Skip to Content

J

Joint-stock companies. Most large-scale capitalist enterprises outside the state sector are joint-stock companies. The ownership of invested capital as stocks and shares entitles the owners to an unearned income of a proportion of distributed profits in the form of dividends.

 

Justice. A central concept in liberal political philosophy in which people get what they deserve. For socialists, as for Marx, this and associated concepts (such as ‘rights’) are not so much wrong or false as not relevant for our purposes. Socialists operate within a different frame of reference, employing different concepts and asking different questions. To the liberal who is appalled by our lack of concern for ‘justice’, we might equally ask why there is no role for the class struggle in liberal politics.

Nor would socialist society have to be underpinned by some conception of ‘distributive justice’. From each according to ability, to each according to need, is a practical arrangement for meeting self-defined needs. (See also EQUALITY.)

Reading

Allen Wood, Karl Marx, 2004