Against a theory of simple equality promoting equal distribution of dominant goods, hence underestimating the complexity of the criteria at work in each given sphere the dominance of particular goods needs to be ended. Above all it serves to remind us of our common humanity, despite various differences cf.
Locke presents a more extensive list in his earlier, and unpublished in his lifetime, Essays on the Law of Nature.
For those who are worse off, unequal circumstances often mean considerable relative disadvantages and many absolute evils; and as a rule these relative disadvantages and absolute evils are the source for our moral condemnation of unequal circumstances.
Hence the ownership of private property is one of the major causes of the existence of the state. McGrade ed. Certainly, the concept of an intrinsic value of things that is morally superior to market values plays no role in his economic thought.
On this second reading, government is limited to fulfilling the purposes of natural law, but these include positive goals as well as negative rights. Van ParijsSteiner Share This essay is pulled from Literature of Liberty, March