All Souls College, University of Oxford, philosopher Amia Srinivasan, wrote in the New York Times Opinionator that defenders of the free market and classical liberalism must answer “yes” to four questions to remain consistent. She thinks her four questions rope and tie free marketeers like a calf in rodeo: if we answer ‘yes’ to all four we prove what disgusting immoral people we are, but if we answer no to any of them then we don’t support free markets.
However, like most debates with socialists, Amia’s success in roping and tying us free marketeer calves depends upon us accepting her definitions of words and her economic assumptions, which she cleverly keeps hidden from the sleepy rodeo fan. So before I answer her four questions and still maintain that I support free markets, let me clear out some of the manure that people are stepping in.
First, no one has to accept Rawls’ definition of justice. He spun it and wove it from his own imagination. It’s an interesting one, but that’s all. His entire argument hinges on readers accepting his definition. If we don’t, the rest of his argument collapses. So why did Rawls feel compelled to invent a new definition for justice? Because he didn’t like the results produced by the definition that dominated the West for 300 years.