Friday, September 9, 2016

The Spirit of Justice from the Republic Book 2

Western society is founded, at least in part, from the concepts written into the Republic. In Book II Socrates is discussing the nature of justice but is having a hard time understanding the difference between what makes one just and one unjust. The just and the unjust seem to have equal consideration with the later having some advantages.

In our lives we see justice and injustice mixed together. A just system can be mixed with many injustices. The same can be said for the complex nature of people and the interpretation of their actions. The structural system of a state is made of individuals and their complexity.

It would seem at times the unjust have advantages because they have few values and will always seek unfair gain regardless of the damage and chaos they cause to others. The just will be bound by their conscious and therefore limited and hindered . Therefore, it would seem that the unjust should be promoted and the just should be discouraged; but, this isn't the case.

I once read a study on game theory that showed how people who always act in their own best interest eventually lose and those who collaborate with others eventually win. It took some time for the mechanics to play out as short-term advantage were given to the selfish. As the selfish took unfair advantage, society eventually collaborated and blocked them out of future gain.

We know this because we are biologically and psychologically driven to work together. We are clan creatures! However, there are plenty of people, both officials and citizens, that seek to manipulate the system and create injustice for their own needs.

A solid system must correct the injustice when discovered and punish the unjust if it hopes to maintain the all important contract that binds society together. As the system begins to view justice and injustice the same, shared values dissipate the the system becomes one with little support.

For example, America was founded as a new society free from the injustices of Europe and is expected to hold that contract. The Constitution, in addition to principles of fair treatment, bind society together.

To support justice means we should also support protections for individuals when they are treated unfairly. When injustice is discovered it should be corrected. Unjust individuals should not be encouraged and promoted but should be discouraged and socially thwarted. A system that seeks to bind must also develop the just mind throughout its institutions.

No comments:

Post a Comment