A Theory of Justice by John Rawls is, of course, the Ultimate Redistribution Bible of the Universe. I believe Rawls was still teaching at Harvard while Obama was in law school there, and it would be interesting if someone could find out if the two ever had any personal contact or conversation. The entire contemporary Democrat Party in America is lurching in the direction of the “Justice As Fairness” nonsense that Rawls advocated. They worship A Theory of Justice in the way that Paul Wellstone did.
Of course, Rawls’ colleague at Harvard, Robert Nozick, wrote the refutation of A Theory of Justice that conservatives should be blaring from the trumpets every waking day – Anarchy, State and Utopia. The argument against income redistribution therein – the so called “Wilt Chamberlain Argument” – is so instantly powerful that any Republican politician who could articulate it in simple, plain language would probably eliminate tax increases forever. There is simply no rational answer that Obama, Barney Frank, or anyone else could cook up.
I quote the first two paragraphs of Anarchy, State and Utopia here in the hope that some elected official somewhere will get the Republican Party in gear, and fast:
“Individuals have rights, and there are things no person or group may do to them (without violating their rights). So strong and far reaching are these rights that they raise the question of what, if anything, the state and its officials may do. How much room do individual rights leave for the state? The nature of the state, its legitimate functions and its justifications, if any, is the central concern of this book; a wide and diverse variety of topics intertwine in the course of our investigation.
Our main conclusions about the state are that a minimal state, limited to the narrow functions of protection against force, theft, fraud, enforcement of contracts, and so on, is justified; that any more extensive state will violate persons’ rights not to be forced to do certain things, and is unjustified; and that the minimal state is as inspiring as it is right. Two noteworthy implications are that the state may not use its coercive apparatus for the purpose of getting some citizens to aid others, or in order to prohibit activities to people for their *own* good or protection.”