Mixed signals and reversals cloud second day of G-7 summit. A summit of world leaders devolved into a confusing spectacle on Sunday when President Trump signaled regret for his trade war with China only to have the White House reverse his position hours later.
Aug 23, France tries to orchestrate a no-drama G-7 summit, but Trump is the X factor. Already, President Trump has shaken up the G-7 summit schedule, calling at the last minute for a special meeting Sunday morning to discuss the global economy.
Aug 22, How the Trump administration muzzled mental health experts after El Paso and Dayton. When President Trump targeted mental illness as the cause of the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton that killed 31 people, federal health officials made sure no government experts might contradict him.
Trump advisers mulling a payroll tax cut to help middle class. The White House is eyeing a temporary cut in the payroll tax as one way to stave off the looming recession.
The talks are still in their early stages and have included a range of other tax breaks. Experts say banning high-capacity magazines would make mass shootings less deadly. With the pace of mass shootings accelerating — and their tolls dramatically increasing — criminologists and reform advocates are more intently focused on limiting access to high-capacity magazines as one of the most potent ways to curb the epidemic.
Aug 16, Trump wants to buy Greenland. Two other presidents tried and failed. President Trump has pushed top aides to investigate whether the U. Aug 15, An autopsy found that Jeffrey Epstein sustained multiple breaks in his neck bones, deepening the mystery about the circumstances around his death. The Chinese government hopes threats of violence will disperse Hong Kong protesters. China is threatening to use force in Hong Kong, hoping that threats alone will disperse the mass protests, as students and others who yearn for freedom make plans to continue protesting once universities resume classes next month.
How Trump is undermining the Endangered Species Act. New rules will allow the administration to reduce the amount of habitat set aside for wildlife and remove critical tools that officials use to predict future harm to species as the result of climate change. Corrections officers did not check on Epstein for several hours before his death. Aug 9, Trump shakes up the top ranks of the intelligence community.
President Trump said in a tweet last night that he will name Joseph Maguire, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, as the acting director of national intelligence, following his aborted effort to install a political loyalist. Aug 8, The mother of the El Paso shooting suspect called the police weeks before he allegedly opened fire.
To work, red flag systems require someone to raise them. But that may not be enough. El Paso massacre casts new light on the threat within. The United States employs an arsenal of armed forces, unmanned drones and intelligence agencies to contain Islamist terrorism. No comparable array of national power has been directed against the threat emerging from the far right. Lots of criticism going around after weekend massacres.
After two mass slayings, the question surrounding the president is no longer whether he will respond as other presidents once did, but whether his words contributed to the carnage. Aug 2, In a deal with the Taliban, the U. The Trump administration is preparing to withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan in exchange for concessions from the Taliban, including a cease-fire and a renunciation of al-Qaeda, as part of an initial deal to end the nearly year-old war.
Aug 1, Joe Biden hit from all sides on second night of Democratic debates in Detroit. Joe Biden tried in Detroit last night to regain his footing by adopting a more aggressive and combative posture during a Democratic presidential debate. Revolutionaries best those calling for evolution in Democratic debate in Detroit. It has been building since the first primary debate in Miami ended, and at last night's debate it broke out into the open: a full-scale ideological brawl about the direction of the Democratic Party and what it will take to defeat President Trump in Two U.
John Ratcliffe R-Tex. Jul 26, Iran joins Russia in disinformation efforts against U. American voters are likely to be targeted in the coming campaign season by more foreign disinformation than ever before, say those studying such operations. Jul 25, Mueller testimony is damning for Trump, but it will not change the political dynamic. Mueller appeared confused at times, stumbling over his answers and frequently imploring his questioners to repeat their queries.
Justice Department launches antitrust probe of tech giants. Trump bypassing immigration judges to speed up deportations creates due process concerns.
The Trump administration today will significantly expand its power to quickly deport undocumented immigrants who have illegally entered the United States within the past two years, using a fast-track deportation process that bypasses immigration judges. Two Baptist pastors in North Carolina handled the Trump rally different from the pulpit. Jul 19, For the past 15 months, Duran was held in a U.
