Social Justice, Public Goods and Rent-Seeking in Narratives

10 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2018

See all articles by Vincent Geloso

Vincent Geloso

Bates College

Phillip Magness

American Institute for Economic Research

Date Written: December 8, 2018

Abstract

Social justice, as a concept, has long been considered inimical to the classical liberal tradition (Hayek 1976; Nozick 1973; 1974). To be fair, there is much to criticize about the concept. The definitional fluidity of the term, along with its frequent deployment for “activist” political endeavors, cast doubt upon the scholarly rigor of the term (Hayek 1978). However, where there is chaff, there is wheat and thus the possibility of salvaging some parts of the social justice concept to serve both normative and positive ends (Tomasi 2012, xvii-xx). Sorting the wheat from the chaff is the aim of this paper. To do so, we introduce the concept of “rent-seeking in narratives,” which, as we argue, takes the best concepts from the literature on social justice in order to make it a relevant tool for social science and classical liberal thought.

Keywords: social justice, relational equality, open access order, rent-seeking

Suggested Citation

Geloso, Vincent and Magness, Phillip, Social Justice, Public Goods and Rent-Seeking in Narratives (December 8, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3298150 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3298150

Vincent Geloso (Contact Author)

Bates College ( email )

Department of Economics
Lewiston, ME
United States

Phillip Magness

American Institute for Economic Research ( email )

PO Box 1000
Great Barrington, MA 01230
United States

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