No Justice, No Peace

Arguably, the role of the initiate in any position of authority or power, above all else, is to address the overarching injustice that hovers over all of us. Thorough analysis as well as our analysis and exploration of international affairs thus far leads us to an understanding that there is in fact an overarching injustice hovering all of us that needs to be addressed in order to change and progress to take root. As Nelson Mandela said: “As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality exist in our world, none of us can truly rest.” And as John F. Kennedy said: “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”

Hence, the task of addressing the overarching injustice hovering all of us is not something that is solely designated or incumbent upon the poor or the underprivileged or the ones suffering from the injustice. Rather, the task of addressing this overarching injustice hovering over all of us translates into a collaborative effort that requires the effort and participation of all actors and stakeholders in international society, regardless of class or race. In America in particular, not only is there an overarching injustice that hovers over the society as a whole, but there is also an injustice that is innate and inherent within the American system itself. It has been argued that “race and gender both had a notable influence on the development of public administration” in the United States, and that “key actors sought to preserve whiteness and masculinity, allowing these characteristics to be used as a benchmark of what constitutes a public servant.” 

As Cornel West argued, any argument about public administration and law in the United States requires “two sobering facts about the American past and present.” For one, the fact is that “American society is disproportionately shaped by the outlooks, interests and aims of the business community – especially that of big business.” The fact is that: “The sheer power of corporate capital is extraordinary.” It follows that: “This power makes it difficult even to imagine what a free and democratic society would look like (or how it would operate) if there were publicly accountable mechanisms that alleviated the vast disparities in resources, wealth and income owing in part to the vast influence of big business on the U.S. government and its institutions.” 

The second fact pertaining to any argument about American public administration and law is that American society “is a chronically racist, sexist, homophobic and jingoistic one.” In turn, the fact about big business and the fact about racism, sexism, homophobia, and jingoism are interrelated, interconnected, and mutually reinforcing, given that close to 100 percent of the demographic makeup at the executive and leadership level of American big business comprises of “White Anglo-Saxon Protestant” males (WASPs) .

But as Amartya Sen noted, the idea of justice and the rendering of justice “include cases of different types, with easy resolution in some instances and very hard decisional problems in others.” Sen argued that “a complete theory of justice may well yield an incomplete ranking of alternative courses of decision, and that an agreed partial ranking will speak unambiguously in some cases and hold its silence in others.” 

As John Rawls argued, justice is essentially based on principles of a “contract” or “agreement” which in turn renders a “basic structure” for society as a whole. Without the basic structure that is formed through a “social contract” or agreement, society ends up in a “state of nature” whereby “no one knows his place in society, his class position or social status, nor does anyone know his fortune in the distribution of natural assets and abilities, his intelligence, strength, and the like.” Overcoming this unjust and unfair situation and in turn establishing the principles of justice going into the future “are the result of a fair agreement or bargain.” Arguably, this is where we stand as an international society at the moment. 

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