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Just Exchanges, Just Markets: Effective Consent Driven Proceduralism
AuthorSingleton, Aaron Michael
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This thesis explores the issues of distributive justice which arise from markets that solely protect voluntary exchanges. Currently, the global free market system values mere voluntarism as the gold standard of maintaining justice in market interactions. However, I posit that, while voluntarism is necessary, it remains insufficient for meeting the strict demands of justice. Instead, I forward that that it is consent which must be protected in order to maintain justice in exchange. To this end, I detail the strict demands of consent and apply them to Robert Nozick’s entitlement theory: Justice in Holdings. From there, I argue that the two most critical roles of the liberal state in protecting consensual market interactions, are (a) to ensure that all nonconsenting actors (e.g. children, wards, dependents) are paid recompense for the unavoidable engagements with fully consenting agents, and that (b) the state must facilitate the conditions for all legitimate market actors to be capable of consenting. Critically, those conditions require that market actors remain capable of turning down wage deals and contracts without the existential fear of living on the street, or of other substantive harms. Finally, I suggest that this could most immediately be achieved by adopting something such as the Universal Basic Income to guarantee that the bare subsistence needs of all citizens are met.