John Rawls And Justice Essay

Length: 3 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Government Type: Essay Paper: #83209001 Related Topics: Patriot Act, Socialism, Government Contracts, Aristotle

Excerpt from Essay :

Rawls and the Just Society Today's United States society is not just because it violates both principles of John Rawls' theory of justice based on the "original position." This paper will explain Rawls' principles and show how the U.S. violates those principles.

Rawls states that justice is fairness (MacKinnon, Fiala, 2015, p. 78) within the framework of the social contract, which stems back to Rousseau (2012, p. 1), who ironically pointed out that "man is born free, yet everywhere is in chains" -- alluding to the fact that in a free society, man ought not to be a made a slave of institutions such as Church, aristocracy or government. This is the "original position" regarding man's natural state, what Rousseau and the Enlightenment thinkers believe is not a "fallen state of human nature," but one that is free to assert the "rights of man." These rights were popular at the time that America came into being and the nation is said to be based on these assertion of rights that are "self-evident." Thus, the "original state" is one in which all persons are equal, act like brothers, and are free to pursue their own good so long as it does not impinge on another's right to pursue "life, liberty...


Rousseau's assertion that man is born free and everywhere is in chains still rings true today, but it also raises the question of whether man's humanity is actually "fallen" as the Old World used to describe it (Jones, 2000, 8). A "fallen" nature would certainly explain the tendency of mankind to inevitably fall into traps of inequality, slavery and cruelty. Yet, that is what happens in unjust societies where not everyone is in agreement about the roles they are forced into. If everyone were in agreement about those roles and everyone in society accepted the inequalities, say, between the wealthy 1% and the poor 99% who serviced the 1% then there would be no problem. But no one in America -- other than the 1% and those well-paid by them -- accepts this dichotomy as is evidenced by the Occupy Wall Street protests that spread across the country recently and in the protests against the government's foreign policy actions as well as its outrageous domestic policy, which equates to socialism for the bankers and their friends and wage slavery for the average tax payer. So there is no equality and no agreement as to roles in America.

The veil of ignorance in this situation does not work because there is no real choice but only the illusion of choice which is granted to people who think that by "voting" and using their "voice" in elections where the top two candidates are essentially bought…

Sources Used in Documents:


Jones, E.M. (2000). Libido Dominandi. IN: St. Augustine's Press.

MacKinnon, B., Fiala, A. Ethics: Theory and Contemporary Issues. CT: Cengage.

Rousseau, J. (2012). Social Contract. NY: Courier.

Cite this Document:

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