Yıldız Karagoz YEKE
Prof. Dr., İzmir Katip Çelebi University, Faculty of Social and Human Sciences,
Department of Philosophy Turkey
E-mail:  dr.yildiz2014@gmail.com
ORCID: 0000-0001-8546-8216

 Muammer AKTAY
Sivas Cumhuriyet University, Faculty of Letters, Department of Philosophy Turkey
E-mail: maktay@cumhuriyet.edu.tr
ORCID: 0000-0001-6103-5598

Abstract. The most important result of the capitalist production process, which constitutes the main characteristic of today’s world, has been the fact that it has created a world independent of ‘value’. The only approach that has remained unchanged from antiquity to the present day is the search for a ‘fair order and a fair life’, regardless of the type of the changes. Many values that have undergone a change in meaning in this process will undoubtedly be re-evaluated and their contents will be reshaped. Undoubtedly, one of the effective philosophies that reconsider these values is Michael Walzer’s approach to justice. Michael Walzer’s understanding of justice can be examined based on the question of what constitutes a just society. The starting point of his understanding of justice is the criticism of the Rawlsian theory of fair distribution, idealist arguments, and philosophers who act upon the abstract human concept. According to him, the foundations of a just society cannot be understood in a utopian manner, but within the framework of the values reflected by common life and an appropriate plan. His understanding of justice is based on an egalitarian and pluralist argument in relation to contexts that are concrete. Equality, which is the basic concept of Walzer’s understanding of justice, is not a norm. Although the concept of equality presents a variable or complex structure in the context of pluralism, there are many areas of justice within the system. In these areas, each set of goods has its own social meanings. Complex equality means maintaining the unique structures of these different fields. Walzer, who is aware of the difficulty of controlling power relations between the fields of justice, wants to regulate the power relations between the fields of justice such as money, political power, security, and membership in society. Our aim in this study is to examine Walzer’s understanding of justice and his critiques of his understanding of justice in the new world order, which emerged in the context of power relations in contemporary philosophy by focusing on areas of justice and complex equality theory.

 Keywords: Justice, Justice Spheres, Society, Complex Equality


Our century witnesses to many events that lead to the rediscovery of values and humanity. How will the expression “new world and new world order” in everyone’s language have content? All future philosophies and science are focused on this question. The only approach that has remained unchanged from antiquity to today is the search for “a fair order and a fair life” regardless of types of changes. In this process many values that have changed in terms of meaning will undoubtedly be re-evaluated and have a new content. In fact, the life style peculiar to today’s world, which is the result of a series of changes that occurred during the XVIII. and XI. centuries, is under question.

As known, capitalist production mode emerged as a result of change in the production method developed based on scientific knowledge in this world order shaped by a series of economic, social, political, technological, scientific and psychological changes formed by the XVIII. and XIX. centuries, which we usually express as western world and emerged particularly in Europe. The most important result of the capitalist production process is it’s creation of a “value independent” world. In fact, a machine-based mode of production deprives man of his human qualities by alienating him from his soul, nature and species being. There are many reasons for human alienation from the world and society in which they live in terms of economic, scientific, technological, social and psychological contexts. We can say that the capitalist production process emerging on the economic plane is an objectification process and this process embodied human creativity and regarded them as different from the creator. Private ownership of the means of production and property relations, that is, capitalism, which has fuelled the motive of owning in human beings, has corrupted human relations by transforming them into market relations and it alienates the human being to other people by evaluating him with his place or status in the market rather than his human features. The main problem here is that modern human is more isolated and alienated from himself and society than ever before. This person, who broke his connections with old and traditional values, has turned into an insecure and unbelieving existence in new rational and bureaucratic order and as Weber pointed out, while personal relations between people decreased against the rationalization and formalization tendency in the social order, the power and importance of the impersonal bureaucracy increased. In psychological level, Freudian doctrines’ limitation of human with vital functions degrade him to just living creature [4, p. 366-368].

Contrary to the classical liberal understanding in which property is an important category and which legally includes the recognition of human as a concrete subject, nowadays, we witness that the capitalist system, with its extreme individualist perspective, alienates human from being an individual and a having rights. In this case we think about some questions: Can focusing on the profit enabling extremely individualistic capitalists’ workers and globalized corporate capital to maintain it’s economic, social and political domination over the poor, be seen as a historical progress? Has the liberal capitalist state reached the stage of an ethical state or is it an end? Or is there a humanizing aspect of property? According to Costas Douzinas, who draws attention to the fact that the contradiction here is not only an ethical contradiction, and the property approach of the capitalist approach and the features of creativity of property, subject-forming, and inter-subjective, “Approaching rights as means of inter-subjective recognition is a major advance in atomism of rights discourse. But the contradiction is not just an ethical contradiction, and property is not particularly benevolent. Despite its complexity… (many thinkers) miss out the imbalances of power on which contradictions are based and property creates. Power is the cause and result of contradiction. We must leave the idealized world of ethical communication and property rights behind. Otherwise, the neo-Hegelians are doomed to repeat the Kantian criticism, despite accepting both the neo-Kantian concept and the final triumph of human rights” [9, p. 312]. We can say that the problem of human value appears as the most important problem of every period and especially of the XXI century. The situation, this century has created, is not a war in the classical sense. However, this situation is not less rough than the problems after World War II. Today, modern human faces not only the problems created by science and technology, but also many human-related problems such as environmental disasters, terrorism, corruption, mutual distrust, tribalism, ethnic intolerance and sanitation, religious intolerance, and the spread of mass destruction weapons [16, p.7].

According to Umberto Eco, ignoring the mysterious or dark side of civilization has become almost a habit when it comes to Western civilization. It can be seen that civilization was tried to be understood by focusing on the idealized world dominated by the philosophy or age of reason [10, p.13-14].

When we look at the questions caused by this point of view with a philosophical consciousness, we feel that we have to focus on a range of problems that shape the world. Especially, “The victory of human rights was declared after the collapse of communism. However, this coincided with the ‘death of man’, as the world’s dominant centre of power announced in the seventies and early 1980s through social theory and philosophy… The announcement of the ‘death of man’ was accompanied by a long campaign to reintroduce the individual as the victorious centre of our postmodern world and declare freedom (autonomy) as organizer ideal of our legal and political systems. We have seen this… in the context of returning to the subject/ returning of the subject, the importance of identity and identity politics, turning from morality to politics and from humanism to law. The return to the subject is obvious in liberal philosophy of law; on the right, in the weight of recent theories of rights, and on the left, in the moralism of political correctness. While philosophy and social theory insist on social construction of self and the importance of structure, the system and language used in coordination of the world, desire rehabilitation of personality and to revert its freedom and specificity..” [9, p. 30-31]. What sceptical philosophers such as Marx, Nietzsche and Freud actually opposed during this period was the fundamental thesis of Liberal humanism that “man progressed perfectly throughout history.” We can say that according to the great doctrines of the XIX. and XX. centuries, for example, Marxian and Orthodox Christian understandings of history, historical process is a natural process with its own laws of development and is a complex development with close relations of socio-economic factors with both technological and socio-psychological changes. In our times, all understanding of historical development have, in principle, an important common drawback. They are all based on the idea of progress, even endless progress in time. This idea actually goes back to the perception of the future as the kingdom of God on an unchangeable earth. The concept of progress in the human mentality is associated with basic social knowledge and is necessary for recognition and reproduction. But we must use this concept in the field of social motivation to evaluate the natural process as a whole, because unlimited progress (which naturally involves the use of unlimited energy) is a state of constant motion (recirculation) and is against the basic natural law of conservation. In accordance with the law of conservation of energy, it is necessary to show and see at the same time that gains on one hand are compensated with losses on the other hand, that is, every progress is actually a regression simultaneously. In this context, while theoretic thinkers and historians discuss progress, generally they consider the progress of human and society as a whole, the development of the conditions of existence (attaining material blessings) rather than the advancement of thought and technology. Here again, an unlimited, uninterrupted linear progression is impossible. The world of technology today is full of phenomena that show precisely such a decline, especially in the domain of values, namely, ethics and justice. If there is still hope for humanity in today’s world, it is a fact that unlimited technological progress has brought humanity to the brink of environmental disaster. Because there is only one area of technology where progress has a direct impact on production relations. This is the progress in weapon production, no class society would exist without high-quality weapons. In the historical sense, it is possible to observe the developments in weapon production in the eye-catching wars and military events within the traditional narrative of history. The unity of the laws of the historical process allows us to check these examples from Europe to Asia and America [8, p.1-13]. “Time is out of joint” [8, p.245] expression of William Shakespeare (1564- 1616) with Hamlet’s tragic words seems like telling us our world today.

