Ethics, Rights, and White's Antitrust Skepticism

The Antitrust Bulletin 61 (2):336-341 (2016)
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Mark White has developed a provocative skepticism about antitrust law. I first argue against three claims that are essential to his argument: the state may legitimately constrain or punish only conduct that violates someone’s rights, the market’s purpose is coordinating and maximizing individual autonomy, and property rights should be completely insulated from democratic deliberation. I then sketch a case that persons might have a right to a competitive market. If so, antitrust law does deal with conduct that violates rights. The main thread running throughout the article is that what counts as a legitimate exercise of property rights is dynamic, sensitive to various external conditions, and is the proper object of democratic deliberation.

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Ryan Long
Thomas Jefferson University


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