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Unfreedom for AllHow the World's Injustices Harm You$
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Thomas J. Donahue

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190051686

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190051686.001.0001

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Against the Received View

Against the Received View

(p.49) 2 Against the Received View
Unfreedom for All

Thomas J. Donahue-Ochoa

Oxford University Press

Chapter 2 examines the view that prevails among the world’s liberal elites on the book’s questions. Specifically, it examines this received view’s theories of the nature of systematic injustice, whether there are global systematic injustices, and the duty to challenge injustice. The received view argues that oppression or systematic injustice is mainly a form of political subjugation of a group, done chiefly by the state. It argues that there are no global systematic injustices, because a systematic injustice can implicate only those people over whom some agency claims political authority, and no agency claims political authority over the whole globe. And it argues that when groups have duties to challenge injustice, this does not imply that their individual members do, and vice versa. As a result, the view has nothing to say about when individuals should join in solidarity against injustice. Ironically, the view thereby sets groups free: rather than Leviathans composed of atomistic individuals jealous of their liberties, groups become Gullivers released from the Lilliputians’ bonds. The chapter then argues that this results in dangerously unchecked groups and a shortfall of responsible agents.

Keywords:   oppression, tyranny, subjugation, liberal individualism, scope of justice, collective responsibility, distributing responsibility, responsibility for injustice, grounds of solidarity

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