Justice

An Essay

by John Casey

Sometimes justice is easy: There’s just the two of us. You and I have our eye on the piece of cake. I say, “You cut, I choose.”

How readily comprehensible that system is, how perfectly symmetrical, how self-contained, how portable through space and time wherever there are conflicting desires, communication, and reason.

Perhaps you would prefer to flip a coin? That’s fair, in the sense of equal opportunity, but the symmetry lasts only as long as the coin is in the air. It takes a wonderfully metaphysical loser to be satisfied with savoring the vanished chance while the winner has had her equal opportunity and is eating it too.

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