Front Page Titles (by Subject) The Case Against Government - Literature of Liberty, January/March 1978, vol. 1, No. 1
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The Case Against Government - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, January/March 1978, vol. 1, No. 1 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
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The Case Against Government
“Nozick on Anarchism.” Political Theory (USA), 5 (1977): 247–256.
Robert Nozick's attempt to refute anarchism in Anarchy, State, and Utopia (1974) is invalid and fails to justify the state's coercive monopoly of force in a given territory. Nozick creates bogus “rights” when he invokes “procedural rights” (each person's right to resist, in self-defense, if others try to apply to him an unreliable, unfair, or risky procedure of justice). But even if such “rights” were valid, they would not justify the state monopolizing the protection of these “rights.” In fact, individuals could claim “procedural rights” and apply them to judge the state's “risky” procedures. This would seem to bolster the anarchist case.
Nozick's justification of the state attempts to derive the state through a natural and moral evolution by an “invisible hand” process. This process, in outline, occurs in four states. First, individuals living in a state of nature and possessing Locke an natural rights would naturally evolve protection associations. In a non coercive society, these would take the form of free market services, which would ward off immoral attacks on their rights by criminals. The second stage sees the many associations giving rise to one association of preeminent power in an area. In the third stage, the one preeminent association evolves into an ultraminimal state which “sells” its protection as an economic good but also exercises a monopoly on force. The fourth and final stage of Nozick's evolution of the state sees the ultraminimal state turning into an identically functioning minimal state which makes a “redistribution” of protection to certain independents (nonclients of the ultraminimum state) at cost to the clients.
The crucial and fallacious stage is the third; the transition from the preeminent association to the ultraminimum state. Nozick fails to show how the latter can acquire its monopoly on force without violating individuals' rights. The ultraminimum state claims the right to intervene and prohibit victims from privately enforcing justice claims against its clients because of the above described “procedural rights.”
Nozick contends that one may have a right (to self-defense), but does wrong to exercise it in the absence of nonrisky procedures guaranteeing fairness (i.e., procedural rights). First, however, even if procedural rights are valid rights, they hardly justify the state monopoly. For if it can punish violators of procedural rights, why cannot independent individuals also judge whether the state itself may violate procedural rights? What independent criterion guarantees that the state alone will follow nonrisky procedures?
But secondly, procedural rights are, in fact, a bogus concept which asserts rights to violate other rights or individuals. If individuals have the right of self-defense and have been injured, whether or not they follow “sound” procedures, they have a natural right to prosecute and punish an actually guilty party. To prohibit a victim from privately arresting and prosecuting his actual assailant is to violate an authentic right.