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May 03, 2011

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FiscalSubvert

The mode of reasoning Hayek would have used for this case would have faults. The main problem is the blurring of market reasoning with other logics (principally military pragmatics). The basis for debate over the *principles* are confused and this shows in politically ragged positions. As far as I can see, the issue for 10 years has been the US military's shame at not killing BL earlier.

redpesto

...or you're confusing 'justice' with 'vengeance', and I'm not sure what economics has to say about the latter.

BT

The Right just uses an ideology when it suits it's own interests.

The-market-is-always-right suits the rich who don't want their wealth taxed.

The-government-can-kill-anyone-it-likes when that person is someone the rich don't like.

There is no consistency. Just like right-wing deficit hawks are happy to shrink the deficit through spending cuts, but never through tax rises.

Phil

If by 'Left' you mean 'people who take Marx seriously', I think it's a false dichotomy. The point isn't to focus on outcomes rather than processes, but to look at the assumptions on which those processes rest. The freest and fairest competition in the world will be unjust - and produce injustice - if it's conducted between slaveholders.

On the other hand, if by 'Left' you mean 'people who don't actually want to challenge capitalism but just to make life under capitalism a bit more liveable for a few more people in the short run (a modest aim but not an unworthy one, given that in the long run we're all dead)', you may have a point. But also, what BT said.

Keith

I like BTs contribution that hits the nail on the head.

Also I think that it is important to say that opposing the death penalty often involves arguments about process and miscarriage of justice etc; in the USA and elsewhere it has been proven for decades to be applied in a discriminatory way with racial minorities and others being the victims.

But the fundamental objection to the penalty of death is not procedural but that vengeance is not justice and criminal punishment should allow for rehabilitation, mercy and forgiveness. The death penalty and extra judicial killing is incompatible with a humane and civilised legal and social order which is why democratic socialists oppose them.

Osama bin Laden subscribed to a theory of religion and politics which supports the use of violence and killing and opposed the liberal values of secular society. However it is exactly these values that are undermined by the use of extra judicial methods and the death penalty ( and Torture incidentally ). "An eye for an eye" is Bin Laden's philosophy not ours, and Conservatives should be as wary of it as any one on the Left of the political spectrum.

Finally may I say that the more I reflect on Hayek's musings on Justice the more I get the feeling he has no idea what he is saying. His arguments seem to be tendentious properganda against the welfare state. Life is hard there's no cosmic justice; there is the rich man in his castle and the poor man at his gate, just get over it. But we can tax the rich man to give medical treatment to the poor man ( and other things too) and if it increases Human happiness so we should. Property and contract etc are Human choices; society can make different choices. That is Social justice.

chris

@ Phil - I wasn't thinking of the Marxist left; insofar as these are concerned with exploitation, they have a process-based view of justice. I had instead the non-Marxist Guardian-reading left in mind.
@ BT - yes. I like to think I was hinting at that.

chaussures puma mihara

Finally may I say that the more I reflect on Hayek's musings on Justice the more I get the feeling he has no idea what he is saying.

Falco

I think it's an outgrowth of the difference in opinion on what "fair" means. The left view fairness as arising from what people are, the right as flowing from what people have done.


@ Keith: "But the fundamental objection to the penalty of death is not procedural but that vengeance is not justice and criminal punishment should allow for rehabilitation, mercy and forgiveness."

I disagree, some acts are so terrible that there can never be forgiveness for them and whether an act is one of vengence or justice becomes only a semantic argument. However, I don't support the death penalty on the simple grounds that if you have it, then sooner or later you will kill innocent people.

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