Jul 18, More evidence of bad behavior toward women by Trump. NBC taped the event and aired the footage on Wednesday. The video shows Trump grabbing dancing cheerleaders and socializing with Jeffrey Epstein, who was arrested last week. He was 99 years old. A handful of Republican lawmakers spoke out against the comments. But most have stayed quiet. Mulvaney is building a fiefdom as acting White House chief of staff.
Mick Mulvaney wields a growing influence over the White House. Jul 12, Jul 11, Tensions between Trump and Pelosi cause uncertainty on debt ceiling and trade votes. Jolted by a new report that shows the Treasury Department running out of cash much faster than previously forecasted, the White House is pushing congressional leaders to strike a spending deal and increase the debt limit in the next two or three weeks.
District Judge Jesse Furman denied the legal bid to do so. Unvetted labor secretary back in hot seat after Jeffrey Epstein indictment. The new sex trafficking charges against Jeffrey Epstein, unsealed yesterday, allege that the billionaire abused dozens of young girls at his Manhattan and Florida homes.
Thousands of facial-recognition requests, internal documents and emails over the past five years reveal that federal investigators have turned state departments of motor vehicles databases into the bedrock of an unprecedented surveillance infrastructure.
Jul 3, Trump administration officials reluctantly concluded that there would not be enough time to continue the census question legal battle and to meet the printing deadlines for the census questionnaire. Trump orders tanks to the Lincoln Memorial for July Fourth celebration. President Trump has asked the Pentagon to marshal a broadening array of military hardware, including tanks and fighter jets, to showcase his planned Fourth of July address to the nation.
Mystery Maltese professor back in spotlight with Barr review of Russia probe origins. Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese-born academic, has not surfaced publicly since , when he told La Republica he was not a secret agent for the Russians.
Now, Trump advisers have suggested he was a Western intelligence plant. Jun 28, Biden bombs and Harris wins round two of the first Democratic debate. Rival Democratic presidential contenders pummeled former vice president Joe Biden with searing, emotional critiques on Thursday night in Miami at round two of the first debate.
Jun 27, First Democratic debate highlights the lurch to the left among candidates. The first debate of the presidential campaign last night offered a pretty clear road map of a new Democratic Party, one that favors a series of ambitious and liberal domestic initiatives.
The immigration wars are killing people. A heartbreaking image from the Associated Press sparked outrage and humanized the extent to which President Trump's policies are putting the lives of many migrants at risk. A black Revolutionary War hero is belatedly honored. James Robinson, a black Revolutionary War hero, was denied his liberty and military honors.
He was finally given a military funeral on Saturday in his adopted hometown of Detroit. Immigrants still in fear after Trump postpones ICE raids. On Saturday, President Trump announced that he is postponing for two weeks the massive ICE raids he himself announced last week. Despite the delay of the raids, immigrant communities are still mobilizing and preparing for potential roundups. Jun 21, Trump ordered an attack on Iran but called it off at the last minute.
President Trump ordered an attack on Iran yesterday in retaliation for the downing of a surveillance drone in the Strait of Hormuz, but he called the operation off just hours before it was due to occur. Jun 20, Biden doubles down on comments about his past work with racist senators as rivals attack. Joe Biden faced a growing backlash Wednesday from prominent Democrats — and a bit of second-guessing within his own campaign — over comments in which he proudly described his history of working hand-in-hand in the Senate with avowed racists.
Jun 19, Palace intrigue inside the Trump reelection campaign as economic storm clouds loom. The president is officially kicking off his bid for a second term tonight with a huge rally in Orlando. Iran threatens to increase its stockpile of enriched uranium as tensions escalate with the U.
Iran threatened overnight to increase its uranium stockpile limit set by the nuclear deal in the next 10 days, amid escalating tensions with the United States and so far unsuccessful European efforts to salvage the deal.
