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Anarchy, State, and Utopia

From Academic Kids

Anarchy, State, and Utopia is a work of political philosophy written by Robert Nozick in 1974. This highly acclaimed libertarian book was the winner of the 1975 National Book Award. In opposition to A Theory of Justice by John Rawls, Nozick argues, with lively literary flair, in favor of a minimal state, "limited to the narrow functions of protection against force, theft, fraud, enforcement of contracts, and so on." When a state takes on more responsibilities than these, Nozick argues, rights will be violated. To support the idea of the minimal state, Nozick posits an ultraminimal state as a thought experiment and attempts to show how it will lead to a minimal state.

Nozick's Entitlement Theory, influenced by John Locke, Immanuel Kant, and Friedrich Hayek, which sees humans as ends in themselves and justifies redistribution of goods only on condition of consent, is a key aspect of Anarchy, State, and Utopia. The book has been translated into 11 languages and was named one of the "100 most influential books since the war" by the New York Times.

The book can also be viewed as a vigorous defense of libertarianism against more extreme views, such as anarcho-capitalism (in which there is no state and individuals must contract with private companies for all social services).

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