How can we create a Just Society? The Veil of Ignorance

Black Professors and Molecular Genetics – The Wisdom of John Rawls – Blame it on a Logos

We do know for a fact that if you are born into a particular race today, at certain places in the world, or even certain places in a very, very small country, your odds of success can change dramatically.

Given that no one chooses where to be born, there is a moral imperative to design a just society. As such, in such societies everyone should be given a level playing ground.

And what does level playing ground mean? you might say.

As an example, I will illustrate.

In the United States, for example, there is a huge economic inequality majorly mapped by race. Apart from what I hear on the news that manage to find its way to me, I have witnessed it firsthand.

Throughout my 4-year stint, so far, in multiple schools (and states) in the United States, I have only been taught by a single black professor, an advanced molecular genetics class. Yet, virtually all the cleaners I have come across in these schools are all blacks. I have come to understand that this is a national trend.

At first glance one is tempted to heap all the blames on the blacks, or even worse, blame it on a logos!

But when you take a second look, a deeper look, things turn out to be different. Even though there is an impression that the American economic system is a just and free system, it is very, very far from the reality.

How will a black parent working 2 to 3 jobs – very, very odd jobs by the way – successfully raise a child where basic goods such as education and healthcare are luxuries. While the rich white folks have access to such ‘luxuries’ relatively easier, just by a socio-economic structure that has been founded from slavery. Notice the mismatch. The race is not a balanced one. One person is lagging, and the system is designed to keep him there.

So, back to the question, how do one create a level-playing ground?

In this case it’s pretty straightforward make the basic goods i.e. education, healthcare etc., available for everyone.

This argument, very quickly begin to digress into clashes of different ideologies: right, left, alt-left, alt-right, that I don’t yet fully grasp and not even ready to dig dip into it.

The Philosopher John Rawls, I believe, proffered the best solution to the question, how do we create a just society? And this is it:

Imagine you have no knowledge of what gender you will be, what race you will belong to, whether you will be born disabled, how short you will be, how tall you will be, which family you will be born into, when you will be born, whether you will be born into extreme poverty or stinking wealth.

In short, how will you design a just society if you have no knowledge of who you will be,  behind a veil of ignorance?

John Rawls argue we will all opt for a more fairer society than we have now, just because you could end up to be anybody.

And the idea is simple, very simple: how we answer the question, how do we create a just society? says much about ourselves than anything else.

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