Jun 14, The head of the Office of Special Counsel, which enforces civil service laws, recommended yesterday that White House adviser Kellyanne Conway be removed from office for repeatedly and willfully violating the Hatch Act.
Jun 13, Trump implicitly invites American adversaries to meddle in the election. In an interview with ABC News, President Trump said that he would be open to accepting opposition research on a presidential rival from foreign sources. Trump gets conflicting advice on impeachment, or, as he calls it, the 'I-word'. President Trump is fixated on his belief that he is immune to impeachment because he has done nothing wrong.
The president is intrigued by the notion of impeachment but wary of its practical dangers, one outside adviser says. A Customs and Border Protection data breach shows the danger of mass data collection. NRA money flowed into the pockets of its own board members.
Jun 7, Walmart robots make human workers feel like machines. To Walmart executives, the self-driving floor scrubber is the future of retail automation. They have made a multimillion-dollar bet that advanced robots will optimize operations, cut costs and revolutionize the American superstore. Jun 6, Trump is getting harsher with migrant children as Mexico seeks to avert tariffs.
Joe Biden admits lifting language word for word from industry groups for climate plan. Congress may pass a second resolution of disapproval over national emergency. The president's state visit to Britain this week, the first of his presidency, is missing some of the traditional trappings of past U. May 31, May 30, The Supreme Court takes a cautious path on abortion with Indiana rulings. The opioid trial in Oklahoma everyone is watching. As the first state trial of the opioid epidemic begins in Oklahoma today, families that have lost loved ones to opioid overdoses see a chance to hold drug companies accountable after years of waiting for recompense.
May 24, Trump is prodding generals to give a border wall deal to a major donor. President Trump has personally and repeatedly urged the head of the U. May 23, Trump storms out of infrastructure meeting. President Trump has apparently selected former Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli to be his so-called immigration czar. Trump suffers a courtroom defeat as he orders McGahn to not testify today. In his opening weeks as a presidential candidate, Joe Biden has rejected much of the conventional wisdom that drove the opening stretch of the Democratic nomination fight.
May 17, On the anniversary of Brown v. The Senate yesterday confirmed Wendy Vitter, the wife of a senator turned lobbyist, to a lifetime appointment as a federal judge despite her outspoken hostility to abortion rights as a longtime pro-life activist. May 16, Trump grows angry at his advisers for the growing talk of Iran regime change.
President Trump is frustrated with some of his top advisers, who he thinks could rush the United States into a military confrontation with Iran and shatter his long-standing pledge to withdraw from costly foreign wars. Alabama advances the most restrictive abortion ban in America. It makes no exceptions for victims of rape and incest, and the state's Republican governor is expected to swiftly sign it.
The White House considers a plan that would send , troops to the Middle East. Scientists will get their hands on a new set of untouched moon rocks for the first time. Now, NASA is releasing three new moon rock samples for analysis. May 10, Trade war escalates after no deal is reached. May 9, Donald Trump Jr. Iran backs away from the nuclear deal in retaliation for new U.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that his country is taking steps to halt its compliance with elements of the landmark nuclear deal in response to Trump pulling out of the accord and stiffening sanctions on Tehran.
Trump tariff threats widen rift with Senate Republicans. Pro-free-trade senators have tried private meetings with President Trump, op-eds in prominent newspapers and other tactics to warn Trump away from a new round of tariffs on foreign cars and auto parts.
A cease-fire in Gaza after the worst weekend of violence in five years. Armed factions in Gaza said that they have agreed to a cease-fire with Israel that took hold in the early hours of Monday morning, after militants fired more than rockets toward Israel this weekend. Israel responded with major airstrikes.
May 3, Trump just quietly rolled back the rules written to prevent another BP oil spill. With little fanfare, the Trump administration has dramatically weakened offshore drilling safeguards that were put in place after the explosion on the BP Deepwater Horizon oil platform. May 2, Bill Barr faces a contempt citation as he blows off the House.
