AbstractsPhilosophy & Theology

Justice requires egalitarian organizations : why public institutions should promote worker cooperatives

by Thomas Ferretti

Institution: Université Catholique de Louvain
Year: 2016
Keywords: John Rawls; Inequality; Stability; Property-Owning Democracy; Welfare State Capitalism; Egalitarian organizations; Worker cooperatives; Political Philosophy; Theories of justice; Economic ethics; Liberal egalitarianism
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2120814
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/2078.1/177300


I argue in this thesis that liberal egalitarian principles of justice require public institutions to promote egalitarian organizations such as workers cooperatives. In the first part, while adopting the general framework of liberal egalitarianism, I try to dissipate some ambiguities and to solve some problems within the theory. In the second part, I use these modifications to the theory to propose two arguments demonstrating that any system tolerating inegalitarian organizations will necessarily fail to correct all the unjust inequalities they create and thus fail to realize a fully just society. I demonstrate more specifically that Welfare State Capitalism, even in its strongest version, is always insufficient to realize all the requirements of justice. The first argument consists in demonstrating that a Strong Welfare State Capitalism may succeed in distributing income and capital fairly through taxation, but that it will fail to realize a just distribution of all other primary goods such as protection from domination, self-governing capacities, and self-respect. The second argument demonstrates that the redistributive policies supposed to correct unjust inequalities created by inegalitarian organizations are not stable over time. If these arguments are correct, it becomes necessary to promote egalitarian organizations to realize justice. In the third part, I apply this general argument to one specific case: the organization of production. I argue in favor of concrete public policies promoting specific types of worker cooperatives because they tend to create less inequality. But my argument also applies to other organizations in various sectors of the economy such as risk management, finance, consumption, housing and so on. The contribution of this thesis is to justify a System of egalitarian organizations in which public institutions would do what is necessary to promote egalitarian organizations in all sectors of the economy. (FILO - Philosophie)  – UCL, 2016 Advisors/Committee Members: UCL - SSH/ISP - Institut supérieur de philosophie, UCL - Faculté de philosophie, arts et lettres, Counet, Jean-Michel, Fleurbaey, Marc, Deakin, Simon, Demuijnck, Geert, Gosseries, Axel.