The just and unjust

Through out history, society had decided what is just and what is unjust. Even today, people look at a situation and decided whether what occurred is right or wrong. In essence, the idea of just and unjust is subjective. People create a perspective on this based on their own personal experiences and upbringing. These paintings show different authors ideas that are still present in today's world. Plato brings the idea of just and unjust, while Socrates talks about Philosophers and how their way of thinking is just. Rousseau talks about the ideas of a "civil" and "savage" man, while Marx and Wollstonecraft talk about people during that time period and the lives they have lived. In conclusion, the people are who decided whether they or others are living a just or unjust life. 

During Book I and II of Plato's The Republic, Socrates is trying to uncover what the definition of justice is. Several characters in Book I give their definitions of what they think justice is, but Socrates found counter arguments for all of the definitions he was given. In The Republic the idea of being just means that you are a person that does good deeds. If a person who is just does something unjust, they are punished whereas if a person who is unjust does something just, they are rewarded. This concept is seen through this painting called “The Death of Abradatas.” In this painting the powerful king of Persians shows grirf when he sees that Abradatas has died in war. Abradatas was once Cyrus’ enemy, but Abradatas became Cyrus’ ally in the war against Croesus. Abradatas’ death brought a good name to the Persian monarch. This shows the when people who are unjust do good deeds, they are looked at in a positive manner. Anradatas was the enemy, but then became an ally. When Abradatas died, it gave a better name towards the Persian monarch.
Books VI and VII focus more on education and what education entails. In Book VI, Socrates talks about Philosophers and how they are the lovers of knowledge. He also mentions how they are true beings. Being true is a quality that Socrates believes Philosophers should have. Essential, wisdom and truth go together. Looking at this image called "Basic Education" by Wang Guang Yi, I feel that it shows that the multiple shovels represent the multiple qualities that a person, such as a Philosopher, should have to show they they are a just person. Some qualities mentioned in Book VI are being able to observe the natures of others, come to an understanding, have a love for knowledge, having a good memory and a union of all the qualities mentioned. These qualities are what make a person (a Philosopher) successful. People who are just, tend to be more happy as Socrates had stated in Book IX when comparing aristocrats to tyrants.
The idea of a "savage man" and a "civil man" that Rousseasu talks about in his novel "Discourse on Inequality" shows that there are inequalities that separate these two groups of people. Such inequalities are mentioned in the Introduction of the novel, those inequalities are natural/physical inequalities and moral/political inequalities. Natural/physical inequalities are differences that people don't have control over such as age or illness. On the other hand, moral/political inequalities are differences that people do have control over because these inequalities are used to determine what type of person he/she may be. The combination of these types of inequalities create the state of nature of man. This painting by Russell Drysdale called "Sunday evening," shows the harsh realities of life and the way that many people live. In his painting, Drysdale focused on the idea of human survival. I feel that this painting shows the idea of a "savage" man's life style versus a "civil" man's lifestyle. Looking at the painting, I think that the man and boy standing on the right represent the "civil" man/lifestyle looking at the women, girl and her baby who represent the "savage" lifestyle. The "savage" lifestyle shows that they don't have the luxuries that people of the "civil" lifestyle have. In the painting the mother is giving her baby a bath outside in a small bin of water. They don't have proper homes with a kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms. Looking at this painting, the question that appears is, is the difference in the lifestyle of "civil" and "savage" people just or unjust. In Part 1 of "Discourse on Inequality," Rousseau, he talks about how savage men live among beasts and raises themselves to that level of animal instinct. In essence, "savage" people do created their lifestyle and way of living for themselves, they didn't end up living the life that they due because of some higher power or force. It could be said that the lifestyle of the mother, her daughter and her baby is just because they have created that lifestyle for themselves and choice to live the way that they do.
