44

I feel like this question is conflicted on the issue of 'disproportionate' inequalities. To be clear, most academic and scientific experts are paid well, proportionately more than many other workers in society. Few people become conspicuously wealthy as an intellectual expert, but it is a comfortable lifestyle when one achieves it. So the question isn't ...


32

I disagree with the premise that these two views are in some way contradictory or conflicting to hold at the same time. The alleged discrepancy you're pointing out, when you boil it down to its core, effectively argues that "comparable" and "equatable" are synonymous, which they are not. Note that this answers mainly focuses on the ...


11

Let me set Rawls to one side and bring Marx on stage. It may be a mistake to translate the complex, abstract idea of "equality" into the monetized value measurements of a modern economy. Even Marx recognized that is was silly to suppose socialism meant no more hierarchies or expertise or status systems, some sort of social flattening. Equality is a ...


8

1. It was never "your" income to begin with There is a key idea one should realize before going any further: there is no such thing as "your" income (unless you have earned it on an inhabited island, or in a lawless jungle, relying on yourself and no one else). When you are earning money within a societal framework, leveraging on its laws ...


7

(From a utilitarian perspective.) There's a tradeoff here that arguably Rawls perspective doesn't fully recognize. It all comes down to the diminishing marginal utility of wealth. On the one hand, the existence of inequality is necessary because most people are motivated by incentives and selfish goals. If it weren't for inequality, there'd be no selfish ...


6

You should stop conflating people like Friedman with Ayn Rand. Friedman was far less consistent than Rand in his advocacy of freedom. So I'm going to address the sort of thing I think Rand would say. Also, Rand wasn't a libertarian in part because libertarianism is such a big tent that it includes people like Friedman who advocated anti-capitalist policies: ...


6

Some libertarians oppose patents and copyrights in principle, see Kinsella's manifesto Against Intellectual Property. A common view is that due to its reproducibility (e.g. "theft" does not deprive the owner of the use of his/her creation or invention) "intellectual property" lacks a crucial feature of being "property". The alternative interpretation is of a ...


5

One important aspect is that people do not get rich because of hard work, people get rich because they take risks in business. Jeff Bezos is not extremely rich because he has worked hard. He is rich because he has taken several risks that has payed very well off. That is not to say that knowing what risks to take or not is a skill, and as such can be valued. ...


4

There's at least one other angle to consider -- but here I have to assume what you mean by "libertarian" is still a realm governed by some manner of law but with consent as its highest value. If you're willing to accept that, then I would suggest one reason to oppose such arrangements or possibly even prohibit them is epistemological. In much of the ...


4

By the logic of who contributes most to the group and/or society as a whole, if we acknowledge that some individuals contributes significantly more to society (based on their formally recognized expertise and training) to the point that their decisions and opinions override those of 1000s or 10s of 1000s that disagree with them, then how can we object to the ...


4

Something to think about is the distribution of the inequality matters. If you took the entire human population and graphed physical traits like height, weight, strength, you would see a normal distribution, or to simplify a bit, a bell curve with most people within 1 standard deviation of the mean and very very few people on the edges. This gets a bit ...


3

Socialism is not intrinsically linked to a strong state, or indeed any state at all. An oxymoron is a contradiction in terms. Anarcho-monarchy would be a contradiction, as a monarchy is a form of government itself. Socialism is not a form of government - it is simply the advocation of certain economic ideas: equality of outcome, collective ownership, etc. ...


2

Robert Nozick, I believe, was the first to propose an argument for something like this, in his book Anarchy, State, and Utopia, pg. 169-172. I quote from pg. 169: Taxation of earnings from labor is on a par with forced labor. Some persons find this claim obviously true: taking the earnings of n hours labor is like taking n hours from the person; it is ...


2

As a libertarian, let me clarify some things here. There are several different political philosophies that can be placed under the libertarian banner. These include classical liberalism, minarchism, anarcho-capitalism, and several others. The scope of government preferred in each philosophy ranges from a small regulatory state with a minimal social safety ...


2

I think the answer to the question hinges on what ethical framework we are working from. Put it another way, I think there's a hidden assumption that makes your though experiment appear to work. If you read, for instance, Locke or Hobbes, or most contemporary political philosophies, they distinguish between the way membership in a state works and the way ...


2

There are many interpretations of the phrase "libertarian philosophy" and it's helpful to be clear which you're using. By "libertarian", I get the impression you broadly mean the Rothbard-kind, rather than the Chomsky-kind. I am finding it difficult to make a case for the punishment of Person B You were right this far. I quote from David Gordon's review ...


2

The question is what would libertarian morality say to a person who wonders whether it is morally permissible for him to save his own life by taking a bottle of water, which belongs to someone else. The situation is such that the parched person cannot gain the consent of the bottle owner (either the owner is not there or refuses to give him although she ...


2

An answer in response to the question's update. You are asking about an apparent contradiction in these two statements: We should listen to advice of "top experts" much more than others. It is unfair or unjust that "top earners" make so much more money than others. I think the analogy you have in mind may be: It is unfair or unjust ...


1

Libertarianism doesn't identify any particular set of ideas. It's a loose, opportunist political coalition that includes a lot of people with very different ideas. Some people under that label are against the welfare state, others are in favour of it in the form of policies like guaranteed minimum income. So there is libertarian political philosophy about ...


1

Neither classical liberalism nor libertarianism can be defined in ways everybody agrees on. The components of each position vary between different theorists. But some illuminating contrasts can be drawn. Classical liberalism - 1 Philosophical liberalism maintains that, first, there is a plurality of intrinsic goods, and that no single way of life can ...


1

I am not sure there is any agreement on the "rules" of anarcho-anything, so the question is wide open. Under any system, the justification for property is usually a fig leaf for power, or as Marx put it "where there is equal right, power decides." North America was at first claimed in its entirety by the English, because Hudson, an ...


1

Since I am more familiar with the philosophy of anarcho-capitalism, I will answer with respect to that philosophy; others can elaborate on the theory of anarcho-communism. Property as a right of exclusion: First of all, it is necessary to understand what a "property right" is. Ownership of a piece of property entails a right of exclusion with respect to ...


1

Private property may be the most difficult subject concerning anarchy. I would like to propose what I believe to be a new idea about how an anarchic society might function. It’s true that without the threat of force, land and natural resources cannot possibly become private property. Neither anarcho-communist nor anarcho-capitalist deny this. So it is also ...


1

I think the answer to your question is "it can't". "Private property" as an idea can only really exist as much as it can be enforced by a government or some more powerful person/group of people. In the case of modern society, the government. One of the principles of anarcho-capitalism is that it's voluntary and self-sustaining. A social contract between ...


1

I can't resist to make two general remarks: The principle "to enjoy the fruits of one's talent and labor" is a meritocratic principle. If Libertarianism is about meritocracy, Libertarians could also argue for anti-discrimination laws, state grants for gifted students, extremely high inheritance taxes, etc. but Libertarians don't seem to do that. To argue ...


1

Rand's thoughts on this issue can be gleaned from her published work on the ethics of what she called "lifeboat situations", where a person is placed in a situation where they can only survive by killing another. Rand regarded the notion that one should based one's moral philosophy on these extreme emergency situations as irrational, since these are ...


1

Utilitarianism is a brand of consequentialism --- that is, it judges actions by their effects. Libertarianism (at least as you seem to be defining it) is a brand of deontology --- that is, it judges actions by something other than their effects. They are therefore fundamentally at odds (as would be any other brand of consequentialism and any other brand of ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible