The Justice of Inequality: Argumentation Ethics and Radical Non-Aggression


  • Daniel Gibbs University of Wisconsin



Neo-Kantian, Economy, 2008 financial crisis


Questions of inequality of wealth frequently arise during times of economic hardship. The stagnant recovery from the 2008 global financial crisis is no exception. Many are quick to condemn inequality as an unjust social phenomenon. This article considers the ethical status of such claims by examining whether inequality is fair or not. Using a neo-Kantian framework first put forward by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, the paper elucidates the presuppositions implied by human action and uses these as a basis for political rights. Once inviolable rights to ownership of one’s person and property are established, it follows that income inequality in the absence of coercion is fair. However, since such a condition does not describe modern society, little can be immediately said about the justice of current levels of inequality.