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Outline and Evaluate Libertarian Political Theory From Two Different Perspectives.

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13CA 15th October 2003 Outline and Evaluate Libertarian Political Theory From Two Different Perspectives The major Libertarian philosopher is Robert Nozick who adheres to John Locke's theory of rights being absolutely fundamental to human beings. He calls them "moral side constraints" and regards them as being absolutely sacred and unable to be compromised unless it is to avoid some "horrific moral catastrophe". Libertarians advocate a minimal state which will protect fundamental rights but not infringe on liberty. Nozick calls it a "night watchman state". It will be there discreetly in the background monitoring but not interfering. Libertarianism objects to the redistribution of wealth via taxation as it encroaches on people's rights to earn money and their liberty to keep it. Wealth should be awarded according to merit and talents, so if someone is talented they have every right to keep the wealth they earn from their talent, and should not be forced to give it away in taxes to help those who have not earned it. ...read more.


For example, the wealthy can buy good educations for their children from private schools and can give them connections that poorer families cannot. Many people have been given opportunities in show business or politics simply because of who their parents are, for example Lisa Marie Presley, Kelly Osborne or George Bush Junior. People at the bottom of society can often be restricted from moving up the social ladder because of discrimination. They may be from a disdained ethic group or have the wrong accent. In essence, some one at the top of the social hierarchy may be at an unfair advantage to some one at the bottom. If some one is talented but born in the wrong social echelon, a minimalist state might not ensure that talents are nurtured sufficiently to enable them to compete fairly with those from a more privileged class. ...read more.


However, they also act as a solvent breaking down the boundaries between spheres. In essence, Walzer believes that there are some things that should not be bought, but provided by the community which has come to recognize the true value of these goods. These kinds of good could involve things such as education and healthcare. Communitarianism does not believe that these are privileges which should be earned as is suggested in Nozick's Libertarian Society. Mackintyre and Taylor are communitarians that believe virtues such as duty, goodness and kindness has disappeared from society leaving only self interested individuals. Libertarianism is selfish as it is only concerned only with reward, and means that people do not see themselves as belonging to a community. The community should provide for everyone including the less talented. People should not be interested in simply accumulating to their own wealth. Libertarianism may seem to be fair but does seem to encourage selfishness and upon closer examination, leaves people at the bottom of the social order at a disadvantage. ...read more.

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