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Theories of Justice

What are the differences between Capitalist, Socialist, Fairness, and Libertarian notions of justice? What are the strongest and weakest parts of each theory?

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OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

Theories of Justice

What is Justice? We use the term justice and the notion of being just when we refer to ideas of moral rightness based on many factors - ethical, religion, social standards and norms, law and legality, natural law, equity, fairness as well as reason. Dependent upon the cultural influence and social experience of a people, what is justified and what is just varies. Now, with these established, breach of what is seen as morally right has its own set of punishment expected to be meted out to correct a wrong; this is the act of ensuring that justice is 'served'. Now, there are varied theories in relation to notions of what is just. They are normal put under 4 main headings but can be expanded to 5.

Capitalist Notion

The capitalist notion of justice is rooted in the fact that according to Rawls, individual freedom allows one to amass power and wealth but, while this is the case, what is just is the need to ensure that resources are also provided to everyone in society so that said freedom can be exercised by all. This notion is much more related to the idea of Fairness but the idea that capitalism is a competitive set-up is already presented. A capitalist market is one where competition is the norm, where, in the end, the buyer will have the opportunity of choice. Therefore, in a capitalist notion, justice is all about free competition but one where no buyer or seller is large enough to influence the general scheme of things for in so doing, competition cannot be just or fair being that by sheer size, it is possible for groups to control or manipulate prices of goods and services (labour). Now, what is important about this position is that it acknowledges the nature of competition but at the same time, it does not take account of the other side - the need to get ahead so as to triumph in the market. In so doing, many buyers and sellers can easily employ strategies and techniques that put their competitors at a disadvantage moving their own interests forward. With growth comes bigger market share and control of the market. The danger of monopoly, the ultimate dream of some buyers and sellers, can be achieved via this. Adam Smith and his ...

Solution Summary

The solution is a 1,627-word narrative that looks into the varied theories of justice: Capitalist, Socialist, Fairness, and Libertarian. It looks into their strongest points, similarities and differences as well as their application/relevance. references are included for further exploration of the topic. An MS Word version of the solution is attached for easy download and printing.