“The principles of justice are chosen

behind a veil of ignorance.”

–John Rawls – 1971

US academic and political philosopher, John Rawls published ‘A Theory of Justice’ (1970) which is considered as the most important work of political philosophy since World War-II. Both modern liberals and social democrats were influenced by his work. John Rawls attempted to reconcile the principles of liberalism with the politics of welfare and redistribution. John Rawls proposed a theory of ‘Justice as fairness’, based on the belief that social inequality can be justified only if it is of benefit to the least advantaged. Rawls accepted that inequality exists and that it cannot be eliminated. Yet inequality can be significantly reduced by ensuring that the marginalised, the least advantaged, benefit from fairness within the existing system. According to most people are deprived of knowledge about their own talents and abilities. They choose to live in egalitarian society rather than in un-egalitarian society. This is more because of their fear being poor rather than their desire to be rich. Redistribution and welfare, says Rawls, can be defended on ground of fairness. This is how justice is defined as fairness by Rawls. It was Rawls recipe for fairness to underdogs in the society, the weak and vulnerable. Rawls thus built up a case for poor and disadvantaged people. He stated that social difference results more from unequal treatment by society than from unequal natural endowment.