What is Minarchism, Minimal Statism?

What is Minarchism, Minimal Statism?

June 29, 2021 Off By Felso

The question of what is minarchism is a question of political philosophy and can be answered as follows: Minarchism; Minimal statism is a philosophy movement also known as small state or limited state libertarianism.

Minarchism is a libertarian political philosophy that holds that the only acceptable function of the state is to protect individuals from aggression, breach of social contracts, theft, fraud, and similar excesses, and that state institutions should consist only of law enforcement, the judiciary, and the legislature.

Although minarchism is based on libertarian values ​​and principles, it is used to define the understanding that concludes that the state is morally legitimate or necessary for the protection of freedoms, but asserts that only a minimal state is legitimate, not any state.


A Harvard professor, Robert Nozick made important contributions to the minarchism movement in 1974 with his work Anarchy, the State, and Utopia. Samuel Edward Konkin III, an agorist, also coined the term minarchism to describe libertarians who advocate the necessity of the state. The term is an alternative use of limited state libertarianism. The word was apparently formed like this: min(minimal) + archy (government) + ism (system) – minimal government system.

Minarchists generally justify the state on the grounds that it is the logical consequence of obeying the principle of aggression. They argue that anarchism is impractical because it is not sufficient to enforce the principle of aggression. He argues that this is the competitiveness of law enforcement under anarchism. Another common rationale is that private defense and court firms will tend to represent the interests of those who pay them enough.

Some minarchists argue that a state is inevitable, so they believed anarchy was futile. Publishing the idea of ​​a minimal state in Anarchy, the State, and Utopia, Robert Nozick argued that a night-watchman state offers a framework that allows for any political system that respects basic individual rights, and thus justifies the existence of a state.

Some minarchists support taxation. Minarchists often think that the laissez-faire approach will increase economic prosperity.

Compiled by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Atatürk University Department of Sociology Lecture Notes for Grade 1 “Introduction to Philosophy” and Grade 3 “History of Contemporary Philosophy” (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook