Saturday, October 24, 2009

Outrage, Justice, Bias

"The desire for justice, the outrage at injustice: these are deep visceral human emotions, evident early in childhood, illustrated across cultures and across time. Sen draws from Hindu tradition, Sandel from US thinkers such as John Rawls. The last generation has produced deeper and more pervasive injustice probably than at any time in history. Sandel cites the fact that US chief executives were paid 344 times the average worker's wage in 2007, against 42 times in 1980. How have they got away with this?


"Justice is not only about the right way to distribute things. It is also about the right way to value things," writes Sandel. It's a fond liberal illusion that the state can be neutral here – "justice is judgmental", he adds. We shouldn't shrink from the arguments that might result about what we should value and why. Here is a clarion call to put ethics back into daily life and at the centre of public debate, and give proper attention to how we cultivate in citizens an ethical life of mutual responsibility and respect."

The excellent Madeleine Bunting sets a path... Outrage, Justice, Bias (towards the underdog)

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