Anarchy, State and Utopia, by Robert Nozick, New York: Basic Books, 1974, 367 pp., $12.95.
Robert Nozick describes his Anarchy, State and Utopia as, "a philosophical exploration of issues, many fascinating in their own right, which arise and interconnect when we consider individual rights and the state." Such explorations are to be contrasted with political tracts—but what makes the difference? Is a philosophical exploration merely what gets written when an aspiring author is too uncertain about his views to write a tract or manifesto? No, there is more to be said about philosophical explorations than this. Such projects are explorations, intellectual voyages which reveal previously unchartered ideas, arguments, and theses. The mappings which such an exploration yields may be highly accurate or in need of radical revision. But in either case the voyage opens up new intellectual territory. It is one of the most encouraging signs of the times—the most encouraging for those who like myself look at the world through ivory-colored glasses—that we have recently witnessed the publication of three works which expand the known world of libertarian theory. These are David Friedman's The Machinery of Freedom (in particular, Part III), the first volume of F.A. Hayek's Law, Legislation, and Liberty, and most recently, Nozick's Anarchy, State and Utopia. Of these works, Nozick's exploration ranges widest and is the most arduous.
For the most part Nozick explores the overlapping realms marked by the terms "natural rights theory" and "state of nature theory." That Nozick's investigations are primarily within these realms may be a source of disappointment to some readers. For by focusing with these realms Nozick bypasses some of the most difficult questions for libertarian theory, e.g., questions about the source, foundations, underlying character, etc. of human rights. Nozick does offer certain suggestions, viz., that there is an "underlying Kantian principle that individuals are ends and not merely "means" [pp. 30-1], that to use a person (in certain ways) "does not sufficiently respect and take into account the fact that he is a separate person, that his is the only life he has" [p. 31], and "that there are different individuals with separate lives and so no one may be sacrificed for others" [p. 31]. These suggestions are sound, albeit familiar within libertarian theory. In general, Anarchy, State and Utopia provides a revealing map of a certain territory, but little explicit information about where this territory is. We should note, however, that a map of a territory, its contours and prominent features, can be a great aid in fixing that territory's whereabouts.
Anarchy, State and Utopia is divided into three major parts. In the first part Nozick seeks to establish the legitimacy of what he calls the "minimal" state. In the second part he seeks to counter arguments or suggestions in favor of a state more extensive than the minimal state. In the third part Nozick seeks to show that the minimal state is the basic political-legal framework which would be chosen by rational utopians and aspiring utopian communities. The first part of Anarchy, State and Utopia is, by far, the most difficult and intriguing and I shall devote most of what follows to a discussion of some of the themes of that section.
A LEGITIMATE STATE?
Nozick asks whether any protective association can become a state without violating human rights. Essentially, a protective association P will be a state if it decides how its clients will be dealt with when those clients are accused of crimes even (especially) in those cases when the accuser is not a client of P. The justification of the state depends on showing how P could legitimately always decide how its accused clients will be dealt with. Of course if everyone were to become a client of P, i.e., if everyone were to contract to abide by the procedures annunciated by P, then P could legitimately decide in all cases of accusation. But this is a trivial case. The difficult question is, how could P legitimately always decide how its clients will be dealt with if some accusers have not contracted to abide by P's rulings? The individualist anarchist points to instances in which an accuser of a client of P who is not himself a client of P merely proposes to exercise his right to restitution or his right to retaliation. The individualist anarchist insists that as long as the nonclient accuser does not (or is not about to) violate the rights of the accused the protective association of the accused has no moral business interfering.
As a prelude to Nozick's answer to the individualist anarchist let us consider in more detail the force of the individualist anarchist's point. Are we to suppose a case in which P can be sure that a nonclient accuser A is about to deal with a client C of P in what for all practical purposes is the same way that P would deal with C if C were to be accused by another client of P? If so, then we are supposing a case in which P's decision not to interfere with the accuser's treatment of its client C can simply be construed as a reaffirmation of P's own policy with regard to what treatment is appropriate when a person is accused of a given crime. P allows only that treatment which P itself would impose. Such cases do not indicate that in any significant sense P does not have the right to decide how its clients will be dealt with. So the individualist anarchist must ask us to suppose a case in which P cannot be sure that the accuser's proposed treatment of the accused client C is significantly like the treatment which C would receive from P if C were to be accused by a client of P. On the other hand, the individualist anarchist cannot ask us to suppose a case in which P knows that the accuser's proposed treatment of C would violate C's rights. For in such cases the individualist anarchist himself grants that P would be justified in deciding that C should not be subject to the proposed treatment. So the important cases for the individualist anarchist's point must, it seems, be those in which all that is known is that the independent accuser's proposed action involves a risk of violating the rights of a client of P. Apparently the individualist anarchist should focus on these cases as the instances in which it is plausible to hold both that P would not be justified in ruling out the independent's action and that P's not ruling out that action cannot be construed as P's approving that action.
