Author granted license

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2000




University of Minnesota




I want to begin by congratulating Randy Barnett on writing The Structure of Liberty,' one of the most radical and provocative works of political and legal theory that I have ever read. I consider myself to be a liberal who prizes liberty. Barnett claims to provide an account of the structure of liberty along with "[t]he liberal conception of justice" and the rule of law.2 His is a radical libertarian account centrally concerned with protecting the fundamental natural rights of property, first possession, freedom of contract, and self-defense. In Barnett's world, the fabled libertarian night-watchman state has been downsized and privatized: It is a world of private courts, private police, and private prisons where inmates work to earn enough money to pay restitution to their victims.



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