chapter  5
Marx and distributive justice
Pages 12

The word ‘justice’ has an ambiguity in its meaning (Westphal 1996: xi). On the one hand, justice usually means fair and equal application of the law with a legal or a moral sense. On the other hand, justice often represents the appropriate distribution of goods, benefits, income, and sometimes even opportunities for political participation, within a certain value standard. It was the latter sense that occupied Marx. For him, it was almost a self-evident truth that capitalist society is an unjust society, because of the way that the capitalist’s profit derives from the unpaid labour of the working class.