Distributive Justice and Social Desert

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No.5, 2015




Zhang Guoqing


Desert is the core concept of justice, and social desert is the core concept of distributive justice. Distributive justice not only involves the self-ownership of each person, but also the public resources they share and the social rights and economic interests they acquire from the state and society. All people have total self-ownership, which forms the basis of many of the rights they enjoy, but this is not the basis of their social desert. Social desert means the public value and shared resources that each person can acquire from society. Its basis is people’s status as members of a community, a status determined by their position in the political, social and economic structure. Social justice means everyone gets their desert in the socioeconomic sphere. The theory of social desert is a theory of resource distribution concerned with the question of social justice in the spread, allocation and distribution of basic social resources. It advocates not only the protection of everyone’s self-ownership and careful treatment of self-ownership transactions, alterations, and compensation, but also everyone’s equal enjoyment of basic social resources. Announcing a return to the starting point of social justice, it provides a feasible path to easing social contradictions.