"Jan Narveson is one of the best contemporary moral and political philosophers, and it is not surprising that his introduction to political philosophy raises a vital issue that most people miss. Standard political philosophy asks, what theory best justifies the state? Is it consent? The security benefits that the state is alleged to bring? Something else, such as the "epistemic benefits" of democracy? Narveson contends that this way of looking at the subject rests on an unexamined assumption. Why is it taken for granted that we need a state at all?"