To sum up: the crucial cases appear to be those in which an independent's action risks violating rights. If one had a theory to deal with risky acts one might be in a position to answer the anarchist's challenge as that challenge has been sketched here. The central chapter of the first part of Anarchy, State and Utopia, "Prohibition, Compensation and Risk" [pp. 54-87], is devoted to the partial development of a theory to deal with acts that risk the violation of rights. Specifically, this chapter is devoted to the development of a theory about how one can legitimately respond to acts which impose risks which are significant in degree/amount/severity (acts that are, for instance, more risky than my standing on one foot on my own property but right across from your carefully tended rose bush) but which do not themselves constitute violations of rights. Such a theory would allow some answer not only in the cases that are apparently crucial to the anarchist-minimal state controversy but also to such questions as "What can P (or anyone) legitimately do to stop person A from using a machine on A's own property which, as far as anyone can tell, probably will not blow up and yet may blow up and destroy the whole neighborhood?"
PROHIBITING RISKY ACTS
Nozick argues for the view that when an act is risky it may legitimately be prohibited provided that those who are forbidden to act are compensated for the disadvantages which the prohibition causes. I leave it as a (very strenuous) exercise for the reader to decide whether Nozick is justified in this view. The application of this view to the anarchist-archist dispute yields the conclusion that P can legitimately prohibit proposed acts of nonclient accusers of its clients even if these proposed acts would merely impose a risk upon the accused clients. Thus, any treatment of clients of P by nonclient accusers which is known to be significantly different from the treatment which the (presumably libertarian) protective association P would impose on its own clients when they are accused by other clients of P may be prohibited. But such prohibitions of merely risky acts are legitimate only if those disadvantaged by the prohibitions are compensated for their disadvantages. This demand for compensation may require that a person who is prohibited from independently seeking restitution or retaliation against clients of P and who cannot afford the going price of P's restitutive or retaliatory services be provided with those services free of charge or for a special reduced charge. Otherwise the prohibition on independent juridical action will leave the prohibited party disadvantaged.
Since the protective association P can legitimately decide how even nonclients will deal with accused clients of P, P is a legitimate state. Specifically, P would be a minimal state as opposed to an ultraminimal state. For not only does P monopolize the treatment (or the decisions about the treatment) of its clients, P must also (if P is to act morally) provide certain juridical services to those who are disadvantaged by P's prohibitions.
I have already indicated that I will not attempt here the difficult task of evaluating Nozick's theory about the legitimate response to risky acts. Instead I will raise two related issues. The setting for Nozick's dialogue with the individualist anarchist involves a single "dominant protective association" (what I have referred to as P) and a relatively small number of nonclients of this association some of whom patronize small-scale, competing protective associations. In the chapter, "The State of Nature" (especially pp. 12-17), Nozick provides some cogent reasons for supposing that within a given area there will develop a single dominant protective association. In its capacity of legitimately determining how all persons will deal with its clients this association is what Nozick deems a legitimate minimal state. But what will such a dominant protective association look like?
It may consist of a multiplicity of confederated associations—associations competing for clientele though linked by agreements about what procedures are to be followed—e.g., who is to have jurisdiction, what type of judicial procedure will be invoked—when a client of one association makes this or that accusation against a client of another association. Such a confederated dominant protective association would be strikingly dissimilar to what is normally thought of as a state. Market-like processes and not (explicitly) constitutional-political processes would determine the development, the income, and within certain limits, the nature and the extent of the services offered by the dominant association in general and by its constituent members in particular. The fact that there are many special markets for specialized juridical services, e.g., persons who are willing to pay high fees in order to litigate any abuse they feel subject to, and the fact that specific localities, e.g., isolated areas or communities established underwater, may be most efficiently served by local protective associations, suggests that the dominant protective association will have a confederated character.
