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US Politics

Rawls on Wall Street—An Excellent Idea


Really interesting read in the New York Times about the future of the Occupy Wall Street movement and how a little John Rawls might help:

Despite providing a remarkable venue for what Al Gore called a “primal scream of democracy,” Occupy Wall Street is leveraged too heavily on the rhetoric of rage rather than reciprocity. Rawls would argue that Occupy is fully justified in its criticism of the political and economic structures that propagate massive concentrations of wealth; he saw the “basic structure” of society as the “primary subject of justice.” But Rawls would lament the tendency of the “99 percent” to misdirect their energies into hatred of individuals in the 1 percent. He would have them save their hostility for the policies and institutions that have permitted only the wealthiest to enjoy significant gains from the past two decades of economic growth.

While there are few political questions that Rawls doesn’t provide a good framework for better understanding, it seems especially true in this case. Stop sending in SD cards for smartphones; send in some John Bordley Rawls. Used copies available on Amazon, though your local bookstore might be a better choice.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.


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