[Update: Any right-wing visitors are encouraged to read the Friendly Version of this post.]
Are right-wingers evil or just ignorant? I've previously presented what I take to be knock-down arguments - which I'll review below - establishing that one or other must be the case. Unless, of course, I'm missing something, in which case I'd appreciate someone pointing out exactly where my arguments are flawed.
I'll take as my definition of "right-wing": anyone who opposes the institution of an unconditional basic income. That may seem a non-standard definition, but it's close enough for my purposes. After all, the UBI's enabling qualities suffice, I think, to ensure that no genuine leftist could possibly oppose it. Besides, the idea of redistributing money to everybody is intuitively attractive to leftists. What's more, it's just as obviously unattractive to the typical right-winger. I have a huge respect for the rare right-winger who is willing to endorse the UBI. So much so that I will temporarily cease to charge them with the epithet "right-wing".
Anyway, on to the argument. It takes the form of a dilemma, reflecting the two standard defences of free-market capitalism:
1) A right-winger may defend unfettered capitalism (i.e. opposition to the UBI) on either utilitarian or deontological (rights-based) grounds.
2) The utilitarian immediately faces the problem that a UBI could significantly relieve poverty and improve the lives of countless people. Perhaps if it were too large then the adverse economic consequences would outweigh these benefits, and eventually lead the whole system to collapse. But a small UBI would obviously have better consequences for human welfare than none at all. So the utilitarian has no basis for rejecting the UBI wholesale; he merely questions how large it should be.
3) The deontologist defends unfettered capitalism on the basis of "negative liberty", or one's natural right to non-interference. (He may, for instance, claim that "taxation is theft".) But my post on significant negative duties establishes that capitalists regularly violate their duties of non-interference towards others, and thus are obliged to compensate them accordingly. (Similarly, the Lockean proviso on initial acquisition entails that property owners owe rectification to the propertyless who are deprived access to resources that would otherwise be available to them.) The institution of a UBI is the simplest and most reliable way to effect this rectification.
Hence, whichever their ideology, the right-winger's own conception of justice commits them to supporting a UBI. If they don't support it, they're either being immoral by their own lights - which is as good a definition of "evil" as I've come across - or else they're ignorant of the sound arguments reviewed above. Perhaps if other bloggers help "spread the word", we can relieve this ignorance somewhat.
Unless, of course, you think there's a flaw in the arguments? In which case, I'm all ears...
P.S. I'd like to remind any hostile readers of Sterba's four principles of rational engagement. Thoughtful criticisms are most welcome. Knee-jerk dogmatism is not. Please take the time to read - and think about - my linked arguments in full before posting thoughtless comments. Otherwise your comments risk being deleted, as per my policy. Thanks.