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Justice Rawls vs Walzer

In my mind justice is a very abstract concept. Although it seems like everyone knows the meaning of the word many people view justice differently. If you would ask people what they associate the word justice with, you would hear many opinions. To me it means fairness, accountability, equality, punishment, following the letter of the law, and these are the words that came to my mind on the spot, but the list sure doesn’t end here. What may seem just to one person may be considered totally unjust to someone else; we are faced with this reality very often. It could be a minor issue, which affects only few individuals, such as debating if a grade your professor gave you on an exam is a fair evaluation of your knowledge of the material. On a greater level, it could be an issue such as capital punishment. Those who support death sentence say that some criminals should be punished by death for crimes that they commit. Those with the opposing view, ask if it’s just to have the power to take a person’s life, no matter what crime they are guilty of committing. As Walzer states: “Justice is a human construction, and it is doubtful that it can be made in only one way…” In his discussion on distributive justice Walzer talks about distribution of goods in a society and power struggles that are constant in societies with where goods can be limited. According to him monopoly arises from lack of a valuable good in a society, the limited amount of that good automatically gives power to those individuals who poses it, creating inequality. He goes on explaining the theory of simple equality where government constantly limits the power of those with possession of the rare goods, but soon the government itself becomes the greater power which controls all other goods. He states that: ”Politics is always the most direct path to dominance, and political power…is probably the most important and certainly most dangerous, good in human...

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Justice Rawls vs Walzer. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 22:24, August 29, 2014, from