The mention (a few lines back) of a liberal socialist regime prompts me to add that justice as fairness leaves open the question whether its principles are best realized by some form of property-owning democracy or by a liberal socialist regime. This question is left to be settled by historical conditions and the traditions, institutions, and social forces of each country. As a political conception, then, justice, as fairness includes no natural right of private property in the means of production (although it does include a right to personal property as necessary for citizens’ independence and integrity), nor a natural right to worker-owned and -managed firms. It offers instead a conception of justice in the light of which, given the particular circumstances of a country, those questions can be reasonably decided.
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