Friday, 28 December 2012

Various links

From cafe Hayek a marvellous and hostile review of Sandel. I liked this in particular in response to those who say "markets are not just let's find another way".

Sandel worries properly that the market can crowd out the sacred. A corporate market in, say, instruction in elementary classrooms can crowd out unbiased teaching about capitalism. Yet Sandel does not tell his own classroom that state schools can crowd out unbiased teaching about, say, the environment.
And what about crowding in? A society in which goods are allocated by race or gender or Party membership is not obviously superior in moral terms to one in which prices rule. Sandel declares that "we must also ask whether market norms will crowd out non-market norms" (p. 78). But he provides no philosophical analysis of how we would answer the opposite crowding, as when non-market norms of Jim Crow in the Sandelian golden age crowded out the market norm that a black person's money is as good at a lunch counter as a white person's. A market society is by no means contemptible ethically, if one actually looks into the ethical effects and thinks about them. The French spoke in the eighteenth century of doux commerce, the civilizing effect of markets introduced into societies of status or isolation.