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A Critique of Rawlsian Egalitarian Liberalism

LM Manyeli

Abstract


The problem I address is that of the distribution of wealth for which John Rawls proposes a solution in his theory of justice as fairness. I argue that the nature of Rawls’ two principles of justice is such that they are irreconcilable. The thrust of the essay is that, strictly speaking, Rawls is not an egalitarian. The lexical order of his two principles of justice is such that he cannot be an egalitarian. I argue that while Rawls’ liberalism is in fact not egalitarian, in vain does Rawls attempt to prove that it is egalitarian. That is why he finds himself caught in committing the fallacy of inconsistency.

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