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Jul 26, 1991

David Kelley on Egalitarianism and Welfare Rights Theory

David Kelley is a political philosopher, writer, and the executive director of the Atlas Society. Kelley is a strong proponent of objectivism and has published a wide range of literature including A Life of One’s Own (1998) and The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand (2000).

In this video from a seminar in Aix-en-Provence, France in 1991, Kelley delivers a lecture about two types of social justice systems: egalitarianism and welfare rights. He claims that “the welfare state is subject to all the same problems that have made socialism unworkable. It creates perverse incentives among the people it tries to serve; it is run by a vast bureaucracy that is more interested in preserving its own power than in achieving results.”

Kelley then outlines the basic structure of a system of individualist ethics created by the American novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand. This system, Objectivism, attempts to provide a moral justification in addition to a political justification for the ethical implications of individualism.