social entrepreneurship Essay

370 WordsMar 20, 20092 Pages
We live in a world rife with mass inequality and social stratification. This is an odd fact for a libertarian like me—one who considers individual liberty to be the ultimate political aim--to acknowledge, let alone care about passionately. It would seem, at first glance, that liberty and equality are fundamentally at odds with each other – the first, taken to its logical extreme, leading to laissez faire free-market capitalism; the second, leading to redistributionist, socioeconomic egalitarianism of the social democratic, socialist, or communist variety. It is difficult to imagine two greater polar opposites on the (two-dimensional) political spectrum than radical capitalism and radical socialism. But the world is not as it seems. Maximum liberty, rightly understood, may in fact not only be compatible with, but indeed require (and be required by) maximum equality, rightly understood. Under this conception, far from being at odds with each other, the two are mutually reinforcing; like two keystones buttressing each other in a mortarless arch, both elements support and necessitate the other.[1] One way to understand this happy congruence is to avoid looking at the world in terms of zero-sum games, in which one person’s fortune is another person’s misery, where to alleviate the suffering of some, we must thereby inflict suffering on others. Instead, we could look at the world in positive-sum terms, captured by the timeworn aphorism, "a rising tide lifts all boats." This is the central insight of free trade, generally credited to Adam Smith (for absolute advantage) and David Ricardo (for comparative advantage). When two or more parties willingly enter into trade with each other, they (generally, but not always) come out wealthier and happier as a result. The free movement and trade of goods and services, while not complete, is pretty well established as desirable

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