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The Labour Theory of Value and Social Justice. The Teachings of Social Catholic Criticisms of Bastiat's Doctrine

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  • Tanon Arnaud Pellissier

    (Independant scholar in Ethics and Management)

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    Abstract

    Social Catholic criticisms of Frédéric Bastiat’s thinking, notably Charles Périn’s, clarify the link between the labour theory of value and the demands for social justice. Claiming that Bastiat’s theory of value rests on a sophism, Périn rejects his view that competition is the solution to the social question. Contrary to Bastiat, indeed, he accepts the labor theory of value and apparently makes it a standard of justice: according to him, rents sanction an injustice. Social Catholics, particularly René de La Tour du Pin, follow in his tracks, insisting that a specific course must be taken so as to set right the injustice of rents — the course of what will be called furtherly ‘social justice’.Les critiques portées par les catholiques sociaux à la doctrine de Frédéric Bastiat, notamment celles de Charles Périn, permettent de comprendre le lien qui unit la théorie de la valeur travail et l’exigence de justice sociale. Périn affirme que la théorie de la valeur de Bastiat repose sur un sophisme et repousse donc sa réponse à la question sociale, la concurrence. Il a adopté en effet, au contraire de Bastiat, la théorie de la valeur travail et l’a érigée, semble-t-il, en critère de justice : la rente consacre, à ses yeux, une injustice. A sa suite, les catholiques sociaux, exemplairement, René de La tour du Pin, affirmeront qu’il faut mener une action spécifique pour corriger l’injustice de la rente et l’appelleront justice sociale.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines.

    Volume (Year): 11 (2001)
    Issue (Month): 2 (June)
    Pages: 1-17

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    Handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:11:y:2001:i:2:n:4

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