In our century, the concept of state and international relations inclined away from traditional definitions. The most important reason for this is to try to understand the question of the world order in the context of global power relations. Dividing politics between international and local is no longer tenable, according to Cox. In an old intellectual approach contributed to the understanding of international relations in the XIXth century in a traditional sense, the distinction between state and civil society is focused. On the one hand, there is a society based on contract and market relations that is beginning to replace a status-based society, on the other hand, there is a state that is limited to provide work and domestic peace, security against the outside, and the necessary conditions for the market. However, in today’s world, by expanding and diversifying the concept of the state, Marxian thinkers who dealt with the social dimensions of the state in particular, attempted to redefine the state. For example, while the state was defined by Althusser as a “zone” of the capitalist production mode perceived as a reaction; Habermas drew attention to the motivational crisis in culture and ideology resulting from the state and class conflict. On the other hand, E.H Carr and Eric Hobsbawm, who are sensitive to the relations between social forces and the changing nature of global relations, and Wallerstein, author of works such as “Historical Capitalism, The End of The World As We Know It and The End of Liberalism”, which proposes a theory of world systems and produces the most radical alternative to the theory of international relations evaluate the world of the XXIth century with a perspective based on the theory of world systems defined by social relations. The concept of “world system” is the one Wallerstein used to analyse the current world economy since the XVI. Century (1450-1640). The world system, which he expresses in his work named World Systems, includes free labour in central areas, oppressed workforce in the neighbourhood, and intermediate forms in side areas. According to him, the modern world system differs both structurally and in content from the pre-16th century imperial structure. In this sense, the concepts of sovereignty and war have also changed in meaning. According to Wallerstein, there are 3 different areas (or categories) in the world system. All the economies of the world are located in one of these areas (core, semi-periphery and periphery) in this modern world system according to their degree of development and size. In this system, the economies in the centre have position and power to sell their products in the most expensive way and to buy the raw materials from the environment at the lowest price. The result of this is that while one side develops, the other side is left behind. In this context, progress does not occur on all sides at the same time. Central economies are economies with the highest level of technological development, producing sophisticated and high-tech products and controlling the world market in these areas. The surrounding economies are those with the most backward technological development and therefore have nothing to sell other than their own raw materials [26].

When it comes to above evaluations, it seems that there are two important theories on international relations and world order since World War II: Realism and Marxism. The basis of realist theory in international relations appears as a historical way of thinking. The origins of this approach are quite different from the general norms spread by the Christian Church, the ideologically dominant institution of medieval society and go back to Machiavelli’s political theory and the diplomacy of the Renaissance Italian city-states and are based on the “understanding of specific interests of certain states”. According to Cox, since World War II, some scientists (such as Hans Morgenthau and Kenneth Waltz) have turned realism into a kind of problem-solving theory, which is no coincidence. This trend in theory, despite remarkable knowledge in history, adopts unhistorical framework of action specific to problem-solving theory. This tendency coincides with the Cold War which imposed the bipolar category on international relations and the concern for supporting American power to maintain order and in this trend, the ideological form abstracted from the real historical framework imposed by the Cold War is called neo-liberalism [6, p.392-396]. According to Cox, the general form of the framework of action envisaged by the new American realism is considered at three levels. Each of these can be perceived in the context of what classical philosophy calls essence, that is, basic and unchanging lower layers of events, changing and incoincident. These basic realities are conceived as follows: 1) Human nature understood in the context of Augustin’s concept of first sin or Hobbes’ understanding of permanent and uneasy desire for power only destroyed by death, 2) The nature of states that differ in their internal structures and capacity to mobilize power, but are similar in identifying a particular concept of national interest as a guide to their actions, and 3) The nature of states system that imposes rational obstacles to the uncontrolled pursuit of opponent national interests through the mechanism of the balance of power. After reaching the perception of these determining factors, history has become a mine of materials for making variations on recurring themes for Neorealist. Although the materials taken from history, the way of thinking is not historical. Furthermore, such reasoning, on the basis of principles, dictates the idea that the future will always be like the past. In addition, this core of neo-realist theory has extended itself to what is like game theory. In the game theory, a rationality in which human is assumed common with competing players who similarly evaluates their self-notions, existing interests, alternative strategies and own benefits is proposed. This idea of common rationality reinforces the non-historical way of thinking. Other forms of thought are used because they are inconvenient and incomprehensible within their boundaries [6, p.396].

In the light of the developments mentioned above, Foucault, who marks the birth of biopolitics and first articulates this concept in the first volume of his History of Sexuality, indicates that the concept of management has undergone a systematic transformation [11]. In the late 1970s, Foucault started the pedigree of Western biopolitics from the religions of antiquity and while creating the idea of pastoral dispositive, he presented the future biopolitical management of the west as prototype. Managing in pastoral dispositive is determined as an activity focused on ‘peace’. In other words, managing means a rational and planned activity directed towards the goal of saluting the multitude of living beings, that is, the herd. The object of this practice is the multiplicity of living beings in motion rather than belonging to any particular area or region. Pastoral practice tries to keep this multitude of living things “on the right track” in a progressive development aimed at peace. This approach requires biopolitical management, primarily, steady and constant observation of herd by the ruler, the god, the pastor or the king. Guidance for happiness, health and well-being can only be realized through all-encompassing knowledge of such an observation and life of such a multitude. It should be underlined that that the biopolitical dispositive mobilizes is thinking and experience in a certain form. So, herd or majority of living creatures is perceived as a whole with each member in their distinct identities and discernibility suitable for testing, interrogation, classification and diagnostic operations to be conducted in terms of its multiplicity, needs, virtues, flaws and immoralities, and so on. Anything that leads to indifference, darkness, and ambiguity that imposes restrictions on the understanding of objects from the pastoral point of view can only be a threat or a barrier. Observation and dispatch will struggle against temporal clarity and uncertainty to eliminate all this and to transform the object perfectly [24, pp.7-86, p. 9-10].

On the other hand, the Psychoanalysis of Freud and his successors have radically shaken the belief that we have dominance and control over ourselves. On the contrary, “the person is divided” and is inadequate, and is product of forces and influences beyond our control and even perception. In this context, our century, from the social and economic environment to language and communication structures, has rediscovered fate in the form of limitation and conflict. Fate was reinterpreted as social determination or individual necessity, and individual freedom was placed under permanent martial law. It was threatened not only by right or left dictators, but by all kinds of forces that determine and constitute the individual, and the subject was disintegrated. Therefore, the values of Humanism (self-establishment, consciousness, domination, free will, autonomy) have been weakened [9, p.31].

As can be seen, in today’s world where the subject is weakened and the state is understood in a value-independent manner with power relations, it can be said that all the developments we have tried to identify have revealed a number of important insights: the interdependence of everything in world systems and the importance of struggles for equality in such a world, the importance of the complex trade and economic relations network created by the changes and developments in the world system and lastly, the high number of uncertainties and the lack of accurate predictions in the world we live in. According to Russell, who points out that existing system dominated by ambition of property acquisition and retaining it and greed, that is, capitalist system is the main source of war and all the evils the political world complains about and its failure, “the most obvious evil of the current system is economic injustice” [23, p.32].

In this context, Walzer, one of the contemporary political philosophers, as a thinker who is aware of all these developments, put forward a philosophy that expresses the political world design that he thinks will lead people to a better society and life by answering questions about human problems and conflicts that he sees in relation to the government, and by inventing his own terminology at this point. The most important concept used to organize political life in its own philosophy is undoubtedly the concept of justice.

