By Philip Green (auth.)
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Additional info for American Democracy: Selected Essays on Theory, Practice, and Critique
With this investable surplus, which over time becomes immense, the company buys their neighbor’s lakefront property for expansion purposes. It promptly closes down their access to the lake. Of course, the lake has a large circumference, not all of which is taken over by the company; with some trouble, the family can still find a public beach. But then the company, which manufactures chemicals, begins to discharge its residues into the lake, polluting it so badly that the lake will be unusable for years, though not so badly that the society at large has a burning interest in bringing about an 42 ● American Democracy immediate halt to the discharge.
They had intended merely to make a living out of a fair exchange of their labor for wages; they may even (it is stretching a point to presume so) have consented to conditions of work. But they certainly never consented to helping their employer gain almost total control over their lives. ”14 Moreover, alienation of this kind is not a psychic deformation that can be treated by a sympathetic therapist, nor is it merely a lack of owning one’s own tools and thus missing the joys of being a craftsperson.
All of this is perfectly obvious; it is hard to believe that even professional economists and philosophers who know virtually nothing of political life could be unaware of it. On reflection, it is clear that what Friedman has in mind by making this vague distinction is that—and Nozick’s more elaborate justification of the limited state finally makes this clear—what should be condemned are only policies that redistribute or regulate in the name of a superior goal of social justice; conversely, to do in the name of social unity what would otherwise seem to constitute taking sides in a class conflict is permissible.
American Democracy: Selected Essays on Theory, Practice, and Critique by Philip Green (auth.)