In the second part of Rousseau's "Discourse on Inequality," he talks about the differences between the civil and savage man. One difference that he mentions is wealth and money. This concept can be seen in Isaac Oliver's painting called "A Party in the Open Air, Allegory on Conjugal Love." In the second part of the novel, Rousseau said the conjugal love resulted when families lived together and each family being a small society. This can be seen in the painting with there being two types of "families," or classes. The first class seen in the front of the painting is the wealthy class. The second class is seen in the background of the painting is the lower class and can be interpreted at the "savage" men as Rousseau talks about in his novel. In essence, this painting is showing differences in social class, but more importantly, it is showing in equality. Rousseau talks about the differences in lifestyle between the civil and savage man in his novel, but a very important theme throughout the novel is inequality. Money is a major inequality that people face. Rousseau mentions that the rich tend to dominate and they are able to persuade the weak to unite with them into a supreme power. This shows the people who have more money, tend to have more power and say in society. This was seen in the past and the present as well. Difference in money is what causes corruption in society. As Rousseau had mentioned in his novel, wealth is a measure of its corruption. Many people will do whatever it takes to gain money and wealth. From breaking laws to hurting others, the desire of wealth creates catastrophe in society.
Many people view communist countries to be unfair because there may be only one ruler, or a dictatorship. This concept can be seen in the painting by Charles Le Brun called "The Queens of Persia at the Feet of Alexander." This painting shows the Persian Queens lying at the feet of Alexander after his victory. The emotions that are seen on the Queens' faces could show how much love and respect they have for their leader. It could also be interpreted that Alexander is the only leader, or that his family are the only rulers. This would show that Persia has a dictatorship which could make it a communist nation. Another communist country is North Korea. The people in North Korea have so much love and respect for their leader regardless of how they were being treated and if they felt the government was run fairly or not. In his novel, The Communist Manifesto, Marx talks about how he finds the bourgeois' ideas of abolishing family and education "disgusting." The Communist Manifesto talks about abolishing family and education. This takes away the rights of people and their ability to stay together as one. At the same time, the government does not want the children to gain an education and be able to learn about what is taking place in society and in the government. Based on Persia's history with its past leaders, it can be seen that the power would stay within the same family. In a way, this could be considered unfair because it does;t give other citizens an opportunity to be a leader, but at the same time, this leadership can be interpreted as a dictatorship. The family would have full control over the people and the country. Persia could be considered a communist nation based off the painting and its description because there was a single family that held the power. I personally feel that this could be considered unjust because with one leader under complete control, it is possible that people don't have a limited amount of rights and freedom. I can not give a definite statement on my opinion because this is something that I have not experienced being born and brought up in the United States. If I were to look at that idea of a communist government and a dictatorship, I would say that it is unjust because it takes away other citizen's chance to have a say and possibly be apart of the country's government. The government also does not want the children or people to gain knowledge about what they are doing and are trying to stop the citizens from gaining an education and knowledge.
"A Vindication of the Rights of Women" is Wollstonecraft's view on women and their role in society. She states several ideas about women that were present during the time she wrote the novel and some of theses ideas are present in today's society. Wollstonecraft talks about how the female gender is degraded by the narrow-minded people in society. She also talks about how females are used as company by being there for their husbands when they come home and making the house less empty. Society has created the idea of the female gender as someone who takes care of the house and children while their husbands work. This painting called "Women Ironing" by Edgar Degas, shows what a women's role was during that time. Women were supposed to stay at home, clean the house and take care of the children. Wollstonecraft talks about how women lack knowledge. The only way to get knowledge is by obtaining an education. If women were able to get an education during that time, they would be able to do so much more than what people thought they could do. The female gender wasn't thought too highly of, but women that did get an education were able to show people that they are just as capable as men, if not more capable. In this painting, Degas shows a laundress and talks about how they work long hours for a small wage. The wage gap is something that is also prevalent in today's society. For every dollar a male makes, females make about $0.78. This is unjust because females are working just as hard as men, but are not earning the same amount. This not only shows a wage gap, but gender inequality also.
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