In this study, we aim to focus on how justice in Walzer’s, who deals with the relations between the concepts of power, authority, sovereignty, independence and the fields of justice with a different perspective on justice in today’s world where contemporary political philosophy focuses solely on justice in terms of economic distribution, philosophy means in the new world order and what it promises.


  1. Walzer’s Understanding of Justice

As a communitarian philosopher, Walzer’s understanding of justice is based on the concepts of society, culture, ethnic structure, nation and politics that many contemporary philosophers deal with in their philosophies. For example, when we look at thinkers, who contribute to the theory of culture, society and multiculturalism, Rawls and Walzer handles the subject with concept of justice, Young with notion of difference policy, Kymlicka with minority rights approach and a view to multinational and multi-ethnic states, Barry with the point of view of individual rights, Habermas with constitutional citizenship approach and Taylor with the concept of recognition and they relate justice to the concepts of culture and society.

In this study, we will try to examine the concepts determining Walzer’s approach including equality, simple and complex equality, intergroup fields, specific structures of these fields and the relations of these structures with each other.

Walzer basically wants to examine the basis of complex and simple concepts such as equality, distribution, power relations for the discovery of the concept of justice in society. He says, “it is not my purpose to draw a Utopia that is nowhere to be found or a philosophical ideal applicable everywhere” [27, p. xıv] and points out the need for heading to concrete social sphere rather than ideal and utopian ideas. If we begin to understand a culture in a concrete sense, we will also begin to perceive this culture’s own -authentic- power relations. Because power relations and tools (race, capitalist wealth, sexual superiority) have different functions and methods of application in every society. These power tools, including birth and blood, capital, divine grace, political power and similar areas have been seen in different ways historically. These areas are allocated as sovereignty, power and hegemony through social goods. Walzer, who examines the foundations of distribution and equality in his book Sphere of Justice, determines the way to truly understand the distributive justice approach as follows: “Until this time, if domination is driven by social goods, different external and internal causes of these social goods must be analyzed” [27, p. xvı]. In this context, first question of Walzer is: “When we consider the human being a member of a community together with the relationship between overwhelming concepts such as oppression, power, domination, freedom, how should sharing, dividing, exchanging and distributing of goods be? We have to say that perhaps the oldest known answer to this question of Walzer was given by Aristotle. Aristotle refers to the distributive justice approach in his work named Nichomechean Ethics. He treats justice as distributor and commutative. His division of the concept of justice into distributive and equalizer influenced later legal thinking [14, p.160]. Distributive justice, honor and distribution of goods in society are made according to everyone’s abilities and status in society. The second type of justice, commutative justice, means that both parties are subject to the same treatment in law. Distributive justice is on the basis of commutative justice. He considers distribution as wealth and the things shared by those who participate in government and politic community and he indicates that distribution is associated with these [1, p.108-109]. The relationship that Aristotle saw between the concepts of distribution and justice is important for the history of philosophy. According to Aristotle, distributive justice involves both internal and external spheres. Although internal sphere includes concepts such as love, honor and family, the external sphere includes areas such as money, domination, and political power. The external sphere is degraded to more concrete, the internal sphere to concepts of social value or spiritual. Walzer emphasizes that, just like Aristotle, internal and external spheres are important for the future of society. Although Aristotle states that the internal and external spheres are related to justice, he does not examine the relations between them. So, Aristotle does not refer to the conflict of power and domination between these external and internal spheres. Walzer, unlike Aristotle, states that establishing justice in a society can only be possible by understanding the power and domination relations between internal and external spheres. According to Walzer, understanding the relationships between internal and external spheres is a way of understanding the concept of justice. According to him, there are simple and complex types of equality to understand the relationships between internal and external spheres in a society. To examine the relationships between these spheres, the complex equality type leads to the right way, the simple equality type leads to the wrong way. We shall examine simple equality which is wrong way.

1.1. Simple Equality

According to Walzer, there are internal and external spheres in a society to understand the concept of justice. It is difficult to understand justice without understanding these spheres. The simple concept of equality ignores these spheres while trying to understand the concept of justice. Because simple equality is an understanding that provides concentration of sovereignty in one hand with a uniform perspective. In this respect, since simple equality does not make its distribution in consideration of equal justice spheres, uniform hegemony spheres emerge. According to him, in order to establish the relationship among equality, justice and distribution in a society, distribution should cover all areas, internal (family, love, honor) and external (money and goods, office) distribution spheres must be formed. A simple state of equality manifests itself as the spheres of distribution of internal and external spheres become narrower. For him, basic equality can be thought of in a society where everything is ready for sale and every citizen has surplus money [27, p.14]. In societies where this simple equality is tried to be established, justice is idealized in a uniform way. According to him, Rawls is a contemporary philosopher who interprets this idea of society, or simple equality, in terms of ideal order.

Rawls addresses fair society establishing problem from a concept called “original position” ¹ similar to “state of nature” of the hypothetical Hobbes and Locke and he also reveals a transcendental political situation by being influenced by Kant’s transcendental philosophy. Thus, he accepts principles of justice determined by the irrational or intuitive method, like social contract theorists. However, Rawls develops a method for explaining the principle of justice, unlike the social contract theorists. For this new method, he deals with two concepts as “original position” and “veil of ignorance”. ² Considering this facts, main purpose of Rawls is to reveal the understanding of justice as fairness in order to reconcile equality and freedom. Rawls, with Walzer, puts the concept of justice at the center of order.

According to Walzer, the understanding of justice that Rawls tries to establish has a transcendent, utopian, ideal basis. According to him, Rawls wants to construct a universal justice system based on his original position. Therefore, this will create a monist understanding of justice. In this case, as simple equality increases, constant state intervention will be required to break up and limit pluralism, different areas [27, p.15]. Simple equality reveals dominant areas of social goods (political power, religion, etc.). Walzer opposes domains of domination among social goods. Ultimately, the result for Rawlsian theories is that moral subjects and groups are detached from their goals, characteristics, community or history [2, pp. 895-928, p. 895]. According to Orend, who evaluated Walzer’s criticism of Rawls, Walzer’s philosophy should be reduced to three concepts as inventing, discovering and commenting on existing ones. However, in Rawls’s theory, there is no system of concepts to reveal these three concepts, because his system has been invented, discovered, and is therefore difficult to comment on [20, pp. 207-229, p. 213]. According to Walzer, Rawls’s simple understanding of equality suggests a uniform solution that ignores different solution proposals. Walzer divides the uniform solution proposals in the basic understanding of equality into four in his article titled “Civil Society Thinking: A Step Towards Social Structuring” and he reveals that these solutions have four types of ideology within themselves.

According to Walzer, who treats two of the four types of ideologies as left and the other two as non-left ideologies, “the first of these will be the political community, the democratic state in an environment where a good social life will continue” [30, p.34]. According to Walzer, there is a necessary link between political life and citizenship in the pursuit of the first type of good life with roots dating back to Ancient Greece. When we look at the political philosophies of Plato and Aristotle in Ancient Greece, good knowledge has a meaning oriented towards good living and good society [25, p.32]. In the contemporary world, there is no good life; there is criticism of whether there is real life. Because in modern life, the interest of citizens necessarily shifts to economic reasons. Therefore, economic values and citizenship values do not match. The relationship between citizens and politics, which they try to establish through methods such as democracy and republicanism, cannot be fully provided.

The second left thought for a good life is that they prioritize economic activities, not the harmony that republicans are trying to establish between the concepts of state, freedom and citizen [30, p.35]. This view constitutes the abolition of the compulsory power of the state, which is also supported by Marx. According to Walzer, there are ambiguities in this socialist arrangement. Since there may not be a parallelism between states’ abolition of the political system and the harmonious operation of the system. Even if the political power that ensures the effectiveness of the state is removed, there is a need for a power to sustain this. Socialist ideology does not fully explain this situation. Also, from the socialist point of view, while a person in the factory is both a citizen and a producer, the individual remains in the machine of necessity (capitalism). After Walzer presents these two points of view, he switches to other points of view.

