Авторы: 159 А Б В Г Д Е З И Й К Л М Н О П Р С Т У Ф Х Ц Ч Ш Щ Э Ю Я

Книги:  184 А Б В Г Д Е З И Й К Л М Н О П Р С Т У Ф Х Ц Ч Ш Щ Э Ю Я

5. The Minimal State as a Path to a Coercive Market.

Although many thinkers have rejected the view that Hayek advocates the minimal state,

the latter seems to be the only form of state that can be justified in terms of his ideal of

the free market. In Hayek’s theory the process through which the minimal state comes

about is governed by moral rules of conduct. This process is equivalent to the process

through which individuals become aware of the limits of conscious rationality. Since the

state is a development of that rationality, its policies are limited by the same limits of

human mind. In Hayek’s theory, the role of the state is limited to the provision of national

defence and police services as well as security of an equal income for its citizens.

Before we move on to discuss these two governmental functions in detail, the

following question should be answered: how are the provision of national defence and

police services and the security of an equal minimum income for all citizens compatible

with the idea of a minimal state? It must tax for redistribution. This is not only in the case

of security of an equal minimum income for all citizens but also in that of provision of

national defence and police services. According to Nozick, one of the most celebrated

theorists of the idea of a minimal state in the twentieth century,

... under the usual conception of a state, each person living within (or even

sometimes traveling outside) its geographical boundaries gets (or at least is

entitled to get) its protection. Unless some private party donated sufficient funds

to cover the costs of such protection (to pay for detectives, police to bring

criminals into custody, courts, and prisons) or unless the state found some service

it could charge for that would cover these costs, one would expect that a state

which offered protection so broadly would be redistributive. It would be a state in

which some persons paid more so that others could be protected. And indeed, the

most minimal state seriously discussed by the mainstream of political theorists,

the night-watchman state of classical liberal theory, appears to be redistributive in

this fashion (Nozick, 1974, pp.24-25).

If someone follows what Nozick says, one might argue that the Hayekian state is a kind

of night-watchman state. In this sense, even though its provision of national defence and

police services and its security of an equal minimum income for all citizens appear to be

redistributive functions, they are compatible with the idea of a minimal (night-watchman)

state. Nevertheless, Nozick stresses that Since the night-watchman state appears redistributive to the extent that it compels

some people to pay for the protection of others, its proponents must explain why

this redistributive function of the state is unique. If some redistribution is

legitimate in order to protect everyone, why is redistribution not legitimate for

other attractive and desirable purposes as well? What rationale specifically selects

protective services as the sole subject of legitimate redistributive activities. A

rationale, once found, may shown that this provision of protective services is not

redistributive (ibid., p.27).

Since, as has been pointed out, Hayek is one of the proponents of the night-watchman

(minimal) state, Nozick’s questions might be also addressed to him. In particular, what

rationale specifically selects the provision of national defence and police services and the

security of an equal minimum income for all citizens as the sole subject of legitimate

redistributive activities? A rationale, once found, may show that in Hayek’s theory this

provision of protective services is not redistributive. Certainly, to Hayek, the rationale

that selects the provision of national defence and police services and the security of an

equal minimum income for all citizens as the sole subject of legitimate redistributive

activities is neither social justice nor social benefits, as some thinkers seem to believe.19

In the Hayekian theory, as has been already stressed, the concept of social justice is

meaningless while the idea of utilitarianism is constructivist and thus morally

unacceptable. It might be argued, that the rationale behind Hayek’s selection of the

provision of national defence and police services and the security of an equal minimum

income for all citizens as the sole subject of legitimate redistributive activities is, the

negative preservation of social spontaneity and cultural evolution. The Hayekian state

appears to be redistributive only to the extent that such a preservation is achieved.

The negative preservation of social spontaneity and cultural evolution might be

seen as a protection of the private or several property rights which catallaxy distributes to

its participants. National defence and police services endeavour to ensure that the rules of

private and public law are observed inside and outside the catallactic society (Butler,

1983, p.107). The result of the observance of those rules is that neither individuals and

the state nor any other external forces intervene in the evolutionary allocation of external

resources. Since politics is no longer formed upon the rational evaluation of catallaxy in

terms of liberal values, the negative preservation of the evolutionary allocation of

external resources is formally considered to be in the legitimate interest of different

utility maximisers. This interest cannot be seen as a common interest of society.

Conceptions of common interests of society presuppose that society is considered as a

whole. This consideration is not possible in the realm of catallaxy. Thus, it might be said

that in such a realm, national defence and police services, in fact, protect only the

interests of those individuals which obtain private or several property rights throughout

their participation in the game of exchange. For individuals who do not obtain private

property rights in the game of exchange, or for others who are unable to participate in

that game, the negative preservation of the evolutionary allocation of external resources

is not something that maximises their personal utility. The conception therefore, of national defence and police services as a public good can only be formed by interest

groups, the participants in which are winners in the game of catallaxy.

