Ayn Rand was an anti-democratic elitist who claimed that rich capitalists deserve their wealth and power and the poor are “moochers”. What’s wrong with this picture?
There have been many cynics who have denied the very idea of social justice, but the emerging science of human nature has shown that the cynics are wrong.
At heart, fairness is an aspect of our relationships with each other. It means striking a balance between often conflicting interests, and compromise is an indispensable solvent.
There is much scientific evidence for this distinctive human trait, which is reviewed in my book. A sense of fairness played an important role in our evolution as a species.
In the current national debate about inequality we must use the principle of fairness as the compass for resolving our differences.
The reason why there are so many conflicts about fairness is that it is not a formula, or a cookbook recipe.
It’s a lock that requires three keys — equality, equity, and reciprocity – but it may not be as hard to open it as you might think.
This important behavioral phenomenon involves a complex interplay among our evolved predispositions, plus cultural learning, personal experience and the social context.