The third answer that Walzer emphasizes is the concept of Market, which is the key concept of the problem of a good life [30, p.35]. It is the capitalist definition that carries the concept of market to the relationship between citizenship and political community. The capitalist definition is based on the fact that citizens have a lot of choice in the market and their transformation into autonomous individuals. In the capitalist definition, there is no internal preference, namely sharing in the sense of creating value and love, but an external preference, namely money and power-oriented sharing. In capitalism, an external choice is shaped by money and power. According to Walzer, a network of sharing develops between corporate organizations and citizens with the domination of money and power in capitalism. In the market, citizen does not share his own position and share with another person. Thus, individualism comes to the forefront instead of social solidarity.

Another definition of a good life is nationalism supported by other factors such as loyalty, blood relations and history emerged as a response to capitalist definition [30, p.36]. According to this definition, a good life is something that is earned from birth, not by choice, as in capitalism. A good life is not shared, but a description that comes with history and blood. Because nationalism is based on historical, traditional concepts, it emphasizes the qualities of mutual aid and solidarity that are so rare in capitalism. Thus, social unity and solidarity reach a high level. But nationalism cannot produce a social program other than protecting and maintaining a lifestyle. That is, it is far from developing new programs for the concepts of economy, class, citizen and politics. Therefore, distribution in society remains ineffective and incomplete.

Ultimately, according to Walzer, acting with any of the definitions of democracy, socialism, capitalism, nationalism, which we discussed above, in sharing the good life or good life can reveal meanings through simplicity and unidimensionality. Therefore, according to him, we cannot attribute good life of a society to uniform ideologies.³ Instead of these, the idea of civil society that shows a pluralistic structure and has a historical identity should be brought to the forefront. In this respect, it is important for society to get rid of simple equality or to limit domination areas for civil society. The way to save a society from a situation of simple equality is to break up monist ideology and distribute their power. According to Walzer, the type of equality that will distribute the domains of domination in a society and put civil society thought in the forefront is complex equality. Complex equality is valuable in ensuring the correct functioning of the relationships between the spheres of justice. We shall examine it now.

1.2. Complex Equality Theory

Walzer tries to explain the relationship between complex equality and distribution after showing the lack of simple equality through his criticisms. According to him, he tries to establish the concepts of simple equality, domination, hegemony and sovereignty. Simple equality adopts the understanding of uniformization. Walzer consults complex equalities to eliminate the dominant domains of simple equality. People in a society are more comfortable or unique than simple equality in a situation of complex equality. There are singular principles or similar historical arrangements and methods in simple equality distribution. In distribution of complex equality, pluralism, difference in the purposes of various social goods and the relationships between various procedures come to forefront. Joseph Carens explains Walzer’s complex theory of equality as follows: Rawls’s simple theory of equality is fundamentally a construction activity, like an engineer’s system building, but Walzer’s complex theory of equality is an impressionist painter’s perspective for the existing system, just as the artist offers a constructive interpretation by drawing attention to colors, shading, and connections, he likewise re-designs an interpretation on existences based on concrete reality [3, p.47].

Walzer’s system presents a unique structure that focuses on the relationship between social meaning and social goods, based on concrete one. In order to better illustrate the relationship between this complex equality and distribution, he deals with the basic features of distribution associated with social meaning. He presents 6 basic features for this. These are briefly;

“1- All goods related to distribution justice are social goods. 2- People have a series of relationships with goods. Their transaction histories affect the relations of social goods not only with each other but also with the moral and material world in which they live. 3- If we take into account moral values as well as physical needs for distribution, the requirement range is very wide and the rank order is very different. 4- Distribution criteria and regulations are specific to semantically social within itself. If we understand what it is, for whom it is good, or what it means to him, we will understand how, by whom, and for what reasons it should be distributed. All distributions are fair or unfair according to the social meaning of the goods said. 5- Social meanings are historical in terms of character; and thus distributions and fair and unfair distributions change over time. To be sure, some key goods have the meanings we think of as characteristic normative structures repeating along the lines of time and space (not all). 6- Distributions should be autonomous when their meanings are clear. Every social good or commodity group, as it is, constitutes a distribution sphere where only certain criteria and regulations are appropriate. Money is not suitable for religious offices; it is an attack from another area. And as it is generally understood in the market, religiosity should have no advantage in the market” [30, p.7-10].

According to Walzer, this rules of distribution of social goods, form the basis of complex equality. In a system where complex equality prevails, autonomous areas and meanings are fundamental. Based on this, it is difficult to establish dominance or sovereignty between the areas. Because in complex equality, borders are not obligatory like crowns and thrones, it offers cultural diversity, autonomy and a pluralistic structure. In other words, there can be no search for a universal law of justice in Walzer’s system. Alternatively, justice is a concept that occurs with different communities and has specific criteria specific to each community, meaning differently in different communities [18, p.2]. In this respect, it is wrong to reduce justice to a purely mandatory principle. For example, aristocracy prioritizes land and reputation based on a mandatory principle, governments such as the theocracy prioritize divine supremacy based on a mandatory principle and free exchange prioritizes mobile welfare based on a mandatory principle. According to him, groups compete with these practices and tools to create a domain. Walzer, who defends the understanding of autonomy against this situation, seeks solutions to eliminate oppressions (political power, religion, money, and property) with his complex theory of equality.

Walzer treats complex equality theory not as an ideal map or a specific principle, but as an autonomy-based method in which societies reflect their common life to organize and systematize the spheres of justice. Walzer talks about the competition among fields. From his point of view, a society with competing justice areas (competition between religion and political power, money and religion, education and political power, etc.) gains dynamism, eventually as competition and conflict continue, the spheres of justice will have a pluralist meaning [22, p.37]. This pluralist structure creates its own distribution method with the semantic autonomy of social goods. At this point, a question arises: How will complex equality provide the harmony tried to be provided by simple equality and criticized by Walzer? He answers this question as follows: “I would not like to claim that complex equality will necessarily be more stable than simple equality but I tend to think that this will pave the way for more dispersed and specialized forms of social conflict” [30, p.18]. According to him, complex equality offers us the equality of difference.

According to Walzer, complex equality means not only participating in different distribution spheres, but also realizing the dominant and self-controlling mechanisms for individuals. This realization, in a sense, is not about ideal fields, but about turning to real, specific insights. With this orientation Walzer means understanding the various criteria of complex equality. In a sense, the dispersal and fragmentation of forces will create various fields, or it is about discovering the limitation of the influence and power of the dominant fields that have been created [30, p.19]. In this sense, by denying the idea of the dominant area itself and defending the distribution of equality over different social areas, he states the tendency to shatter the power of all forms of oppression (religion, political power, money). At this point, Walzer begins to examine the spheres of justice.

1.3. Spheres of Justice

After briefly examining Walzer’s theory of equality, simple equality and mixed equality, distribution justice and the relations between these concepts, now let’s start to examine the spheres of justice. He approaches the understanding of justice, especially the understanding of a state independent of value, in a distant manner. In order to establish the relationship between equality and justice, he re-emphasizes some values that will re-establish value field. He tries to reconstruct the political ground on values. From here on, he moves on to design spheres of justice. He defines eleven spheres of justice that are socially, culturally distributed. Each field has its own equality criteria that differ from other fields. He marks appropriate boundaries for these spheres that are just or guided by justice. These eleven spheres of justice are listed as follows: (1) membership in the community, (2) security and welfare, (3) money and property, (4) office, (5) hard work – jobs that no one in the society wants to do (6) leisure time, (7) education, (8) kinship and love (family), (9) divine grace, (10) recognition, and (11) political power [19, p.1805]. According to Walzer, the more relations between these spheres are specific to their sphere and the more their borders are defined, the more socially complex equality comes to the forefront. But the distribution of these areas may not fully provide equality, because the ideal of achieving full equality is a mistake. Because the purpose of equality is to reflect differentiation and distribution, only communities create equality. To him, equality basically doesn’t mean domination efforts of justice spheres on it and it should preserve its own area. Thus, justice and equality establish a semantic link. Although there are eleven spheres of justice that we have mentioned at this point, these spheres of justice are seen in different ways in every society. There are many subsets of these spheres of justice in the communities. These subsets also present many variations and ties of meaning. The inner justice spheres of each culture are formed in different ways. According to Walzer, although there are different forms of formation of justice spheres in every society, his aim is for the areas of justice to have a unique functioning without interfering with each other. Complex equality is therefore necessary for these spheres of justice to be uniquely formed. In this respect, the complex fields of equality and justice offer a necessary meaning for each other.

