In Defense of Limitarianism
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This thesis will present an argument in favor of limitarianism based on the value of democratic equality. The distributive doctrine states that excessive wealth accumulation is morally objectionable. I will argue that having too much wealth is harmful to equal political liberties in democratic societies because it gives the wealthiest more political power than other citizens. This argument is valid even if we do not redistribute excessive wealth, and therefore it supports limitarian policies that are agnostic about wealth distribution. Furthermore, this thesis will refute two major objections against limitarianism: the leveling down objection and the entitlement objection. Using both normative and empirical arguments I will show that these objections fail to discredit a limitarian doctrine. Moreover, I will argue that limitarianism is able both to defend what we value in personal wealth and limit the harmful effects of excessive wealth accumulation.