Rambles On Rawls And The Veil Of Ignorance

At the heart of today’s GOP lie the alt-right neo-con white nationalists, the conservative extremist movement born out of Gingrich’s rib and dominating their particular worldview of a society born out of fear and hate that has no room for all the beauty and strength of a just society, a moral society, an inclusive society.

The time where everyone was cordoned off into some pre-conceived structural hierarchy, of these draconian concepts concerning some misguided supremacy they imagined for whiter skin, and for those who don’t know that that ship has sailed, well, the universe I don’t think really gives a shite, ignorance is futile.

Regardless of the fantastical creation stories of the Bible, science tells us that over time one thing becomes another, gradually changing, over the course of millenniums, like the homo sapien sapiens has gone from this to that to this to that and where it all goes nobody knows, but it is not our job to somehow direct this progression, and don’t you think this is one area they would lay off? I mean, doesn’t their Christian god tell them so? Well, regardless of the fact that I’m fairly certain that nowhere does it say that one skin colour is superior to another.

Yet, I guess they just can’t stop whistlin’ Dixie long enough to see that their petty prejudices are irrelevant, time just goes marching on, with or without them.

To illustrate this, take Indo-European language groups, and that gigantic tree that gives us east Indian dialects all the way to the farthest west with the German, Gaelic, Latin branches, over time changing and going with the flow, adapting new content into the lexicon, new things, new ways, new thoughts and practices. This progression, the many branches and variations happened over the course of thousands of years, across vast trade routes that spanned the globe.

And petty racist memes, stereotypes and genocides do nothing to stop the course of humanity cause the universe does not take sides, the universe is not a democracy, the universe does not ask our opinions, it just does and goes with the flow and there is very little anyone can do to stop the course it will take – like a river or powerful stream, it will just go around the obstacle if it has to, it is the way of it.

What got me off on this tangent was a short vid on the political theories of John Rawls.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1920, his book ‘A Theory Of Justice‘ concerns the idea of fairness and our desire for a just society, what that might look like and how it may be achieved. That rags to riches stories are BS since they merely cater to the current society, they do not create anything new but instead, serve to justify the wealth and power some have over others.

“Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought. A theory however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is untrue; likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust. Each person possesses an inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override. For this reason justice denies that the loss of freedom for some is made right by a greater good shared by others. It does not allow that the sacrifices imposed on a few are outweighed by the larger sum of advantages enjoyed by many. Therefore in a just society the liberties of equal citizenship are taken as settled; the rights secured by justice are not subject to political bargaining or to the calculus of social interests.” 

John Rawls, A Theory of Justice

He asks, imagine if you were not you, and there was this VEIL OF IGNORANCE before you were born, and if given the opportunity to live in a particular sort of society, what would that society look like, feel like? What sort of order, community, laws and opportunities? In other words, he is asking what are the details of a just society? What does a fair society look like?

This is about stepping away from something, gaining a point of view beyond what you know today, here and now, and think of, or maybe one could even use the word fantasize about what does a fair and just society look like, what are its features and benefits?

“The perspective of eternity is not a perspective from a certain place beyond the world, nor the point of view of a transcendent being; rather it is a certain form of thought and feeling that rational persons can adopt within the world. And having done so, they can, whatever their generation, bring together into one scheme all individual perspectives and arrive together at regulative principles that can be affirmed by everyone as he lives by them, each from his own standpoint. Purity of heart, if one could attain it, would be to see clearly and to act with grace and self-command from this point of view.” 

 John Rawls

I mean, why do we have to be subjected to the desires and prejudices of such a small portion of society? Such a small part of the world? That is the fault at heart, underlying the whole alt-right extremist neo-con movement, is that objective of absolute power, and in that pursuit of power, it has corrupted them absolutely.

At the heart lies a premise based on exclusion, and of one sort of person over another. Of a society built on fear, walled in, and subject to the whims of the rich and wealthy, completely at odds with the good of the many, the WE that underlies the American constitution, and therefore at odds with the very heart and soul of their country, and where they are going.

Which, from what I can see is down the toilet if they don’t get their ducks at least in the same friggin’ pond.

And so that authoritarian hand only serves to crush all those ideas and dreams of those people who don’t fit into some manufactured pre-conceived set of prejudices and societal standards born of fear and that exclude many for the benefit of just a few.

“Perhaps the most obvious political inequality is the violation of the precept one person one vote. Yet until recent times most writers rejected equal universal suffrage. Indeed, persons were not regarded as the proper subjects of representation at all. Often it was interests that were to be represented, with Whig and Tory differing as to whether the interest of the rising middle class should be given a place alongside the landed and ecclesiastical interests. For others it is regions that are to be represented, or forms of culture, as when one speaks of the representation of the agricultural and urban elements of society. At the first sight, these kinds of representation appear unjust. How far they depart from the precept one person one vote is a measure of their abstract injustice, and indicates the strength of the countervailing reasons that must be forthcoming.” 

IBID
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