The first sphere of justice is community membership. Hence, Walzer establishes the relationship between distribution and membership in the community. According to him, while first groups of people learning to share social goods, their culture and values have fundamental importance rather than how groups are formed [30, p.31]. He features the individual who lives within the descriptions of his own cultural values and areas rather than the atomic individuals living in different cultures. Therefore, when the community is called membership, the state of autonomy between the members within each society is explained. In other words, Walzer determines the membership of individuals living in cultural areas in a holistic way by considering the share of individuals in other spheres [7, p.520]. Correspondingly, membership can manifest itself in culturally valuable meanings. From this point of view, we can say that he adopted Hegel’s understanding of the individual as a cultural entity, not Marx’s revolutionary stages.⁴ In other words, Walzer differentiating from the Marxist understanding with his communitarian perspective or communitarian approach, he advocates neither the revolutionary process nor the idea of a future society, he discusses social practices, cultural traditions and common social understanding [17, p.292].

According to him, individual gradually lost his value relations in case of membership with modernity and liberal theories. The meanings attributed to the individual and more material one have changed dimensions. In fact, while more emphasis was placed on the state of cultural unity in the past, physical, monetary union or physical health distinguishes now [27, p.87]. Material concepts started to be brought forward with the enlightenment. With the emphasis of capitalism on money, cultural values and social relations started to be commodified. Now, not the values but the concepts of expression have emerged. But these expressions are reduced to short-term perception states, not a long memory. According to Walzer, most of us have a direct experience of what a country is or what it means to be a member. But perceptions on this issue have been dulled over time. Rather than a political community or place for the individual, he states that each subgroup has autonomous group meanings ⁵ while small groups that we only see their symbols, offices and representatives, make no sense [27, p.5-36]. Because each individual is a member according to the values and norms of different groups, and has difficulty understanding different groups. According to Walzer, there are two groups in societies; foreigners and members of the community. There is a constant conflict between them. Walzer takes modernist tolerance and postmodernist tolerance in his book On Toleration. While describing the modernist tolerance or the modernist project, he mentions two groups; while some groups want to be free of their religious or ethnic responsibilities by demanding citizenship, others want to be recognized as members of society with their religious beliefs and ethnicities [31, p.103]. Walzer explains this fragmentation by emphasizing the individualism adopted by liberal thought, because he suggests there is liberal subject is separate or disconnected from society on basis of modern liberation. Similarly, postmodern tolerance was first formed with the problem of avoiding internal identity feud. The relationship between accepting and not accepting our other side, alien to society and within us, is about tolerating otherness or not more easily [31, p.106]. In this respect, it is important for the originality of societies that the continuous intergroup conflicts do not end with modernity. Because, being a member of the community, which is the first sphere of justice, makes continuous area conflict a commonplace. Merging of mutual conflict areas, continuing with membership to the community, in an order constitutes social prosperity area. Even if this seems a bit contradictory, according to him, it is necessary for the conflict areas to have meaning in an order without interfering with each other.

According to Walzer, because of membership in the community, members of a political community adopt a semantic and valued approach to each other. According to Walzer, in connection with membership in community, members of a political community take a semantic and valued approach to each other. According to Walzer, members encounter with peace and prosperity area in their first relationship. “And the first need of members for each other is to ensure social security and welfare. This claim is reversible: Social judgment is important because it teaches us the value of membership. If one did not provide peace and well-being for the other, or if no distinction was made between members and foreigners, we would have no reason to create and maintain political communities” [27, p.64]. In relation to this, Walzer voices Rousseau’s question “How will people love their country? He believed that citizens like Rousseau should love their country, and of course their country should give specific reasons to do so. According to Rousseau, social unity or common good is achieved by considering the common benefit of individuals from the fields of social justice. According to Rousseau, as long as the common good is provided, spiritual unity will be achieved in the society. Likewise, for Walzer, social unity or adaptation of individuals to their culture is only possible when the spheres of justice are open to everyone. For members to learn the meaning of the state and society, peace and welfare areas, main factor is to learn about the relationships between other fields. For security and prosperity, the state should participate in the needs of its members, and the idea that goods should be distributed according to needs should have a value and distribution needs to recognize the underlying equality of membership and support value in meaning. Walzer makes two specific claims about true social values: (C1) Objects of social value have different meanings for different groups of people. (C2) Different communities typically have pluralistic values [5, p.460]. According to him, equal access of people to this opportunity of value distribution among areas is related to autonomy of distribution spheres. For instance, criminal justice basically offers an autonomous meaning, but even if just being fair seems a simple equality, complex justice of equality emerges when the concept of fairness is combined with concepts such as race, language, religion, party, belonging to groups, and so on. Because, being fair can include many conditions now. Therefore, being fair is not simply expressed as being fair. Similarly, in the field of health, if doctors only serve the elite as in ancient times, this may reveal that only their souls express a curable meaning. For health to have a social meaning, they should turn to service for society, not just for rich. For peace and welfare state, as the doctors and teachers start to devote their time to the rich, the priests start to sell salvation to those who have money, and soldiers start to have money, individual requests begin to precede the peace and security of the society [27, p. 89-90]. According to him, the state is based on education, legal aid or medical care, and these should be shared regularly in a social sense. However, due to inability to control the money field, which we will mention later, it is very difficult to eliminate the wealth tool in the field of need. For him, the welfare area is a very important situation indicator that determines whether or not the justice spheres of a state are autonomous. If this field cannot regulate its relationship with areas such as political power and money, a major conflict may arise between individuals and institutions.

Another sphere associated with the welfare sphere is money and property. According to Walzer, there are three questions about money: What can it buy? How is it distributed? Can we address its distribution sensitively? According to him, money is a source of comfort, warmth and security. We know actually how important money is. Undoubtedly, in relation to the money sphere, each culture has its own mode of production, social organization and specific good group determined by range of trade [27, p.104]. The money sphere is one of the most important areas that actively steers every property, social area and network of relationships. Marx is the philosopher who put forward the most influential views on the value and meaning of the money sphere. According to Marx, even if we think that the value of many things is defined in terms of money, it is difficult to define the money sphere precisely. Accordingly, what creates value but is worthless basically makes everything insignificant. Like Marx, he treats money as the instrument that regulates the relationship between human and property, moral and natural sphere. According to him, Marx’s thoughts on money are valuable in understanding human and explaining human psychology. According to Walzer, as Marx points out, if the concept of money starts to influence the spheres of justice, in one sense it can express an abstract meaning that rules everything. Money and value expressed by it can commodify tools in society. At this point, the mocking definition of the universality of money referred to Oscar Wilde discusses “a person who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing” [27, p.97]. According to him, the reason for this is that money interferes with areas where cannot be bought. Those areas that cannot be bought are such as speech, gathering, religion, press, individual’s self-sphere, marriage, love, family. These areas have a value in themselves. The money sphere can commodify these valuable areas. The most important reason for this is that applications and methods do not limit the money sphere. Unless the money sphere is limited, fair distribution is out of the question in a government.

He emphasizes the inadequacy of methods to historically limit sovereign areas such as money. For example, he states that liberalism is a method model that is most closely related to money, therefore it cannot protect relations among spheres or a just society effort. It is a success that liberalism has historically limited power but his extreme individualism and feature of carrying economics to every field creates a big problem [28, p.326-327]. Liberalism tends to disrupt distribution by blessing money, putting individualism to the fore too much, crossing borders in a sense and trying to dominate many spaces in the public sphere. The reason for this is that individuals in liberalism use power to be seclusive individually showing more culturally distant structure and in this context, atomic individual in liberal societies expresses a materialistic meaning, alienated from a value or cultural point of view [15, p.2-6].

