Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Brief Reflection on Justice & Deconstruction

To summarize what I've read about Derrida, deconstruction, and justice, just because I'm thinking about it right now (and this began for you, but is turning out to be more for me): Justice does not deconstruct. Jusitce is not law. Law should reach for justice, but being a thing written or spoken, it deconstructs. Justice is not giving someone what they deserve--those who have it coming--but rather giving to those who do not have (it coming, or do not have justice, or simply lack). And since it is a giving, justice becomes practicing or offering a/the gift. Some gifts--not true gifts--presume an economy. I give you a gift and I know you will eventually want to give me a gift in return, making the gift not so much a gift, but an exchange (even though we call them gifts in our culture). The true gift is one in which you cannot presume this economy. You give to those who do not have (it coming, or do not have justice, or simply lack). When you give a gift to them, you cannot receive in return because they do not have anything to exchange.

And that is justice--giving true gifts.

Because once someone is given a gift, they no longer lack what was given, justice changes. New gifts are given. And this is why laws deconstruct and lack justice, because they assume a singulairty, one "gift" given over and over again to the same person, like buying 25 of the same turtlenecks and giving one each year to the same person, beginning when the person is 17. The person moves to a warmer climate, styles change, and so does the person's body. Even if these things did not change, the turtleneck is not warn after a year and a re-gifting of the same gift is superfluous.

Justice, in another sense, is deconstruction, an opening up to future possibilities. It is, at least, tantamount to or in the same family as deconstruction.

I like this understanding, because it gives a different understanding to blind lady justice and her scales. If lady justice is blind, it is because she does not judge the person to whom she gives, but gives to all who need. And her scales weigh what one does not have, so she can give.

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