Hanoch Dagan, ‘Why Markets? Welfare, Autonomy, and the Just Society’

Eric Posner and Glen Weyl’s Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for A Just Society is an enormously ambitious new book, one that challenges conventional wisdom and advances bold reform programs. They argue that the causes of most pitfalls of existing markets and political systems are, respectively, property and the principle of one person one vote. The former is the ultimate basis of illegitimate market power; the latter distorts politics by obscuring the intensity of people’s preferences. Posner and Weyl argue that uprooting private property and reconstructing electoral systems so that they register these intensities would revitalize the vision of the Philosophical Radicals by pushing the ideal of the market to its logical institutional conclusions.

This Book Review celebrates many of Posner and Weyl’s innovative ideas. It also concurs with their insistence that our challenging moment requires rethinking and may justify radical reconstruction of both the market’s rules of the game and its jurisdiction based on the market’s ultimate normative foundation. Posner and Weyl, however, also subscribe to a welfarist foundation and investigate some implications of taking it seriously: the creation of a radical labor market, which eliminates people’s authority to withhold their services, and a fully monetized electoral system …

Dagan, Hanoch, Why Markets? Welfare, Autonomy, and the Just Society (April 11, 2018). Michigan Law Review, forthcoming.

First posted 2018-05-07 07:31:09

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