According to him, in liberal societies on a deeper level, market morality created by atomic individuals involves a commemoration situation in which commodities are acquired, created, and changed. At this point commodity fetishism manifests. According to Walzer, commodity fetishism is the reduction of social relations to material elements in the capitalist system. For this situation, “Sociologist Lee Rainwater gives a radical and worrying answer by examining the “social implications of income”: “Money buys membership in the industrial society” [27, p.105]. In other words, fetishism dimensions emerging with money take over the value spheres (family, relatives, love, honor, etc.) between social spheres. The money sphere tries to dominate everything with its purchasing power. If this limit is exceeded, seemingly free property begins to buy other sphere. If this sphere dominates other spheres, social welfare and autonomy decreases. In this case, it causes many problem areas. On the basis of Walzer’s understanding of justice, the distribution spheres we discuss should be independent and should not affect the independence of other spheres. However, money sphere puts independence of other spheres into background for power relations. For example, the money sphere can influence the sphere of education, which should be autonomous for the benefit of governments. And this causes the state to spoil the human profile prepared for the future and restrain it from knowing its own autonomous value. In this respect, the sphere of education is the most important sphere that should not be affected by the money sphere.

Walzer describes the sphere of education as follows: “Every human society educates their children who are their current and future members. Education perhaps expresses the thing we wish deeply to continue, move forward and endure time. It is a program for social survival. And therefore it is always relative to the society for which it was designed” [27, p.197]. According to Walzer, Aristotle defined education as production of society’s own character. Because, according to Aristotle, one of the most important duties of the state is to open a space for people to receive an education that will make them virtuous. Aristotle’s education system is called realism or essentialist education system. The essentialist education system provides that the basic elements of culture are preserved and transferred together with education. In other words, education has a great role in forming or revealing the character of the society. Therefore, the sphere of education is very important for preserving culture and values and transferring them to future generations. And education positions based on justice, student’s places, authorities in school, marks and promotions, different types and knowledge levels should all be distributed with complex equality theory. These distribution models should not be mirrors reflecting the patterns of the economy and political order, because education is not such a simple field to be forced into obedience of one field. If they do not see the educational sphere as an anonymous production in itself and other political and economic superstructures try to take over education, this situation adversely affects not only the sphere of education but also the culture and social character. Because of this, according to Walzer, just as the sphere of education should not be influenced by spheres such as money or political power, similarly, it must be separate from the realm of religion, which is divine grace or its social reduced form. Even if the sphere of religion is seen as a part of the culture, the impact of this area outside of itself or affecting other areas harms the society.

According to Walzer, the sphere of religion is convenient to being influenced by spheres such as money, political power but it can influence many other spheres as well. Walzer uses sphere of divine grace by including concept of religion. For Walzer, in general, grace is a command of God or transcendent power. We have no rational knowledge about these commands of God. Therefore, the understanding of this sphere is mediated by religious doctrines and religious organizations. To him, this area is not significant in every society but this graceful meaning is very important in the history of the west and east. There are many debates about the attainment of this grace, which varies from society to society and has ancient origins, and where this grace is found and how it was acquired is relative. “Divine grace often has a controversial goodness, this is not because it is necessarily scarce and reduces my chances of having it, but it is controversial for two different reasons. First, its existing is sometimes thought to depend on certain public regulations; second, some are thought to have certain political privileges” [27, p.243]. For him, because of the involvement or interference of this sphere of religion in politics and many levels of society, there are a lot of oppositions to this area. However, this area has not completely left its close relationship with the political power and money sphere. Another important sphere used by the authorities like divine grace is the office. It is also active among the domains of other authorities such as religion. When we look up the dictionary, according to Walzer, an office is a place of trust, sovereignty or service, an official post or employment under established authority. Walzer proposes a broader definition for the office to cover the expanded established authority spectrum in the modern world. The office specifies what the political community as a whole should deal with. “Distribution of offices is not a matter in discretion of individual or small groups. Offices cannot be paid by private individuals, transferred to families, or sold on the market. This is, of course, a definition of specification for the social and economic positions of this species distributed in all these ways in the past” [27, p.129]. This area varies from society to society. In some societies, the definition network is wide and in others it is personal. For example, according to Walzer, in societies that Weber calls “patrimonial”, even positions in the state bureaucracy were held as property by powerful individuals and handed over from father to son. He specifies two important factors for office expansion; firstly, political control of activities and employments for the welfare of a community, secondly “fair equality of opportunity”. Walzer, particularly, warns about the fact that expansion of offices under political power can lead to a dangerous growth of central power [12, p.331]. He emphasizes that fair equality of opportunity is indispensable to control this power. This equality of opportunity can create a protective and autonomous space against the destructive innovations of the political power field. According to Walzer, offices belong to the people who serve them. However, the involvement and expansion of the sphere of political power and religion in this sphere causes being under influence of office. There is a more autonomously distributed sphere than these; hard works.

Another area is hard work or jobs that no one in society wants to do. According to him, this area is seen as a negative concept as it has few attractive alternatives and is not highly preferred and it usually carries negative meanings such as poverty and dishonor, but still someone has to do this for the good of society. These jobs that nobody wants to do can be distributed gradually to people under ideal conditions, a suitable distribution sphere can be created by offering short working hours and high wages to those who try to do this job. Although these regulations and measures to be created will not change the work itself, it will at least change its moral character [7, p.521]. According to Walzer, meaning of justice for this sphere involves regulation, eliminating wrong perceptions and gaining a cultural meaning. Similarly, leisure time is a sphere about involvement of working classes’ freedom into distribution.

Walzer describes leisure time as follows: “Unlike money, office, education, and political power, the leisure time sphere is not in a dominating or dangerous sense. It does not easily transform into other products; it cannot be used to control other distributions” [27, p.184]. According to Walzer, Marx was aware of the importance of leisure time. Hence, Marx states that work must be done to increase the leisure time that workers will allocate themselves. While leisure time is meaningless in itself, it makes sense to use it as a continuation of the actions to rest or relax. Leisure time has begun to be translated into a holiday concept over time. According to Walzer, the concept of vacation is not very old; its use as a noun dates back to 1970, and its use as a verb to 1890. In the late nineteenth century, escaping from the city and town soon became popular and entrepreneurial reaction has slowly encompassed resorts and available entertainment has become cheaper. The invention of the railroad made rest and relaxation possible for many workers by the nineteenth century. Massive expansion of particularly popular leisure times began after the World War I and more time, more place and more money made the holiday attractive [27, p.190]. Therefore, according to Walzer, leisure time and money have relation with each other. Walzer divides leisure time as special days, feasts (holiday) and long-term holidays, public holidays (vacation). While every vacation has certain logic, holiday has a special sub-logic that we can understand its history and rituals. Every society has a semantic basis of feasts and holidays. In other words, Walzer states that the meanings within the concepts included in the leisure sphere are relatively different cultural phenomena but these phenomena can only be meaningful when they are part of a culture [19, p.1808]. Sharings such as holidays, special days, and feasts contain a leisure time in itself and this leisure time creates a space where members of a free society can live collectively or individually in different ways. This sphere is followed by the field of kinship and love that emerges as spheres offered by culture to human beings.

