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Godwin's Anarchism

William Godwin surpasses David Friedman in his anarchism in some respects. Godwin's fundamental principles do not allow him to think that the Government is good at anything in a privileged way, that force is good for anything that persuasion can't do better (excepting self-defense), or that abolishing Government is a sacrifice in any respect. Friedman thinks we lose something with anarchy but it's worth it; Godwin thinks anarchy is best full stop, that there's no sacrifice. This is very important b/c it ties into Godwin's deep view that there is a right thing which everyone can be happy with in every way, so there's no necessary conflict.

Elliot Temple on December 11, 2015

Comments (2)

So, Friedman doesn't know that there are no conflicts of interest between rational people?

Anonymous at 4:48 AM on December 12, 2015 | #4519
David Friedman is a utilitarian opponent of Objectivism. He thinks that murdering innocents is sometimes practical and that living moral is sometimes impractical.

Here is David Friedman writing at a now dead link:


It is not consistent, of course, with the Objectivist belief that the
moral is always the practical. But I think it has been demonstrated
repeatedly here--although not to the satisfaction of many of the
Objectivists--that that belief can only be logically maintained if you are
willing to stretch "moral" to cover lots of things, such as murdering
innocent people, that most of us (with the possible exception of Chris
Wolf) don't believe are moral. The attempt to evade that conclusion has
occupied lots of bandwidth, on topics such as eskimos and prudent
predators, but seems to me, at least, a total failure.

Anonymous at 8:38 AM on December 12, 2015 | #4520

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)