Theory of Justice Summary

Nozick (2003) criticize Rawls' theory on the grounds that the difference principle of distribution will allow government intervention in correcting it. However, this is conflicting with the liberty values in Rawls basic principles of liberty. Thus, Rawls theory would allow unfairness and legitimacy in view of the intervention by government in redistribution of wealth and economic goods. My views I view egoist in the original position not in conflict with Rawls liberty values as egoist may benefit others as long as there is compensation (Shaw and Barry, 2001).

Compensation comes in many ways for example it may be the expectation that a good deed will be compensated by well-being in afterlife. Thus, even a samaritan, charity worker or parents may be an egoist i. e. with the expectation that God will compensate them in afterlife. So it is a question how egoist is a person and what is the inclination of the egoist. Egalitarian view is very much practiced throughout the world as an affirmative action. This is to ensure the social stability, equal opportunity and fairness. Compared to Utilitarianism, Rawls theory provides approaches that minimize abuse.

Whilst, Nozick (2001) argues that such theory provides for government intervention, utilitarianism provides a wide window for oppression which that the greater number gains at the expense of the smaller number for instance, the take-over of land by the native of Zimbabwe from the whites. Even though the land legitimately belongs to the whites, the utilitarianism approach allows for such injustice. This is something that defies justice but is true to utilitarianism. However, Rawls approach provides equal opportunity such as the equal opportunity to education in US.

I also agree with the theory of inequalities within Rawls' Theory of Justice as equality may breed mediocrity. However, if we allow inequalities, there will be section of society that has to work harder to get desirable economic goods. And there will also be sections of society that will lose its desirable goods if they don't work hard to maintain it. This basically will result in a greater number of economic good to be distributed around i. e. the economic pie will increase to accommodate even the least advantaged section of the society. Another facet of my view is the application of Rawls' theory in globalization initiatives.

This should be supported, as the main aim of globalization is to reduce government intervention and allowing the forces of market to dictate demands. However Rawls' idea is to have government intervention in order to benefit the disadvantaged section of the society. As can be seen, globalization has contributed to the financial crisis in Asia, the inflation in Mexico, the Russian economic issue, and lately the South American fiasco. I believe by employing Rawls' inequality theory, the distribution will be much more fairer and would achieve a higher level of wealth in economic gods overall.

Conclusion Rawls' Theory of Justice is a concept in democracy. Whilst there are objections and criticism, it is more of comparison between pockets of ideas within any two moral concepts. However in a big picture, most of the ultimate desires of other moral concepts are contained within Rawls' Theory of Justice. As we understand more of Rawls' idea, we cannot help but see the truth and be convinced of its relevance in the current world affairs. True, it may seem unfair to a small aristocrat section of the society but in the end it benefits everybody.

I am sure Rawls' theory would not have worked in the pre-Christ era i. e. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle given the different structure of the society but its workable now and the society needs such a model. In conclusion, I am convinced that the egalitarian, albeit the various criticism, is relevant to the requirement of the modern world. It has been able to meet the need to address states issue such as multiracial concept in Malaysia and equal rights in the US. He has also painstakingly made his views understandable by the general society.


1- Shaw, W. H & Barry, V. (2001), Moral Issues in Business, 8th edition, Wadsworth Thompson Learning, Stamford. 2- D'Agostino, F (1997), The Original Position, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy,. Retrieved June 15, 2003 from the World Wide Web: http://plato. stanford. edu/entries/original position/ 3- Jedicke, P (1997), John rawls "Theory of Justice" 1971, Retrieved June 15, 2003 from the World Wide Web: http://infotech. fanshawec. on. ca/faculty/jedicke/rawls. htm 4- Nozick, R (2003) Two Conception of Justice, Retrieved June 17, 2003 from the World Wide Web: http://wwwpuplic. iastate. edu/~Ittorago/nozick. html