According to Walzer, kinship ties, gender ties and love ties create an area beyond the boundaries that distributive justice will reach. Distribution of the kinship and love space happens within the family and with the alliance of families. For Walzer, gifts, legacies, alimonies, many different types of mutual distributive assistance have a traditional meaning. The love, respect, anxiety and bad attitude among father, mother and children constitute the reflective situations of this sphere. “For example, “Honor your father and mother” is a distribution rule” [27, p.228]. For him, family is basically the place of private relationships. As mother, father and child are expanded, ties of relationships such as uncle, aunt and nephew consists. A father loves a child or an uncle loves a nephew more than others. In this relationship network, Walzer states that it is an ambition and jealousy world in which members want monopolism in each other’s feelings. According to him the inequality first begins in the family, as the emotional states in the families move to other parts of the society through them. But although family is seen as foundation of inequality, it is the emotional foundation of society. “Even in early modern political thought, family is often the place where children are taught “virtues of obedience” and in the larger state it is defined as “small state” prepared for citizenship to the political community (or more often obeyed) as a whole” [27, p.232]. According to him, the Greek word from which our family economy is derived simply means “home management”. This area is important in terms of being the basis of both the body and the soul of society. Correct distribution objects in this area are essential for the future of society. In other words, being autonomous of it is important, since this spreads the emotion into the social area. For example, marriage, the laurel wreath signifying honor traditionally, means something with value, not with the rule of distribution [7, p.520]. According to Walzer, since this sphere is important for the value structure of a society, it should not be under the influence of spheres such as money and political power. Because, value shows historical background of a society, not temporary or populist concepts. This sphere is followed by another sphere that affects the relationship between human personality and public sphere; it is recognition.

Recognition sphere reveals the meaning of the person in society. It has very different meanings from society to society. For example, according to Walzer, “To call a person with his title, to honor or not honor him depending on his place, is to place him in social order” [27, p.249]. In this sense, the recognition sphere Walzer considers has a cultural meaning, not an individual meaning. That is, relationship between recognition and complex concepts of equality implies not recognizing one’s behavior, but recognizing boundaries of society among spheres [19, p.1805]. Therefore, recognition brings along many discriminations between cultural boundaries. Titles in societies, discriminations at the top, reveal the intensity of the struggle to recognize signs. According to him, this state of recognition is experienced heavily in the upper classes, while people in lower classes are called more impolitely. There are many degrees between the upper and lower layer. For each person, there is an appropriate attitude determining the degree of recognition deserved by a particular graded name. According to Walzer, in hierarchical levels in societies, degree recognition is dominant when climbing from lower to higher level. The meanings of this definition vary from culture to culture. For instance, for him, if society is hereditary, blood is dominant over degree; if purchasing power is at the forefront, money is dominant; if rulers of the state are dominant, political power is dominant. According to Walzer, as the struggle between the lower and higher levels of society expands, the social benefit becomes infinitely diversified and multiplied. For example, concepts such as honor, status, reputation, respectability, and value represent a social accumulation over time and justice and morality evolve with them. Actually, in a sense, recognition is reduced to the traditions and experiences of different societies, justice and moral concepts [29, p.13]. According to Walzer, every society takes these concepts in different ways and gives meanings to them. This situation also affects the limits of political power and the scope of meaning that we will consider.

Walzer, who points out that political power is the most important field regulating not only the individual but every other sphere, states this as follows: “I will begin with sovereignty, political order, authoritarian decision making, which are the conceptual basis of the modern state. Sovereignty by no means exhausts the sphere of power, however, it focuses our attention on the most important and dangerous form that power can be. Because, this power is not just among the goods desired by certain people, at the same time, as a state power, it means regulation of all different pursuits including government itself” [27, p.281]. This sphere may set limits to other spheres and arrange borders in different ways. The most essential aspect of this sphere is desire to continue its power. According to Walzer, there are different forms of political power prevalence in history. The political power sphere seizes spheres such as divine power, money, religion, and education in order to increase its dominance. As this area dominates other areas, the concepts of freedom and equality of the current society suffer. Totalitarian, monarchic governments allow political power to intervene in other spheres. According to him, the more a state wants to be free, the more its hegemony over other spheres of political power should decrease.

Even if political power controls some social well-being, singularized power monopoly captures spheres such as money and dominance to completely capture relationships among spheres. According to him, Engels also mentions that with the expansion of sovereignty it will occupy the concepts of money and office. This power immediately destroys the good gains of previous political power by affecting other areas such as money, religion, office, education and increasing totalitarianism in the new areas created. This cruel power will make tyranny functional again in all institutions. Power holders will see the harmful aspects of power by distributing it to people who do not deserve it. Political power will then be unable to control the misuse of this power. For Foucault, this is a process that all institutions look like prisons [27, p.290]. According to Walzer, institutions will become imitation coordination as they cannot be free. In this case, political power will begin to create sovereignty areas outside of its own sphere. As it goes beyond its own sovereign, it will restrict or damage freedom among spheres. In other words, the use of justice turns into the use of force.

Walzer states that the most appropriate theory of justice is the complex theory of equality In order that political power in a state does not turn into a single authority and it does not take over the spheres of justice. In a society with this complex theory of equality, the government that will work properly is social democracy. Because social democracy offers a suitable system for breaking up political power. When democracy management and complex equality theory come together, among social spheres of political power, they become a structure preserving borders and meanings. At this point, the only function of political power is not regulation but protection. Political power seen as superior power does not define social goods, even if its special function is seen as regulation of social goods, this regulation is not in the form of defining like Aristotle but in the form of protection [12, p.332]. Briefly, according to Walzer, the function of political power is to protect the boundaries and meanings between the spheres of justice as a technical expertise. In other words, Walzer advocates that the understanding of social democracy will prevent the tyranny that will occur in the society. According to him, civil society has been added as a new answer to nationalist, leftist, capitalist answers given to the question of what is the best life. Civil society thinking should be based on social democracy and citizens should be more effective and take responsibility in the field of politics. According to him, a system in which citizens are effective should be introduced instead of the central administration to provide these. However, a pluralistic structure should be acquired in terms of local and historical identity of the society. Thus, political power can be reduced.

 According to Walzer, when social groups whose limits are protected by political power develop various criteria that reflect the diversity of the spheres of justice, autonomy of spheres of justice begins to exist. In order to regulate these relationships, Walzer presents three criteria as (1) free exchange, (2) deserve and (3) need [27, p.21]. Even if all three have intrinsic value, during the distribution of pluralistic social spheres, it is not possible for them to participate effectively in all distributions in terms of their value structure, that is, each of these properties is valid for only their own sphere. First, free exchange regulates the spheres of kinship, love, and money. For Walzer, for example, marriage is a free love between two people and should not be regulated by any other criteria. “Every change is an expression of social meaning” [27, p.23]. Free exchange also reveals the order of society. Free exchange distributions are entirely in the hands of individuals. But the meaning of social culture also has a limit within itself. For example, money can be seen as free exchange, but more often it fills pockets of bourgeoisie. Voting may seem like a free change, but it carries many limited factors. Secondly, concept of deserving regulates the recognition sphere. Positive recognition and criminal justice require one to get what he/she deserves in terms of honor or punishment. According to him, it would be very difficult to understand which sphere means what if there wasn’t the concept of deserving. “No x can be distributed regardless of its social meaning; because without paying attention to what x is, it is conceptually impossible to say that x is deserved” [27, p.23]. In this respect, the concept of deserving tells us the basic principles of distribution. Finally, need has to manage the sphere of security and welfare. Walzer states that the need reflects the life of everyone in society in a certain way, and need cannot be evaluated in an equal sense as Marx put it [27, p.25]. Because meeting their needs make people have living effort. The concept of need is therefore important for dynamism of society. It is necessary to establish a space for people to act in and meet their needs freely. According to him, this area is hidden in civil society. Relationships that have complex areas such as family, love, money and security can be considered as civil society in terms of desire. Although desire and need are interdependent in the thought of civil society, mind includes them [32, p.122]. In this sense, in Walzer’s system, even if a dualism is seen in terms of desire and reason, ultimately the mind on which desire depends is brought to the fore. The idea of civil society is basically considered as the mental system to which a desire is directed.

