Thursday, 7 August 2014

Rawls's Aristotelian principle & Political conceptions of Justice

In his first and most famous book, Rawls sought to show that Justice as Fairness was also part of the 'Good' by appealing to the following 'Aristotelian Principle' which states that every mugger naturally wants to become a Moriarty, every con-man wants to become a Bernie Madoff, and, by the magic of Metanoia, every Prof. of Political Science wants to end his days spouting shite more obviously shite than he did at the commencement of her career- i.e. a person's good consists in wanting to do qualitatively more and more of what they are good at and actually that's a good thing coz Moriarty is more interesting than a mugger (because he teaches us something about hidden linkages in our Society) Madoff less morally interesting than  a two bit hustler(hence, better for mechanism design) and it's always good to know that Professors- who, after all, are only a superior  type of child-minder- end up with their own nappies full of shit.

The Evolutionary Stable regret minimizing multiplicative update algorithm essentially says that we should want to live in a Society where the Aristotleian principle is enabled for everybody- i.e. Aumann agreement is disabled- such that every Sherlock has a Moriarty- i.e. no randomness is distinguishable from two quite different types of pseudo randomness- and, anyway, Moriarty, as we all know, was actually a Professor.
So was Rawls- worse luck.
In 'Justice as Fairness reconsidered', Rawls restricts the scope of his idea to the sort of Political Philosophy being done in certain sorts of Liberal Democracies where, coz people haven't yet read Sen's 'Idea of Justice', 'ideal type analysis' is still cool. In other words, Rawls basically says 'guys, I got it wrong. Justice as Fairness is nothing but a textual availability cascade and the only reason not to junk it is because it happens to be the most ubiquitous junk food for thought of our time- at least if you are a pretentious little turd from a highly specific and Entitled coterie of fuckwitted assholes.'
The paradox here is that Rawls' own 'life- plan' seems to have obeyed the Aristotelian principle. His restriction of Justice-as-Fairness to Political Philosophy of a certain wholly Credentialist and in-utile type- i.e. his refusal to identify it with Evolutionary Game Theory or Mechanism Design- leaves him safe in his play-pen from the perils of thought or the patripassian pangs proper to a progenitor of the Cavalry of the Capabilities Approach which has nailed Left Liberalism to the Cross of  Steady State Stupidity.
Early Rawls can shade into mystical theodicy- it illuminates such dark sayings as 'can two walk the same road- save they are agreed?' whose dual is 'Can there be Evil in the City, and the Lord has not done it?- but later Rawls- stuff like 'overlapping consensus' & 'reasonable pluralism'- is exhausted committee room jargon long after the rending of the Veil, the day of wrath, has come and gone, and the only outcome is that all language has been unified but only to show the true Apocalypse is Disenchantment- nothing is left of the City save its futile Utopian philosophizing whose practice is punitively enforced by the impossibility of hemlock.

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