In a democracy, political power is always the power of the people as acollective body. In light of the diversity within a democracy, whatwould it mean for citizens legitimately to exercise coercive politicalpower over one another? Rawls's test for the acceptable use ofpolitical power in a democracy is his liberal principle oflegitimacy:
This idea is explored through the character of Vincent who exhibits desire, resilience and determination, natural ‘human’ elements that cannot be manufactured and are seemingly not present in the ‘faultless’ future that is presented in Gattaca.
Essay on Rawls' Principles of Justice - 1237 Words | …
In this first comparison, Rawls argues that it is rational for theparties to use maximin reasoning: to maximize the minimumlevel of primary goods that the citizens they represent might findthemselves with. And maximin reasoning, he says, favors justice asfairness.
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Like all peoples, decent peoples do not have aggressive foreignpolicies. Beyond this, Rawls describes one type of decentsociety—a decent hierarchical society—toillustrate what decency requires.
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Decent peoples are not internally just from a liberalperspective. Their basic institutions do not recognize reasonablepluralism or embody any interpretation of the liberal ideas of freeand equal citizens cooperating fairly. The institutions of a decentsociety may be organized around a single comprehensive doctrine, suchas a dominant religion. The political system may not be democratic,and women or members of minority religions may be excluded from publicoffice. Nevertheless, decent peoples are well-ordered enough, Rawlssays, to merit equal membership in international society.
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Rawls's conception of peoples within the law of peoples parallels hisconception of citizens within justice as fairness. Peoples seethemselves as free in the sense of being rightfully politicallyindependent; and as equal in regarding themselves as equally deservingof recognition and respect. Peoples are reasonable in that they willhonor fair terms of cooperation with other peoples, even at cost totheir own interests, given that other peoples will also honor thoseterms. Reasonable peoples are thus unwilling to try to impose theirpolitical or social ideals on other reasonable peoples. They satisfythe criterion of reciprocity with respect to one another.
language to language, and person to person
Much of Rawls's presentation of the law of peoples parallels thepresentations of political liberalism and justice as fairness. As aliberal society has a basic structure of institutions so, Rawls says,there is an international basic structure (LP, 33, 62, 114,115, 122, 123). While Rawls does not say that the international basicstructure has a pervasive impact on the life chances of individuals,the rules of this basic structure are coercively enforced (forexample, Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990 was coercively reversed bya coalition of other countries). The principles that should regulatethis international basic structure thus require justification. Thejustification of these principles must accommodate the fact that thereis even more pluralism in worldviews among contemporary societies thanthere is within a single liberal society.