Free-market moralism, Nozick vs. Rawls

This is all of my academic interests contained in a single article: inequality, economic justice, and rigorous philosophical analysis. 

"Rawls and Nozick represent the two poles of mainstream Western political discourse: welfare liberalism and laissez-faire liberalism, respectively. (It’s hardly a wide ideological spectrum, but that’s the mainstream for you.) On the whole, Western societies are still more Rawlsian than Nozickian: they tend to have social welfare systems and redistribute wealth through taxation. But since the 1970s, they have become steadily more Nozickian. Such creeping changes as the erosion of the welfare state, the privatization of the public sphere and increased protections for corporations go along with a moral worldview according to which the free market is the embodiment of justice. This rise in Nozickian thinking coincides with a dramatic increase in economic inequality in the United States over the past five decades — the top 1 percent of Americans saw their income multiply by 275 percent in the period from 1979 and 2007, while the middle 60 percent of Americans saw only a 40 percent increase. If the operations of the free market are always moral — the concrete realization of the principle that you get no more and no less than what you deserve — then there’s nothing in principle wrong with tremendous inequality."

Old Mary

My last defense
Is the present tense.

It little hurts me now to know
I shall not go

Cathedral-hunting in Spain
Nor cherrying in Michigan or Maine.

- Gwendolyn Brooks

So now that I’m formally employed as a design and multimedia assistant, I have a lot to consider. Firstly, design is practically the only thing I have experience in, and is probably the crux of my sparse resume. This is bad because I am not an arts major. I am an English/Econ major. This is bad because I will not graduate with a formal arts degree of any sort, but will just have a lot of arts experience, and this is also bad because I do not particularly like writing nor Econ and will have experience in neither. I happen to thoroughly enjoy analyzing literature and poetry, and I enjoy thinking about the fundamentals of the free market system, but it’s rather difficult to find a career in thinking about these things and not being able to apply them. I can apply design. But that isn’t what I’m going to school for, and I don’t think it will at any point be what I go to school for. And thus, my dilemma.

Fortunately, I’ve given up being overly concerned about far distant and unforseeable future matters such as these, so I’m still fairly content with my current circumstances. This is just something that I anticipate will become a growing subject of deliberations as the real world draws ever nearer.

Garrett Pruter, love.

Garrett Pruter, love.

 [        ]

You will come first as a sound
and then      a breath

will come like a cold spell      a hipbone

    your lilt above the lake a crowcall
you will come as expected in

iron weather      will craft a blade

from the horse’s winter stall

In the barnlight I count the stiff ribs
of my rifles       gun oil

the floorboards gold with shells

    there is migration in your coat
your crawl      hinged      the moon rusts

on its antique swing all winter over

                    you will find me armed

—carey mchugh

By Tor Weeks, available at

By Tor Weeks, available at

Letter to the Past after Long Silence, by Sarah Murphy

Don’t be alarmed. I come unarmed,
or, at least, undrawn. No claws, no
bombs, no mobs, I promise. Odd,
how I’ve forgotten, this soft fog
clotting my brain. Gone, the long
reign of hate, the tight rein of terror,
gone, the arid air laced with mace.
I’d wager you wish to live in peace,
to wake at night to silence, no guns,
no thunder, flame and plunder, just
a cadence of rain, each drop erasing
failure’s stale taste. And I’d bet
my name dismays you greatly, so
let me state my case. To be plain,
I miss you, I know it sounds inane.
Your stagey ways, your feinting,
the shameless parlor games. Tell me,
are shards still shaken into your eyes,
your hair still dark as starlings? Are you
still arch, charming, artful, on guard?
Ardent, jarring, sparring with the stars?
Tell me, how does your garden grow?
You know, it wasn’t all hell, swelter,
swelling, trembling, the shells pelting
our tends. Welts, welter, wreckage,
the stench of fly-speckled flesh. Hell,
some nights the sky held only bells,
the dells welled with light, my head
bent to the fire where you knelt, deftly
dealt the deck, fortune-telling, sending
velvet spells. Do I digress? I guess
I meant to say a blessing, pay a debt,
but my tongue is heavy as felt. Listen,
I am climbing memory’s slipper rungs.
Listen, my hands are cold. Oh, I know
it is over, stilled. Still, you filled my lungs
with summer. The town was one tunnel
of green. And I was still a girl, twirling
in the trees, my body softened by August,
my heart humming, a field full of bees.
Love, it is a little lonely without you.
I sit on the porch swing and whistle,
but stillness still stings. Love, I loved
your stories. Above all other things.

Every second he breathed, the smell of the grass, the cool air on his face, was so precious: To think that people had years and years, time to waste, so much time it dragged, and he was clinging to each second.

According to, in a compilation of the top 100 most commonly used words in printed English literature, “time” is the first specific, non-pronoun noun that occurs. And granted it’s number 68, and that’s a few conditions that it satisfies, but still, I thought it was an interesting observation anyway. Wonder what that says about literature, or the human condition, and wonder if it most frequently refers to not enough time or time in an abstract theoretical sense (probs not) or time spent in this or that fashion. I guess it’s not that specific after all, but in any case, still more interesting than “the” which got the top spot, and still just something I’d make note of in case I ever decided upon rereading this post that it was still interesting.