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Freedom,equality,justice - Essay Example

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The root cause of unjust acts in society, according to Karl Marx, lies in the unequal distribution of wealth, power, and resources. Marx considered equality as a purely political value, political notion, and that it belonged to the bourgeois class. However, Marx argued that this class of people use equality to perpetuate class oppression. Political equality according to Marx is a form of procedural equality. The legal system in society accords some people more justice than others. Therefore, this is why Marx considered elements of justice, freedom, and equality as inappropriate for serving as the foundation of his politics. On the other hand, Locke and Kant’s view on equality was that it is based on the amount of possession one owns. In the state of nature and even in today’s centralized authority, there exists inequality in distribution of wealth, depending on one’s level of authority. Therefore, the more wealth one has, the more he stands to achieve equality, making equality to be relative to inequality. However, they are of the opinion that the notion of equality, if practised appropriately is still essential in society as it is only through this that freedom can be achieved. This is a backing to Marx’s views, and to an extent shows that equality in society can be hard to achieve, as even communalist societies experience inequality in both power and wealth distribution. On justice, Marx argued that only the bourgeois have the right to justice in society, as this stems from the element of equality. Marx did not regard capitalistic exploitation as unjust on the side of the labourers. He only was against the means through which the bourgeois acquired their wealth and power. However, Kant thought that the concept of equality is associated with the political and social institutions in society. Marx rejected the egalitarian intuition and the fact that any equal standard could be used to formulate some ideal demand of justice. He maintained that rights are best if kept unequal. Marx criticized the political, claiming that egalitarianism is an unclear political concept. However, bourgeois equality is based on political equality, which lies on the bourgeois economy. Therefore, according to Marx, bourgeois concepts of justice, morality, and right came up as class interests, and not based on genuine causes. Charles Mills similarly acknowledges the role of class, gender, religion, education, and race, among others in classification of people in society. All these elements according to Mils are the basis of discrimination, inequality, and injustice in society. However, unlike Marx who regarded social stratification as major cause of injustice, Mills refers to the concept of race as the main force behind most evils in society. Social contract according to Mills is fictitious and a reconstruction of the civil society, the racial contract is “a 'naturalized' account of the actual historical record" (91). Mills argues that the contract concept is still important in the society despite its shortcomings. First, this can be a standard to measure the society’s potential of achieving their political ideals. However, this is only possible if using the contract concept; they can identify and remove obstacles that lie in their way to the achievement of these goals. In addition, the non-whites, in order to determine the moral awareness of the whites, who perpetuate exploitation with their acclaimed superiority, have used the concept of racial contract. Kant and Locke basing on their works in political philosophy share similar views on the racial contrac ...Show more
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Charles Mills dwells on the racial stratification of people in society. He asserts that the Europeans take advantage of their racial position to exploit other races. Social contract adopts and upholds the equality of individuals in the society, in a state of nature. …
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