“The mirage of social justice”: is it to be feared that Hayek is right?

About social justice, Hayek’s position gives rise to ambivalent remarks : on one hand, as a by-product of evolutionist thought process, his conclusions are coherent and realistic and it is hard to catch him out ; on the other hand, strong liberal convictions induce Hayek to choose provocative words. Concerning the “mirage of social justice”, we try to show in the paper that Hayek’standpoint is less radical than at the first sight. To begin with, abstract rules of just conduct are quite impartial and express a real conception of justice in society ; moreover, Hayek supports a form of minimum income so as to reduce the risk of market, but this goal could be more easily reached by application of a real basic income.

Liberal grounds for universal income – a philosophical and economic argument

Debates among Liberals on social justice have played a major role in current discussion on basic income (or universal benefit). In this paper, the notion is considered on the basis of the “economics of liberal egalitarianism”, for which the anchor point is to be found in Rawls’philosophical works. Although he certainly does not support basic income, he still provides an appropriate general framework to consider it, in particular because of the hierarchy of his principles of justice (I). At the third level of this hierarchy, the interpretation of the “difference principle” appeared controversial when applied to the case of the “Malibu surfers”, an illustration thanks to which Van Parijs was able to defend the unconditional nature of basic income (II). There remains the transition from the philosophy to the economics of basic income, which allows considering it as a precise alternative of negative income tax. At this stage, a rereading of Friedman’s intuition on this topic results in seeing basic income as a “universal tax credit” (3). We conclude with some prospective remarks on a possible implementation of this conception of basic income in the case of liberal democracies and of France as well (4).

Sufficientarian-Libertarianism and Basic Income

This article defends the position of a certain type of libertarianism and explores the policy implications of basic income that are actively being discussed across the world, including in Japan. There are several types of libertarianism. In the genealogy of Nozick, self-ownership and the Lockean proviso are two cogs and wheels of such arguments. Libertarianism can take shape only as other argument supports the other. From this point of view, this paper examines in detail how Nozick has tried to defend self-ownership. His argument respects the separateness of persons in a certain way and attaches the importance to make it possible for people to freely design their own lives and live a meaningful life by themselves. In addition, after reviewing the nature of historical entitlement theory and the Lockean proviso, I will take up the interpretation of the Lockean proviso, which is a central theme in recent libertarianism. In this paper, I mainly consider the baseline of Nozick, sufficientarian interpretation and egalitarian interpretation. There are advantages to such a sufficientarian interpretation, derived not only from the adequacy of the theory as a distributive principle itself but also from the fact that (Nozickian) libertarianism bears a specific image (a person with self-ownership). Furthermore, this sufficientarian understanding provides a moral basis for free economic activity on markets, which libertarians regard as important, and it is different from divesting legitimate private property and redistributing it that libertarians reject. I define a simple and general basic income for theoritical purposes and for Japan. This paper ultimately concludes that basic income does not completely morally conform to the conception of sufficientarian libertarianism, despite its appeal, and I will defend a system such as guaranteed minimum income, though some difficult issues remain.