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Real Freedom for AllWhat (if Anything) Can Justify Capitalism?$
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Philippe Van Parijs

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198293576

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198293577.001.0001

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Capitalism Justified?

Capitalism Justified?

Chapter:
(p.186) Chapter 6 Capitalism Justified?
Source:
Real Freedom for All
Author(s):

Philippe Van Parijs

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198293577.003.0007

Is there any reason to expect some form of socialism to do better than any form of capitalism in terms of securing a high sustainable level of basic income? None of the familiar arguments against capitalism—from market failures to cyclical crises and the reserve army of the unemployed— can justify the presumption that it will do worse than socialism in terms of efficiency. On the contrary, the fundamental fact that, unlike what happens under socialism, capitalist firms have to submit to the ruthless rule ‘Innovate or perish’ justify the presumption of capitalism's superior dynamic efficiency. But in a globalized capitalist economy, the sovereignty democratically exercised over this larger wealth keeps eroding, to the point that capitalist societies become unable to sustainably turn part of it into a higher basic income than would be possible under the best version of feasible socialism?

Keywords:   basic income, capitalism, cyclical crises, dynamic efficiency, efficiency, globalized capitalist economy, Innovate or perish, market failures, reserve army of the unemployed, socialism, sovereignty, sustainable

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