Welfare Statism vs Libertarianism

  • Libertarianism is the view that the primary role of government is to protect individual rights, in particular the rights to life, liberty, and property. Otherwise government should be kept to a minimum.
    • As Robert Nozick says in Anarchy, State, and Utopia, the state should function essentially as a “night watchman,” with powers limited to those necessary to protect citizens against violence, theft, and fraud. (britannica.com/biography/Robert-Nozick)
    • Libertarians are concerned with protecting negative liberty, the absence of obstacles, barriers or constraints.
  • Welfare Statism is the doctrine that human beings have a fundamental right to an adequate standard of living, insuring them against the risks and uncertainties of life. Thus the state has a moral obligation to provide such a standard of living.

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