Opinions

Top 8 Most Awesome Libertarian Minarchists

#4. Robert Nozick

Robert Nozick is probably the most interesting and principled libertarian in the modern era, solidifying the beliefs of limited government capitalists in his seminal work “Anarchy, State, & Utopia.” Nozick rejected the utopian beliefs of anarchists and socialists, arguing that a minimal state was necessary, “limited to the narrow functions of protection against force, theft, fraud, enforcement of contracts, and so on.”

Nozick’s “nightwatchman state,” was a rebuttal to anarchists, since he saw that anarcho-capitalism would eventually transform into a minarchist state, since private defense or judicial agencies would see people eventually aligning with the agencies that provide majority coverage. While he sympathized with anarcho-capitalist ideals, he believed that any institutions which would arise out of that system would be a de facto “state.”

Nozick also touched on the themes echoed by Ron Paul about the problems of private policing. His argument was that if everyone is expected to be on call for mutual protection, then some members may be cantankerous or paranoid, as anyone who has associated with anarchists could easily attest. Nozick argued that any protection agency that sold services would be something “very much resembling a minimal state.”

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