21 January 2017

Nozick's Defense of the Minimal State & Increasing Diversity Up Maslow's Ladder

The philosopher Robert Nozick offered a challenge in defense of the minimal state. Try to imagine a single utopia suited to the desires and needs of the following people: Beyonce, Lionel Messi, Stephen Curry, Bob Dylan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Jane Goddall, JK Rowling, Richard Branson, Marissa Mayer, Bill Murray, Larry Page, your parents, Noam Chomsky, Angela Merkel, I.M. Pei, and you.

After we get past the first two rungs of Maslow's ladder - past physiological and safety needs - we become more diverse. A good society will not ignore the common expression of those first two rungs nor pretend that the expression of the next three will bring anything but diversity.

A good society doesn't begin with a notion of the ideal, perfect life but instead begins after the reality of physical and safety needs are met. The perfect life emerges out of those and is different for each person.

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