There is another decentralizing factor. Not all disagreements about how an accused person will be dealt with can be resolved through noting that one proposed treatment would violate the accused's rights or would, at least, risk the violation of the accused's rights. Nozick himself points out [pp. 96-101] the extraordinary difficulty of identifying the right procedure in any particular juridical proceeding. "The natural-rights tradition offers little guidance on precisely what one's procedural rights are in a state of nature…" [p. 101]. Indeed I would argue that there are no natural procedural rights—that whatever right a person has to a particular juridical process, e.g., a right to trial by jury versus trial by judge, is acquired contractually. Of course this is not to deny that a person may have a right against those processes that involve the (threat of) a violation of his rights, e.g., trial by torture.
The fact that two persons (suppose them to be representative of the clients of two distinct associations) may have radically different preferences in juridical procedures is a decentralizing factor. Suppose that one group of persons proposes a common law type legal system. Individuals are chosen as judges who are steeped in "the natural law as revealed in the sustained judgments of learned men" and who display wisdom in applying the common law to current cases. Another group proposes a more rationalistic system involving a systematic discursive legal code intended to supply a judgment in all possible future cases (though they recognize the possibility of unanticipated types of cases). This group proposes to choose as judges those who are most adept at the relatively mechanical task of applying the systematic legal code. Suppose further, as is plausible, that the two proposed legal schemes are similarly nonrisky. A protective association offering the first type of procedure will tend to attract as clients members of the first group. An association offering the second type of procedure will tend to attract members of the second group. But what of the instances in which a client of one of these associations accuses a client of the other? Such instances would have to be anticipated and/or handled in a manner agreed to through negotiations between the two associations.
This is one of the points at which David Friedman's account of the origin of law in market negotiations is important. It is the absence of a natural right to any specific procedure which requires that disagreements which are merely disagreements over similarly nonrisky procedures be settled through bargaining. One protective association would not be justified in unilaterally enforcing its favored procedures when one of its clients is accused by a client of an association which favors different but not significantly more risky procedures. If the individualist anarchist takes his stand on the basis of alternative procedural preferences, then Nozick's theory for dealing with risky actions, even if correct, does not undercut the anarchist contention. The crucial cases appear to be those in which an independent's action risks violating rights. But, in fact, the individualist anarchist can formulate (or reformulate) his point in terms of differences over desired procedures. This is not to deny the likelihood that protective associations will find it necessary to confederate. While the absence of specific natural procedural rights is a decentralizing factor, it also creates a demand for negotiated confederation. The members of such a confederation may be said to be parts of a single dominant protective association, i.e., a state, but the striking fact about such a state would be its internal diversity.
JUSTICE AS ENTITLEMENT
The second part of Anarchy, State and Utopia consists of three chapters—the massive (pp. 149-231) "Distributive Justice," and the more breezy "Equality, Envy, Exploitation, Etc." (pp. 232-75) and "Demoktesis" (pp. 276-94). I shall content myself with an indication of what Nozick accomplishes in "Distributive Justice." Basically what Nozick does is to give a classificatory scheme for all possible theories of distributive justice. This scheme vividly reveals the character of each particular theory of distributive justice and indicates that theory's relationship to other theories of distributive justice.
According to Nozick, a theory of distributive justice will involve either an end-result principle or a historical principle. (Mixed theories are possible also.) An end-result principle identifies some structural feature of the distribution of goods, e.g., the equality of the distribution, as the mark of the distribution's being just. In contrast, a historical principle cites some independently specifiable feature that persons (or groups) have displayed—e.g., moral merit or productivity—and asserts that the just distribution of goods must accord with the cited feature. The theory that Nozick annunciates, the entitlement theory of justice, is a very special case among historical theories of distributive justice. According to this theory, an individual justly possesses whatever he has acquired without violating the principles of justice in acquisition and justice in transfer, i.e., whatever dispersal of goods results from persons acting in accord with these principles is just. These principles are not spelled out, but clearly fall within the Lockean-libertarian tradition. Insofar as persons act in accord with these principles there is no further question of how goods should be distributed. In virtue of the process which brings about the distribution it is just. Unlike other historical principles, it makes no sense under the entitlement theory to speak of distributing goods in proportion to some historically displayed feature. It makes no sense to identify, as most historical theories do, the pattern which justice demands for the distribution of goods. The idea that justice demands that goods be distributed in accord with some pattern involves a rejection of the principles of justice in acquisition and transfer. For these principles legitimate whatever dispersal of goods results as long as the principles are not violated—no matter what that dispersal looks like.
