Utilitarianism versus Libertarianism
Who benefits in the Kane/Toews example?
The Chicago Blackhawks fraternity is the major benefactor of the $5 donations made by the fans. Though the elite players are entitled to these additional perks under the precincts of Nozick’s principle of justice in acquisition, they do not necessarily need them. The tenets of holding based on need are usurped by the willful and non-coerced holding conferred upon the two elite players. To maintain the economic and social balance pre-existent in the team, as enshrined in the principles of utilitarianism (Mill, 2016), sharing the perks among the team members is appropriate. Rewarding of a single player in the team undermines the team spirit while sharing of the donations to the team guarantees their proper utilization.
Libertarianism, on the other hand, dictates that those un-coerced donations made towards the two players should be given to only the player(s) unless the holding of such properties is willfully transferred to a third party. Justice is only served by rewarding the individual’s to who the right holding was transferred (Nozick, 1974). The fans’ voluntary transfer of their resources in perks to the elite players meets the threshold of justice. Denying the donator and the rightful receiver of their liberty of transfer and hold respectively undermines the principles of justice. Such practice of justified individualistic hold is upheld in line with the spirit of capitalism and entitlement (Nozick, 1974).
What about morals and ethics under each view?
The need and utility of resources are the basis for acquisition and distribution of wealth. Both players do not need these perks, as their contractual pay is way higher than these appreciatory perks. It is, therefore, morally ethical that the proceeds from such acts of philanthropy are shared on a needs be basis among the team players and other less appreciated members of the team (Mill, 2016). Under such dictates each stand-alone player’s impact cannot be felt unless backed up by the team. Therefore, the team input and effort is appreciated and not that of selected individuals within the team. Libertarianism confers entitlement to those players to whom donations are made. Their right of ownership of such gifts is transferred from the un-coerced donor to the receiver of such donations. Therefore, in upholding the principle of justice, the receiver is morally and ethically poised to have entitlement to such gifts (Nozick, 1974).
Mill, J. S. (2016). Utilitarianism. In S. M. Cahn, Seven Masterpieces of Philosphy (pp. 337- 383). London.
Nozick, R. (1974). Anarchy, State, and Utopia. New York: Basic Books.