Continuing on through this video series on Classical Liberalism which is actually one of the major schools of though in Libertarianism. Now we hit the Natural Rights School.
The main people who drive this school are Ayn Rand, Robert Nozick and more deeply with the American founding of the United States with the ideas of John Locke. The Declaration of Independence is a pretty good statement of the Natural Rights School.
Ayn Rand starts this idea with the notion that there is an objective reality which leads us to an objective morality – Objectivism. By using reason we can discover the objective reality and morality. This idea is that every person has a natural state that dives them to live. This is a Teleological Explanation that it is about human being and the desires of human beings.
Robert Nozick goes forward with much the same because he believes in rational self-interest and that if you followed this you would not violate the natural rights of others. This is more deontological in its approach which tell us the limits of what we should do.
The problem with government is that it violates our natural rights. It is immoral under natural rights to force someone to do something. They argue for capitalism because it is based on voluntary exchange and not coercion.
The government’s sole purpose is to protect natural rights. Rand places the use of force under objective control but Nozick says that the state should only concern itself with being against force, theft, fraud and the enforcement of contracts. He believes in defending capitalistic acts between consenting adults.
This leaves the government with only three roles: military to defend the country, police to make the minimal laws are enforced and a court system to settle contract disputes. That is all because anything beyond this is no longer protecting the rights of people but violating those rights. No room for a welfare state in this model at all.
What I think about this school is that this is probably the main model that the founders of the United States used when writing the Constitution. I think it is fairly sound system and the only question I would have would be the issue of the possibility of public goods. This is about as close to anarchy has you can get without falling into anarchy. I like this form but it might just be too minimal in some situations. If it could be demonstrated that government could do something that did not violate the rights of individuals and was actually beneficial to everyone then should it be done?
This issue of being immoral to force anyone to do something becomes stick as well. For instance, when the police are using force they might be preventing someone from having their rights violated but in so doing they are forcing someone in the engagement of what they think is in their best interests. Force is sometimes used for good purposes and the notion that the use of force is always immoral is a weak point.