* 原著:Authority and the Individual, 1949, Lecture 5: Control and Initiative: their respective spheres
* 出典:牧野力(編)『ラッセル思想辞典』索引


 経済的公正(economic justice 経済的正義)は、ごく最近になって、政府の目的(governmental purpose 政治の目的)となった。公正は平等(と同じである)として解釈されるに至っている。(ただし、特別な功績のある者は例外的だが適度な報酬(ほうび)は必要と考えられる場合は別である。)

 けれども、経済的公正には限度があることは、最も熱心に経済公正を唱える西欧の人々によってさえ、少なくとも暗黙裡には、認められている。たとえば、世界の恵まれない地域の地位を改善することによって,経済的平等に近づいていく方法を見つけ出すことは最重要なことであるが、それは救済されるべき膨大な量の不幸が存在しているという理由だけでなく、まぎれのない不平等が存続する間は(while glaring inequalities persist)、世界は大規模な戦争を阻止して安心安全を確保することはできないからである。しかし、西洋諸国と東南アジアの間に経済的平等をもたらそうとする試みは、漸進的な方法以外にいかなり方法によっても、より繁栄している国民をより貧しい国民の水準に引き下げることになるだろうし、後者にたいした利益をもたらすこともないであろう。

 公正は、安心安全(security 治安,セキュリティ確保)と同様、ずっと高い程度にまで各種の制限の対象となる原則である。万人が等しく富んでいる所にだけでなく、同様に、万人が等しく貧しい所にも公正は存在している。しかし、富んでいる者をより貧しくしても、それによって貧しい者がより豊かになるということでないのであるなら、富める者を貧しくしても、無益と思われるであろう。平等を追求しても、結果として貧しい者を一層貧しくさえすることになるならば、公正を願っても一層悪いものに終わる。このことは、教育の全般的低下科学研究成果の減少が伴うところでは、十分起こる可能性があるであろう。・・・。

Justice, especially economic justice, has become, in quite recent times, a governmental purpose. Justice has come to be interpreted as equality, except where exceptional merit is thought to deserve an exceptional but still moderate reward. Political justice, i.e. democracy, has been aimed at since the American and French Revolutions, but economic justice is a newer aim, and requires a much greater amount of governmental control. It is held by Socialists, rightly, in my opinion, to involve State ownership of key industries and considerable regulation of foreign trade. Opponents of Socialism may argue that economic justice can be too dearly bought, but no one can deny that, if it is to be achieved, a very large amount of State control over industry and finance is essential.

There are, however, limits to economic justice which are, at least tacitly, acknowledged by even the most ardent of its Western advocates. For example, it is of the utmost importance to seek out ways of approaching economic equality by improving the position of the less fortunate parts of the world, not only because there is an immense sum of unhappiness to be relieved, but also because the world cannot be stable or secure against great wars while glaring inequalities persist. But an attempt to bring about economic equality between Western nations and South-east Asia, by any but gradual methods, would drag the more prosperous nations down to the level of the less prosperous, advantage to the latter. without any appreciable advantage to the latter.

Justice, like security, but to an even greater degree, is a principle which is subject to limitations. There is justice where all are equally poor as well as where all are equally rich, but it would seem fruitless to make the rich poorer if this was not going to make the poor richer. The case against justice is even stronger if, in the pursuit of equality, it is going to make even the poor poorer than before. And this might well happen if a general lowering of education and a diminution of fruitful research were involved. If there had not been economic injustice in Egypt and Babylon, the art of writing would never have been invented. There is, however, no necessity, with modern methods of production, to perpetuate economic injustice in industrially developed nations in order to promote progress in the arts of civilization. There is only a danger to be borne in mind, not, as in the past, a technical impossibility.