justice for the poor in bourgeois society

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
There cannot be any justice for the poor in bourgeois society.
(Learning to use articles, L. Barmina)

I wonder, wouldn't it have been better to say "justification" instead?
Thank you.
 
  • sb70012

    Senior Member
    Azerbaijani/Persian
    No Vik.

    Justice: the system by which people are judged
    Justification: a good and acceptable reason for doing something
    justification for (doing) something

    Are they same?
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    No, not at all - "justice" and "justification" are completely different concepts.

    "A justification for the poor" would be "a reason for the poor to exist."

    "Justice for the poor" would be, well, actual economic justice - equal access to services and opportunities regardless of economic background, equal rights, the chance to participate in an economy in which capital does not accumulate eternally in the hands of the few...
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    Yes that's how I understood the quote.
    So, the "justice" here just means "Justice is fairness in the way that people are treated", right?
    It's a little bit stronger than simple "fairness." It carries a much stronger political message.

    << Response to deleted post removed. >>
     
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    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    It's a little bit stronger than simple "fairness." It carries a much stronger political message.
    Yes, I understand. The book seems to have been written at the time of "cold war" (first editions) and, of course, it carries a strong political message. I just said that the meaning of "justice" here is the main one which all dictionaries basically give as "fairness".

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited:
    /I just said that the meaning is the main meaning of "justice" which all dictionaries basically give as "fairness"./

    You are not quite correct, Vik. "Justice" is a complex and multifaceted concept. It MIGHT mean 'fairness,' but in Britain at one time, there were special courts to look at the issue of whether a just decision was a fair one. "Meaning" in a robust sense, is rarely captured in 5 words in a dictionary, let alone one, except for the most trivial cases. "Quickly" means "rapidly."

    In any case, in Barmina's example in the OP, the meaning would be greatly modified or limited if one substituted according your proposed, 'main meaning.'
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    /I just said that the meaning is the main meaning of "justice" which all dictionaries basically give as "fairness"./

    You are not quite correct, Vik. "Justice" is a complex and multifaceted concept. It MIGHT mean 'fairness,' but in Britain at one time, there were special courts to look at the issue of whether a just decision was a fair one. "Meaning" in a robust sense, is rarely captured in 5 words in a dictionary, let alone one, except for the most trivial cases. "Quickly" means "rapidly."

    In any case, in Barmina's example in the OP, the meaning would be greatly modified or limited if one substituted according your proposed, 'main meaning.'
    Not that I said about only one word as a definition. I rather meant "subheading". E.g.:
    FAIRNESS 1. < > uncountable fairness in the way people are dealt with (CALD)
    2. FAIRNESS [uncountable] fairness in the way people are treated (LDOCE)
    etc.
    Yes, justice is "a complex and multifaceted concept" but in any case we can choose only one in a dictionary, right?
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    I'm a bit amazed that they put "fairness" as the first definition of "justice." I would say that the first definition should be "the state or condition of being just." The Collins dictionary here does so:
    justice /ˈdʒʌstɪs/n
    • the quality or fact of being just
    • the principle of fairness that like cases should be treated alike
    To my native-speaker mind, "just" and "fair" are completely different categories, although sometimes they overlap.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    I'm a bit amazed that they put "fairness" as the first definition of "justice." I would say that the first definition should be "the state or condition of being just." The Collins dictionary here does so:
    the quality or fact of being just
    To my native-speaker mind, "just" and "fair" are completely different categories, although sometimes they overlap.
    Collins Cobuild gives almost the same meaning for "Fairness":)
    1) fairness is the quality of being reasonable, right, and just.
    (but there is no definition for fairness in The Collins dictionary)
     
    Lucas, I generally agree, but quoting one of those dictionary tail-chasing definitions 'state or quality of being just' is not enough to make our point.

    Collins, for 'just', says **besides fair**
    JUST

    consistent with justice ⇒ "a just action"
    rightly applied or given; deserved ⇒ "a just reward"
    legally valid; lawful ⇒ "a just inheritance" [...]
    ---------------


    And for 'justice' [so we are not tail chasing from the first line quoted], besides, 'fairness,' the dictionary gives

    JUSTICE

    a particular distribution of benefits and burdens fairly in accordance with a particular conception of what are to count as like cases [...]

    the administration of law according to prescribed and accepted principles; conformity to the law;
     
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