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 published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2015. For additional information about libertarianism, this site, my books, and your host, please follow the links to the left.

New on the Blog

The Strongest Libertarian Case For Immigration Control

In April of last year, Danny Frederick and I published our paper, “The Liberal Case for Immigration Control,” in the peer-reviewed journal Cosmos + Taxis. In it, we articulated what we continue to regard as the best libertarian/classical liberal argument against open borders. The forthcoming Routledge Companion to Libertarianism, Zwolinski and Powell eds., will include a chapter on immigration written by Hrishikesh Joshi. Although Joshi considers a variety of arguments favoring limits on free migration, he ignores ours. We believe this is a mistake, and have drafted a short Note explaining why, which is linked to here.


Transgender Athletic Competition and Chasing Unicorns

In one of its opening acts the Biden Administration promulgated an executive order that sets forth its position regarding federal anti-discrimination policy under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This order may have far reaching effects on the federal government’s policies regarding discrimination in employment, eligibility for military service, and athletics at publicly financed institutions. It is the latter that we will examine here.

The order reads in relevant part: “Every person should be treated with respect and dignity… and… should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports. The unstated implication of this is that, as Abigail Shrier observes in her recent Wall Street Journal editorial, “Any school that receives federal funding—including nearly every public high school—must either allow biological boys who self-identify as girls onto girls’ sports teams or face administrative action from the Education Department.”

She then notes that many authorities foresee that such a policy will have a devastating impact of women’s sports because male athletes that go through puberty without hormone suppression therapy will inevitably enjoy an insurmountable advantage over women in any athletic contest involving speed, strength, size, agility, and so forth.[i] Ms. Shrier cites as an example the case of “the American runner Allyson Felix, a woman with more gold medals than Usain Bolt. Her lifetime best for the 400-meter run is 49.26 seconds. Based on 2018 data, nearly 300 high-school boys in the U.S. alone could beat it.” This huge disparity is present in every track and field event, as shown in this useful database.[ii] Continue Reading »