Happy Friday! I am reblogging Part 31 of my extended review of “Anarchy, State, and Utopia.” (In brief, the post below concludes my review of Chapter 5 (pp. 113-119) with a stinging rebuke of two of Robert Nozick’s central claims.) We are now halfway through Nozick’s magnum opus, but I will hit the metaphorical “pause” button and resume my review of Nozick in a week’s time in order to address a few other matters — specifically, (1) an update about the mechanics of my “conspiracy theory retrodiction market” idea, (2) a reply to Professor Michael Pardo’s most recent paper on legal proof (see here), which I finally got around to reading last week, and (3) my latest work-in-progress on the possibility of property rights in space orbits.
It’s time to wrap up our review of Chapter 5 of Anarchy, State, and Utopia (ASU). The last two subsections of Chapter 5 (pp. 113-119) are
philosophical garbage disappointing. Why? Because Nozick concludes with two Panglossian claims, and neither rosy conclusion is supported by any actual evidence. First, he claims that a territory’s dominant protection agency will eventually become “a statelike entity” (p. 118), since it will prohibit non-clients from enforcing their rights in their dealings with the clients of the protection agency. Next, Nozick concludes that the phase transition from private protection racket to statelike entity will occur without anyone’s natural rights being violated, since the dominant agency will agree to compensate non-clients by providing them in kind protection services. Seriously? Who is he kidding? Nozick begs a number of fundamental questions in reaching these unsupported and speculative conclusions. In particular, and putting aside the free rider…
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