Daniel Chandler: Liberty and Equality – by The Ink

Last week, we Talking with economist Joseph E. Stiglitz about his new book, the road of freedom, and his thoughts on how to build a fairer economy and a good society after the collapse of neoliberalism.

The question of what the current so-called “multiple crises” – political, economic and environmental – mean will happen next continues to vex today’s thinkers. Today we present an exclusive excerpt from economist and philosopher Daniel Chandler’s forthcoming book, Liberty and Equality: A Manifesto for a Just Society.Directed by Chandler Cohesion Capitalism Project A professor at the London School of Economics offers a vision for the future based on his reading of influential justice theorist philosopher John Rawls.

Like Stiglitz, Chandler blames the roots of our current crisis on neoliberalism and the failure of liberal democracies to deliver real benefits to their citizens, but the solutions he proposes come from philosophical traditions rather than Economics, in particular, is rooted in the ideas of John Rawls, the influential theorist of justice.

As Chandler puts it, “We need a new philosophy—a vision of the common good that builds on, rather than rejects, the core values ​​of liberal democracy and that inspires people to change society for the better.”

Below, you’ll find Chandler’s essay and an excerpt from the book. We hope you will find his proposals for the transformation of capitalism and the values ​​of liberal democracy in pursuit of what Rawls calls a “realistic utopia” challenging and illuminating.

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Daniel Chandler

What would a fair society look like?

Most of us—and by “we” I mean citizens of the world’s wealthy democracies—would agree that our society is far from fair. While we don’t all agree on exactly how unfair they are, many of us can point to a familiar set of problems: a political system dominated by the wealthy; class, race and gender that continue to have a profound impact on people’s opportunities ; The distribution of money, power and social prestige is extremely unequal; Rapidly spreading climate and ecological disasters threaten the ecosystems on which we and future generations depend.

It’s all too easy to condemn today’s political and social conditions, and there’s no shortage of commentary on how and why we got here. Even harder is finding a coherent vision of what a better, more equitable society would look like.

This is not just a matter of new policies. We need a new philosophy—a vision of the common good that builds on, rather than rejects, the core values ​​of liberal democracy and that inspires people to change society for the better. But while politicians like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher—the creators of “neoliberalism”—can pay tribute to Milton Friedman and Friedrich Thinkers like Hayek look to them for help, but who can today’s progressives look to for similar inspiration?

The premise of my book Liberty and Equality: A Manifesto for a Just Society The ideas we need lie hidden in the work of John Rawls, arguably the greatest political philosopher of the twentieth century.


The core idea of ​​Rawls’s philosophy is that society should be fair, and to figure out what this means, we should imagine how we would organize society if we didn’t know our place in society – whether we were black or white, gay or lesbian Heterosexuality, rich or poor – as if hidden behind a “veil of ignorance”.

He argued that if we imagined society in this way, we would choose two simple but powerful principles, related to freedom and equality respectively, that we could use to develop how to organize our basic political and economic systems.

These principles provide us with a toolkit to help us address the complex issues that animate public discourse, from questions about free speech and the role of money in politics, to questions about racial and gender inequality, the climate crisis, and the future of capitalism debate. In my book, I use them to develop a bold, practical agenda to reinvigorate democracy and transform capitalism.

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