Moving on to the second function of the Hayekian minimal state, it is no less

formal than the first. The policy of securing an equal minimum income for all citizens

aims at the enforcement of ‘dialogue rights’ and not at any central and just distribution of

resources.20 As R. Plant argues, the minimum welfare safety net is provided by the

Hayekian state in order ‘... to prevent destitution and social unrest ... (Plant, 1991, p.90).

Nevertheless, the substantial prevention of destitution presupposes that on the one hand

the state recognises individual and social rights and, on the other, that it possesses

knowledge of what the particular position of each individual and group is in the realm of

catallaxy. In Hayek’s view, this knowledge is not possible because only people

themselves know their positions and their needs. In the last part of The Constitution of

Liberty and in criticising socialism and the Welfare State, Hayek provides an agenda of

formal policies which are concerned with the minimum provision of information,

education, health services and public goods (Hayek, 1960, pp.285-394).21 Those

legitimate redistributive policies seem to be specifically designed to enable individuals to

participate in the game of catallaxy. In Hayek’s theory, the ability of each individual to

participate in the spontaneous and evolutionary process of exchange is linked with the

safeguard of that process against social struggles, strikes or boycotts and not with the

elimination of coercion, inequality or injustice. Since the participation of individuals in

the game of catallaxy increases their evolutionary rationality, it prevents them from

judging the outcome of that game in terms of freedom, equality and justice. Hence, those

individuals do not act against the process of exchange. Since the distribution of ‘dialogue

rights’ is thought to enable individuals to participate in that process, it is also thought to

contribute in the increase of their evolutionary rationality and so to prevent them from

committing immoral acts against catallaxy.

Hayek believes that governmental protection of the evolutionary distribution of

property rights as well as the enforcement of formal ‘dialogue rights’ results in the

safeguarding of freedom and equality before the law. In his view, the recognition and

protection of private property prevents coercion and delimits the private sphere. The

question is what sort of coercion can be prevented through the Hayekian market when

property is not explicitly defined as an equal individual right and when the public sphere

is legally restricted to a minimal state.

It could be argued that in the catallaxy, the only coercion which can be prevented

is that of governmental interference and ‘immoral’ collective groups. Since in the

catallaxy the minimal state is morally justified as an instrument for protecting

commutative justice, there is no coercive interference from the public into the private

sphere. At the level of policies, these two spheres are linked only by the protective

services that the minimal state provides. Thus, taxes are imposed in order to support

financially protective services and not in order to satisfy ‘immoral’ collective wants. In

Hayek’s theory, taxes are proportionate and not progressive. Hayek believes that

progressive taxation discriminates between people for the sake of particular collective wants which are based on illusory ideas such as social justice. In his view, the state is

only morally justified in satisfying those collective wants which do not violate the

spontaneous and evolutionary process of the catallaxy. As Hayek argues,

Not every collective want deserves to be satisfied: the desire of the small

bootmakers to be protected against the competition of the factories is also a

collective need of the bootmakers, but clearly not one which in a liberal economic

system could be satisfied (Hayek, 1978a, p.111).

Undoubtedly, the desire of the bootmakers is an economic desire. Nevertheless, it is

formed through a rational evaluation of the whole process of catallaxy and it is in this

sense that Hayek rejects it. In a similar manner, he rejects collective wants of labour

unions and he suggests the legal restriction of their coercive power. Hayek believes that

unions establish monopolies which regulate the evolutionary process of external resource

allocation (Hayek, 1960, p.273). Furthermore, he accuses labour unions of using coercion

in order to control workers and oblige them to support union actions (ibid.). Nevertheless,

in his critique of unionism Hayek overlooks the ‘free rider’ problems which every

collective group faces. He does not take into account that it is such problems which

oblige labour unions to take measures which force workers to support union actions. Yet,

Hayek regards labour unions as coercive mechanisms without considering that there are

enterprises in which workers are abused by their employers. It might be said that the most

important role of labour unions is to protect workers against such abuses. Certainly, the

labour unions which Hayek’s critique focuses on are not the only ones in society. There

are also unions of employers which constitute coercive mechanisms. Hayek avoids

providing an explicit critique of such unions because he implicitly regards them as

organisations or made orders which protect the market against the coercion of the state

and labour unions. Nevertheless, if labour unions are to be restricted as coercive

mechanisms, there is no reason why unions of employers should not be restricted as

analogous mechanisms.

It is true that the restriction of all unions, along with the limitation of the coercive

power of the state, formally protect the freedom of individuals in the catallaxy.

Nevertheless, such protection does not guarantee substantial conditions of equal freedom

for all participants. This is due to the Hayekian minimal state which, in order to avoid

claims about just distribution of property rights, acknowledges as equal individual rights

only formal ‘dialogue rights’. In Hayek’s theory, the enforcement of formal ‘dialogue

rights’ by securing an equal minimum income for all individuals is the only one

compatible with equality before the law. According to Hayek, the security of an equal

minimum income for all is distinct from

... the security of a particular income that a person is thought to deserve. The latter

is closely related to ... the welfare state: the desire to use the power of government

to insure a more even or more just distribution of goods. Insofar as this means that

the coercive powers of government are to be used to insure that particular people

get particular things, it requires a kind of discrimination between, and unequal

treatment of, different people which is irreconcilable with a free society (ibid.,

pp.259-260).

