Private Desires, Political Action: An Invitation to the by Michael Laver

By Michael Laver

Private wishes, Political Action is an available evaluate of 1 of crucial ways to the learn of politics within the glossy global - rational selection idea. Michael Laver doesn't got down to assessment this complete box, yet particularly to debate how we'd use rational selection conception to research the political festival that is affecting virtually each point of our lives.

The broad-ranging scope of the booklet introduces the speculation at many degrees of study, together with: the non-public wishes of people; the social context of the way humans fulfil their wants; and the issues of collective motion. The dialogue of those difficulties extends into the world of politics, the place the actions of `political marketers' or

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Extra resources for Private Desires, Political Action: An Invitation to the Politics of Rational Choice

Sample text

While she can fulfil each desire on its own, she may well not have enough time, energy, intelligence and whatever else it takes to realize both of these desires at the same time. To sum up, fulfilling desires involves expending resources and each individual is endowed with a limited stock of resources. This constrains people by rendering some of their desires absolutely incapable, and others partially incapable, of fulfilment, and by rendering some sets of desires mutually incompatible. Only people with completely compatible sets of desires, which can all be completely fulfilled using the stock of available resources, will find that the objects of their desires are not in short supply.

Imagine that I did indeed find a simple way in which people could change their lifestyle and thereby avoid developing cancer, and that as a result cancer was eradicated from the face of the earth. This would be of truly momentous significance for a very large proportion of the world' s population. It would affect not only those who have cancer now and those who would otherwise have cancer in the future. It would also affect those who would never, in fact, have contracted cancer, but who fear contracting it, and whose lives are made more miserable by that fear.

The group as a whole would be much better off if all members agreed to disarm. Any individual member of the group would be better off, however, allowing the others to disarm, then appearing with an enormous spiky club and sirr ply stealing the objects of her desires from others. It is unlikely that anyone in the group would expose themselves to this risk, so that they will all be forced to continue spending scarce resources on weapons. This is because group disarmament is both a collective consumption good and a collective production good.

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