Monopolies in the state of nature?

I am reblogging Part 29 of my in-depth review of “Anarchy, State, and Utopia”, which covers the fifth subsection of Chapter 5 of ASU (pp. 108-110). Previously, Nozick had conjectured that a single private protection association would end up becoming the “dominant” one in the state of nature. Here, he further conjectures that this dominant agency will claim a “de facto monopoly” over the use of force against its own members — i.e. it will not allow any independent or non-member — or any other protection agency, for that matter — to punish its own due-paying members.

prior probability

Nozick appears to equivocate in the fifth subsection of Chapter 5 (pp. 108-110). He now claims that everyone has procedural rights (p. 108): “Everyone has the [natural] right to defend against procedures that are in fact not, or not known to be, both reliable and fair.” But as we noted in a previous post (2 Jan 2018), this claim raises a whole new set of complicated questions — questions that the natural law tradition, unfortunately, are unable to answer. In particular, since no guilt-finding procedure will be perfect, what level of imperfection is consistent with fairness and reliability? Nozick also makes another extraordinary conjecture in the fifth subsection of Chapter 5. In brief, building on his earlier conclusion (from Chapter 2 of ASU) that a single private protection agency will end up becoming the “dominant” one in the state of nature, Nozick now further conjectures that this dominant agency will…

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About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a business law professor at the University of Central Florida.
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