The author makes an effort to rehabilitate the classical concept of the equality in exchange which lies in the foundations of the theory of just price and the scholastic criticism of usury. The author supplies a proof that the non-equivalent contract of “exchange” is 1) a contradiction in terms because it represents a combination of a basic contract and a super-contract which contradict each other; and 2) an act of commutative injustice because the contractor negates implicitly within the super-contract what he declares explicitly in the basic contract. The following objections are being settled dialectically: objection of an isolated exchange, objection of voluntariness, objection of Paretovian efficiency, objection of rating, objection of greater evil. The author presents a proof that the just price in an isolated exchange is equal to the reservation price of the seller. The author contends that requiring a transfer from anyone becomes commutative injustice if this requirement is accompanied by 1) external direct pressure or 2) external indirect pressure or 3) deception. The external indirect pressure is defined by the author as a situation when a subject makes a transfer a condition for his consent to a basic contract within the super-contract. The contractor consents to the non-equality in “exchange” only if he wants to give a gift anyway. Since the injustice originates in the agent and benevolence of the sufferer does not cancel the injustice, the non-equivalent contract of “exchange” is an act of commutative injustice even if the sufferer wants to give a gift out of his benevolence. The author claims that the state can adopt four different positions in the question of non-equivalent contracts of “exchange”: 1) to prosecute the perpetrator, 2) to declare the unenforceability, 3) to tolerate the private enforcement, 4) to enforce. Since the enforcement and toleration go against the purpose of the state, the author puts forward the following legal solution: the state declares the non-equivalent contracts of “exchange” unenforceable, nevertheless, it does not automatically prosecute the subjects which commit injustice for making such contracts but, on the other hand, it protects the subjects which suffer injustice if they ask for it.

equality in exchange, commutative justice, voluntariness, Pareto-efficiency, usury, just price

DOI: 10.52950/SS.2022.11.1.002


APA citation:
LUKÁŠ AUGUSTIN MÁSLO (2022). Equality in Exchange: A Rehabilitation of The Classical Concept . International Journal of Social Sciences, Vol. XI(1), pp. 13-28. , DOI: 10.52950/SS.2022.11.1.002

Received: 15 Dec 2021
Revised: 8 Feb 2022
Accepted: 6 Mar 2022
Published: 20 Mar 2022

Copyright © 2022, Lukáš Augustin Máslo et al, lukas.maslo@vse.cz