Explain the essential differences between Rawl’s Liberalism and Nozick’s Libertarianism. Which is more just in your opinion and why?

1 Answer
Apr 28, 2018

Rawls is considered more left-wing


Rawls had a theory of justice which contrasts with Nozick's vision. He thought measures had to be taken in order to ensure equality of opportunity for all and Nozick, his Harvard colleague disagreed.

John Rawls insisted on the notion of equity whereas Nozick invented the concept of Lockean Proviso.Rawls believed in two basic principles:liberty for all and equality of chances for all. Thus inequlities could be justified with only three conditions- they have to emerge in a process based on fair and equal rules, they have to grant the greatest benefits possible to the least priviledged and they have to be justified by common good.

Nozick thought that equity and liberty were antagonistic notion, that moral duty of the priviledged to assist the poor would become a mandatory solidarity, the principle of difference was somehow arbitrary, social justice required a strong government and last but not least he considered that it was impossible that a few individuals supposedly rational and impartial would establish principles of justice without taking into account their own social position.

The Lockean Proviso is based on the idea that an individual has a right to use his work to exploit natural resources and thus create private property.