Sunday, May 15, 2016

Will Wilkinson — Leading Libertarian Says Social Justice Is a Cause and Effect of the Great Enrichment

What’s nuts is that nobody kicks off a discussion of justice, distributive or social, with the fact of the Great Enrichment. Because the upshot of our best accounts of the most important thing that has ever happened to the human race seems to be that equalizing the distribution of rights and liberties, powers and prerogatives, respect and esteem led to an increase in the scope and productivity of cooperation, generating hugely enriching surpluses.
And these gains spurred further demands for and advances in inclusion and dignity—that is to say advances in giving people what they’re morally due, in virtue of being people—which led in turn to broader, more intensive, more creative cooperation, producing yet more enrichment, and so on. There appears to be a very happy relationship of mutual reinforcement between what is very naturally called “social justice” and the sort of enrichment that is known to produce longer, healthier, happier, human lives.
This seems incredibly important, but we haven’t heard that much about it. Why not?
Here’s my best guess: an unintentional 20th century left-right conspiracy made it all-but-impossible for anyone to take seriously the idea that gains in social justice launched and sustained the era of modern growth, and that enrichment in turn reinforced and promoted further gains in justice, and still does.
Lays out the issues and the points of view and proposes how to reconcile right and left on economic liberalism and social liberalism.
Leading Libertarian Says Social Justice Is a Cause and Effect of the Great Enrichment
Will Wilkinson, vice president for policy at the Niskanen Center, overseeing the Center’s research and publications, founding editor of Cato Unbound and former program director at the Mercatus Center and the Institute for Humane Studies

See also

How Bad Biology is Killing the Economy
Frans B. M. de Waal, biologist and primatologist

1 comment:

Bob Roddis said...

I read the piece and was instantly convinced that this guy is clearly NOT a libertarian but is instead just another mush-brain.

He doesn't deny it either. Apparently, he wants to appear on "neoliberal" TV and in "neoliberal" newspapers.