Mueller was mad at Barr for how he initially handled his report. A rabbi finishes a sermon that was interrupted by gunfire. On the final day of a major Jewish holiday, at a synagogue near San Diego, a year-old man with an assault rifle and apparent anti-Semitic views opened fire, leaving one dead and three injured, authorities said.
Apr 26, Apr 25, Joe Biden launches his campaign for president. Joe Biden made it official this morning. He launched his third campaign for the presidency with an announcement posted on YouTube. Trump says he opposes any cooperation with congressional investigations. Easter bombings were retaliation for New Zealand mosque massacre, Sri Lanka says. Three hotels and three churches were attacked by suicide bombers belonging to the radical Islamist group National Thowheed Jamaath.
Apr 19, Mueller report paints a damning portrait of Trump. Apr 18, Mueller report will be lightly redacted on obstruction evidence, sources say. Legal filings provide new details about the events surrounding the deadly assault of Army Staff Sgt. Logan J. Paris weeps after the fire at Notre Dame. Notre Dame, completed in the 14th century, has withstood the test of time and the assault of history. In his remarks to a grieving nation close to midnight on Monday, President Emmanuel Macron promised to rebuild the cathedral.
Sanders feuded with the Center For American Progress, an influential liberal think tank that is aligned with the Hillary Clinton wing of the party. Apr 12, White House officials have proposed transporting detained immigrants to sanctuary cities at least twice in the past six months. Apr 11, Ecuador evicts Julian Assange, who is now in British custody.
DHS purge continues as Miller pushes new immigration policy changes. President Trump's increasingly erratic behavior over the past 12 days has alarmed top Republicans, business officials and foreign leaders. They fear that he might exacerbate problems at the border, harm the U. Secret Service Director Randolph D. President Trump announced yesterday that Kirstjen Nielsen has resigned as secretary of homeland security.
Kevin McAleenan, the commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, will replace her on an acting basis. Apr 5, Trump maneuvering behind the scenes to try keeping his tax returns secret. Apr 4, Members of the Mueller team are angry at Barr for holding back their findings. Trump is struggling to figure out a coherent domestic agenda. President Trump has left his advisers and GOP lawmakers reeling from policy whiplash in recent days. White House whistleblower says dozens of security clearance denials were overturned.
Tricia Newbold, a White House security adviser, told the House Oversight Committee that 25 people were given access to national security information despite concerns about ties to foreign influence and questionable or criminal conduct. Mar 29, Documents show how much Trump inflated his net worth. Mar 28, Attorney General William Barr said it would take, at a minimum, weeks before lawmakers can see an edited version of the report, making it clear that the Justice Department will not meet the April 2 deadline that Democrats set.
Barbara Bush blamed Trump for her heart attack. Trump unconcerned with food stamp crisis in Puerto Rico. President Trump has privately signaled he will not approve any additional help for Puerto Rico beyond the food-stamp money, setting up a congressional showdown with Democrats who have pushed for more expansive help for the island. Mar 22, Mar 21, New Zealand bans assault rifles after mosque attacks. Why the Trump administration keeps losing in court.
Federal judges have ruled against the Trump administration at least 63 times over the past two years. President Trump has a long history of disparaging Muslims and other minorities, while simultaneously refusing to forcefully condemn white supremacy and violent nationalism. New Zealand moving swiftly to pass gun control after mosque shooting. Mar 15, Terror attacks at mosques in New Zealand. Forty-nine people are dead and scores more are seriously injured after a heavily armed gunman clad in military-style gear opened fire during prayers at a mosque in the center of Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday.
Mar 14, President Trump announced the abrupt about-face Wednesday, after U. Several coaches fired over college admissions scandal. Fifty people were charged yesterday with allegedly participating in a multimillion-dollar scheme to get their children admitted to prestigious colleges.
President Trump and his advisers are launching a behemoth campaign operation combining his raw populist message from with a massive data-gathering and get-out-the-vote push aimed at dwarfing any previous presidential reelection effort.
