№ 4, 2020
The increasing wealth inequality is one of the main challenges of the 21st century. The gap between the poorest and the richest people on the planet is growing steadily. Obviously, such trend could not escape attention of social thinkers. One of the responses to the unfolding processes is the increasing popularity of the topic of the ethics of wealth. Within this framework the concept of limitarianism elaborated by Ingrid Robeyns, Professor at the University of Utrecht, is of particular interest.
Limitarianism, being a political and ethical doctrine, postulates the inadmissibility of possessing wealth in excess of a certain threshold. According to Robeyns, any material wealth that goes beyond what is necessary for a fulfilling life is both redundant and ethically unacceptable, and must be redistributed. Not surprisingly, such a radical idea has been met with a wave of a wellgrounded criticism.
The article examines the theoretical basis of limitarianism, analyzes the main arguments in favor and against this concept, and also attempts to answer the question about the possibility of practical implementation of Robeyns’ ideas. According to the author’s conclusion, limitarianism as a political concept has a number of serious flaws and bears a clear imprint of utopianism. However, since the concept has a very promising moral dimension, it would be wrong to write it off completely. Since limitarianism aims at the broad participation of individuals in the fate of other people and solution to the problems of humanity as a whole, it is able to gain wide public support, developing as a form of a personal ethics.
Balashov D. V.
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