23rd June 2012
How John Rawls exceeded his brief, and how social justice has no meaning.
I came across this short piece today in which Buchanan interviews Hayek. For those who haven't read Rawls's book on justice, or Hayek's extensive work on social justice and the like, this short video might not make much sense, but essentially it raises the MOST FUNDAMENTAL point of difference between classical liberalism and social "liberalism".
I entirely agree with Hayek that social justice has no meaning (and almost entirely disagree with Rawls). I didn't know about Hayek's precise view on this this matter when I wrote BFN but in BFN, I did demonstrate that social justice has no meaning because to me there does not exist any concept of social freedom or social accountability.
If you recall, I take a slightly different approach to liberty to the main philosophers. I focus heavily on ACCOUNTABILITY.
My approach seems to me to perhaps relate somewhat to David Hume's approach (which unfortunately I've not had time to examine carefully). In particular, I consider the demands of justice to derive INEVITABLY and instantaneously from our actions, being a form of natural reaction, almost like Newton's third law of motion or the theory of karma.
I've described this idea of justice at greater length in DOF. I believe the concept of accountability provides an almost scientific approach to the analysis of liberty and justice. And it leads to a strong form of justice, such as "tooth for a tooth". Any change from this strong form needs significant proof, and should never be considered as part of the confused language of "social justice".