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The Fraser Institute, Essential Nozick: A framework for society

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



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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

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