Justice, Capitalism & Libertarian Socialism

1070 Words5 Pages
Justice, Capitalism & Libertarian Socialism Justice is one of the most essential virtues to modern society. It is through justice that our rights are protected and wrongdoers are punished. We also find that most modern societies are based on capitalist economies. Capitalism is a political economic system in which individuals or business corporations own and control much or most of the country’s capital. While these two are both features in today’s society, capitalism and justice are incompatible with each other. Where justice stands for fairness and what is right, we find that capitalism creates unfair and unjust situations both as direct and indirect side effects. In order for a society to be wholly just, justice must take priority over what is “efficient.” “Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought. A theory however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is untrue; likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust.” This is the opening line as it appears in Justice as Fairness , a book of political philosophy written by John Rawls. In it he gives his distinctive theory of justice. According to Rawls, the main idea of the theory of justice is that the principles of justice are for the basic structure of society. The two principles that he presents are the following. First: each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive basic liberty compatible with a similar liberty for others. Second: social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are both (a) reasonably expected to be to everyone’s advantage, and (b) attached to positions and offices open to all. Using Rawls theory of justice we find that in order for a society to be wholly just, all persons must not only have equal rights as all others, but that
Open Document