In this imaginative and provocative book, Barbara Goodwin explores the question of how lottery systems can achieve egalitarian social justice in societies with seemingly ineradicable inequalities. She begins with the utopian fable of Aleatoria, a country not unlike our own in the not-too-distant-future, where most goods are distributed by lottery--even the right to have children. She then analyzes the philosophical arguments for and against lottery distribution and a comparison of "justice by lottery" with other contemporary theories of justice. Goodwin also (...) applies her theory to practical problems in the real world which could be--or have been--justly resolved by the use of lotteries, such as military drafts, jury duty, and immigration eligibility. She demonstrates that in many areas, including that of political power, a regular and random reallocation of goods would be a fairer and more democratic method than the distributive systems found in liberal democracies today. (shrink)
Utopias of the right and the left offer different justifications for taxation and propose different tax systems. Here, utopian proposals are analysed and evaluated from two perspectives: the "ideal" form of taxation (visible, equitable, and non-avoidable), and the democratic perspective (would people willingly consent to it?). Pre-taxation, favoured by left-wing utopias, raises problems from a democratic standpoint while right-wing utopias assert that taxation must be voluntary but are over-confident that "voluntary government financing" would provide a safety-net for poorer members of (...) society. In the conclusion, I argue that there is more at stake than the left/right dispute. The different attitudes to utopian taxation are indicative of markedly different conceptions of society. (shrink)
(2001). Whose dirty hands? How to prevent buck‐passing. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy: Vol. 4, Trusting in Reason: Martin Hollis and the Philosophy of Social Action, pp. 106-122. doi: 10.1080/13698230108403367.