Infinite Justice

Infinite Justice makes more sense to me now.

It’s the nomos vs. physis argument all over again! In book one of the Republic, Plato relates Socrates going on and on about justice, reaching such wonderful conclusions as: “in the use of each thing, justice is useless but in its uselessness useful” (333d). Eventually, Thrasymachus gets enough of the doubletalk and boldly asserts that justice is nothing more than the strong dominating the weak. I suspect that Bush is taking up the position of Thrasymachus.

You see, his argument is based on the way things are, physis, or nature. Thrasymachus will have nothing to do with the power of social convention, or nomos. It is the way of nature that the strong will dominate the weak. You can’t fool mother nature. This is exactly what Protagoras claimed to do: to make the weak argument the stronger. However, this was branded as sophistry, and the Platonic view prevailed. The response of Western civilization has been to make justice an abstract quality, separate and apart from nature, an ideal. However, Thrasymachus’ argument can’t be easily refuted. He argues that the unjust, because of their strength, often rise to power and must then be considered the just because of the influence the exert over others. In this way, the unjust profit over the just. The unjust end up controlling the definition of justice.

I feel like I understand my government better after reading the Republic.