Mar 8, Paul Manafort gets a surprisingly lenient sentence. Legal experts generally expected Judge T. Ellis to sentence Manafort to somewhere below the suggested range of 19 to 24 years in prison. But many were shocked by how little time the Ronald Reagan appointee gave the former Reagan campaign staffer. Mar 7, House Democrats splinter over whether to rebuke Ilhan Omar.
Omar suggested last week that supporters of Israel here have an "allegiance to a foreign country. Fresh fallout from Michael Cohen's testimony.
House Democrats request documents from more than 80 people as probes intensify. Iciness between Bernie and Hillary in Selma. Several Democratic presidential hopefuls came to Selma, Ala. But, for much of the day, the focus was on past candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Mar 1, Trump demanded Jared Kushner get a security clearance despite objections from his own chief of staff. Some foreign officials, whose communications were intercepted by U.
President Trump said the main impediment to a deal was Kim Jong Un's requirement that the United States lift all economic sanctions on North Korea in exchange for the closure of only one North Korean nuclear facility. Elena Kagan is the justice to watch in Peace Cross case. White House launching effort to challenge science on climate change.
The National Security Council initiative would include hand-picked scientists who have questioned both the severity of climate change and the extent to which humans contribute to the problem. Feb 22, Federal judge says plea deal negotiated by labor secretary violated the law. The ruling is a stinging rebuke for prosecutors and how they behaved in the grim, high-profile Jeffrey Epstein case. But in addition to its being insufficiently justified, this theory of justice would justify too much.
For example, what would prevent its involving a justification of slavery, if the alternative for the slaves were death as enemies in a state of nature? Even apart from the issue of slavery, in the absence of any substantive human rights, minorities in civil society might be denied any set of civil liberties, such as the right to adopt religious practices to which they feel called in conscience.
As a transition between Hobbes and Hume, brief mention can be made of John Locke, the most important political philosopher between them. The reason he is not being considered at length here is that he does not offer a distinctive general theory of justice. In order to protect such property rights, people agree to a social contract that moves them from that state of nature to a state of political society, with government established to enforce the law.
Another great social contract theorist between Hobbes and Hume who is worth mentioning here again he gives us no distinctive theory of justice is Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In The Social Contract , he maintains that, in a well-ordered society, the general will rather than the will of any individual or group of individuals must prevail.
True freedom in society requires following the general will, and those who do not choose to do so can legitimately be forced to do so. A human being is allegedly so transformed by the move from the state of nature to that of civil society as to become capable of such genuine freedom as will allow each citizen to consent to all the laws out of deference to the common good.
Like Hobbes, Hume is a radical empiricist and a determinist who is skeptical of justice as an objective, absolute virtue. Any virtue, he maintains, is desirable in that it provides us with the pleasant feeling of approval; and any vice, including that of injustice, is undesirable in that it provides us with the painful sense of disapproval. Hume offers us a unique and fascinating argument to prove his point.
He imagines four hypothetical scenarios, in which either human nature would be radically different utterly altruistic or brutally selfish or our environment would be so with everything we desire constantly and abundantly available or so destitute that hardly anyone could survive , allegedly showing that, in each of them, justice would not be a virtue at all.
His conclusion is that justice is only a virtue because, relative to reality, which is intermediate among these extremes, it is beneficial to us as members of society. He holds a very conservative view of property rights, in that, normally, people should be allowed to keep what they already have acquired. The rationale for such principles of international justice is that they reduce the horrors of war and facilitate the advantages of peace.
Yet the rules of justice that are normally conducive to public utility are never absolute and can be legitimately contravened where following them would seem to do more harm than good to our society. Whether that is or is not the case in specific circumstances becomes a judgment call.
