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After reading this insightful and charming classic, no one can believe that there are any arguments left for the redistributionist. De Jouvenel devastates every claim for either logic or morality in their position. . .
-Henry G. Manne, Dean, School of Law, George Mason University
In this concise and elegant work, first published in 1952, Bertrand de Jouvenel purposely ignores the economic evidence that redistributional efforts sap incentives and are economically destructive. Rather, he stresses the commonly disregarded ethical arguments showing that redistribution is ethically indefensible for, and practically unworkable in, a complex society.
A new introduction relates Jouvenel's arguments to current discussions about the redistributionist state and draws out many of the points of affinity with the works of Buchanan, Hayek, Rawls, and others.
John Gray is Emeritus_Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics.