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Nozick vs. Rawls – Clash of Modern Liberals (Exam Note)

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Brian Orend

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Nozick vs. Rawls – Clash of Modern Liberals ROBERT NOZICK:  Anarchy state and Utopia 1974  Books on everything  Critic of welfare liberalism  First principles  anti-consequentialist viewpoint  Fascist attempt to impose pattern on society, to have society look a certain way  sacrificing people’s choices for the pattern  Believer in First Generation Rights: liberty, healthcare, free education…etc.  Fan of Kant in that any attempt suing people to achieve a pattern is using people as means of an end  disrespectful  Socialists and Conservatives use people for their utopia  matches with Kantian autonomy  Must treat everyone as a responsible adult  Don’t subsidize people with bad health choices o If someone smokes, why should we pay? o If someone drinks and needs a transplant, why should we subsidize that?  Pattern or Unpatterned - Hearty-handed - anti-consequentialist - let the pattern be what it may - conceptions of justice 5 Criticisms of Welfare State 1. Motivated by envy, jealousy, resentment at people with more money  Distribution of wealth (feels bad for the poor)  Desire to take that money and give it to ourselves  Deep human impulse to be jealous  we want to redistribute out resources but we come up with a way and say “Oh, we’ll take care of the poor”  Driving welfare state  envy  “EAT THE RICH”  Nozick only adores anti-discrimination but not in favour of equality  simply thinks it’s envy 
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