Values File

The more prospective change contemplates a revision

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Unformatted text preview: Stanford University, STANFORD LAW REVIEW, July, 1986, p.1432 The classical notion of right was animated by a Utopian ideal of individual independence. Independence meant invulnerability to the wants and needs of others and not having to depend on their good will or solidarity. Rights served independence by creating zones of autonomy. The classical notion connoted an image of autarky, a universe of self-sufficient monads, each free to pursue its subjective goals without interference from or dependence on others. The principal exception was the family, where dependence (of wives and children) was regarded as normal rather than degrading and where the (husband's) obligation to share was regarded as legitimate rather than oppressive. SLHS Value File Independence Bad Independence doctrines inevitably hurt the poor William H. Simon, Professor of Law, Stanford University, STANFORD LAW REVIEW, July, 1986, p.1502 The New Property themes of independence and of the normative priority of the status quo are reflected in the dominant political interpretation of the welfare rights movement. According to this interpretation, efforts to mobilize the poor are caught between the Scylla of the logic of collective action and the Charybdis of the iron law of oligarchy. The logic of collective action asserts that people can be readily mobilized only through the prospect of individual gain. The more that prospective gain will have to be shared with others, the less likely that mobilization will occur in the absence of some means of collective coercion to prevent "free riding" or strategic behavior. But the introduction of collective coercion triggers the iron law of oligarchy. Where there is an apparatus of collective coercion, those who control it will treat it as a means to further their own individual material goals either by exploiting the other group members directly or by selling them out to their adversaries. Both the logic of collective action and the iron law of oligarchy are positive analogues of the classical normative premise of independence. They assume that individuals seek a state of auta...
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This document was uploaded on 11/20/2013.

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