When All Else Fails: The Ethics of Resistance to State Injustice

Princeton University Press (2018)

Book Forum
June 3, 2019 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM EDT

Richard and Sue Ann Masson Policy Center, Cato Institute

Featuring Jason Brennan, Robert J. and Elizabeth Flanagan Family Professor of Strategy, Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy, McDonough School of Business, and Professor of Philosophy, Georgetown University; and Jeremy A. Rabkin, Professor of Law at the Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University; moderated by Jason Kuznicki, Editor, Cato Books and Cato Unbound.

When is it appropriate to resist the agents of the state? For many, the answer may be (all too) easy: never. But the United States itself was founded on one such act of resistance, and libertarians have always been deeply skeptical that the agents of the state enjoy any special status in moral philosophy. May an individual legitimately resist state agents? In what cases is such resistance allowed? What methods may be used, and to what ends? Philosopher Jason Brennan argues that sometimes, individuals have not only a right to resist unjust state actions but even an obligation to do so.