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Democratic Justice and the Social Contract$
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Albert Weale

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199684649

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199684649.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 November 2021

Economic justice and the democratic contract

Economic justice and the democratic contract

Chapter:
(p.64) (p.65) Chapter 3 Economic justice and the democratic contract
Source:
Democratic Justice and the Social Contract
Author(s):

Albert Weale

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199684649.003.0003

Property rights can be a source of discord, but they are an important means of preserving collective interests. Democratic contractarianism requires that just property relations be grounded in the logic of contractual association among political equals. The right to the full fruits of one’s labour follows from the logic of contractual agreement to avoid the disadvantages associated with a system of Hohfeldian liberty-rights. The right to the full fruits of labour requires political associates to have equal access to the means of production. A Lockean position, also advanced by Ricardian socialists, neglects the problem of spillovers from one producer to another. The Rawlsian difference principle is premissed on an implausible claim to the collective ownership of natural talents. And Gauthier’s contract theory combines individualism and collectivism in a mistaken way. Luck is a permissible element of acquisition, but the problem of needs remains.

Keywords:   democratic contractarianism, property acquisition, the full fruits of labour, the means of production, Lockean theories of acquisition, the difference principle, economic rent, luck egalitarianism, the principle of need

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