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The definition of Justice and Injustice

Assuming the definition of Justice and Injustice are agreed upon, it is easy to see that Injustice is the more attractive option to men. It is a natural response to instincts that do not have judgmental hurdles. It is the fear that they might become prey to instincts similar to theirs that men agree to impose the moral or legal boundaries (readily welcoming these curbs on others while secretly ruing the lack of freedom to themselves to pander to their baser instincts). More importantly, there are two important factors that prevent men from indulging in the acts that have a consensus of being unjust.

The first is the fear of equal ability of men to inflict similar injustice on them. The second is the fear of being caught in the act that they have signed a social pact to consciously avoid indulging in unjust acts. In the example of Gyges’ ring both these fears are addressed. Gyges has the capability of becoming invisible which no other man has and therefore nobody can retaliate with any injustice based on such ability. The second factor is that the ring enables him to become invisible when he is pampering the whims of his baser instincts – acts that are considered unjust.

This story encapsulates the predicament of the human society with out the consideration of time. Whatever be he era, humans have retained the instincts that drive them to lust after what is not theirs. The only factor that stops them from going ahead and seizing what they so desire, is the fear – that this act will make them vulnerable to similar attacks by others who might lust after their possessions. Justice is just a pact that enables men to relax in the assurance that the wider society will frown upon others’ attempts to take away what is theirs. Any small window of opportunity is seen as an excuse to pamper their instincts.

In the case of Gyges, the very act of taking what is not his right – the ring from the corpse is a manifestation of man’s inherent greed and utter disregard to the rules of possession. These rules are implemented only because of the mutual understanding of people constituting the society in question. A shepherd, who is expected to be in awe of his king and do his duty in accordance with social rules, suddenly stumbles upon a ring that, gives him the power of invisibility. This immediately removes any semblance of social order that might have been part of the fabric of the shepherd’s character.

He makes use of this opportunity to visit the palace, seduce the queen and dethroned and killed the king. The turn of the events is unimaginable, but plausible in the light of Gyges’ newly acquired prowess. Any increase in power which is not easily replicable (in terms of retaliation) by others and the ability to conduct his unjust affairs in utmost secrecy and invisibility prompt Gyges to indulge in acts that are proven unjust. His being a shepherd in his earlier life does not prevent him from usurping what is not his by right.

This concept of justice being a safety necessity and injustice the natural path of any man is visible in almost all historical instances. Victims of disproportionate violence and segregation – Jews, have been found to indulge in similar excesses against the civilian population of Palestine (when the Jews are in a more powerful position). Similarly, suffering under the colonial domination of British did not immediately enable the Indian society to redeem itself of similar beliefs of untouchability or Caste based superiority. Men in all of history have been found to indulge in unjust acts where there was a scope for them to get away with it.

There are some who argue that even the policies of United States (camouflaged under the banners of Democracy) are attempts to bring other nations in line with their socio-political ideologies. A strong resentment against similar efforts of Great Britain had actually led to the formation of United States in the eighteenth century. As demonstrated by Gyges’ story, it has been seen through out History that injustice is practised wherever convenient, though increased awareness has only led Man to device attractive cloaks to camouflage their baser instincts.

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