It is well known that the radical libertarian philosopher Robert Nozick sharply distinguished his vision of the free society from egalitarian liberals such as John Rawls. Less remarked upon is the distinction he drew between the free society governed by a strictly limited government, commonly referred to as 'minarchism', and the society without any government at all - anarchism. In this volume, the editors, Long - an anarchist - and Machan - a minarchist - have brought together a selection of specially commissioned essays from key theorists actively involved in this debate. Each tackles the question of whether or not a government forms a legitimate part of a free society or whether anarchy/minarchy is merely a distinction without a difference.
'This volume is a much needed revival of a debate critical to Libertarians, but also of significance to political theorists generally. The issue itself goes to the heart of what it means to do political philosophy, and the contributions found here skillfully keep those basic concerns in sight. In addition, I found the writing lucid and fair minded--something often missing in scholarly debate anthologies. I have no doubt that this volume will become a standard reference source for those interested in this particular debate and among the sources one consults when considering the foundations of the state generally.' Douglas J. Den Uyl, Liberty Fund, Inc., USA The forceful philosophical and historical challenges to the state presented in this volume should be read not just by libertarians, but by everyone who believes that government is either necessary or legitimate. Elaine Sternberg, London School of Economics, UK ’The book will be of most interest to students of libertarianism and classical liberalism, but it also has value for a broader readership.’ Political Studies Review
Contents: Preface, Roderick T. Long and Tibor R. Machan; Part 1 Minarchism: Why the state needs a justification, Lester H. Hunt; Libertarianism, limited government and anarchy, John Roger Lee; Rationality, history and inductive politics, Adam Reed; Objectivism against anarchy, William R. Thomas; Reconciling anarchism and minarchism, Tibor R. Machan. Part 2 Anarchism: Radical freedom and social living, Aeon James Skoble; The state: from minarchy to anarchy, Jan Narveson; The obviousness of anarchy, John Hasnas; Market anarchism as constitutionalism, Roderick T. Long; Liberty, equality, solidarity: towards a dialectical anarchism, Charles Johnson; Index.