Welcome

This site is devoted to advancing the rights-based political philosophy first articulated by John Locke and championed prominently in our day by the late Robert Nozick in his classic Anarchy, State, and Utopia [1974].  It will do so by explaining minimal state libertarianism in a way that is accessible to the intelligent general reader and by hosting a forum that will subject its key ideas to scrutiny and debate.

I make my own modest contribution to this cause in my book, Nozick’s Libertarian Project: An Elaboration and Defense (London: Continuum International, 2011). My second book on this subject, Libertarian Philosophy in the Real World: The Politics of Natural Rights, was just published by Bloomsbury Academic. For additional information about libertarianism, this site, my books, and your host, please follow the links to the left.

New on the Blog

Nationalism: Good, Bad, and Ugly

There are many terms in our political discourse that have become so corrupted in practice as to make it virtually impossible to hold a rational discussion of the ideas they purport to reference. While these words may have once had a widely accepted and thus useful meaning, they are now typically employed not as accurate descriptors, but purely for polemical purposes. These include “right-wing,” “neoliberalism,” “racism,” and the one discussed below, “nationalism.” Continue Reading »

Hegemon Shrugged?

As recent events in Ukraine, the Korean peninsula, Iran, and Syria demonstrate, we live in a turbulent and violent world. Since the end of WWII, it has been under American hegemony,[1] counterbalanced for several decades by the Soviet Union. However, in the almost three decades since the “evil empire’s” collapse, the US has been the world’s only superpower.

This global dominance faces new challenges. A newly assertive Russia is leveraging its ability and willingness to employ military force, as seen in Crimea, Eastern Ukraine, and Syria, to seek influence. Moreover, China is achieving the economic scale and military capacity to project power beyond its region, and has defied international law with its “building project” in the South China Sea. Continue Reading »