Whether surfers should be fed at public expense is a question that confronts anyone who advocates a property-owning democracy of the kind that John Rawls endorsed. So too is the question of whether the responsible members of political society should rescue the feckless from their dithering and folly. How these questions relate to property-owning democracy, and how the advocates of this political-economic regime should respond to them, are matters that I take up in this essay. My main purpose, though, is to argue that property-owning democracies will be better served by institutions that limit the occasions in which these questions become pressing concerns than by either soft- or hard-hearted responses to those who prefer leisure to work or risk to responsibility. If a property-owning democracy is to have a reasonable chance of success, in short, it will need to give its citizens a suitably civic education.


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pp. 36-46
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