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Anarchy. Who Said Robert Nozick is an Extremist?
Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia (1974) has been republished in Italian with a new translation by Giampaolo Ferranti and a presentation by Sebastiano Maffettone (Anarchia, stato e utopia, Milan, Il Saggiatore, 2000). Reductively considered as a reply to A Theory of Justice by John Rawls, the book was thoroughly examined by the ‘extremists of freedom’ who identify with the free market anarchism of Murray Rothbard and David Friedman. Whereas the first Italian edition of Anarchia, stato e utopia passed virtually without trace, the second appears at a moment in time in which it is much easier to grasp the breadth of the topics Nozick deals with – anarchy, first and foremost. Thanks to the current diffusion of libertarian and anarcho-capitalistic texts, it is to be hoped that Nozick’s book will be seen as more than just an answer to Rawls. In the past, it failed to receive the reception it deserved precisely on account of lack of knowledge of the critical contributions of anarcho-capitalists who – right from its publication – attacked Nozick’s lukewarm defence of individual rights and evidenced the impossibility of legitimating the birth of a state – albeit a ‘minimal’ one – from a condition of original anarchy.