Hume is important here because of a convergence of several factors. First, like the Sophists and Hobbes, he makes justice a social construct that is relative to human needs and interests. Second, like Hobbes, he associates it fundamentally with human passions rather than with reason. Third, the virtue of justice and the rules of justice are essentially connected to the protection of private property. And, fourth, he considers public utility to be the sole basis of justice. This theory would prove extremely influential, in that Kant will take issue with it, while utilitarians like Mill will build on its flexibility.
While it may be attractive to allow for exceptions to the rules, this also creates a kind of instability. Is justice merely an instrumental good, having no intrinsic value? If that were the case, then it would make sense to say that the role of reason is simply to calculate the most effective means to our most desirable ends. But then, assuming that our ends were sufficiently desirable, any means necessary to achieve them would presumably be justifiable—so that, morally and politically, anything goes, in principle, regardless how revolting.
Is this the best we can do in our pursuit of an adequate theory of justice? As justice is both a moral and a political virtue, helping to prescribe both a good character and right conduct, the question of how such obligations arise is crucial.
But, then, what is the logical link here? Why should we, morally speaking, act for the sake of agreeableness and utility? For Kant, the reason we should choose to do what is right has nothing to do with good consequences. It is merely because it is the right thing to do. Then we shall consider the utilitarian response to this, as developed by the philosopher who is, arguably, the greatest consequentialist of modern times, John Stuart Mill, who, as an empiricist, like Hobbes and Hume, will make what is right a function of what is good.
Even though he was not convinced by it, Kant was sufficiently disturbed by it that he committed decades to trying to answer it, creating a revolutionary new philosophical system in order to do so. This system includes, but is far from limited to, a vast, extensive practical philosophy, comprising many books and essays, including a theory of justice. It is well known that this practical philosophy—including both his ethical theory and socio-political philosophy—is the most renowned example of deontology from the Greek, meaning the study or science of duty.
Justice categorically requires a respect for the right, regardless of inconvenient or uncomfortable circumstances and regardless of desirable and undesirable consequences.
On this view, matters of right will be equally applicable to all persons as potentially autonomous rational agents, regardless of any contingent differences, of gender, racial or ethnic identity, socio-economic class status, and so forth. If Kant can pull this off, it will take him further in the direction of equality of rights than any previous philosopher considered here.
For the dignity of all persons, rendering them intrinsically valuable and worthy of respect, is a function of their capacity for moral autonomy. In his Metaphysics of Morals , Kant develops his ethical system, beyond this foundation, into a doctrine of right and a doctrine of virtue. The former comprises strict duties of justice, while the latter comprises broader duties of merit. Obviously, it is the former category, duties we owe all other persons, regardless of circumstances and consequences, that concerns us here, justice being a matter of strict right rather than one of meritorious virtue.
In his Metaphysical Elements of Justice , which constitutes the first part of his Metaphysics of Morals , Kant develops his theory of justice. To say that we have duties of justice to other persons is to indicate that they have rights, against us, that we should perform those duties—so that duties of justice and rights are correlative. Kant distinguishes between natural or private justice, on the one hand, and civil or public justice, on the other.
He has an intricate theory of property rights, which we can only touch upon here. We can claim, in the name of justice, to have rights to a physical property, such as your car, b the performance of a particular deed by another person, such as the auto shop keeping its agreement to try to fix your car, and c certain characteristics of interpersonal relationships with those under our authority, such as obedient children and respectful servants.
Someone who steals your car or the auto mechanic who has agreed to fix it and then fails to try to do so is doing you an injustice. Children, as developing but dependent persons, have a right to support and care from their parents; but, in turn, they owe their parents obedience while under their authority. Children are not the property of their parents and must never be treated like things or objects; and, when they have become independent of their parents, they owe them nothing more than gratitude.
Similarly, a master must respect a servant as a person. While the master has authority over the servant, that must never be viewed as ownership or involve abuse. This all concerns private or natural justice, having to do with the securing of property rights.
Next let us next consider how Kant applies his theory of justice to the problem of crime and punishment, in the area of public or civil justice, involving protective, commutative, and distributive justice, the requirements of which can be legitimately enforced by civil society.
