An Exploratory Essay
- New Thinking in Political Economy series
Chapter 3: State and Market: A Two-Forum Societal Architecture
Chapter 2 located the phenomena of interest to a theory of public ﬁnance as stemming from the bivalent character of human nature, wherein people seek both autonomy and community. Both ﬁscal and market phenomena derive from the same source: the eﬀorts of economizing individuals to pursue plans so as to attain more highly desired states of being. That pursuit, however, is undertaken by social and not solipsistic creatures. Market and state are both emergent phenomena that spring from human eﬀort to pursue plans within a setting of societal interaction. Desires for autonomy within a society map into the forms of interpersonal relationship that are constituted through what we designate as private property. Desires for community, however, limit the range of autonomy and private property by generating patterns of interpersonal relationship we designate as collective property. Private property pertains to actions that people undertake because they choose to, and about which the remainder of society forbears from contesting. The remaining residuum of human action is governed by collective property. To be sure and as already noted in Chapter 2, a desire for community need not map exclusively into the pattern of conduct denoted by state, as a variety of civic associations also emerge out of that desire. It would be possible to consider a triangular social architecture, where the third pole would denote collective activity that is organized within the precincts of civic association. I have avoided doing this here because my object of interest is the theory of...
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