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Free Market Fairness$
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John Tomasi

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691144467

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691144467.001.0001

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High Liberalism

High Liberalism

(p.27) Chapter 2 High Liberalism
Free Market Fairness

John Tomasi

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses high liberalism, starting with its conception of equality based on an equal sharing of material goods. Compared to the classical liberal ideal pursued by Americans, the European vision of liberal equality saw property rights not as guardians of equality but obstacles to its realization. This notion of property rights extends back at least to Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The chapter first considers the high liberalist views on property and equality, focusing on the arguments advanced by Rousseau, Karl Marx, and John Stuart Mill, before discussing the rise of social justice and the decline of economic liberty. It then examines John Rawls' idea of justice as fairness and the emergence of libertarianism as the leading philosophical alternative to high liberalism. It also explores the fundamental ideas of high liberals with regard to economic liberty and the role of the state in regulating economic affairs in pursuit of the distributional requirements of social justice.

Keywords:   high liberalism, equality, property rights, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Stuart Mill, social justice, economic liberty, John Rawls, justice as fairness, libertarianism

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