A Critique on Rawls

Wealthy nations are morally obliged to assist poorer nations, with regards to assisting their economic development. I have come to this conclusion based on the ideals of American philosopher John Rawls. Distributive justice is Rawls’ theory that basically augments the equal distribution of goods throughout society.

This philosophy relies on fluent interaction between nations, which is often complicated by the bias inherent in many national cultures.  Rawls argues that his Law of Peoples is the perfect solution for this gap in communication between nations.  I agree that his constitution is a start, but it lacks a clear understanding of how deeply intertwined terrorism is within the political structure of society.

Skin color and religion should not be influential on the distribution of goods throughout the world, but the reality is that they are a major cause for social unrest.  This coincides with the theory of relative deprivation which acknowledges that there is a sense of injustice aroused when individuals grow to believe that the conditions of their lives is not compatible with those of the people like them in similar situations.

This feeling of disadvantage is thought to be the cause of social dissent and challenges posed to the status quo.  The most immediate circumstance that would drive a person or group to challenge their ruling system would be if their fundamental needs were not being met.  This is why distributive Justice is such an important, and much needed concept within society.

The universal equality that can result from Rawls method and the statement it makes on political standards is credited by Michael Walzer as a Communitarian Critique on Liberalism.  Through what Walzer refers to as Spheres of Justice, he bridges many disagreements between liberals and communists, pointing out that the communist critique on liberal society will forever resurge throughout history.

The core drive behind both Walzer and Rawls’ theories is the immorality that stems from unequal and unjust disbursement of goods.  Though, their pursuit of equality is very valiant, there are some valid hurdles that threaten the adoption of Rawl’s theories into society

There are many arguments that can be made for and against Rawls theory.  According to one of his positions, people have the right of self-defense but no right to instigate war for reasons other than self-defense (Rawl).  This can be seen as the specific policy applied to the U.S.’s initial declaration of war on Iraq.  After the attack in 9/11, The Law of Peoples enforces the grounds that the U.S. was morally ethical in their attempt for retaliation.

But, now that this war has ended, many critics find it hard to justify the United State’s continual deployment overseas.  Rawl also states that, People have a duty to assist other peoples living under unfavorable conditions that prevent their having a just or decent political and social regime.  This concept is easily contrasted by political theorists who argue that funding to uplift the dire conditions in Iraq are inadvertently funding further terrorism.

The concept of the U.S. funding a country’s economic stability and then having it turn around and use that contribution against them is a tradition with international interactions.  It can be seen in the gradual change in Germany’s relationship with the United States.  This is just one of the major hurdles for Distributive justice and poses a political threat to the affectivity of what Rawls proclaims as the solution to injustice between nations.

In sum, though more affluent nations are morally responsible for the wellbeing of other neighboring and distant struggling countries, they should still be wary of potential terrorist attacks that might result from their generosity.  There are moral implications at stake, but sacrificing the affluence of a country’s economy should not result in the sacrificing of that country’s safety as well.  This fault in Rawl’s theory will have to be assessed before it can work as a valid solution to inequality.