Last updated on 20.07.2020
Principle 1 – Greatest Equal Liberty
“Everyone is entitled to basic freedom” is the concept in Rawls’ first principle. This freedom includes freedom of speech, rights to education, human rights etc. This principle distributes extensive liberties or freedom equally to all individuals. It is immoral for one individual to hold such huge net worthwhile someone somewhere is starving and cannot afford the cheapest loaf of bread. If all citizens of the country are entitled to equal access to resources of the country how is it that there is one South African who doesn’t have a place to sleep while another one is holding 90 billion Rands? The principle stipulates that one should accept what he /she considers to be freedom for them to be the same for another person.
Principle 2a Equality of Fair Opportunity
Rawls states that there must not be any kind of favoritism of discrimination in any sort when distributing resources fairly. That opportunities must be opened to all. all citizens of the country regardless of their social class have equal opportunities to attain any position. They have equal rights when it comes to accessing resources. But because corruption can be stronger than democracy, people like Nicky Oppenheimer with a lot money can buy the rights of others. It is not fair for one to have more of a thing that is meant to be shared with others.
Principle 2b the difference Principle
This principle encourages a certain degree of inequality amongst people. Rawls defended this by arguing that not all inequalities can be destructive. If inequalities serve as motivators or inspire the least privileged people to achieve greatness, then it is good. In this case, can we say that the difference between Nicky Oppenheimer and a homeless guy is a motivator for this homeless guy to take future in his own hands? I doubt that. On the contrary, this might even alter their perception towards their own life. The “difference “principle is supposed to encourage benefits directed towards the most disadvantaged people and this inequality seems to just do the opposite.
Veil of Ignorance
According to Rawls, to distribute resources fairly, people should be behind the veil of ignorance. People should not know about their races, sex orientation, religions, or socioeconomic classes they are from. If Oppenheimer did not know that he was to become the 3rd richest man in Africa and was asked resources should be distributed, I think he would have wanted the allocation to be fair. Because it wouldn’t feel right to him that others are getting more than him while they all have equal rights.
According to me, this is not Ok!
It does not make sense to talk about fairness and this kind of inequality at the same time. I doubt that he honestly deserved that excessive amount of money, because it’s always at the expense of others that one can accumulate such resources. Why holding such amount that they don’t need while there are people who in need who could benefit from it if the resources were distributed fairly? To me inequality can only be useful to motivate the least privileged people to achieve greatness if they were responsible for their own current situations, or else some will end up believing that they were sent here on earth to help others fulfill their purposes.