greg (grysar) wrote,

Thoughts vaguely stemming from the Moulin Rouge (part 1 of 2)

I enjoyed Moulin Rouge as a musical and movie spectacle. The plot was on autopilot and I have a few thematic critiques, but I'll save those for the end as they necessarily have spoilers.

First, is a bit of an offshoot from the movies Bohemian ideals freedom, truth, beauty, and love. All of which can lead to romance and adventure, to truly living. But these values while not overtly contradictory are not complete.

All these cherished values may be found growing, if not widespread, even under harsh circumstances. And a world where they are commonplace should be exciting and fun.

However, even if they are widespread, justice will not necessarily coexist.

Justice requires power, though the converse is not remotely true. The implied threat of 'No Justice, No peace' demonstrates this, without some sort of power the slogan is meaningless.

In political science or economic turns justice is a public good. It has a cost that for simplicity sake I express as power, and all on average benefit by it being provided in greater quantities.

The cost has both positive and negative aspects. It demands keeping of contracts, witnesses testifying to wrong doing, and fairly arbitrating conflicts. It forbids exploitation, taking revenge or vigilantism, graft and corruption.

As a public good it is much like the environment, all benefit, even those that do not act to support it. As a result, for most the small benefits granted by their individual support of the system do not offset the occasionally high cost they must pay for it.

I won't bother to explain all the implication of justice as a public good as for those that know the theory it will be boring, and for others it will take to long to explain in this public forum. Feel free to question, attack, or demand elaboration on this idea if it interests.

Anyways, as it is a particularly costly public good it may only be acquired if the vast majority of the public support it altruistically, several quite power players find a way to provide it, or a government-like entity uses coercion and benefits to make it non-altruistically rational to support justice.

The government approach is called rule of law. I tend to knock anarchism because it can't provide many vital public goods. However, in this instance I'm being generous and simply referring to the quantity as justice, not necessarily require rule of law as we think of it. I'd be highly interested in any alternative proposals how to achieve it. :)

Though, while spell checking I had a talk with my friend Ethan, who made me realize that rule of law and justice are not synonymous as laws aren't necessarily just, guess I wasn't just being generous :)
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