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Title: Minarchism
Authors: Narveson, Jan
Keywords: libertarianismminiarchism
Issue Date: 2003
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Jan Narveson, "Minarchism", in: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics, V (2003) 2, pp. 1-14.
Series/Report no.: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics
V (2003) 2
This essay addresses the on-going controversy between supporters of minimal government, or
minarchists, and supporters of no government, or anarchists. Both lay claim to the Libertarian
principle, which holds that the only justification for the use of force is to deal with aggressive force
initiated by someone else. Both agree that force is justified in dealing with aggressors. The only
question is, who wields it, and how? The essay explains, briefly, the role of private property in all
this. Private property is really just the operation of the liberty principle in the area of the use of
things outside ourselves: those who initiate use of such things will have their activities subject to
continual invasion unless property is recognized, and so property is the natural outcome of liberty,
taken seriously. But the trouble is, states are monopolies, and maintain themselves at public expense,
by taxation. This inevitably means interference with private property rights. And so, if we deal with
aggressors via the state, we turn into partial aggressors ourselves, it seems. The essay points out that
and why both minarchism and anarchism are virtually impossible in contemporary circumstances,
but at the level of basic theory, at any rate, the anarchist appears to have the better of it.
Type: Article
ISSN: 1825-5167
Appears in Collections:Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2003) V/2

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