News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Distributive Justice vs. Liberalism of Cruelty

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Distributive Justice vs. Liberalism of Cruelty

There is no such thing as distributive justice that will ensure complete and total equality. I think Rawls' theories have been effectively debated by Judith Shklar and Bernard Williams who advocate something called the liberalism of cruelty. In this model, the sole function of government is to ensure that citizens suffer as little fear and cruelty in their daily lives as possible. Once this is done, then they will be free to pursue their individual and natural-born talents--which often entail forms of inequality.

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