Nozick’s Minarchism

“Individuals have rights and there are things no person or group may do to them (without violating their rights).”

Robert Nozick had a greater influence on Academia than almost any other Libertarian. And given the nature of intellectuals is one of alliance with the state, this is quite a difficult task. In this video, I though I would explore Nozick’s minarchism, his answer to the anarchist challenge as he would put it. As minarchists are notorious for being intellectually sloppy, non-rigorous and inconsistent. All traits that are far from true in Nozick’s case.

Issues discussed in this videos
– State of Nature
– Traditional Political Philosophy
– John Locke
– Social Contract Theory
– Anarchism

Friedman Conference:



“When it comes to the sentiment that individuals have rights, and some things no person can do to them for they would be violating those rights. Not many other philosophers can articulate this like Robert Nozick. In his Anarchy, State and Utopia, the question of how these individual rights can coexist with the state is explored in such a way, that libertarianism gained a greater presence in academia than what could be achieved by almost any other author. While Rothbard, Hoppe, Rockwell and others mainly gained a support of students and college radicals, Nozick really hung a question mark over the state in a manner that concerned the mainstream philosophy establishment. The notion that the state is incompatible with individual rights, and hence shouldn’t force citizens to aid others, or the prohibit activities to people for their own good or protection, will be taught in universities for centuries to come because of Nozick, even if it is often done so through the lens of dissent.

Perhaps Nozick’s influence was greater than other libertarian authors due to his Lockian conception of social contract theory, thus being a minarchist, arguing for the minimalist state. A position much less radical than the likes of Rothbard and the fellows at the Mises institute, mostly being anarchists. However Nozick’s theory of justice, and how it is incompatible with modern liberalism is extremely valuable. As well as his criticisms of Marxism, equality, envy, workers control and most significantly the theory of justice put forward by John Rawls, Nozick’s intellectual rival so to speak. As the works of both have already gone down in history as the two most popular, competing theories of justice. However for the purpose of this video, I wanted to focus on Nozick’s argument for the minimalist state, or minarchism. As I think it is the most persuasive argument that I have heard, and although I don’t really buy into his conclusions on the state so much, I think his traditional philosophical approach to libertarianism is very much worth entertaining.”

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Author: truediltom

I make videos about cancer