Capitalism and Self-Ownership

Social Philosophy and Policy 6 (1):60 (1988)
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Abstract

From the standpoint of libertarian ideology, capitalism is a form of liberation. In contrast to the slave, whose productive powers are wholly owned by his master, and the serf, whose productive powers are partially owned by his lord, the worker under capitalism is presented as possessing the fullest possible self-ownership. That capitalism fosters self-ownership is a false and stultifying myth. Exposing its errors from within capitalism's own conceptual framework requires a careful analysis of the concept of a person's “ownership” bodh of his or her productive powers and of the means of exercising these productive powers. This analysis will show that, in certain plausible circumstances, the capitalist economic system can make full self-ownership impossible. Since capitalism's supposed nurturing of self-ownership provides one of the major justifications for its moral legitimacy, capitalist ideology has a serious internal inconsistency

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Author's Profile

Andrew Kernohan
Dalhousie University

Citations of this work

Justice, Self-Ownership, and Natural Assets.Michael Gorr - 1995 - Social Philosophy and Policy 12 (2):267-291.
Boundary problems and self-ownership.Jessica Flanigan - 2019 - Social Philosophy and Policy 36 (2):9-35.

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References found in this work

Democratic Theory: Essays in Retrieval.C. B. Macpherson - 1973 - Philosophical Review 84 (2):304-306.

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