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The Business Corporation as a Political Actor

Publications Tully Rector

Publications 2021

“Market Socialism as a Form of Life”

Tully Rector, “Market Socialism as a Form of Life” in Review of Social Economy (2021). https://doi-org/10.1080/00346764.2021.1886319

Capitalism is not only an economic order, but a form of life. Market socialism is proposed as an alternative, and should be assessed according to the standards of second-order coherence and social rationality that make a form of life habitable. I argue that it fails to meet those standards. Competitive market practices encode values that determine specific reasons for action and belief, reasons antithetical to those given by the principle of community. That principle, however, validates the politics under which common capital ownership is secured. The selfsame agents, in their fulfillment of essential and non-negotiable functional roles, are required to be equally responsive to incompatible reasons. This undermines the case for market socialism’s general stability.