Home > Vol 9, No 16 (2020): 233-259 > Lizarraga

Equality and Community in G. A. Cohen’s Camping Trip Model: a Compromise with Fraternal Egalitarianism


Fernando Alberto Lizarraga

Abstract

Drawing on the criticisms posed by fraternal egalitarianism against luck egalitarianism, G. A. Cohen proposed a trade-off through the so-called camping-trip model. Since that trade-off was not quite formalized, this article tries to bring up some elements in that direction. To be precise, it will be argued: a) that Cohen wants to bridge his own conception with fraternal

egalitarianism by making a distinction between the fairness and legitimacy aspects of justice, together with the affirmation that option luck never preserves justice; b) that the egalitarian and communitarian principles that Cohen considers desirable for socialism operate on the basis of the fairness-legitimacy distinction, so that inequalities generated by genuine choices and bad option luck are just from the perspective of legitimacy but not when seen from fairness, and, as a result, inequalities that hurt the social fabric are causally fundamental whereas the communitarian principle is normatively fundamental; and c) that the communitarian elements that drive Cohen’s compromise are already present in his notions of voluntary equality, egalitarian ethos, strict reading of the Rawlsian difference principle, and justificatory community.


Keywords

luck egalitarianism, social egalitarianism, socialist Principles, community


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