Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on June 21, 2013

in Inequality, Man of System, Reality Is Not Optional

… is from page 53 of Benn Steil’s and Manuel Hinds’s splendid 2009 book, Money, Markets & Sovereignty (original emphasis):

Reducing global inequality as a principle of state action, however suggestive of an impeccable moral conscience, may well require curtailing fundamental rights underpinning free societies; free societies generally being one and the same with rich ones.  Justice in a free society means treating individuals according to identical rules of conduct.  If we are to supplement or replace the classical principle of justice, which applies to individual conduct, with one of global “social justice” – or more precisely, “distributive justice” – wherein no one shall acquire more benefits than a designated authority deems justified by the prevailing distribution of global wealth, the authority will of necessity need to treat individuals according to vastly different rules of conduct.

Indeed so – and the very same problem of unequal ‘distribution’ and deployment of power attends attempts to engineer so-called “distributive justice” even within a single country.


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