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Political Idealism as Pragmatism
To the ends of a progressive understanding of justice, fairness and righteousness We strive and are committed. This truth is evident by the inspiration we draw and fond regard we hold of the courageous actions of the Framers generally held by the People of this land. We do not blindly accept the status quo and the current state of affairs, and scrutinize its Justice and veracity by the light of reason, prudence and fairness.
The fundamental rights, as acknowledged under the Declaration of Independence, are a progressive step in the limiting of power and influence of government in relationship to the governed. In the brief course of history of this Nation it is evident that when our societal conscience acknowledges that progress has been made, the particular instance of progress, as expressed by the difference between the old and the new, is better than that which it seeks to replace. Progress is limited to those differences which are regarded as improvement. It is furthermore evident that changes regarded as regression or a step backward, in addition to that which has not changed, is not improvement and subsequently not progress.
The plurality of this Nation, our diversity, by its nature makes it necessary to seek solutions in agreement. This rigor and determination to ask even the tough questions has given birth to progress. It seems that as diversity increases causing a subsequent rise in differing ideas and perspectives, rigor, which serves as a guard of our nations integrity, also increases. Therefore audible diversity leads to progress.
What is progress for one, or some, or many, is not considered progress by all. Concerning the securing of rights; progress cannot be had at the expense of jeopardizing the rights of others. As far as rights are concerned, if a system is not progress for all, it is not progress at all, as follows from the inherent dignity which every Person ought enjoy equally. Political philosopher John Rawls proposed a system by which to guide in the pursuit of fair and objective principles in the face of pluralism and partiality. In his influential piece Justice as Fairness, from his masterwork ‘A Theory of Justice’, Rawl’sproposes that decisions should be made under the direction of the ‘veil of ignorance’. Behind this ‘veil’ we imagine that the particular change (decision) in question has occurred, the law has passed and is in effect, but you are to imagine that you are among the individuals who could be adversely affected by this decision. This principle emphasizes the importance of impartiality, and is Rawls’ attempt at devising a means to realize such objectivity in the face of the challenges of pluralism and ulterior interests. If there are no individuals being adversely affected then such a law can be considered as fair, an expression which Rawl’s uses synonymously with just, and thus cannot be rejected on these grounds alone. If the change evokes what would amount to an audible outcry then the change should be suspended, the objections brought to those partaking in the survey and the law is to be reconsidered. (‘Justice as Fairness’, John Rawls, 1981)