[E]nlightenment Political and economic ethics, whether under classical liberal, libertarian, socialist and ‘dishonest socialist (keynesian)’ theory are predicated on the two assumptions (a)that moral and ethical behavior are ‘givens’ that we must agree upon, and that (b) our labors in the act of production are the means by which we earn rewards.
This logic assumes that entry into, and participation in the market (society, the order in which cooperation is possible), is all that one obtains for one’s constant payment of the costs of respecting property and other norms.
However, norms that permit property rights, and norms that permit trust (low transaction costs), and norms that prohibit conspiracy, are as equal in value in creating a polity in which the voluntary organization of production (capitalism) is possible. Respect for property rights, eschewing corruption and conspiracy, and demonstrating honestly, are all costs that the individual must bear. And he must bear them prior to any participation in production.
But if it is not possible for the individual to participate in the market (and it demonstrably is not), then entry into the market is not POSSIBLE, and as such it is non-rational for that individual to pay the very high costs of entry into that market. And therefore demands that they respect for property, honesty, and combat against conspiracy and corruption are simply attempts at theft of their opportunity, time and effort, without compensation.
As such, the alternative is to pay people to respect property rights, demonstrate honesty, eschew corruption and conspiracy, so that they work to enable the voluntary organization of production (capitalism), and function as consumers – to pay people to construct a society, polity, and economy, wherein the dynamic voluntary organization of production is possible.
[P]eople who enforce and respect property rights, manners, ethics, morals and norms, do so at a cost. The benefit of capitalism for everyone, is that production can be cheaply (low transaction costs) organized dynamically and voluntarily. However, if we cannot equally participate in the market (as we did under labor and farming) then the only alternative is to pay people for the work of facilitating the dynamic and voluntary organization of production.
Those people, paid as such, will have the same interests as producers: to minimize state consumption of the fruits of productivity.
That logic can be attacked from any number of angles but in the end, the result will be the same. You cannot make an operational argument in favor of property rights and at the same time defeat this argument. (Or you can try a lot, but it won’t work.)
Conversely, telling people that they must pay high costs for rights that they cannot make use of is merely theft by capitalist means.