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James M. Buchanan on Slavery - Dictionary of Arguments

Brocker I 570
Slavery/Contract Theory/Economic Theory/Buchanan: Buchanan's starting point is the state of nature (see Natural State/Buchanan) with a natural inequality (differently distributed talents). This is the basis of Buchanan's assumption that contracts must be concluded to deal with this inequality and give everyone the opportunity to improve their situation. Since this type of contract (see Contracts/Buchanan, Contract Theory/Buchanan) leads to instability, another type of contract is necessary: post-constitutional contracts (see also Constitution/Buchanan).
In the situation of inequality, even slavery is conceivable as the most extreme case: "Under such conditions, similarities can arise between the disarmament contract, which may be negotiated, and the contract of slavery, in which the 'weak' agree to produce goods for the 'strong' in exchange for a little more than the naked existence, which they do not have for sure under anarchist conditions. A contract of slavery - like the other contracts - would define individual rights,
Brocker I 571
and to the extent of its mutual recognition, mutual benefits would be guaranteed if, as a result, the costs of defence and conquest were reduced. (1)
KerstingVsBuchanan: this passage shows the immorality of economism. Economistic reductionism drives out the traditional normative meaning of the traditional concepts of the moral world. To speak of a slave's right to be left alive would have been condemned as intolerable cynicism. Economism is a twin brother of scientism.

1. James M. Buchanan, The Limits of Liberty. Between Anarchy and Leviathan, Chicago/London 1975. Dt.: James M. Buchanan, Die Grenzen der Freiheit. Zwischen Anarchie und Leviathan, Tübingen 1984, S. 85f.

Wolfgang Kersting, „James M. Buchanan, Die Grenzen der Freiheit“ in: Manfred Brocker (Hg.) Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt/M. 2018

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

EconBuchan I
James M. Buchanan
Politics as Public Choice Carmel, IN 2000

Brocker I
Manfred Brocker
Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert Frankfurt/M. 2018

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2022-06-30
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