Can Social Justice and Economic Justice Be Considered Together?June 28, 2021
We stated earlier that the basic question of economic justice is about the distribution of wealth and responsibilities, and we sought a reasonable definition of economic justice through the answers to this question. However, we emphasized that we can talk about economic justice in an economic system where distribution is fair.
In fact, it is clearly seen that it is not possible to talk about social justice without economic justice, both in the past and today. However, it may be wrong to understand this as in Del Vecchio’s definition above, that social justice is actually economic justice. Of course, there can be no social justice without economic justice. However, social justice cannot be limited to economic justice alone. Social justice is also a broader understanding of justice that encompasses the legal and political domains. However, social justice cannot be reduced to economic justice in the same way. While social justice includes legal and political justice, economic justice does not include social justice. In other words, it is not enough to define the element of public basic order of the contemporary social state of law only as social justice, “social and economic justice” are the basic elements of this new order. So, social and economic justice can be defined as follows: “It is the provision of a social/political balance through the provision of economic equality between materially (economically) strong and weak public groups (or social classes) in a society” (İzveren 1991, p. 100).
What about social justice discussed above? which will be considered together with the rule of economic justice.
Rule I, which advocates the contribution of everyone’s own physical and human capital, cannot be an understanding of economic justice that can be considered together with social justice. The reason for this can be explained with the concept of “first situation vision” and “veil of obscurity” that John Rawls put forward while talking about the principles of social justice. Let’s remember that in the first case Rawls mentioned, the parties must be free, equal and rational. In addition, the parties will not know anything about their sexual, religious, social and economic identities. However, the first rule both breaks the equality in this first situation and requires awareness on the contrary of obscurity. Therefore, the economic justice that will be valid in the first rule is not an understanding of justice that can be considered together with social justice. In the same way, the winner of the natural lottery II. rule cannot be considered together with social justice. Because the main purpose of social justice is to eliminate the advantageous situations created by the natural lottery. In fact, when we were talking about these rules, we were looking for a reasonable definition of “economic justice”. What was meant by “reasonable” here was a definition of economic justice that could be considered together with social justice. So, only IV, which can be considered together with social justice, foresees distribution according to everyone’s needs. The rule remains. Instead of distribution based on individuals’ sacrifices that are neither heritage, nor structural, nor difficult to measure, an economic distribution that is compatible with everyone’s basic needs is the only distribution that can be defined as fair and can be considered together with social justice. So, how and by whom can this social and economic justice be implemented? This question will be tried to be answered in the next chapter.