‘Right-libertarianism’ is in fact almost entirely the creation of [Marxist state socialist] G.A. Cohen, who both came up with the labels ‘right-libertarianism’ and ‘left-libertarianism’ and an enormously influential reading of Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State and Utopia that greatly exaggerates the role and the fundamentality of self-ownership within that work and within natural rights libertarianism at large.
… Cohen says that Nozick makes the ‘blithe assumption’ that the earth is naturally unowned. But surely there is nothing irresponsible about beginning with non-belief in a natural right to the earth. Just as rights of self-ownership cannot properly be assumed to exist, so also original rights over extra-personal raw stuff cannot properly be assumed to exist.
Moreover, our pre-theoretical judgments on behalf self-ownership are much more powerful and inescapable than any pre-theoretical judgments that can be mustered on behalf of an original and equal right over raw extra-personal stuff. Pre-theoretical judgments on behalf of self-ownership powerfully answer to or articulate our sense that it is not merely a very bad thing for any (innocent, non-aggressing) individual to be killed, maimed, enslaved, and so on; they answer to our sense that such harmings deeply wrong those who are subject to them and that each individual has a distinct moral claim against herself being subjected to such treatment. … These pre-theoretical judgments seem to be inescapable within any rights-oriented approach."
Eric Mack, philosophy prof at the University of Rochester writing an essay on land rights for the ongoing symposium at Bleeding Heart Libertarians (2012)