Schools of Thought in Classical Liberalism, Part 5: Natural Rights
Some philosophers believe that all human beings have natural rights. America has a strong natural rights tradition, embodied in the Declaration of Independence’s claim that all men are endowed with “certain unalienable rights.” In part 5 of his series, Dr. Nigel Ashford explores the beliefs and philosophical methodology of philosophers Ayn Rand and Robert Nozick, both of whom believed that natural rights should dictate the proper role and size of government.
The philosophers agree that government often violates our natural rights. They also argue that capitalism is the only moral economic system, since it is based on voluntary action. So what should the proper role of government be? Rand and Nozick argue for a minimal state whose sole purpose is to protect our natural rights.