John Rawls, anti-capitalist

by on March 18, 2006 at 7:25 am in Philosophy | Permalink

This is from his correspondence:

The large open market including all of Europe is aim of the large banks and the capitalist business class whose main goal is simply larger profit. The idea of economic growth, with no specific end in sight, fits this class perfectly.  If they speak about distribution, it is most always in terms of trickle down.  The long-term result of this which we already have in the United States is a civil society awash in a meaningless consumerism of some kind. I can’t believe that is what you want.

So you see that I am not happy about globalization as the banks and business class are pushing it.  I accept Mills idea of the stationary state as described by him in Bk. IV, Ch. 6 of his Principles of Political Economy (1848). (I am adding a footnote in §15 to say this, in case the reader hadnt noticed it). I am under no illusion that its time will ever come certainly not soon but it is possible, and hence it has a place in what I call the idea of realistic utopia.

For more see CrookedTimber.  The real question is how much this should cause us to downgrade his moral philosophy.  I say "a lot."  I used to think there was some deep argument of consilience behind "maximin," but now I am ready to classify it as a simple mistake, akin to a person who doesn’t understand what drove the flow of traffic across the Berlin Wall in one direction and not the other. 

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