Front Page Titles (by Subject) The Compatibility of Justice & the Market - Literature of Liberty, Winter 1981, vol. 4, No. 4
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The Compatibility of Justice & the Market - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, Winter 1981, vol. 4, No. 4 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
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The Compatibility of Justice & the Market
Foundation Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wollongong and Visiting Professor in Jurisprudence at the University of Sydney
“Liberty, Justice and the Market.” The Center for Independent Studies, Occasional Papers #6 [Australia], (December 1981).
Many doubt the idea that a free market not only is the most efficient way of organizing the economic affairs of society but also can do so in a manner consistent with the fundamental principles of freedom and justice. Professor Chipman, author of Liberty, Equality and Unhappiness, past president of the Australasian Association of Philosophy, and current president of the Australian Society for Legal Philosophy, challenges us to reject the notion that a necessary conflict exists between the market principle and liberty and justice. He counterargues that these principles are symbiotic and support one another.
The author argues firstly that one who values liberty ought, to be consistent, value justice and the market economy. Secondly, he reasons that one who values justice ought similarly to value liberty and the market. Thirdly, he argues that one who values the free market ought also to value liberty and justice.
Professor Chipman seeks to undermine the following beliefs: (1) The free market largely interferes with people's freedom; restrictions on market activity would, therefore, increase people's freedom. (2) The free market needs to be interfered with to bring about a more just distribution of goods and services. (3) The state is the proper and potentially effective instrument for ensuring that wealth, goods, and services are “correctly” distributed, which means distributed to those with the greatest needs and on some sort of equal basis.
Professor Chipman clarifies various notions of individual liberty and accepts Robert Nozick's notion that the legally permissible would be those goals achievable without violence, theft, or deception. He traces necessary but defensible inequalities of wealth to allowing personal freedom and forbidding coercion. He concludes that legitimately acquired wealth ought not to be redistributed by government; the market itself has several ways to provide for the needy and improve their condition with the state's direction. Chipman would restrict the role of the state in a free, liberal society to preventing violence, theft, deception, and violation of contracts.