Critique of A Theory of Justice (Part 1)

I am in the process of reading John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice. What strikes me is his assumption of the world being fixed. That individuals do not change with time as they grow and experience more. His distribution of wealth is similarly fixed in time and is bequeathed by random chance. The purpose of his conception of justice is to nullify “the accidents of natural endowment.”

In a statistical economic framework, individuals maximize their entropy-freedom, based upon the constraints that they are given.  When we look at the society from a wider veil of ignorance, one where we as the framers of the society are unable to uniquely identify the individual members, we treat those individuals the same. They have different knowledge, characteristics, and allotment of resources. They act with their full knowledge, the sort that Hayek calls practical knowledge. What is uniform is our ignorance of their specific and uniquely identifiable features.  This is very different from Rawls. He assumed that we ignored our ability. We are here allowing it, not denying it.  This has some fundamental impacts on the outcome. Continue reading