Night-watchman state

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A night-watchman state is part of libertarian philosophy. Those who believe in a night-watchman state are called "minarchists" and they believe in minarchism. This view believes a government's only function is to protect the rights of its citizens.

Overview[change | change source]

The military, police, and court system are provided to protect citizens, while the free markets handle everything else. Minarchists believe that the most efficient way of providing products and services is through the use of free markets. This is the belief of free market capitalism or laissez-faire capitalism.

Citizens should be protected from aggression, theft, broken contracts and fraud. Also property laws, specifically private property laws need to be enforced.[1][2][3]

Ayn Rand, Robert Nozick,[4] and Austin Petersen,[5] Ron Paul,[6] Rand Paul, Friedrich Hayek,[7] Ludwig Von Mises,[8][9] and Frederic Bastiat[10] are well known for adopting minarchism as a part of their beliefs.[11]

This idea of a night-watchman state is related to libertarianism. It is especially relevant to the USA, and rarely used in other contexts. However, it has its origin in the social history of 19th century Great Britain.[12]

References[change | change source]

  1. Gregory, Anthony.The Minarchist's Dilemma. Strike The Root. 10 May 2004.
  2. What role should certain specific governments play in Objectivist government? - Leonard Peikoff Archived 2014-09-12 at the Wayback Machine/
  3. "Interview with Yaron Brook on economic issues in today's world (Part 1). « Featured Podcast « Peikoff". Archived from the original on 2014-09-12. Retrieved 2019-03-23.
  4. Mack, Eric (2018). Zalta, Edward N. (ed.). The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2018 ed.). Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University.
  5. "What Is A Minarchist? An Intro To The Night Watchman State [PODCAST]". The Libertarian Republic. 2015-05-05. Retrieved 2019-03-23.
  6. "The Tom Woods Show: The Interviews 2013" (PDF).
  7. Stringham, Edward; Zywicki, Todd (January 20, 2011). "Hayekian Anarchism". George Mason University Law and Economics Research Paper Series. 11 (6). SSRN 1744364
  8. "The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science (pg. 108)" (PDF).
  9. The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science. Ludwig von Mises. 1962. p. 108.
  10. "Justice and Fraternity". Retrieved 2019-03-23.
  11. "Top 8 Most Awesome Libertarian Minarchists". The Libertarian Republic. 2015-05-13. Retrieved 2019-03-23.
  12. Townshend, Charles (2000). The Oxford History of Modern War. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-285373-8. “Britain, however, with its strong tradition of minimal government — the ‘night-watchman state’ — vividly illustrated the speed of the shift [during World War I] from normalcy to drastic and all-embracing wartime powers like those contained in the Defence of the Realm Act”. (pp. 14-15)