“The Problem of Injustice: Toward Pragmatic Libertarian Answers”
Studies in Emergent Order, Vol. 5 (2012)
This paper poses the problem of how to ensure the congruence of markets and liberal democracies as interconnected yet distinct forms of spontaneous order. Markets work best when state authorities intervene least. However, this economic argument is not sufficient to legitimize a maximally minimal state. In the political sphere, justice is a challenge that needs to be addressed in its own terms. Arguments for “social justice” or for a “just society,” such as those advanced by Rawls, can be refuted by showing that they do not effectively alleviate concrete injustices in their complex and multidimensional forms. To confront injustices, and thereby to legitimize a liberal democratic regime capable of so doing without unduly interfering with economic freedom, I argue that the elements of a solution can be found in a modified version of the concept of Basic Income–one, however, that would not be made available to those who deliberately chose not to work and which would be geared toward maximally helping the working poor.