Capitalists and socialists have their own interpretations about ethics. These interpretations are almost same considering the ultimate goal of justice to all; but they differ in the selection of route to reach this goal. The famous political philosopher, John Rawls argued that the institutions of society must be regulated by two principles of justice; the liberty principle and the difference principle. This paper briefly analyses the two models, capitalism and socialism with respect to Rawls’ two ‘principles of justice’.
Rawls’s principle of liberty argues that each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive total system of equal basic liberties compatible with a similar system of liberty for all. Rawls’s difference principle argues that in order for any change to be accepted as an improvement, it must help the least advantaged representative person. In his opinion, social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that it may provide greatest benefit of the least advantaged (A Theory of Justice, by John Rawls, 2005).
Socialism argues for a completely classless society, where the government controls all means of production and distribution of goods. They believe this control is necessary to eliminate competition among the people and put everyone on a level playing field (Liese, 2008). When we analyze the views of socialism and the views of Rawls, we can see that both the views have similarities and differences. Socialism argues for the equal rights to all and the advocates of socialism believe that only a class less society can ensure equal opportunities to all and for that purpose, governments should have upper hand in all the matters related to the social and political life of the public. In other words, individuals have not much role in a socialist country. Rawls on the other hand argues for the liberties of the individual and the society. His liberty principle argues for democratic freedom of thought, conscience, religion