18. “Rand, Rothbard, and Rights Reconsidered”


Abstract: This paper examines rights and the protection of rights from both the minarchist and the anarchist perspectives. The former relies on Objectivist (and Neo-Objectivist) perspectives and the latter relies primarily on Murray Rothbard’s views. My view is that government protection as put forth by Objectivists is coercive, as are all methods of financing. However, under anarcho-capitalism, children (and those with diminished capacity) who have been killed or abused by their caregivers do not have equal (or any) protection under the law. The principle of equal protection is one with which both Objectivists and Rothbard agree. A case is made for government protection of rights under those circumstances. In addition, a case is made for positive rights to parental care for children, and also for government protection of those rights if they have been violated by their caregivers. I also argue for government oversight in instances when the rights of children (and those with diminished capacity) have been violated and as a consequence the children (and those with diminished capacity) have no alternative means of care.