Saturday, May 31, 2008
My irritating yet astounding new book Against the State (SUNY Press) argues that all the arguments of the great philosophers (Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Hume, Hegel, Rawls, Nozick, and Habermas, among others), are, putting it kindly, unsound. The state rests on violence: not the consent of the governed, not utility, not rational decision-making, not justice. Not only are the existing arguments for the legitimacy of state power unsound; they are shockingly fallacious, a scandal, an embarrassment to the Western intellectual tradition.So I issue a challenge: Give a decent argument for the moral legitimacy of state power, or reconstruct one of the traditional arguments in the face of the refutations in Against the State. If you can't, you are rationally obliged to accept anarchism. I'd offer a huge cash prize, but I'm broke.Henceforward, if you continue to support or observe the authority of government, you are an evil, irrational cultist.You're an anarchist now, baby, until further notice.e-mail responses to firstname.lastname@example.org Yours in anarchy, Crispin Sartwell You can pre-order from amazon, or actually get holt of it from suny press. Here's a video version of the challenge I am issuing to all comers to formulate a decent argument for the legitimacy of state power.
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