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date: 14 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses three liberal philosophies of ownership: right libertarianism, which advocates an expansive conception of private property and which holds that legitimate and strict rights to such property can emerge through the voluntary production and exchange of self-owning individuals on the basis of initial privatizations of external resources that can be very unequal but nevertheless just; left libertarianism, which modifies the right libertarian position by insisting on a (more) egalitarian initial distribution of external resources; and democratic liberalism, which makes all property rights subject to democratic judgements guided by principles of social justice which express an understanding of citizens’ common good. The chapter discusses the implications of each philosophy for cooperatives and mutuals and for the place of public policy in promoting these kinds of enterprises and related institutions.

Keywords: liberalism, property, ownership, rights, justice, democracy

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