Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Tale of the Slave

[Excerpt from Robert Nozick's Anarchy, State, and Utopia (pp. 290-2)]

Consider the following sequence of cases, which we shall call the Tale of the Slave, and imagine it is about you.

1. There is a slave completely at the mercy of his brutal master's whims. He often is cruelly beaten, called out in the middle of the night, and so on.

2. The master is kindlier and beats the slave only for stated infractions of his rules (not fulfilling the work quota, and so on). He gives the slave some free time.