When a person commits a crime, that involves misusing freedom to infringe the freedom of others or to violate their rights. Thus the criminal forfeits the right to freedom and can become a legitimate prisoner of the state.
A third application to consider here is that of war. Unlike Hobbes, he does not see this as a basis for all moral duty. It does account for the obligation we have to the state and other citizens. But states have duties to other states, so that there is an international law of nations.
Even though different states, in the absence of international law, are in a natural condition of a state of war, as Hobbes thought, he was wrong to think that, in that state, anything rightly goes and that there is no justice. War is bad, and we should try to minimize the need for it, although Kant is not a pacifist and can justify it for purposes of self-defense. What shall we critically say about this theory? First, it argues for a sense of justice in terms of objective, non-arbitrary right—against, say, Hobbes and Hume.
To focus the issue, ask the question, why should we be just? For Plato, this is the way to achieve the fulfillment of a well-ordered soul. For Aristotle, the achievement and exercising of moral virtue is a necessary condition of human flourishing. For Hobbes, practicing justice is required by enlightened self-interest. For Hume, even though our being just may not benefit us directly all the time, it is conducive to public utility or the good of the society of which we are members.
But for each of these claims, we can ask, so what? If any combination of these claims were to turn out to be correct, we could still legitimately ask why we should therefore be just. His theory as we have considered it here is a paradigmatic example of the view of justice being advocated in this article, as essentially requiring respect for persons as free, rational agents.
Kant represents the very sort of bourgeois conception of justice against which Marx and Engels protest in their call, in The Communist Manifesto, for a socialistic revolution. Marx explains the ideal of socio-economic equality he advocates with the famous slogan that all should be required to contribute to society to the extent of their abilities and all should be allowed to receive from society in accordance with their needs.
John Stuart Mill, a nineteenth-century English philosopher, was aware of the call for a Communist revolution and advocated progressive liberal reform as an alternative path to political evolution. Whereas Kant was the first great deontologist, Mill subscribed to the already established tradition of utilitarianism.
Near the end of his life, Mill observed that it was the closest thing to a religion in which his father raised him. And, if he was not the founder of this secular religion, he clearly became its most effective evangelist.
But what is deceptive about this is the notion that we can sufficiently anticipate future consequences to be able to predict where our actions will lead us. Notice, also, that unlike Kantian deontology, which makes what is right independent of good consequences, utilitarianism makes the former a function of the latter.
We have already discerned what the former concept means and now need to elucidate the latter. People commonly associate all of these with justice, and they do seem to represent legitimate aspects of the virtue. Therefore there purportedly cannot be any genuine conflict between utility and justice. If there ever were circumstances in which slavery were truly useful to humanity, then presumably it would be just; the reason it is typically unjust is that it violates utility.
The main goal here is to reduce justice to social utility, in such a way as to rule out, by definition, any ultimate conflict between the two.
Thus, the social role played by our sense of justice is allegedly that it serves the common good. The problem Mill sets for himself here is where to draw a reasonable line between areas in which society can rightly proscribe behavior and those in which people should be allowed the freedom to do as they will. It is not acceptable to use power against others to stop them from hurting only themselves. Mill candidly admits that this principle is reasonably feasible only with regard to mature, responsible members of civilized societies—not to children or to the insane or even necessarily to primitive peoples who cannot make informed judgments about their own true good.
He seems confident that utility will always require that freedom be protected in these areas ibid. Let us now see how Mill applies his utilitarian theory to three problems of justice that are still timely today. First of all, the issue of punishment is one he considers in Utilitarianism , though his discussion is aimed at considering alternative accounts rather than conclusively saying what he himself thinks we might also observe that, in this short passage, he attacks the social contract theory as a useless fiction ibid.
As a utilitarian, he favors the judicious use of punishment in order to deter criminal activity. In , as an elected member of Parliament, he made a famous speech in the House of Commons supporting capital punishment on utilitarian grounds.
