quarta-feira, 15 de agosto de 2012

O "véu de opulência"

Em seu post para o blog The Stone, Benjamin Hale estabelece uma analogia entre o célebre argumento do "véu de ignorância" proposto por John Rawls e aquilo que identifica como um dos principais argumentos dos conservadores norte-americanos: o "véu da opulência" - Qual o tipo de sociedade que gostaria de viver caso fosse rico?

The Veil of Opulence - The Stone

Nowadays, the veil of ignorance is challenged by a powerful but ancient contender: the veil of opulence. While no serious political philosopher actually defends such a device — the term is my own — the veil of opulence runs thick in our political discourse. Where the veil of ignorance offers a test for fairness from an impersonal, universal point of view — “What system would I want if I had no idea who I was going to be, or what talents and resources I was going to have?” — the veil of opulence offers a test for fairness from the first-person, partial point of view: “What system would I want if I were so-and-so?” These two doctrines of fairness — the universal view and the first-person view — are both compelling in their own way, but only one of them offers moral clarity impartial enough to guide our policy decisions.

Those who don the veil of opulence may imagine themselves to be fantastically wealthy movie stars or extremely successful business entrepreneurs. They vote and set policies according to this fantasy. “If I were such and such a wealthy person,” they ask, “how would I feel about giving X percentage of my income, or Y real dollars per year, to pay for services that I will never see nor use?”