Norway is defying the long-term odds. Norway and its Scandinavian cousins are historic exceptions rather than the rule…. In fact, very few societies have ever been able to achieve, much less to sustain a truly fair social contract.
The multiple challenges of economic inequality, climate change, poverty, civil unrest and violent political conflicts around the world demand new thinking about social justice.
What is the purpose of a society, or a nation? And what about a business firm? There are very different views about what is the proper relationship between them.
The implicit “social contract” that binds together any reasonably stable and harmonious society is corroding in this country, with ominous potential consequences, and it is time to re-define fairness and re-write the social contract in a way that puts fairness first. Here I will provide a synopsis of a new, biologically-grounded paradigm and will outline some of the implications for public policy.
I propose a new vision of social justice based on three biologically-grounded fairness principles which, I maintain, must be combined and balanced in order to achieve a society that is fair to everyone.
The idea of a universal basic needs guarantee is backed by the right to life principle, and the legal doctrine of the public trust.
Here a more systematic approach to the concept of adaptation is proposed in terms of basic needs, which can be specified empirically, and it is argued that much of our economic and social life is directly or indirectly related to meeting these needs.
Franklin Roosevelt’s Economic Bill of Rights encompassed two of his “Four Freedoms” – freedom from want and freedom from fear. We are no closer to those goals today.
The accumulating scientific evidence regarding human evolution and human nature indicates that the core ideological assumptions of both capitalism and socialism are simplistic and irreconcilable. A biologically grounded approach to social justice provides a new ideological paradigm that I call “Fair Shares.”
A summary of the argument in Peter Corning’s “The Fair Society: The Science of Human Nature and the Pursuit of Social Justice”