Although it is clear that he would like to be able to support a bill for its abolition, the lawful order of society, a necessary condition of societal well-being, requires this means of deterring the most heinous crimes, such as aggravated murder. He even thinks it a quicker, more humane punishment than incarcerating someone behind bars for the rest of his life.
Thus his utilitarian theory provides him with a basis for supporting capital punishment as morally justifiable. A second famous application of his utilitarian theory of justice Mill makes is to the issue of equal opportunity for women. Here, again, we have an issue of social justice to which his utilitarian theory is applied, generating liberal conclusions. Our third issue of application is that of international non-intervention. Although defensive wars can be justifiable, aggressive ones are not.
It can be justifiable to go to war without being attacked or directly threatened with an attack, for example, to help civilize a barbarian society, which, as such, allegedly has no rights. All of this is presumably a function of utilitarian welfare.
Once more, a still timely moral issue has been addressed using the utilitarian theory of justice. These applications all plausibly utilize the values and reasoning of utilitarianism, which, by its very nature, must be consequentialist. Surely, the premium he places on human happiness is admirable, as is his universal perspective, which views all humans as counting. The problem is in his assumptions that all values are relative to consequences, that human happiness is the ultimate good, and that this reduces to the maximization of pleasure and the minimization of pain.
From its founding, American political thought had an enduring focus on justice. After considering the formidable contributions of Rawls to justice theory and some of its applications, we shall conclude this survey with a brief treatment of several post-Rawlsian alternatives. A key focus that will distinguish this section from previous ones is the effort to achieve a conception of justice that strikes a reasonable balance between liberty and equality.
This led to a greatly developed book version, A Theory of Justice , published in , arguably the most important book of American philosophy published in the second half of the last century.
He also makes it clear early on that he means to present his theory as a preferable alternative to that of utilitarians. If you must decide on what sort of society you could commit yourself to accepting as a permanent member and were not allowed to factor in specific knowledge about yourself—such as your gender, race, ethnic identity, level of intelligence, physical strength, quickness and stamina, and so forth—then you would presumably exercise the rational choice to make the society as fair for everyone as possible, lest you find yourself at the bottom of that society for the rest of your life.
He emphasizes the point that these principles rule out as unjust the utilitarian justification of disadvantages for some on account of greater advantages for others, since that would be rationally unacceptable to one operating under the veil of ignorance. Again, this is anti-utilitarian, in that no increase in socio-economic benefits for anyone can ever justify anything less than maximum equality of rights and duties for all.
Thus, for example, if enslaving a few members of society generated vastly more benefits for the majority than liabilities for them, such a bargain would be categorically ruled out as unjust. Friday 10 April Saturday 11 April Sunday 12 April Monday 13 April Tuesday 14 April Wednesday 15 April Friday 17 April Saturday 18 April Sunday 19 April Monday 20 April Tuesday 21 April Wednesday 22 April Thursday 23 April Friday 24 April Saturday 25 April Sunday 26 April Monday 27 April Tuesday 28 April Wednesday 29 April Thursday 30 April Friday 1 May Saturday 2 May Sunday 3 May Monday 4 May Tuesday 5 May Wednesday 6 May Thursday 7 May Friday 8 May Saturday 9 May Sunday 10 May Monday 11 May Tuesday 12 May Wednesday 13 May Thursday 14 May Friday 15 May Saturday 16 May Sunday 17 May Monday 18 May Tuesday 19 May Wednesday 20 May Thursday 21 May Friday 22 May Saturday 23 May Sunday 24 May Monday 25 May Tuesday 26 May Wednesday 27 May Thursday 28 May Friday 29 May Saturday 30 May Sunday 31 May Monday 1 June Contributed to The Globe and Mail.
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Show comments.May 04, · Hailing from Virginia/D.C., No Justice existed for an all too short time in the late 90's, recording this 7inch. I still think the Memories of Tomorrow comp track, Political Scheme, sounds slightly different than this version. But alas, this is it.