To think that the task of a theory of distributive justice is to fill in the blank in "to each according to his __" is to be pre-disposed to search for a pattern; and the separate treatment of "from each according to his __" treats production and distribution as two separate and independent issues. On an entitlement view these are not two separate questions. Whoever makes something, having bought or contracted for all other held resources used in the process…is entitled to it.…Things come into the world already attached to people having entitlements over them. [pp. 159-60]
The entitlement theory, then, opposes the end-state and patterned theories of distributive justice. The chapter, "Distributive Justice" contains a further explication of the entitlement theory and a lengthy and powerful criticism of the end-state theory of justice which John Rawls develops in his recent A Theory of Justice.
In the third part of Anarchy, State and Utopia, Nozick contends that even (or especially) the utopian should recognize (cf. Hayek's recent work and Mill's On Liberty) that freedom and its accompanying diversity are the best social devices for generating both an awareness of, and the existence of, optimal social and political arrangements. For the utopian should realize the impossibility of drawing up an adequate blueprint for utopia and the impossibility of constructing society in conformity with that blueprint even if he had it. The best method for attaining utopia involves market-like activities. Utopians should solicit voluntary membership in their idealized communities. Failure in their solicitations will signal them to modify their respective products. Similarly, utopians who recognize that they cannot accurately precognize utopia will desire the independence of other communities and individuals from whose experiments in living they may benefit. Clearly, then, the desired relation between all individuals and communities striving for utopia(s) is live and let live and, according to Nozick, the legal political framework on the basis of which this relation exists is the minimal state. Thus all sensible utopians, whatever their preferences are with regard to the internal structure of the "ideal" community, must be libertarians with regard to the overall structure of society.
Of course this argument only admits as utopians those whose ideal does not include the use of coercion against others as an end valuable in itself or as a necessary prelude to utopia. In this respect the argument is not independent of the voluntarism central to natural rights theory. We should also note that the diversity of communities which is appealed to in the argument of the third part of Anarchy, State and Utopia suggests that any minimal state servicing these communities would be a confederation of relatively independent associations. For it is unlikely that a single centralized organization would most efficiently serve such a heterogeneous society.
Any fully adequate treatment of Nozick's work would delve more deeply into the topics I have mentioned and would touch on many topics as yet unmentioned here. These latter include Nozick's original and lively discussions of the character of theory building, invisible-hand explanations, the character of moral side constraints, the permissibility of action when consent is impossible, the justification of punishment, H.L.A. Hart's defective "Principle of Fairness," preemptive attack and preventive restraint, egalitarianism, self-esteem, meaningful work and workers' control, and Marxist conceptions of exploitation.
A final word to potential (or current) readers of Anarchy, State and Utopia: One should not approach this work with the expectation of finding a deductive unfolding of a fully developed social/political philosophy. The doctrine is not fully developed. Nor does it unfold deductively. Instead one is presented with a network of subthesis, hypotheses, arguments and critiques of opposing views all converging toward a species of libertarianism. Each of the parts is thought-provoking and important in its own right while the plausibility and power of the whole is a product of the complex and ingenious manner in which these parts mesh together and reinforce one another.
Anarchy, State and Utopia has received a surprisingly large and favorable public response. Very justly, Nozick has received the National Book Award and Nozick has been the subject for an interview in Forbes (March 13, 1975) and an article in Newsweek (March 31, 1975). His book has been reviewed in a number of the major intellectually-oriented popular publications. In this postscript I want to provide a guide to these and other reviews.
There have been five reviews—judicious, largely accurate, and insightful—by two prominent philosophers, Peter Singer and Bernard Williams. Each of these is recommended. Perhaps what is most striking about Singer's review, "The Right to be Right?," in the New York Review of Books (March 6, 1975) is how close Singer comes to acknowledging that there remains no credible alternative to Nozick's conception of justice as entitlement. Singer sees John Rawls' A Theory of Justice as a powerful blow against utilitarian political philosophy and he sees Nozick as demonstrating the instability of Rawls' view. Once one departs from utilitarianism in the direction of Rawls one cannot stop until one has passed through Rawls and arrived at Nozick. Singer does opine that some forms of utilitarianism have not been discredited and that these, at least, remain as alternatives to the libertarian orientation. But this opinion is not warranted and is not likely to be widely shared in the philosophical community.
