The Immoral Existence of the State: How a Natural Rights Position Inevitably Leads to Philosophical Anarchism

Francesco DeLuca, Roger Williams University


The paper begins with a brief sketch of Locke’s natural rights position and Max Weber’s requirements for a state. Next, the paper argues that any morally legitimate state owes its claim to moral legitimacy to the explicit consent of each individual under its authority. The paper then criticizes and rejects this position. In a final attempt to salvage the moral legitimacy of the state, the paper outlines the general argument of Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia. The paper scrutinizes Nozick’s argument and concludes that his arguments fail to show how a morally legitimate state can come into existence. Thus, the paper concludes that anarchy is the only morally legitimate organization of human affairs.