From P2P Foundation
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Functionally, justice is a set of universal principles that guide people in judging what is right and what is wrong, no matter what culture and society they live in. It is one of the cardinal individual virtues of classical moral philosophy, along with fortitude (courage), temperance (self-control), and prudence (effectiveness). Justice is based on the maxim of suum cuique, "to each his due," or, "to each his own." Justice as a moral virtue disposes one person to respect the rights of others and to establish in human relationships the harmony that promotes equity and fairness with regard to other persons and to the common good. The basis of justice is the dignity of each human person. Justice reflects the qualities of balance and equivalence. It holds that each person deserves to be rewarded for his virtues/good habits and good actions and penalized for his vices/bad habits and bad actions." (http://www.cesj.org/definitions/glossary.html)


  • Commutative.

"Also referred to under classical philosophy as "strict justice," commutative justice deals with exchanges of equal or equivalent value between individuals or groups of individuals. In reference to exchanges between parties to a transaction, it imposes a duty of an exact measurement that must be discharged with something having that exact, objective value. That is, a debt of five dollars must be repaid with five dollars.

  • Distributive.

Defined by Aristotle in his Ethics, the classic concept of distributive justice is based on a proportionality of value given and received, rather than on a strict equality of results. It deals with a distribution or division of something among various people interacting cooperatively with one another, in shares proportionate to the value of each one's relative contribution to the outcome.

  • Economic.

Economic justice is a subset of social justice. It encompasses the moral principles that guide people in creating, maintaining and perfecting economic institutions. These institutions determine how each person earns a living, enters into contracts, exchanges goods and services with others and otherwise produces an independent material foundation for economic subsistence. The ultimate purpose of economic justice is to free each person economically to develop to the full extent of his or her potential, enabling that person to engage in the unlimited work beyond economics, the work of the mind and the spirit done for its own intrinsic value and satisfaction. (See Work, Leisure.) The triad of interdependent principles of economic justice that serve as the moral basis of binary economics are the principle of Participation (or Participative Justice), the principle of Distribution (or Distributive Justice), and the principle of Harmony (sometimes referred to as Social Justice).

  • Individual.

Those moral principles and virtues that apply to and guide interactions between individuals. In contrast, "social justice" governs how we, as members of groups, relate to our institutions and social systems, particularly whether each of us is able to participate fully in the common good.

  • Participative.

Participative justice refers to the right that everyone has to participate fully in all institutions of the common good, including a right of access to the means to participate. George Mason, in the 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights, specified as one of the fundamental human rights, access to "the means of acquiring and possessing property." As first identified and defined by Louis O. Kelso and Mortimer J. Adler as the "input principle" in economic justice, participative justice refers to the ordering of our economic institutions.

This principle requires that every person have access to the means and opportunity to contribute economic value through both labor and capital inputs. In economic justice, distribution follows participation. What each person is entitled to receive is determined by his or her relative contribution/participation. As advancing technology begins to contribute a proportionately greater share than human labor to the production of marketable goods and services, participative justice demands the elimination of barriers to capital ownership. Participative justice also requires the universalization of access to such social goods as capital credit through a well-organized banking and legal system.

  • Social.

Social justice is the particular virtue whose object is the common good of all human society, rather than, as with individual justice, the individual good of any member or group. It is one of the basic social virtues in the field of social morality. Social justice guides humans as social beings in creating and perfecting organized human interactions, or institutions. It is the principle for restoring moral balance and harmony in the social order.

Social justice imposes on each member of society a personal responsibility to work with others to design and continually perfect our institutions as tools for personal and social development. To the extent an institution violates the human dignity of any person or group, organized acts of social justice are required to correct the defects in that institution. Actions such as "social justice tithing," for example, recognize a personal responsibility to devote a certain amount of time toward working with others to improve the organizations and institutions in which we live and work." (http://www.cesj.org/definitions/glossary.html)

Related Concepts

  • Justice-Based Leadership

A leadership philosophy that aligns individual and group values, mission, actions, structures, and systems around a shared understanding of, and adherence to, clearly defined principles of justice.

To value oneself and, at the same time, subordinate oneself to higher purposes and principles is the paradoxical essence of highest humanity and the foundation of effective justice-based leadership.

JBL encompasses concepts of “servant leadership”, “transformational leadership”, and “principle-centered leadership,” all of which recognize the impact of personal and organizational values on the behavior, performance and development of the leader, other members, and the organization as a whole.

Reflected in the JBL philosophy are three aspects of servant-leadership: trust, appreciation, and empowerment of others. The four components of transformational leadership embodied in JBL are: charisma or idealized influence (the leader as role model), inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and consideration of the individual. As expressed in JBL, the components of principle-centered leadership include: personal character, competence, and commitment to natural law principles. Principle-based leaders build these principles into the center of their lives, their relationships with others, their agreements and contracts, and their mission statements and management processes.

The goal of JBL is to center all aspects of our lives on correct principles and for each person to develop a rich internal power. Empowerment of others, a fundamental objective of Justice-Based Leadership, comes about when both principles and practices of justice are understood and applied at all levels of an organization or society. In particular, the distribution of direct capital ownership reflects the distribution of economic power and the degree to which economic justice exists within a system. The challenge to justice-based leaders is to promote a culture that develops, enriches and empowers each member of the group and thereby strengthens the whole." (http://www.cesj.org/definitions/glossary.html)

  • Justice-Based Management

A management system embodying the philosophy of "Justice-Based Leadership" that is organized in accordance with universal principles of economic and social justice. (Originally called "Value-Based Management" or "VBM".)

JBM provides a framework of principles for creating sustainable ownership cultures. It measures success within a productive enterprise according to the delivery of maximum value to the customer and the empowerment of each person within the enterprise as both a worker and an owner. This success is translated into increased, long-term corporate profitability.

Increases in value delivered to the customer can be measured by the formula “V=Q/P,” where V=Value, Q=Quality and P=Price. In other words, value to the customer increases when the quality of a good or service increases and its price stays constant or decreases.

JBM builds into the structuring of all management systems and operations the three principles of economic justice:

1) Participation: The input principle that all people have a right to live in a culture that offers them equality of dignity and opportunity, and with equal access to the means of acquiring property and power. Such social means are necessary for all members of a society or institution to exercise their fundamental rights, and contribute to the success of the whole and to their personal success.

2) Distribution: The out-take principle that all people have a right to receive a proportionate, market-determined share of the value of the marketable goods and services they contributed to production, both through their labor and their ownership of productive assets. (In contrast, the distribution principle for charity is based on need, not one’s contribution to production.)

3) Harmony (or Social Justice): The feedback principle that balances “participation” and “distribution.” It includes a concept of limitation that discourages greed and prevents monopolies. Expressed as the principle of “social justice,” it holds that every person has a personal responsibility to organize with others to correct their organizations, institutions and societies whenever the principles of "participation" or "distribution" are violated or not operating properly." (http://www.cesj.org/definitions/glossary.html)