Williams' review, in the Times Literary Supplement (Jan. 17, 1975), in its adversary role, focuses on the truth that in historical fact the distribution of holdings that exists today did not develop in accord with Nozick's principles of justice in holdings. The obvious, and to Nozick perfectly satisfactory, conclusion is that on Nozick's own criteria today's actual distribution of holdings embodies injustices. But does it follow, as Williams stresses and Nozick considers as a possibility, that holdings should undergo a one-time redistribution according to some nonentitlement conception cf justice in order for there to be a fair new starting-point? I think not. For if one accepts the entitlement conception of justice, there is no reason to believe that the distribution which would result from a one-time redistribution governed by nonentitlement considerations would be fair or even more fair than the distribution which would result from a piecemeal rectification governed by the entitlement conception. Far better merely to correct as far as practically possible the identifiable injustices as determined by the entitlement conception than to be led by despair of identifying all injustices to throw off this correct conception of justice and turn to some admittedly flawed conception as one's guide for redistribution. The in-historical-fact thrust has a second cutting edge which Williams, and perhaps Nozick, do not note. In historical fact the State, even in its merely protective capacities, has not developed in accord with Nozick's principles. Thus, even if there could be a legitimate protective State—and Nozick affirms that there could be such a State—the actual State, even in its protective capacities is not that State. It is at least incongruous to propose turning to a historically illegitimate State for the purpose of abolishing illegitimate holdings.
Anarchy, State and Utopia has also been reviewed by Marshall Cohen in Harpers (March 1975). This is a generally fair and praising review which, unfortunately, reveals its author's unwillingness to come to grips with Nozick's position. After acknowledging the plausibility of affirming the rights which Nozick advocates, Cohen calls for the additional recognition of the sort of rights affirmed by welfare statists and socialists. What is remarkable is that Cohen fails to note that satisfaction of these latter "rights" would require the violation of the rights which libertarians affirm. He fails to note that the rights libertarians believe in and the rights put forward by statists cannot both be affirmed in any rational theory of rights. There is also a thoroughly worthless review, e.g., snide, factually incorrect, and philosophically empty, by Sheldon Wolin in (of course) the New York Times Book Review (May 11, 1975). (Milton Himmelfarb has amazed me by producing a piece in Commentary (June 1975, pp. 65-70) that is even more despicable than Wolin's piece. To Wolin's stupidity and dishonesty, Himmelfarb adds hysteria and Bible—(Old Testament)—thumping! I refer the reader to Murray Rothbard's incisive comments on Himmelfarb in this June's Libertarian Forum.)
STATE OF NATURE
It is striking that all these reviews concentrate on Part II of Anarchy, State and Utopia which, superb as it is, is less original and less challenging than Part I. Partially this is due to the difficulty of Part I. But it is also due, I suspect, to the reviewers' failure to grasp the significance of state-of-nature theory.
Another reviewer who explicitly fails to grasp the point of state-of-nature theory is Roger Donway in his review in the Freeman (April 1975). Donway claims that it is a basic datum that, "each man must have that…" [i.e., "a monopoly of force"] "…to be able to count on controlling his life." Donway seems to mean that each person must have a situation in which someone, the State, has a monopoly on force though he goes on to repeat the ambiguous phrase "each has such a monopoly." But this is far from a basic datum. On the surface, at least, Donway's claim seems to reflect the authoritarian line that plurality implies strife and chaos. In order to be able to count on controlling one's life one must have certain assurances about freedom from interference. But it is not obvious that a State monopoly of force is either necessary or sufficient for such assurances. Further, even if it were true that people needed a State (as opposed to protective agencies), this does not tell us who among those claiming our allegiance have a right to it. Nor would it explain, as state-of-nature theory attempts to explain, just what is the relationship between the individual and government or protective associations.
Donway is also unhappy about Nozick's speaking of moral constraints against violating another's boundaries. There is no need for the notion of moral constraints because, "force is not an effective means of seeking value, nor even an ineffective means; it is simply the abandonment of value-seeking." This should come as a great relief to those of us who have thought that forceful means were being employed against us! No doubt what Donway wanted to say is that since there is a complete harmony of interests among persons it is misleading to tell a person that he must constrain himself in pursuing his ends. For the pursuit of rightly understood ends never involves crossing the boundaries of others. But this supposed complete harmony is far from evident. If it ever exists it is because persons have appropriately internalized certain moral constraints. Besides, many persons do not pursue their rightly understood ends. For these persons, even given the harmony hypothesis, the boundaries of others will appear as constraints on action. Finally, to speak of moral constraints is not to demand (as Kant does) that actions be done for the sake of compliance with these constraints. It is enough if actions are in accord with these constraints. And, on Donway's harmony hypothesis, persons who rightly understand their ends will always find themselves acting in accord with these moral constraints.
