Saturday, March 29, 2014

I'd suggest a race

   but we have one

  It is sometimes a strategem
  we can pursue, to tempt all
  others with things we are
  not tempted by, to shield
  what we treasure. It's our
  first instinct on being ac-
  costed for agreement under
  intimidation, and on meet-
  ing other bandits in our
  path. But we also practice
  this in ordinary bargain-
  ing, paying cheap to sell
  dear. We suppose we honour,
  playing fair, praising it 
  as a kind of compass. Then
  what happens if shielding
  can't be done at the same
  time; is shielding even

  That coincidence defines
  our American Conserva-
  tism's notorious failure 
  in playing fair. Out on
  the field we identify it,
  clear as day, as a flight
  from courage. The degener-
  ate dependency on wealth 
  thus comes full circle to
  deprive privilege of the
  indispensable resource of
  its once-dependable train-
  ing. But what happens when
  this deprivation blocks a
  propagation of privilege's
  spectacular advantages, by
  stifling them? Is constant
  demagoguery the price and
  not the cause of courage's
  sequestration? What goes
  wrong with such security?
  Risk the unhinged madness
  of a day of playing fair:
  prove the safe temptation.

              Eventually everyone recognizes that they
              cannot maintain their hostile attitudes
              toward one another without injury to them-
              selves. Thus as a compromise they settle
              upon the demand of equal treatment .. So
              long as the pattern of special psycholo-
              gies elicited by society either supports
              its arrangements or can be reasonably ac-
              commodated by them, there is no need to
              reconsider the choice of a conception of
              justice .. the principles of justice as
              fairness pass this test. 

John Rawls
A Theory of Justice
  Envy and Equality
Harvard University Press, 1971©

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