La vulnérabilité morale des marchés

LONDRES – S’il ne semble aujourd’hui exister aucune alternative cohérente au capitalisme, les sentiments anti-marchés sont particulièrement exacerbés, comme on peut le voir, par exemple, dans la réaction moraliste violente qui s’oppose à la mondialisation. Aucun système social ne pouvant survivre sans base morale, il est urgent de répondre aux problèmes soulevés par les militants anti-mondialisation – d’autant plus que nous nous trouvons aujourd’hui au beau milieu d’une crise économique.

On peut difficilement nier toute valeur morale au marché. Après tout, nous attachons des valeurs morales aux processus aussi bien qu’aux résultats. En bref, “la fin ne justifie pas les moyens”. Nous préférons moralement que les marchandises nous soient fournies par une force de travail libre plutôt que par des esclaves, comme nous préférons choisir nous-mêmes ce que nous consommons plutôt que de laisser l’État le faire à notre place. Le fait que le marché soit le plus efficace des systèmes pour créer de la richesse et satisfaire les besoins est un atout supplémentaire.

Les critiques morales du marché mettent l’accent sur sa tendance à favoriser un type de tempérament moralement déficient, à privilégier les mauvaises intentions et à promouvoir des résultats indésirables. On reproche aussi au capitalisme de n’avoir aucun sens de la justice.

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