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Liberal Equality

Today night’s political philosohpy class talks about John Rawl’s Liberal Equality, which is the corner stone of left wing liberalism. It defends justice as fairness. However I couldn’t agree his theory of what is fair. The theory of libral equality has two major principles. 1. Principle of maximal equal basic liberitie. 2a. Social and economic equality, unless inequality maximally benefit the worst off group. (difference principle) 2b. Fair equality and oppertunity. It is easy to agree on principle 1 and 2b, but principle 2a is more controversial. Why we have to maximize the benefit of the worst off group by scarificing the good for the better off groups? Why can’t we provide them a tolerable minimium standard of living and let them work their way up the social ladder instead? Rawl has two arguments supporting it, the hypothetical social contact behind the veil of ignorance and intuition theory. The social contact failed to conclude the difference principle, because the tolerable minimium is a more rational choice if the rational being calculate the probability and weight the gain of being in each group. I have encounter the intuition theory in a political discussion before. The agrument is unfair to those with born disadvantage, whether natural or social, to compete with the better off people. I can’t see why born unequal is unfair, as Rawl phased everyone is in this natural lottery. Lottery by definition is fair, everyone’s chance of winning is equal. Then a follow up argument is that it is not less fortunate people’s fault to be less competitive, therefore they should be compansated. Then my counter-argument is it is not the fault of better off people for the less fortunate people to be less competitive, why do we have to pay for their misfortune? Here I want to state clear that I am not cold blood and against helping the misfortune. My claim is that it is charity and good work for the better off to help the misfortune. However there is not intrinsic right for the misfortune to demand helps from the better off. They should thank the help they recieve rather than take it for granted like in the theory of liberal equality. My own political philosohpy is still very fragile and incomplete. I should able to further develop it by contrasting it to other political theories. So far, I have been losely base it on utiliteranism and capaticalism, but I can already see the limitation of these two theory. Reality, power and efficiency would be the three pillars to construct my theory.

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