Social justice as an emergent property

I have great respect and (in many cases) affection for my friends at Bleeding Hearts Libertarians. But I am not a bleeding heart libertarian, and from the outset I have resisted its siren song, mostly over its endorsement of “social justice” as a moral and/or political ideal. Unlike Hayek, I do not think the concept … Continue reading Social justice as an emergent property

Can Public Reason Save Us?

At Bleeding Heart Libertarians, Kevin Vallier has an interesting piece on the failure of "Enlightenment libertarianism" and the case for "post-Enlightenment libertarianism." While I agree fully with Dr. Vallier's critique of libertarian dogmatism in the Randian and Rothbardian modes, I have considerably more difficulty with the public-reason liberalism he associates with "post-Enlightenment" thinking. You can't … Continue reading Can Public Reason Save Us?

Redistribution of Grades

Andrew Breitbart has posted a video (HT: Phil Arena) showing liberal, pro-income-redistribution students rejecting out of hand the concept of redistributing grade point averages (GPAs) from the best-performing students to those less fortunate, saying things like "It's not fair" and "I worked for my grades." Does their position constitute hypocrisy, and does this experiment show … Continue reading Redistribution of Grades

Nationalizing Precious Assets

My students and I have lately been reading Rawls, and we have been considering, among other things, the implications of his claim that we do not deserve our "natural assets"  and thus can claim no exclusive title to them on that basis. "The existing distribution of income and wealth," Rawls writes, "is the cumulative effect … Continue reading Nationalizing Precious Assets

Bounded Rationality, Exit, and Social Justice

Here is Mark Pennington's fourth guest post for Pileus: Two of my posts earlier this week (here and here) focussed on the institutional implications of limited rationality. My claim was that robust institutions are those that minimise the consequence of inevitable human errors. In a nutshell, this is the Hayekian argument for the competitive ‘exit’ principle … Continue reading Bounded Rationality, Exit, and Social Justice

On Rawls

My colleague and friend Ralph Hancock has sparked an interesting exchange on his blog,  Postmodern Conservative (a  First Things blog). The discussion is on Rawls.  The foundation of Ralph's critique is [Rawls] affirms the absolute priority of the Right to the Good: it must be possible to frame an ethical theory for the public/political realm … Continue reading On Rawls