The last review to consider is Ernest van den Haag's in National Review (July 4, 1975, pp. 729-731). This review is more intellectually competent and far less vicious than I would have expected of National Review and of van den Haag. Nevertheless, van den Haag's critical arguments are not very powerful and contain some important errors and misunderstandings. To deal first with the strongest point in his argument, let us consider van den Haag's example of starving orphans who will not be supported by voluntary charity. Van den Haag claims that such an example shows that distributive justice cannot consist in each person's having what he acquires noncoercively and does not part with voluntarily. For, according to van den Haag, justice demands that persons be coerced to provide for these orphans. Of course libertarians would quickly point out that aid need not be charitable. In the absence of State paternalism starving orphans might apprentice themselves, secure loans, and so on. But suppose that in spite of charitable and noncharitable institutions there were a case of a starving (and nonvicious, nonwicked) orphan. Should a presumably representative State exist for the sake of redistributing goods to such as this starving orphan? But if a representative State would save the orphan doesn't this show that the people it represents would do so on their own? Perhaps the point is not that a representative State would be justified in coercively taking from some to provide for the starving orphan, but rather that someone, in particular the orphan or the agent of the orphan would be justified in "stealing" a loaf of bread for this orphan who can survive in no other way. But if this is the point, then there is no clear conflict with libertarian theory. For van den Haag is, then, making a point about a type of "emergency" case. See, for instance, the paper, "Individualism, Rights and the Open Society" in Tibor Machan's anthology The Libertarian Alternative. Nozick, I presume, would deal with such cases in terms of the Lockean Proviso (pp. 179-182).
The major theoretical error in van den Haag's piece is the inconsistency between his moral pluralism and his legal positivism. The first is his view that there are all sorts of claims which the State should seek to satisfy. These include the claim to what one has acquired noncoercively, the claim to reward for one's moral merit, the claim to have one's needs catered to, and so on. These claims are seen as providing moral guides for the State's actions. A proper reading of them (and balancing of them) would tell us what the State is obligated to do. Van den Haag represents this medley of (conflicting) claims as the alternative to the (supposedly too narrow) recognition of Lockean rights. But van den Haag also attacks the libertarian belief in natural rights by asserting that, "Rights are granted by governments, which also enforce them." That is, van den Haag holds that there are no moral claims existing independently of the State in terms of which we can determine what the State should do. Rights are whatever the State says they are. But this position, commonly termed "legal positivism," is clearly inconsistent with van den Haag's moral pluralism argument and, indeed, it is inconsistent with the whole thrust of his review. For he continually cites values (such as communality and tradition) which he asserts it is morally obligatory for the State to foster.
Associated with what I have called van den Haag's moral pluralism is what I see as a common error (especially among conservatives) about the argument for freedom. Roughly this argument is that "we" are interested in promoting all sorts of good things (happiness, justice, knowledge, etc.), that freedom is simply a means to the promotion of these ends, and that, therefore, the elevation of freedom to a first principle cannot be rational. "Liberty," says van den Haag, "is valuable only inasmuch as it can be used for the fulfillment of wishes beyond it." A moderate reply to this sort of line is that freedom is the first political principle; that although other values are more ultimate the role of political institutions is simply to provide the freedom within which these other values can be successfully pursued, and that political institutions which try to foster other values will merely destroy freedom. The more fundamental reply is that (and here a systematic treatise rather than a few words should appear—the reader is free to fill in the treatise for himself) the moral demand that persons be left free does not proceed from the value of freedom as an end or as a means, but rather it proceeds from the fact that individuals are ends-in-themselves who cannot be denied freedom without the coercer being guilty of failing to recognize that individuals are ends-in-themselves.
Van den Haag also invokes the State as the protector, by means of coercive limitations of civil liberties, of "shared values" and "communal bonds." Van den Haag does not consider the questions of whose values and whose bonds and ignores the role of the State as destroyer of free and spontaneous relations and institutions. More pointedly he ignores entirely Nozick's discussion of community-formation in Part III of Anarchy, State and Utopia.
Lastly, for a more extended discussion of the entitlement conception of justice and Nozick's related critique of Rawls, I refer the reader to my review in the recent issue of Law and Liberty (Institute for Humane Studies).
Dr. Eric Mack is currently a visiting fellow at Harvard University and is the author of numerous papers in moral, political and legal philosophy.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Anarchy, State and Utopia".