As G. A. Cohen’s camping trip argument shows, community is an important value. But is there anything particularly socialist about it? Critics suggest not. Jason Brennan argues that we don’t need socialist institutions to secure community; capitalist ones will do just fine. Louis-Philippe Hodgson argues, in a similar spirit, that we don’t need explicitly socialist principles to secure community; standard-issue liberal egalitarian ones (like Rawls’s) suffice. But these critics are mistaken. Pace Brennan, I show that capitalism inevitably runs roughshod over (...) community. Pace Hodgson, I show that Rawls’s justice as fairness cannot, absent explicitly socialist supplementation, adequately protect community. In sum, I show that advocates of community must also, and for that reason, be advocates for distinctively socialist principles and institutions. Or, in a slogan: no community without socialism. (shrink)
To be a liberal is, among other things, to grant basic liberties some degree of priority over other aspects of justice. But why do basic liberties warrant this special treatment? For Rawls, the answer has to do with the allegedly special connection between these freedoms and the ‘two moral powers’ of reasonableness and rationality. Basic freedoms are said to be preconditions for the development and exercise of these powers and are held to warrant priority over other justice-relevant values for that (...) reason. In the first half of the article I mount an internal critique of this Rawlsian line, arguing that it is flawed in two main ways. First, it overestimates the contribution of basic freedom to moral personality. Second, it underestimates the contribution of non-liberty resources to moral personality. In the second half of the article I repair these flaws. The result is a new, intriguingly radical version of justice as fairness, one with surprising—yet plausible—implications for economic and gender justice. (shrink)
Socialism Socialism is both an economic system and an ideology. A socialist economy features social rather than private ownership of the means of production. It also typically organizes economic activity through planning rather than market forces, and gears production towards needs satisfaction rather than profit accumulation. Socialist ideology … Continue reading Socialism →.
John Tomasi argues that aggressively pro-market, capitalist regimes can secure fair equality of opportunity—a level playing field—even as they honor people's thick economic liberties. The trick is to rely on markets to spread prosperity and high-quality healthcare and education to all. That done, each person will have fair opportunity. Or will she? In truth, Tomasi's “market-democratic” plan cannot bring genuinely fair opportunity to all, even at the level of ideal theory. Nor can it plausibly promise to increase the “quality” of (...) opportunity: the supply, that is, of intrinsically desirable work. (shrink)