Friday, 9 November 2018

nasty, brutish and short

Building off of a long tradition of social contracts and utilitarianism, philosopher John Rawls developed his original position hypothesis as a thought experiment in order to temper our thinking towards discourse and a way from a savage state of nature as the impetus for the polis and social conventions, introducing the heuristic tool of a “veil of ignorance” in order to gauge the morality and empathy of policy decisions.
Perhaps we do slide into anarchy but order and concord are not the consequence of chaos necessarily. Politicians and decision-makers, donning this veil, become blind to their place in the hierarchy and don’t know if they will fall into the category of haves or have-nots, until the veil is lifted, and would in theory make equitable decisions that maximises welfare for all, regardless of where they fall on the spectrum. One can immediately appreciate the urgency of justice and equanimity should one be weighing decisions with the insight of ignorance that disfavours or privileges the rights of the enslaved over slave-owners and vice versa.