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Revista Diacrítica

Print version ISSN 0807-8967


FABRI, Eric. Legitimating Property Rights in a Property-Owning Democracy: Labour, Efficiency and Liberty. Diacrítica [online]. 2015, vol.29, n.2, pp.43-64. ISSN 0807-8967.

This article examines the institutions of private property in a Property-Owning Democracy (POD). It aims at determining in which system, POD or Welfare State Capitalism (WSC), the requirements of the arguments justifying private property rights are better satisfied. It had been classically argued that private property rights are legitimate (a) because the worker has a (natural) right on the fruits of his labour (the labour justification), (b) because securing private property rights implements a structure of economic incentives that ultimately benefits all individuals in the society (the efficiency justification), and (c) because private property promotes individual autonomy (the liberty justification). In the different sections of this article, I briefly sketch the logic of each argument and examine how it is satisfied or not in a POD in comparison to WSC. My conclusion is that on many aspects, a POD better fulfills the requirements of those three arguments than does WSC.

Keywords : Property-Owning Democracy; Property Rights; Private Property; Labour Justification; Rawls.

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