A European Social Model of State-Market Relations - The Ethics of Competition from a 'Neo-liberal' Perspective
In this paper I portray 'neo-liberalism' in its original conceptual meaning as opposed to the generic term of depreciation as which it is commonly used. I identify fair competition and the denial of all privilege as the major concerns of original neo-liberals. Ethical merit for competition might, at first sight, be based on only two principles: individual natural rights (equal liberty) and socially desirable outcomes ('unintended altruism'). It was the neo-liberal idea to put fairness-norms or universally applicable rules of just behaviour between an unqualified 'input-based' ethics and an unqualified 'output-based' ethical consequentialism. The enforcement of such rules is a major obligation of the state. Today, the European Union assumes the role of “guardian” of competition. In a certain, but limited sense, neo-liberalism, correctly understood, can be argued to be the one founding 'European Social Model'. However, beyond the realm of core of common, universalisable interests, competition amongst social-political models seems a preferable option for Europe.
Volume (Year): 9 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
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