Hayek argues so, without taking into account that the epistemological and material

differences in catallaxy are not always due to peoples’ free choice but to their unequal

competition. However, such a kind of inequality is not necessarily caused by social

welfare policies of the state. In the realm of catallaxy, there are private organisations or

made orders which cause unequal competition through their distribution of private

property rights. This distribution is directed to particular people and it is made for reasons

of individual welfare. The equal minimum income that the Hayekian state secures for all,

fails to create presuppositions of equal competition in catallaxy. This failure is not

difficult to understand. For instance, suppose that two individuals wish to participate in

the game of exchange. The first individual does not possess any property rights in

advance, but the second one has inherited property rights from his family. Both

individuals have inherited talents and capacities which can be developed under certain

socio-economic conditions. The security of an equal minimum income enables the former

to participate in the game of exchange. Nevertheless, it does not change the fact that the

competitive position of the latter is more advantageous than that of the former.

It might be argued that the inheritance of private property rights from previous

generations plays an important role in the process through which different positions in the

division of knowledge and labour are taken by different individuals. That role concerns

the development of particular talents and capacities which each individual biologically

inherits. It might be said that talents and capacities remain natural potentialities unless

there are material and social resources by means of which they can be developed.

Individuals who have not inherited material resources and so participate in the game of

catallaxy without having developed any of their natural potentialities are less free to

choose knowledge and to improve their labour position than individuals who have

inherited material resources and thus participate in the game by having developed, at least

some of their potentialities. The passing on of private property rights by inheritance is

based on a rational evaluation of life conditions. In this sense, when family or another

private organisation or made order passes on property rights to particular persons, this

breaks the spontaneous process of commutative justice. The latter is supposed to

distribute private property rights in accordance with the perceived economic value of

each person’s actions in the game of exchange (ibid., pp.98-99). Families, nevertheless,

do not distribute private property rights in accordance with the perceived economic value

of their members’ actions and thus their distributions are incompatible with the

evolutionary process of commutative justice. Hayek does not acknowledge this, despite

the fact that he considers the family as an organisation or made order in the same manner

as he does the state. The question is why the state, by distributing private property rights

to its citizens, interferes with the spontaneous process of commutative justice and

families do not. Hayek, instead of dealing with any such question, argues that family is a

desirable instrument for transmitting morals, tastes and knowledge, and this transmission

is closely tied up with the transmission of material goods (ibid., pp.91-92).

The negative protection of catallaxy by the minimal state enforces the destruction

of free competition and commutative justice. The distribution of formal ‘dialogue rights’

cannot bridge the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged individuals in the

catallaxy; rather it can increase it. The inheritance of private property rights is one of the

most important causes of monopolies in the catallaxy. A monopoly can emerge in two ways: the first is when an individual participates in competition by having inherited

property titles over a natural resource or over a resource which is in scarcity; the second

is when an individual is in an advantageous position and so, is better placed in the

competition. In both cases the emergence and the evolutionary development of monopoly

is enforced by rules of just conduct. Since those rules do not embody Kantian constraints

and substantive definitions of equal individual rights, they cannot prevent rational egoist

individuals either from using natural resources in their own interest or from competing

with others on an unequal basis. Hayek is well aware that monopolies can emerge in the

realm of catallaxy.22 But even so, he maintains ‘That it is not monopoly but only the

prevention of competition ... which is morally wrong ...’ (Hayek, 1979b, p.83). In

Hayek’s view, monopolies are not desirable but unfortunately appear to be unavoidable

(Hayek, 1960, p.265). This is due to the absence of perfect competition in the market

(Hayek, 1967, p.176).23

Undoubtedly, the main problem with enterprise monopolies is that they can

control the market. Hayek does not think that such control is possible because in his view

enterprise monopolies are spontaneously removed by free competition, and therefore,

only labour unions and the state constitute harmful monopolies. According to him, labour

unions and the state are man-made monopolies and should be legally restricted. Since

Hayek believes this, he disapproves of the prohibition of enterprise monopolies through

penalties (Hayek, 1979b, p.86). Nevertheless, he overlooks the fact that enterprise

monopolies break the market process of spontaneity and evolution. Since they do so,

enterprise monopolies by themselves limit the prospects of their spontaneous and

evolutionary removal through a free competition. Also, Hayek does not take into account

the link between monopolies, economic and political power. In fact, enterprise

monopolies are much more dangerous than Hayek thinks. By employing lawyers, they

can change the private law and probably also the public law, thereby threatening the

freedom of the whole society. However, if we consider monopolies from the point of

view of power, then there is no ground on which to disapprove of the state monopolies

without also doing the same with enterprise monopolies. Since Hayek only disapproves

of state monopolies, he appears to hand over their conscious control of the market and

society to enterprise monopolies. However, one of the most serious contradictions of his

theory is this: while it advances an epistemologically founded plan for resisting all

conscious planning of the market and society (Barry, 1945, p.146),24 at the same time, it

approves of such planning when it comes about through the spontaneous and

evolutionary process of the market.