Libertarianism, Left and Right
This chapter explores the libertarian account of distributive justice. It explains the self-ownership thesis and then considers criticisms relating to indeterminacy, small incursions, and enforceable duties of assistance. It then turns to questions relating to natural resources, including whether they are initially owned, the conditions under which they may be appropriated, and the right vs left libertarian debate over whether or not they should ultimately be owned in an egalitarian manner. The chapter then lays out the libertarian account of just economic activity and considers criticisms based on the role of luck, the moral limits of markets, discrimination, paternalism, unjust prices, alternative notions of freedom, the plight of the desperately poor, and market failures. The chapter then concludes by raising important topics for future research, including the moral status of minors, future people, global justice, property rights in non-divisible natural resources, and rectificatory justice.