Waheed Hussain March 19th 2012, 16:30 – 18:00

Waheed Hussain
The Wharton School of Business
University of Pennsylvania

Room DZ006 (Dante Building Room 006)

16:30 – 18:00

‘Freedom Under Capitalism: the Moral Case for Codetermination’

Freedom figures prominently in the defense of free-market arrangements—especially in the United States. But libertarian-styled arguments greatly oversimplify the relationship between freedom and economic life. My aim in this presentation is to defend a more compelling account of the relationship between freedom and economic life. According to what I call the “social democratic conception,” respect for freedom is not just a matter of ensuring that people can exercise choice-based control over their property and labor. What matters fundamentally is how well an economic arrangement contributes to the broader aim of ensuring that that people reflectively pursue a pattern of conduct that is (objectively) reasonable. I argue that freedom, properly understood, would be best served by a market arrangement, such as the codetermination system in Germany, where capital and labor essentially share control of the corporation.