What we generally mean by justice is actually fairness. We live in a society where order is held by common rules and standards; and as a result, trust, trade and co-operation are facilitated for the benefit of the majority. Fairness lies at the core of these rules–it is a natural instinct that helps us divide benefits in a way that keeps the majority happy…a sense for what’s “right”.

Justice isn’t fairness–it’s the enforcement of fairness, be that within or without the law. It’s not a thing in itself but rather something that one does. Furthermore, justice is only desired by the weak. The strong take by breaking the unwritten rules of fairness. If the strong are harmed, they will seek retribution for it is within their means to do so. If the weak are harmed, they will seek retribution through justice for direct retribution is inaccessible to them. Justice is what protects the weak from the strong through the enforcement of fairness.

Share on Twitter Facebook Email

“For even falsehood, uttered by the tongue of man, seemed like truth and light before this hopelessly-deaf and unresponsive silence.”

My new book: a translation of selected short stories by Leonid Andreyev, the father of Russian Expressionism from the Silver Age of Russian literature. A piercing, pitiless glance into the heart of the human condition.

☛ Read online

Further Reading

Proust wrote that the true voyage of discovery is not to visit strange lands, but to possess other eyes, to behold a hundred universes that each of them beholds. Thus, in the words of Ruskin, what good books give us is not mere knowledge, but sight.

Sign up to my email newsletter to receive regular recommendations of exceptional books on a wide range of topics including design, art, history and philosophy. A summary of latest site updates will also be included. Sign up below: