Justice, Culture, and the Enlightenment

A question is posed to me via my coursework: “Does justice require that anything be distributed equally? If so, what?” This is, of course, the bog-standard prompt for the student to explain the modern dispute between John Rawls1 and Robert Nozick2 . We’ll get there shortly, but first I want to back up and ask the more fundamental (indeed, perennial) question: What is justice? At the risk of plagiarizing Socrates, I might clarify that I am not asking, “what makes a just circumstance just“, or “show me a particular instance of a just set of arrangements“.

The Struggle Between Public and Private

The world around me is getting ever more crazy, with each passing day. Politics is rapidly consuming all aspects of life within itself. We’ve reached a point in some areas of society where nothing can be considered except in terms of political relations and power dynamics. From toilet functions, to one’s choice of entertainment genres, to whom one takes as friends, to larger social and electoral questions, all things are seen through the lens of ideology now.