Michael Walzer: What is justice?

Walzer equates justice with equality.
  • Transcript


Question: What is justice?

Michael Walzer: Well, again coming at this from left perspective, I connect justice with equality. So legal justice means equality before the law; it means that wealth or family connection or celebrity fame doesn’t bring you special treatment, which means legal justice is rare in the world, but that’s the conception of legal justice. Political justice means one person one vote; it means right of opposition; it means free speech, freedom of assembly; it means all of those features of citizenship that make a democratic politics possible. And social justice is equality of opportunity, the openness of the social system, and of the economic system to ambition and competence, and it means the absence of such great inequalities as distort legal justice and political justice. Recorded on: 2/27/08