Republicanism, a Radical View: The Question of Non-Dominated Labor
31 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 3 Aug 2010
Date Written: 2010
Neo-republicans agree that among the implications of a republican theory of liberty is that the socio-economic independence of the citizen be guaranteed. This commitment to socio-economic independence appears most clearly in the modern republican preoccupation with 'free labor.' Most neo-republicans believe that free labor is guaranteed through provision of a universal basic income, which ensures no particular employee is dependent upon or, in the language of neo-republicanism, 'dominated by,' any given employer. In contrast, I argue that this conclusion is based on an excessively narrow reading of the core problem of domination, and also misrepresents the modern republican tradition. Drawing on nineteenth century labor republicans, I argue that a republican understanding of the kind of economic independence guaranteeing 'non-dominated labor' involves two further principles: equal access to productive assets, and rights of residual control over the work activity.
Keywords: republicanism, liberty, labor, domination, republican liberty, freedom
JEL Classification: B1, B10, B14, B30, J20, J21, J54, P13, P32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation