Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Street parties and benefit theory

I guess I'm not the only one who regularly teaches Nozick's argument against the fair play theory of political obligation. His classic example concerns a public address system, which is a bit dated these days. However, I noticed this recent case that can be used to make a similar point.

Someone organised a street party for the platinum jubilee. From the sounds of it, most neighbours chipped in by providing food. Then, after the event, one of the neighbours presented the organiser with a bill for the cakes that she'd baked.

The cakes were a benefit, but presumably she'd provided this benefit without indication that she expected payment in return. Nozick would agree with 'Moral Money' that she has no right to be paid. In fact, 'Moral Money' goes further and suggests that the neighbour herself cannot seriously expect this.

This example illustrates Nozick's point nicely, but doesn't necessarily vindicate his objection to the theory of political obligation. As George Klosko points out, the benefits that the state provides are quite different in kind from those in these examples.

1 comment:

  1. One of my friend from Top Essay Writing has experienced this and according to him it is one of his best experience.