Is capitalism luck worship? And why you should believe in consent
By far the most interesting critique of capitalism (in the libertarian sense) to me is that it is a sort of *luck worship*: the premise of property rights is that *barring aggression*, people deserve whatever they have; whatever they can get. In other words, *barring aggression*, whatever happens naturally is just; *luck* (or a combination of luck and intelligence) determines who's entitled to what; might makes right.
If we believed, as one might intuitively want to, that luck never affects what anyone's entitled to, we would discard the entire concept of homesteading and essentially believe in redistributing wealth so that everyone gets what they deserve (good people getting more, bad people getting less).
Despite how much conflict this would cause (which isn't a reason for rejecting an axiology - that would be an appeal to consequences), such an ideology of perfect meritocracy (or equality if you're not as big on the merit factor) makes *sense*. It's attractive in exactly the same way as argumentation ethics (a fallacious argument popular with anarcho-capitalists).
And yet, this ideology is undeniably wrong, and for no other reason than that it doesn't match my conscience.
I can make the simplest, strongest scenario to show how clear it is: A is chased by a bear and B could make the bear chase them instead. They doesn't; they chooses their own life over A's. Few people would claim this is immoral, and those that would (mostly Christians) would find it a minor sin at worst. Then the other version: it's A who has the power, and they choose to make the bear chase B instead. This one is obviously murder. We just can't honestly deny that there's a massive difference. There's no avoiding the conclusion that, even if you don't put it this way, A is less entitled to life *because* they're the one who would naturally die here.
To judge the two as morally equal, you would have to have let logic distort your mind to the same extent as argumentation ethics users do to claim you couldn't steal a small amount to save a life.
And that, if you ask me, is the proof that people deserve what they naturally get, that property rights deserve respect.
subscribe via RSS