less persuasive than those of Rothbard or Nozick or etc.?

I'm concerned that people will adopt a belief system that is bad, and adopt those ideas because it feels good. So I will show, rationally, that they are wrong.

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1 hour ago, Eiuol said:

So I will show, rationally, that they are wrong.

 

You yourself are not a goose-stepping Randoid, so why are you concerned with about showing that they are wrong?

Hazlitt, Hayek, Freidman, Rothbard, Mises are not "evil" people.  If you were to meet with any one of them you would probably enjoy the experience very much.

I'd concern myself less with how they are wrong, and try and learn how they are right.

Unless, of course, you believe that Rand (and Objectivism) is infallible.  Which I know that you don't....

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.

I’m pretty sure when I first learned the word “libertarian.” It was in a current issue of THE PERSONALIST at my university in around 1970. There was a debate in that issue wherein one side argued for government limited in the way I was familiar with from Rand, while the other side argued for anarchocapitalism. John Hospers was then the editor of that journal. I didn’t give the anarchocapitalist theory much thought until Nozick’s ASU came out (1974) and he made his case against that theory (especially those basing their position on individual rights) in consideration of issues of procedural justice. In 1971 Hosper’s book LIBERTARIANISM had been issued. Therein he defined libertarianism, “according to which the function of government should be limited to the protection of individuals against aggression by others or by government” (27). The last chapter of his book is titled “Is Government Necessary?” which I imagine set out the debate between limited-government libertarians and anarchocapitalist libertarians (his own side would have been the former, to be sure). Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, the latter portion of that book including that chapter in my paperback fell off and is lost. In 1972 I was old enough to vote for the first time, and I wrote in the name John Hospers, who was the Presidential candidate of the newly formed Libertarian Party. I was in the Party and worked pretty hard with it until 1984, when I left it. All of our Presidential candidates to that year were limited-government libertarians as I recall.

It was at the national convention in New York in 1975 that I spotted and bought Tibor Machan’s HUMAN RIGHTS AND HUMAN LIBERTIES (1975). It was a systematic rights-based defense of limited-government libertarianism by another professional philosopher: “‘Libertarianism’ is the label that has been applied to the theory of society or political philosophy that identifies the initiation of force against others as the one form of human interaction that is impermissible in a human community under all circumstances. I have not used the label thus far because many libertarians base their acceptance of this basic prohibition on something other than a theory of human rights. Some take the principle to be self-evidently true. Others view it as an efficient device for social organization without giving it a foundation based on a moral point of view. But I will henceforth use the term ‘libertarianism’ to indicate the theory of human community proposed in this work” (147).

We never thought of our rights-based limited-government libertarianism as some sort of poor stepsister to anarchocapitalist libertarianism. We did not concede the name “libertarianism” to them as most rightly theirs. I did read Murray Rothbard’s FOR A NEW LIBERTY (1974) and THE ETHICS OF LIBERTY (1982). Nice writing, but on his theory of property rights in land and their relations to enforcement institutions, the anarchocapitalist case collapses (again). (This was my comment in the link mentioned by William upstream.)

Further, from my 1988 Right, Games, and Self-Realization.

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NB, that line was directed specifically at Don wondering why I'd care about someone "turning" ancap. I don't care a whole lot, but I'd still prefer to show why it's wrong. Well, also I find that anarcho-capitalism leads to great evil in the form of excessive toleration, and apologism for racism and sexism. American-brand libertarianism is just the foundation of it.

I think Hazlit and Hayek are fundamentally correct, and Austrian economics as generally right. I think Rothbard is wildly wrong as far as his political philosophy. Friedman is Chicago school, I know enough to know it's not the same as the Austrian school. Neither is a political philosophy. An Austrian economist isn't always a libertarian, just as a Marxist isn't always a Communist.

Thanks for that post Stephen. I first set off looking at how a limited-government libertarians and anarcho-capitalist libertarians differ. I only see a difference of how far they follow their ideas to the logical conclusion.

Here, I focus on Nozick. I like how he questions procedural justice, and what he said about Rawls. Also, for at least presenting some response to the ancap position. The thing is, his response is inadequate and boils down to an a ancap position, he just swaps "really efficient defense agency" for "state".

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