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A Rediscovery of Justice

In Chapter Two of A Theory of Justice, Rawls gives his preliminary conception of justice which is to guide his discussion of what he called the two principles of justice in a society. He says: “All social values—liberty and opportunity, income and wealth, and the social bases of self-respect—are to be distributed equally unless an unequal distribution of any, or all, of these values is to anyone’s advantage” (p.54). And he adds quickly: “Injustice, then, is simply inequalities that are not to the benefit of all” (Ibid.).
What caught my attention was what he said about injustice; it was a frank, straightforward and one may argue a simplistic description of what injustice was—perhaps something that a student in high school will automatically parrot to his teacher. Yet upon reading those lines again, I realized that the simplicity of the statement corresponds to the simplicity of the matter: injustice is really when there are inequalities among men that do not benefit all. Such inequaliti…