Social justice and market justice denote different situations in society although they do share particular characteristics. While social justice is concerned with the creation of a society in which individuals live in unity, share responsibilities and are accorded equal rights by the state, the notion of market justice is based on the creation of a society or a situation where individuals depend on themselves and their personal efforts to survive.
Both social justice and market justice emphasize equality and fair treatment of individuals in a society, even though each philosophy envisions different means for achieving this goal. Social justice emphasizes treating the people in the society, including the poor and the rich, as equals to ensure unity in the society. Market justice, on the other hand, emphasizes giving every individual participating in the exchange of goods and services an equal chance to succeed.
Both market justice and social justice take time for their effects to be fully realized. Social justice involves the general society or community being fully practiced or understood by individuals and it takes time. Market justice also needs time to have its effects felt. Even though it involves individuals, in market justice society takes time to fully realize its potential and opportunities since its successes depend on its efforts.
Social justice and market justice both support certain fundamental human rights. Social justice is of the view that in a just society, basic needs like housing, education, income and health should be provided to all citizens as fundamental rights. This way, the community can realize fulfillment as well as unity. Market justice, on the other hand, thrives on the view that in a free society, individuals have the right to own property and acquire property, as well as having the right to sell it or exchange it in pursuit of personal fulfillment.
In market justice, transactions in the market are legitimate so long as they are confined to the precincts defined by the law. However, problems can arise when individuals participating in the market use unfair means to dominate other individuals. Social justice holds that societies should hold certain values such as human rights as legitimate so that the law can continually guarantee equality and shared responsibility. Problems can also also arise here when individuals in the society use unfair means to have advantages over others in the society.
Social justice and market justice hold that freedom of action and freedom of choice need to exist. Social justice holds that individuals in the society are accorded freedom of choice in choosing what is good for them since humans should be treated as rational beings living in a civilized and democratic society. Market justice holds that individuals have the freedom to freely and voluntarily participate in the exchange of goods and services as governed by the free market forces of demand and supply.
- University of Pretoria: The Market, Justice and Morality; Themba Sono, PhD.
- Center for Economic and Social Justice: Introduction to Social Justice; William Ferree, PhD
- Artpolitic: Market Justice Healthcare; A Contradiction in Terms; Max Pollack
- “Essentials of the United States Health Care System”; Leiyu Shi et al.; 2009