Fall 2015 (29.3) Essay

Michael Blake's Border Controls

According to the rules that Michael Blake applies to global justice in Justice and Foreign Policy, the demands of a crucial kind of economic justice bind only fellow-citizens, injustice in non-democracies should be reduced by proportionate interventions, but unjust liberal democracies should be treated with principled respect. I will argue that these border controls for global justice are too rigid. They misinterpret the commitment to the moral equality of all humans everywhere, which is supposed to be their ultimate foundation.

The general view that economic justice makes substantially, systematically different demands among fellow-citizens than among people in the world at large is very widely held. Among other considerations, this view is based on the relative ease with which fellow-citizens can convey their needs to one another and arrive at effective agreement; loyalty due to the reciprocal help in achieving prosperity by political means, which largely occurs among fellow-citizens; and democratic citizenries' special responsibility to cope with the impact of their own prior choices on their prosperity.

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