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Singapore Management University

1984

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Does Capitalism Infringe Property Rights: A Reply To Peter Morriss, Chandran Kukathas Jan 1984

Does Capitalism Infringe Property Rights: A Reply To Peter Morriss, Chandran Kukathas

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

In a research note on 'How Capitalism Infringes Property Rights' {PoliticalStudies, XXXI (1983), pp. 656-61), Peter Morriss attempts to demonstratethat a Nozickian version of rights theory is incompatible with that account ofcapitalism which emphasizes the importance (and value) of entrepreneurialrisk-taking and entrepreneurial failure. Because bankruptcy is an acceptedconsequence of entrepreneurial failure, capitalism, which condonesbankruptcy, in fact condones the violations of the rights of creditors. Thusthose who, like Nozick, defend property rights as sacred and inviolable, 'shouldbe in the vanguard of capitalism's opponents' (p. 657) Since the rights-basedargument for capitalism is that rights can never be legitimately violated, 'oncethe rights ...