Democratic Capitalism: A Reply to Critics (Symposium: John Tomasi’s Free Market Fairness)

JOHN TOMASI
CRITICAL REVIEW 26. 3-4 (2014): 439-471

The ten essays in Critical Review‘s symposium on Tomasi’s Free Market Fairness offer a rich and varied set of challenges to the market-democratic research program. To meet these criticisms, Tomasi refines a central claim of market democracy: that the right to private ownership of productive property is a basic right. In response to the worry that market democracy allows for class domination, he revises market democracy on the issue of bequests. The main lines of critical challenge that Tomasi is interested in addressing are:  that his account of thick economic liberty is too vague, that economic liberties are not basic, that market democracy gives too little attention to socialist possibilities, that market democracy can accommodate only an impoverished conception of fair equality of opportunity, and, most notably, that market democracy is grounded upon a tendentious or “bourgeois” conception of the person. After replying to these criticisms Tomasi extends his challenge to social democracy, presenting an historical argument against liberal democratic socialism.