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Who's in the Video

Michael Walzer

Michael Walzer is one of America's leading political philosophers. He is a professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey and editor of Dissent, a left-wing[…]

Walzer equates justice with equality.

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