Rights Theory, Social Justice

Book Announcement: Anarchy and Legal Order

Later this fall, Cambridge University Press will be releasing Anarchy and Legal Order: Law and Politics for a Stateless Society (pre-order on Amazon). Here’s the table of contents:

Preface xiii

Introduction: Embodying Freedom 1

1. Laying Foundations 7

I. A Reasonable Conception of the Good Life Will Involve an Understanding of Both Welfare and Right Action 7

II. Welfare Is Multidimensional 8

III. Reasonably Seeking to Flourish or to Help Another to Flourish Requires Recognition, Fairness, and Respect 25

IV. A Flourishing Life is a Reasonable Life 40

2. Rejecting Aggression 44

I. Acting Reasonably Means Avoiding Aggression against Others and Their Justly Acquired Possessions 44

II. Aggression Involves Unreasonably Injuring Others’ Bodies or Interfering with Their Just Possessory Interests 44

III. The Requirements of Practical Reasonableness Preclude Many Choices Causing Injuries to Basic Aspects of Welfare 45

IV. The Principle of Fairness Provides Good Reason to Avoid Interfering with Others’ Justly Acquired Possessions 49

V. Just Possessory Claims Do Not Extend to Other Sentients or to Abstract Patterns 89

VI. Arguments for Exceptionless Possessory Claims Seem Unpersuasive 132

VII. Key Requirements of Practical Reasonableness Can Be Encapsulated in the Nonaggression Maxim 153

3. Safeguarding Cooperation 157

I. The State Is Inimical to Peaceful, Voluntary Cooperation 157

II. Peaceful, Voluntary Cooperation Is an Aspect of and a Crucial Precondition for a Flourishing Life 157

III. State Actors’ Refusal to Cooperate with Others on a Peaceful, Voluntary Basis Is Highly Problematic 159

IV. The State Is Not Needed to Ensure Peaceful, Voluntary Cooperation 165

V. The State Is Not Needed to Ensure Peaceful, Voluntary Cooperation in the Production of Crucial Public Goods 184

VI. The State is Dangerous 208

VII. Embracing Peaceful, Voluntary Cooperation Means Rejecting the State 232

Appendix: The Fact That General Preemptive Defense Is a Public Good Does Not Serve as a Plausible Justifi cation for the State 234

4. Enforcing Law 242

I. Forcibly Imposing Legal Requirements in a Stateless Society Is Not Objectionable on the Same Grounds as Aggression by the State 242

II. There Might Seem to be a Tension between Opposing the State and Supporting the Idea of Law 243

III. Legal Codes in a Stateless Society Would Have Varied Sources and Contents, but Might Exhibit Common Features 244

IV. Resolving Disputes between Participants in Structured Legal Regimes Need Not Involve State-Like Injustice 249

V. The Reality of Moral Constraints on Legal Rules Would Render the Notion of Consent Noncircular and Would Be Compatible with Legal Polycentricity 250

VI. A Regime Could Forcibly Resolve Confl icts with Outlaws without Becoming Morally Indistinguishable from a State 257

VII. A Legal Regime in a Stateless Society Would Be Morally Distinguishable from a State in Important Ways 261

5. Rectifying Injury 263

I. Just Legal Regimes in a Stateless Society Can Effectively Prevent, End, and Remedy Injuries 263

II. Just Legal Regimes Would Use Civil Rather than Criminal Justice Mechanisms to Rectify Injuries 263

III. A Just Legal Regime in a Stateless Society Could Rectify Environmentally Mediated Injuries as well as Injuries to Nonhuman Animals and Vulnerable Human Persons 302

IV. Just Legal Regimes Can Rectify Injuries without the Involvement of the State 318

6. Liberating Society 320

I. Just Legal Rules and Institutions in a Stateless Society Can Facilitate Liberating Social Change Using Nonaggressive Means 320

II. Techniques for Fostering Social Change Need Not Be Aggressive 321

III. Just Legal Rules and Institutions in a Stateless Society Would Further Wealth Redistribution 328

IV. Rectifying Injustice Can Help to Create Alternatives to Workplace Hierarchies 351

V. A Stateless Society’s Legal Order Would Foster the Emergence of a Free Culture 362

VI. Just Legal Rules in a Stateless Society Will Conduce to Positive but Nonaggressive Social Change 376

7. Situating Liberation 378

I. Just Legal Rules and Institutions in a Stateless Society Will

Embody Leftist, Anticapitalist, and Socialist Values 378

II. The Project of Creating a Stateless Society with Just Legal Rules and Institutions Is a Leftist Project 378

III. The Project of Building a Stateless Society with Just Legal Rules and Institutions Is an Anticapitalist Project 386

IV. The Project of Fostering a Stateless Society with Just Legal Rules Can Reasonably Be Described as Socialist 397

V. The Model of Stateless Law Outlined Here Embodies a Distinctively Leftist, Anticapitalist, and Socialist Antistatism 405

Conclusion: Ordering Anarchy 407

Index 411

About the Author 415

As will be apparent, the book is an attempt to explore, with specific reference to law, the left-libertarian project in which I’ve been engaged along with Roderick, Kevin, Charles, Sheldon, and others at C4SS.

  • Wow. $115… 🙁

    • Sean II

      Hey, just think how much more it would cost if it was written by a right-leaning libertarian. $120, $125, who knows?

      • Gary Chartier

        A less expensive paperback is due out within a year.

    • Ivan Burbakov

      And even kindle edition costs $75.60 ;( Looks great, but a bit too expensive for ebook.

  • TracyW

    Is the word “left” in ”
    The Project of Creating a Stateless Society with Just Legal Rules and Institutions Is a Leftist Project” that useful? Left, and right, are awfully vague terms.
    (I remember, at high school, in 6th form, early in the year we studied the Communist Revolutions in China and Russia, the people in power who were being revolted against were described as right-wingers, later on in the year we studied the collapse of Communism in Russia and Eastern Europe, the people in power who were being revolted against were described as right-wingers, to my bemusement).

    • TracyW

      I also once ran across someone who, once I demonstrated that Ruth Richardson had reduced corporate power as part of her reforms, described her on that basis as influenced by left-wing thought! Ruth Richardson! The woman who said, at a time of 9% unemployment, that every unemployed person in NZ would find a job if their dole was cut!

  • Michael Matalucci

    Can I get a comp? I’m already promoting it on many social networks.