Modern American society is complex as it presents a multicultural blend with various social interactions. The social interactions require a regulative system that could carry the weight of all kinds of different social interactions. Therefore, modern America could also be characterized by the significant influence of the economy, legal system, and politics. However, the society itself and its ability to act as one body form the foundation for the government. A house is constructed based on the materials, and if materials are weak, the house will shatter and lose its structure in case of an earthquake or a hurricane (Locke 370). Therefore, this paper will examine how the society of America in 2021 relates to the concept of a just society.
This concept implies a fair justice system in restoring its initial meaning to protect civilians and its implementation in politics and the legal system, resulting in a fair and inclusive society. The concept of a just society is closely related to my work in the Two Treatises on Government. In that work, I have defined the basic concepts of civil government and its role in protecting society. In the majority, my understanding of government, power, society, and justice is formed on a belief that people are free by nature.
Therefore, to evaluate whether the modern American society fits the definition of a just society, one must address the aspect of freedom and determine whether freedom in modern America is fair. People are free, and their freedom is sourced from God’s gift of freedom of will and liberty of actions (Locke 235). The prime activity of government is to guide the people who either do not understand how to use their freedom or do not have any will (Locke 235). Thus, people are free, and government must make regulations that will guide society towards better use of freedom and liberty of actions.
In Two Treatises on Government, I have discussed how the government’s duty in guiding people is similar to parental regulations. Children are regulated and subject to parental restrictions only before they gain their sovereignty in knowing the laws. Freedom is an individual’s ability to be responsible for his actions in having reasons for his actions and having the liberty to govern himself (Locke 239). Thus, the government’s role, in my opinion, is to guide, educate and protect people until they develop the ability to govern themselves while also making restrictions for those who fail to use their freedom.
My understanding of freedom implied a fair and inclusive approach, fitting the concept of a just society. Historically, American society was built on the revolutionary value of freedom, which formed a foundation for building a just society. However, in modern American society, the people’s freedom is significantly limited by people’s rights and affected by the injustice of the law system and biased ideologies such as racism. In the situation where government equips an unfair and not inclusive approach to freedom and justice, the modern American society does not fit the definition of a just society.
Next, another significant aspect that characterizes modern American society is the authority of the capitalist economic system over the people’s life choices and priorities. While the capitalist system was not reflected in my works, one could connect it to the definition of money. I defined money as a “lasting thing that men might keep without spoiling” for the purpose of exchange for useful goods of a particular value (Locke 227). While the initial definition of money implied its stable rate, the current situation with exchange rates and financial system are removed from the original concept.
Moreover, finances in modern American society could spoil and significantly lose their rate or become completely unexchangeable. The capitalist system favors the cultivation of human greed with adverse outcomes that harm nature and society’s wellbeing. In my work, I have addressed the aspect of human greed in the statement that once a man finds something that has value, he will try to “enlarge his possessions” (Locke 229). The concept of just society includes providing civilians economic stability. The connection between money and power in the United States deprives the citizens of financial stability and favors the establishment of injustice through power abuse.
Lastly, in determining whether modern American society is a just society, one should evaluate the previous issues and their collaborative negative input in justice administration in the United States. My definition of justice connects to the understanding of property, which is why my example of injustice focuses on a robber who could take away personal belongings but could not steal a title (Locke 341). The government’s role is to protect people and their property from aggressors.
As the paper discussed earlier, people are free by their nature, and their actions should be judged by the natural law, in which government punishes the aggressors who use their freedom for wrong purposes. Moreover, it features an element of equality, in which all offenders should be judged equally, without concerning their titles (Locke 342). The natural law aspect differs my perception of justice from other thinkers, as it focuses on people’s sovereignty and control over their actions.
In Two Treatises on Government, I addressed the theme of injustice in the abovementioned example of a robbery. Injustice, in that case, could occur if the robber was never caught, or the robber is impaired and cannot be punished for his actions. Then, I assume that further appeals will cause nothing but trouble, and it could be that, in the end, the result of fighting injustice will not be worthy of all costs that the appeal requires. My work suggests that injustice is an essential component that results from power and its abuse, as some powerful robbers and aggressors cannot be judged because “they are too big for the weak hands of justice” (Locke 342).
The statement also suggests that greater robbers should punish the little ones “to keep them in obedience” (Locke 342). Thus, in natural law, justice could be administered not only by the government but also by those who carry enough power. Power and wealth are often related in modern American society. Hence, the administration of justice frequently faces an obstacle in the face of power lever pressure, which opposes the concept of a just society.
In conclusion, there are many other issues caused by impairments in the justice system that stop the American society’s progress towards reaching the state of a just society. I think that in order to reach the state of a just society, the American government should primarily focus on providing the population with economic security to solve the issues of poverty and hunger. Then, when the society becomes united in its goals, it will hold power to restructure the government and construct a more effective justice system, as America was built on the foundations of a just society.
Locke, J. Two Treatises on Government. Printed for R. Butler, etc., 1821.