Nozick and the Individualist Anarchist
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Robert Nozick, in Anarchy, State, and Utopia1 presented his by-now-famous view that ‘minimal state, limited to the narrow functions of protection against force, theft, fraud, enforcement of contracts, and so, on, is justified’.2 He went on to say that only such a state is justified. Since then, the view has been frequently presented that a more extensive state than the one proposed by Nozick is warranted3 — as has the view that only a less extensive state,4 or no state at all, is morally permissible. When such an antistatist, or anarchist, view is presented, however, rarely has its advocate also been an advocate of capitalism, that is, an individualist anarchist. But occasionally that does happen. In this paper I propose to criticize Nozick from the individualist anarchist point of view and show that although he has challenged the classical arguments of the individualist anarchist, the anarchist has a reply.
KeywordsMinimal State Extensive State Indifference Curve Economic Good Classical Argument
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- 1.Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State and Utopia (New York: Basic Books, 1974).Google Scholar
- 3.One proponent of a more extensive state is John Rawls. See his A Theory of Justice (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1971).Google Scholar
- 4.Following Nozick’s usage, I am employing the term state in the way recommended by Max Weber. See H. H. Gerth and C. Wright Mills, (eds), From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology (New York: Oxford University Press, 1970), p. 78.Google Scholar