Reflections on the minimal state

Politics, Philosophy and Economics 2 (1):115-128 (2003)
Abstract
This article challenges the traditional argument for the state that holds that because the market is unable to supply the rule-making, adjudicative, and enforcement services that are essential to life in society, the state must, and hence is morally justified. The author argues that the market's inability to supply these basic services proves only that the state must ensure that they are supplied, not that it must supply them itself. This implies that the traditional concept of the minimal state as one that supplies only these basic services is flawed. The `remedial state' (one that regulates the private provision of these services) is actually the minimal state. Key Words: anarchy • libertarianism • minimal state • political obligation • protective agency • public goods.
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