Justice – The Burden of the Modern State

“What is just?” is obviously one of the most-asked questions in the political history of the world. Its answer is, in principle, impossible. Many of us have often wondered how it is possible for a certain politician or ruler to be so ignorant and incapable of the position he holds. And to embody in such an amazing and incontrovertible way the definition of “remarkably stupid.” People often say that it is not fair for “remarkably stupid” politicians to be elected and to exercise delegated representative power of that sort that characterizes the government in modern states. I don’t agree with this.

The personal qualities and abilities of modern rulers have only an indirect influence in defining and achieving a certain state of political justice. The world is full of examples of intellectually significant but corrupt political minds who have brought a great deal of misery to the societies over which they have had the opportunity to exercise power. Political justice is a group perception, a group decision, and a group condition. All three of these are a function of the attitudes, views, and expectations in a society.

Justice in the modern state is not a static moral category, but a dynamic state, a function of public agreement. Public agreement itself is not static, either. It changes according to the current situation. Nowadays, political justice is determined dynamically by three factors: the constitution, the laws in effect, and the current state of public consensus on a given issue. Because constitutions are change-resistant documents, and laws, at least in theory, do not change often, the only variable in determining the state of political justice is passively or actively expressed public agreement.

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