Essential Nozick: A framework for society
Welcome to the essential ideas of Robert Nozick.
Political philosophies promoting a particular ideal future usually
envision one, ideal society where everyone must live.
But Nozick argued there wasn't one ideal society for everyone because people are so different,
and have such varying preferences. Instead, he envisioned a rights-based
framework where everyone is free to live the kind of ideal life he or she chooses.
Nozick's idea was a society where individuals could form their own communities, founded on
whatever preferences, principles, values and beliefs they chose freely with other people.
The key to this framework is that the government's only function is to protect people's basic rights,
including the right to associate and disassociate with others.
For example, people who prefer more government regulation, higher taxes, and more
government spending could voluntarily form such communities. While other people would be
free to form communities with less regulations, lower taxes, and a smaller role for government.
Likewise, people could even choose to
live in restrictive religious communities (if they chose to
do so freely) as long as their right to exit those communities is preserved.
Unlike several popular political philosophies that insist on one type of ideal society that
everyone must conform to, Nozick's framework allows for different types of ideal societies to
coexist, and embraces the differences among people.
For more information on Robert Nozick, visit EssentialNozick.org, and to learn about
more essential scholars, visit EssentialScholars.org