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Most of the negative reviews of this book boil down to I don t like his conclusions, which is a sure sign of a mediocre thinker Even if one doesn t like Nozick s assumptions, his argument is logically rigorous, interesting, and warrants your attention especially if you ve read TOJ Further, readers should give section three love Most people read the anarchy state sections and stop, but Nozick s theory of utopia might just be the coolest part of this book. Absolutely atrocious Logical flaws, conceptual circles, as well as just completely unaware of how ridiculous it sounds For example, taxation is equal to slavery because you re being forced into something, but being forced to work in a sweatshop or starve is not a violation of freedom, in fact it s voluntary. @FREE E-PUB ⚤ Anarchy, State, and Utopia ⚡ In This Brilliant And Widely Acclaimed Book, Robert Nozick Challenges The Most Commonly Held Political And Social Positions Of Our Age Liberal, Socialist, And ConservativeIt Won The US National Book Award In Category Philosophy And Religion, Has Been Translated Into Languages, And Was Named One Of The Most Influential Books Since The War By The UK Times Literary Supplement This is a work of political philosophy arguing for minimal government, the libertarian counterpart and answer to the liberal John Rawls A Theory of Justice This is as far from a popular treatment of the subject such as say Ayn Rand or the like as you can get In other words, yes, this is the work of a professional academic, a Harvard professor of philosophy who wrote the kind of rigorous book used in graduate studies it even won the National Book Award It s respectable But dear God, it made my head hurt I ve decided that now that I m FREE, FREE, FREE of higher educational study, I can give myself permission not to like this book despite being sympathetic to its conclusions It was impenetrable, made far, far too much use of the question mark, and sported passages such as this on page 63 One may, in defending oneself, draw against the punishment the attacker deserves which is r X H So the upper limit of what one may use in self defense against a doer of harm H is f H r X H When an amount A in addition to f H is expended in self defense, the punishment which later may be inflicted is reduced by that amount and becomes r X H A When r o, f H r X H reduces to f H Finally, there will be some specification of a rule of necessity which requires one not to use in self defense than is necessary to repel the attack If what is necessary is than f H r X H, there will be a duty to retreat.It may be once upon a time I could understand this with ease, even stay awake And yes, reading this over a few times in isolation, I do get than a glimmer, but it s not as if the 300 plus pages this goes with is much engaging Hey, I was a political science major and I took a course in even did well in symbolic logic But I guess it takes less than a decade after graduating from university to turn your brain back to mush This may be a powerful argument for the best form of government But if one star on Goodreads means I don t like it, than that s the rating it must get And believe me, I did want to like this book But don t mind me, I didn t get Einstein s Theory of Relativity either. Nozick was a philosopher for rent His theories were built on demand to provide justification for an increasingly unequal society where the richest few control all decisions and accumulate and wealth, and the poor wither The reader is expected to believe that this is how it should be If Nozick was smart, he was not honest If he was honest, he certainly was not smart. This book is a must read in order to sharpen your thought Philosophy is all about debating in which you have to understand both sides to be able to deconstruct whatever you want to deconstruct under the rule that you must respect both sides I think Nozick s idea is very important as well as Rawls s idea, both of them really contributed some good ideas to the world of political philosophy I like Nozick s idea which is radical, but really straight forward it draws clear , and I think it can be develop further It is clear that this book is a rough sketches of what he was thinking there were some ideas that he didn t linger on them TT I want to read. The first 40 50 pages were almost unreadable A few clear statements surrounded by almost impossible to understand or follow statements that just did not seem well connected or to logically prove anything.I was actually very disappointed, since I had heard so many positive things about the book for over 35 years I even had some positive memories of when I read some of it about 30 years ago.Our South Bay Libertarian Book Club discussed the first part last Sunday and almost everyone had similar comments about how disappointing the book was.One positive around pages 50 60, he started getting much clearer and logically connected But I essentially ran out of time and interest and am not sure I will ever get back to it. I wish libertarians would actually read this book and acknowledge that this is not a road map for policy making or even directly transferable to a non hypothetical world Nozick makes a powerful case against re distribution, but even he points out that his theory only works where distribution has not been unjustly accomplished in the first place I don t fault him for failing to propose a solution to this conundrum, because he doesn t purport to do so and correctly states that it is for each individual society to address Nozick also justifiably criticizes Rawls for making assumptions about first principles that are not self evident but Nozick does some of this as well and ultimately his step by step account of how justice is constituted is far simpler but no persuasive than Rawls s It s just a lot fun to read This book had a huge impact on me when I read it at the age of 22 as a post grad student of political philosophy It is really only know, at the age of 44, that I realise quite how much Bob Nozick s master work has shaped my thinking on the state, politics and society over the past 22 years.I came to the book with preconceptions Nozick was neo liberal and Hayekian I was neither I was a committed socialist with anarchist leanings a huge dichotomy there which I didn t see at the time and deeply in thrall to Marx, Marxism, Marxists and Marxians So I wanted to hate it, rubbish it, show it up as the propaganda of the running dogs of capitalism Well I couldn t I got my hands on a pristine copy from the university bookshop I still have it, though it s now well thumbed and I spent a week reading it, taking notes and desperately trying to think of counter arguments The book was beautifully written, incredibly accessible to the lay reader a big plus for me, have you ever tried reading Jurgen Haabermas , cogently and tightly argued I didn t want to agree with his arguments but I couldn t help but admire them I did write a counter