Conclusion and Evaluation

As a result, after explaining Walzer’s understanding of justice through the spheres of justice, we need to mention about or criticize some of the problematic aspects of the understanding of justice. Firstly, Walzer’s support of his understanding of the spheres of justice with his complex theory of equality creates some problems. Although the meaning of sharing social goods supported by complex equality comes together with the search for a common consciousness, history, language and culture, national character tends to alienate from the concrete one. Because sharings are increasingly divided into much smaller units and these units can make national one have semantically abstract value. For him, even though this complex theory of equality offers more cultural and social differences, since these differences tend to generalize; their distribution spheres offer different distribution methods to various societies with false sharing networks. Although complex equality offers us many unexplainable functions, because it distributes and limits sovereign areas, we can say that originality between spheres comes to the fore and this originality enables to discover and interpret concrete one. The concept of originality has a very important place in Walzer’s philosophy. Although he does not convey this concept clearly, it is fundamental to good life of society or the flexibility of civil society. Another important concept for him is the concept of discovery related to its originality. The concept of discovery reveals only in the case of originality, but it is necessary for living authenticity. In other words, discovery and originality engages. Concepts of originality and discovery make interpretation necessary. These concepts can emerge in a free civil society.

Secondly, Walzer states that with money and sovereign spheres singularized by the simple equality theory, spheres of sovereign can be formed and sovereignty destroys equality. In contrast to this simple equality theory idea of establishing sovereign spheres, he specified eleven spheres of justice and emphasized autonomy among these spheres. He introduces the complex equality theory, but he does not explain what the boundaries among these spheres will be and whether these boundaries can indicate absoluteness or not.

Thirdly, while he speaks of liberalism as an order in which equality is put background because it creates atomic individuals or because individuals are sanctified, he prioritizes the individual as a cultural entity and avoids specifying whether the boundaries, varying from culture to culture, differ from individual to individual. Therefore, he makes culture an important concept in terms of social goods.

Fourthly, according to Walzer, because there are borders and meanings among justice spheres varying from culture to culture, one sphere cannot have another. For example, based on this view, he stated that there is no singular connection between hard work and volunteering and that this connection is provided by culture. Although he tries to prevent individual privilege, he also paves the way for the idea that some people are more equal than others.

Fifthly, even if he emphasizes the autonomy of each sphere, he avoids regulating the relationships among them. For example, he advocates heavy work areas, but does not provide an explanation for how it should be transformed.

Sixthly, according to him, as we have stated before, the education sphere should not be largely influenced by money and office spheres and family sphere should not be influenced by money and political power spheres. While discussing the relations among these spheres, he criticizes Rawls and says that the idea of universal justice is wrong, because different spheres of justice in different cultures are different. However, since he could not necessarily explain which countries and which social structures are suitable for this inter-spheres relationship models, he approaches the universal justice system he criticizes.

Finally, although the spheres of justice he discussed, autonomy and relations among spheres have a cultural meaning, he does not address what they should mean to resolve social conflicts. Unlike these criticisms and the spheres he examined express mixed and different situations, it is important his applying the idea of justice to different spheres with a synoptic perspective and to developing a unique perspective while doing this. We should say that Walzer structured his understanding of justice with the complex theory of equality and justice spheres and tried to put forward a free view. He has revealed the necessity of distribution and fragmentation of not only external but internal spheres of domain by considering justice together with culture and he has put equality at the center of his system. Since he did not want to confuse passive moods of individual human nature with spheres of social justice, he established these spheres in a cultural sense. In other words, he tried to make justice effective distribution method with the complex equality theory and autonomous justice spheres. To put in a different way it can be said that he tries to see and place the sphere of value, neglected or ignored by neoliberal policies, as the basis of redistribution.


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Yıldız Karagöz Yeke, Muammer Aktay

Yeni dünya nizamı və Valzerin ədalət anlayışını yenidən düşünmək


Müasir dünyanın əsas xüsusiyyəti olan kapitalist istehsal prosesinin ən vacib nəticəsi “dəyər”dən asılı olmayan dünya yaratmaqdır. Antik dövrdən bu günə qədər dəyişməmiş yeganə yanaşma hər hansı dəyişikliklərdən asılı olmayaraq “ədalətli bir nizam və ədalətli bir həyat”ın axtarışıdır. Bu axtarışda mənasını dəyişdirən bir çox dəyər, şübhəsiz ki, yenidən qiymətləndiriləcək və məzmuna çevriləcəkdir. Sözügedən bu dəyərləri yenidən nəzərdən keçirən əhəmiyyətli fəlsəfi nəzəriyyələrdən biri də Maykl Valzerin ədalət konsepsiyasıdır.

M.Valzerin “ədalət” anlayışı ilk növbədə “Ədalətli bir cəmiyyətin nədən ibarət olduğu?” sualına cavabla araşdırıla bilər. “Ədalət” anlayışının başlanğıc nöqtəsi mücərrəd insan konsepsiyasına əsaslanan ədalətli bölüşmə nəzəriyyəsinin, idealist dəlillərin və filosofların tənqididir. Onun fikrincə, ədalətli bir cəmiyyətin təməlləri utopik şəkildə deyil, ümumi həyatın və məqsədyönlü bir planın əks etdirdiyi dəyərlər çərçivəsində başa düşülə bilər. Onun “ədalət” anlayışı konkret kontekstlərlə əlaqəli bərabərliyə və plüralist prinsiplərə əsaslanır. Valzerin ədalət anlayışının təməl konsepsiyası olan “bərabərlik” bir norma deyil.

Bərabərlik anlayışı plüralizm kontekstində dəyişkən və mürəkkəb struktura malik olsa da, sistem içərisində çoxsaylı ədalət sferaları var. Bu sferalar daxilində hər bir münasibətlər sisteminin öz sosial mənası var. Kompleks bərabərlik – bu, fərqli sahələrin unikal strukturlarının qorunması deməkdir. Ədalət sahələri arasındakı güc əlaqələrini idarə etməyin çətinliyini bilən Valzerin pul, siyasi güc, təhlükəsizlik və cəmiyyətə üzvlük kimi ədalət sahələri arasındakı güc münasibətlərini tənzimləməyə çalışır. Təqdim edilən məqalədə məqsəd Valzerin ədalət anlayışı və çağdaş fəlsəfədə hakimiyyət münasibətləri kontekstində ortaya çıxan yeni dünya nizamında ədalət anlayışına dair tənqidi münasibətə, ədalət sahələrinə və kompleks bərabərlik nəzəriyyəsinə nəzər salmaqdır.

 Açar sözlər: ədalət, ədalət sferaları, cəmiyyət, kompleks bərabərlik

Йылдыз Карагоз Йэке, Муаммер Актай

Новый мировой порядок и переосмысление понимания теории справедливости Уолцером


Самым важным результатом капиталистического производственного процесса, который составляет главную характеристику современного мира, стал тот факт, что он создал мир, независимый от «стоимости». Единственный подход, который остался неизменным с древности до наших дней, – это поиск «справедливого порядка и справедливой жизни», вне зависимости от типа изменений. Многие ценности, значение которых изменилось в этом процессе, несомненно, будут пересмотрены, и их содержание будет изменено.

Несомненно, одной из эффективных философий, пересматривающих эти ценности, является подход Майкла Уолцера к справедливости. Понимание справедливости Майклом Уолцером можно исследовать на основе вопроса о том, что представляет собой справедливое общество. Отправной точкой его понимания справедливости является критика теории справедливого распределения Роулза, идеалистических аргументов и философов, которые опираются на абстрактное человеческое понятие. По его словам, основы справедливого общества нельзя понимать утопично, а в рамках ценностей, отражаемых общей жизнью и соответствующим планом. Его понимание справедливости основано на эгалитарном и плюралистическом аргументе в отношении конкретных контекстов. Равенство, которое является основной концепцией понимания справедливости Уолцером, не является нормой. Хотя концепция равенства представляет собой переменную или сложную структуру в контексте плюрализма, в системе существует множество областей справедливости. В этих сферах каждый набор товаров имеет свое социальное значение. Комплексное равенство означает сохранение уникальной структуры этих различных полей. Уолцер, который осознает сложность контроля властных отношений между областями правосудия, хочет регулировать властные отношения между областями правосудия, такими как деньги, политическая власть, безопасность и членство в обществе. Наша цель в этом исследовании – изучить понимание Уолцером справедливости и его критику, своего понимания справедливости в новом мировом порядке, которая возникла в контексте властных отношений в современной философии, сосредоточив внимание на областях справедливости и сложной теории равенства.

 Ключевые слова: правосудие, сферы правосудия, общество, комплексное равенство.