Social Question

rawrgrr's avatar

What would make our society more "just?"?

Asked by rawrgrr (1565points) June 7th, 2012

I need to give a presentation at school about what makes a just society. First I would like to explore some of the biggest problems we face today in society that make it “unjust.” For example some would like to believe that communism is the most just while others a democracy. I think the most just society is one in which everyone can do whatever they want without interfering with other’s free will which I think covers almost every law we have and seems to me like the most fair for everybody.

Anyways I would just like to know what the biggest problems that we face today that make our society (US, Canada) unjust. For example some would say the overwhelming amount of security being forced on citizens for their “safety,” or how there are so many homeless, much poverty, the banning of marijuana… etc. What do you think would make our society more just and fair to everybody?

Thanks! Any help is appreciated!

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15 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

The excessive love of money. Edit: I mean that is a problem.

thorninmud's avatar

Something has to be done to weaken the link between money and political influence. We’re now facing the very situation that Theodore Roosevelt warned about:

”[these men] combine to bring about as much financial stress as possible, in order to discredit the policy of the government and thereby secure a reversal of that policy, so that they may enjoy unmolested the fruits of their own evil-doing. . . I regard this contest as one to determine who shall rule this free country—the people through their governmental agents, or a few ruthless and domineering men whose wealth makes them peculiarly formidable because they hide behind the breastworks of corporate organization.”

flutherother's avatar

1. Reduce the prison population which is 2.25 million and rising and 70% black.
2. Cease drone strikes on countries with whom we are not at war.
3. Stop locking people up without a trial.
4. Introduce a more equitable system of taxation to stop the rich getting richer and the poor poorer.
5. Review the political process to establish a government that is more representative of the people and less representative of big business and lobby groups.

Linda_Owl's avatar

My hat is off to @flutherother for putting the problems with America in 5 easy to understand statements!!

wundayatta's avatar

Provide equal access to education for everyone.
Provide a minimum level access to health insurance for everyone.
Use the tax code to reduce inequities in income distribution in the country.
Provide equal access to marriage for everyone.
Eliminate the use of war and covert operations as a means of conducting foreign policy.
Eliminate subsidies for the rich to live in flood prone areas.
Eliminate subsides for the rich to emit greenhouse gasses and other pollutants into our air.
Eliminate subsidies that allow farmers to dump fertilizers into our streams.
Change the constitution so that corporations are no longer people, thus removing their so-called “right” to free speech.

Aethelflaed's avatar

We could move away from a justice system that is conceptualized as existing to discipline wrongdoers, and instead move towards one that is based on helping victims and rehabilitating those who harm others.

ETpro's avatar

I salute all that @Blackberry, @thorninmud, @flutherother said. The USA now imprisons a far greater percentage of its citizens than do the most autocratic dictators on earth. We are way abck in education, R&D, infrastructure, and health care now. But we are the world leaders in locking up our own citizens. Sad.

I’m with @wundayatta except that there is really no Constitutional Amendment required to take away “corporations are people” because that’s nowhere to found in the Constitution. It’s a fiction the right-wing corporatist justices on the Court dreamed up to forward their agenda of a government “Of the people, by the corporations and for the corporations.” Corporations as they exist today were not even around when the Founders wrote the Constitution and approved the Bill of Rights; so it’s pretty clear that when Justices Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas, and Breyer claimed they saw that in there, they were simply lying. The Con Man court sees its job as deciding what they want the constitution to say, then twisting themselves into logical pretzels sufficiently convoluted to find what they are looking for.

foraginggirl's avatar

A “just” society to me is a free society. “Justice” is interpreted by the society. An adulterer’s punishment in North American society is divorce. An adulterer’s punishment in an eastern country could be death by stoning. In both cases, the society feels that it was a just outcome, but each society feels the other society’s solution was unjust.

A just society to me would be to make land un-ownable; rather it would be a right to use only what you personally need (and that level of need is the same for everyone).

It would make food secure and local and everyone’s responsibility.

It would make many jobs voluntary or “public service” like jury duty is. i.e. people would have to rotate doing the jobs that no one wants to do.

A just society would have all orphaned children adopted before any artificially induced pregnancies were allowed.

It would have unhealable criminals (psychopathic serial killers, etc) killed out of mercy and for the good of the society, not out of punishment. Jail would be used to separate dangerous people from the rest of society while they heal, rather than as a punishment for breaking a rule. Only violent, “rehabilitatable” people would be put in jail to heal separately. People who do things that aren’t violent would be given jobs to help the person or persons they harmed.

I could go on and on about my perfect utopian dream of a world. hehe.

Paradox25's avatar

There is no political ideology, new political party, religion, laws or anything else that will make society more ‘just’. The morality of individuals themselves will always be the determining factor over whether any civilization will prevail in a positive way or not. It really does come down to the basics here, treat others the way you would want to be treated. This all starts from day one of childbirth along with the parents/guardians/authority figures involved in that child’s life early on, and throughout the rest of their lives.

@ETpro It never ceases to amaze me how the ‘right’ complains about progressives trying to redefine marriage, but yet they (the right) has little problem redefining the Constitution to suit their own propaganda.

wundayatta's avatar

@ETpro Corporations may not be individuals in the Constitution, but they have been given that right by the interpreters of the Constitution, so it seems to me to take it away, would require a Constitutional Amendment.

or a liberal court willing to overturn precedent.

laureth's avatar

Regarding the original question’s statement: “For example some would like to believe that communism is the most just while others a democracy.” Why not have both? Communism is an economic system (so is capitalism). Democracy is a political system (so is a dictatorship or a monarchy). As such, they are not incompatible: you can be a communist democracy.

That said, I’d like to point out to people that it’s almost impossible to “increase freedom” in a society because the cost of freedom is reciprocal. Allow me to explain. Imagine you have a farmer and a rancher who are neighbors. If the rancher is free to let his cows roam, the farmer must put up a fence around his crops to keep the cows out: increasing the rancher’s freedom decreases the freedom of the farmer. But if we place the onus on the rancher to fence in his pesky cows, the rancher’s freedom is decreased, but the farmer’s freedom is increased. Any way you look at it, there needs to be a fence between the cows and the crops: it’s up to us to decide who loses a little bit of freedom to pay for it.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Capital punishment for a number of wrongdoings!

ETpro's avatar

@wundayatta There was no such “precedent” until the Citizens United decision in 2010. The court reversed the precedent set by Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce (1990) and partially overruled McConnell v. Federal Election Commission (2003).

@laureth Well said. The cost of freedom equation is something political idealists prefer not to compute.

mattbrowne's avatar

Social market economy instead of unrestrained laissez-faire capitalism.

laureth's avatar

Stuff like this isn’t too bad of an idea either.

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