, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 5–23 | Cite as

Robert Nozick and Wilt Chamberlain: How patterns preserve liberty

  • G. A. Cohen


Let us now suppose that I have sold the product of my own labour for money, and have used the money to hire a labourer, i.e., I have bought somebody else's labour-power. Having taken advantage of this labour-power of another, I turn out to be the owner of value which is considerably higher than the value I spent on its purchase. This, from one point of view, is very just, because it has already been recognized, after all that I can use what I have secured by exchange as is best and most advantageous to myself...1

Persons, who under a vicious order of things have obtained a competent share of social enjoyments, are never in want of arguments to justify to the eye of reason such a state of society; for what may not admit of apology when exhibited in but one point of view? If the same individuals were tomorrow required to cast anew the lots assigning them a place in society, they would find many things to object to.2

  1. 1.

    George Plekhanov, The Development of the Monist View of History, Moscow, 1956, pp. 94–95 (my emphasis). Plekhanov proceeds to associate himself with another point of view, one which is defended in this paper.

  2. 2.

    Jean-Baptiste Say, A Treatise on Political Economy, Philadelphia, 1834, p. liii (my emphasis).


Political Economy Monist View Competent Share Social Enjoyment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. A. Cohen

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations