by Lawrence Chickering, Anjula Tyagi
August 02, 2012
When viewed in distributional terms—the left in terms of equality, the right in terms of mobility—justice is impossible, because equality is itself impossible and because when some “get ahead,” others are “left behind.” When justice is understood, however, in terms of empowerment, it becomes possible for everyone. With empowerment, the case for compulsion to achieve equality disappears, and no one needs to be left behind. With empowerment, the distributional focus disappears in favor of values higher than the accumulation of wealth as the defining quality, in public policy, of people’s lives.