I find your pivot to advocating and explaining your idea for “the existence of a democratically…
Tim Knowles
1

Hey, Mr. Knowles. There is a lot there in your response. I have to say, on a personal note, I never get used to the hostility that advocating for mutual respect can inspire in people, especially given the benefits for society that would follow from using it to govern governance. I don’t take it to heart, but I am taken aback by it every time.

First off, I don’t see how my title could be said to be misleading. In the essay I make it clear at the very start that it is about the intellectual trip I have taken. I start with Locke’s definition of injustice and refer to him several times in the essay, as I relay how I got to ‘real justice’. (Maybe I should have put quotes around “Real Justice” in the title?)

For the rest of your critique, there are plenty of references for further reading of which you could avail yourself to answer such questions. As a general statement, government would still exist — funded at the current per capita rate of spending —and could be used for any purpose, such as universal access to medical services as needed. With no need for ‘anti-poverty’ programs and (eventually) no interest to pay on public debt, there would be more money than there is at present for “the general welfare.”

You do echo a frequent response that I never expected. People claim that this ethic of justice can’t be valid because people could still act unjustly. No ethic can change people’s behavior (unless they happen to choose to change their behavior because of its existence). For that reason, any idea of justice is mostly about its role as an organizing principle for society. This ethic does yield absolute prohibitions on personal conduct, in the sense that to do those things is to act unjustly unequivocally, but people definitely could and some doubtlessly would still do them. (In fact we would all continue to act unjustly at times, if for most of us in small ways.)