blast essay based on the premiss that Marx could not be criticised within the paradigm of liberal thinking ie that the rule of law , contracts , and indeed the whole edifice of liberal democracy meant nothing to him because they were the means by which the ruling class legitimised their rule and maintained their power To put it bluntly Marx saw Justice as a bourgeois concept and indeed as a con My essay was quite well received but it made me feel queasy, and the I thought about it the queasier I felt So, thanks to Bob Nozick I ve abandoned Marx, gone pretty much cool on socialism and come close to embracing the minimal state it has taken me 22 years to get there mind ASU is a classic work of political philosophy and is widely considered to be the definitive text defending libertarian political theory, which claims that the only justifiable form of political society is one with minimal government and laissez faire economic system The proper role of the state is only to protect the basic negative rights of life, liberty, and property Any other goods or services should be provided by private actions business or donations , and any redistribution of wealth is a violation of property rights Robert Nozick is a brilliant philosopher The book is clearly written and contains many brilliant arguments and insightful challenges to opponents Nevertheless, the overall view is highly implausible and supported by very weak arguments.Nozick begins with a thought experiment involving a Lockean state of nature one composed of morally decent people who recognize and for the most part respect absolute natural rights of life, liberty, and property Each person also has the right to defend himself in any way necessary and to punish anyone who violates her rights With no state, problems will arise First, people will not always have the strength or resources to protect themselves Secondly, the right to punish is likely to lead to problems Since each person would be judge in her own case, punishments might be excessive, which could lead to retaliation escalating into blood feuds So far this is all straight out of Locke s Second Treaties of Civil Government The problem is how to enter into political society without violating one s rights to punish others or rights to property through taxation Nozick speculates that people in this state would agree to band together for their own protection But such associations would be weak and unreliable His solution Private businesses will offer protective services for a fee People are free to purchase or not purchase protective policies, and the protective agencies will only protect clients and will punish any who violate the rights of their clients Eventually one protective agency will come to dominate and form a natural monopoly This will evolve into a de facto state All of the members of this state will join freely and voluntarily pay for the services So there will be fees instead of taxes Nozick defends a laissez faire form of distribution and argues that any form of redistribution, through taxation and entitlement programs, violates an absolute right to property and amounts to forced labor Rightful ownership can only come from 1 original acquisition by appropriating previously un owned objects, 2 free transfer, including trade and gifts, and 3 rectification, whereby we compensate those whose rights have been violated Here are just a few of the many problems with Nozick s theory and the arguments he gives for it First, in his hypothetical state of nature, where are these private businesses supposed to come from And what is to keep these protective agencies from becoming private goon squads Then there are the obvious general problems with libertarianism and minimal government that Nozick ignores Though he seems to know a great deal about economics, he avoids familiar criticisms such as that in a minimal state there would be no public goods no public schools, no fire department, no libraries, and no infrastructure At one point he even asks, May the majority voters in a small village pass an ordinance against things that they find offensive being done on the public streets An interesting question, but what I want to know is where would these public streets come from They could only exist if some kind soul spent his personal wealth on building and maintaining the streets and then kindly let everyone use them for free Also, according to Nozick s strict laissez faire theory of distribution, desperate exchanges would be perfectly just So, for example, if I happen across a stranded motorist out in the desert who will likely die of thirst without assistance, I could give her a ride to town in exchange for her agreeing to be my slave for ten years Such an exchange would be fair according to Nozick.Nozick s criticisms against redistribution also suffer serious flaws He argues against the idea of any end state ideal distribution such as equality or maximum aggregate happiness utilitarianism He starts with the now famous Wilt Chamberlain argument Suppose we achieve whatever end state distribution we consider ideal Then a bunch of sports fans voluntarily pay to see Wilt Chamberlain play As a result, each of these fans has a little less money, and Mr Chamberlain has a lot If the distribution was ideal before the game, then this new distribution would be less than ideal Ultimately, the only way to maintain ideal distribution would be to prevent any exchanges, even voluntary ones However, there are many ideal end state distributions that are flexible enough to allow for voluntary exchanges Consider for example a loose equality according to which the richest person has no than five times the wealth of the poorest person This would allow for every voluntary exchange except for those that increase the wealth of the richest or decrease the wealth of the poorest.Nozick argues that the rich do not owe anything to the poor since the poor are not harmed by the wealth of the rich But this would only be true in a condition of no scarcity Given a finite amount of wealth, if some have then others must have less Nozick borrows liberally from Locke in framing the arguments for his theory But he never addresses Rousseau s criticism of Locke Rousseau argued that the notion of property rights is just a scam that the rich have perpetrated in order to convince others to let them keep what they, or their ancestors, stole This is especially pertinent when we realize that a curious implication of Nozick s entitlement theory of property is that, in the real world we actually inhabit, no one rightfully owns anything Rightful ownership must begin by appropriating something not already owned, and can only be transferred by voluntary gift or exchange But the fact is that virtually every square inch of inhabitable land on the Earth has been stolen by some people at sometime and never returned and some lands have been stolen many times over Once property is illegitimately held no amount of time or free transfer can make it legit.