The quote (I don't remember where exactly in AToJ it is):

But we must try to postpone the day of reckoning as long as possible, and try to arrange society so that it never comes.

I think it was past section 40 but before Part 3, so was in some of the more "applied political ethics" area of the text. But so what is this day of reckoning supposed to be? He later brings up the ressentiment of Nietzsche (I think), or at least conservative theories of destructive communist envy, but I doubt he would have viewed a Nietzschean or communist reckoning as morally expected in the event of a failure of the two principles of justice. Or maybe he meant that one of those reckonings, any of them, could be expected disjunctively? "If the two principles fail to secure and advance their place in history, then reckoning A or reckoning B or... will take place"?

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    Politics is chock-a-block with days of reckoning. The problem is not one of what but one of which.
    – Hudjefa
    Sep 13, 2023 at 4:55
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    It's any singularity which the whole theory of Rawls endeavor to prove to be avoidable necessarily.. Sep 13, 2023 at 6:05
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    See e.g. The Theodicy of Growth: John Rawls, Political Economy, and Reasonable Faith: "Rediscovery of John Rawls's early interest in theology has recently prompted readings of his philosophical project as a secularized response to earlier theological questions." Sep 13, 2023 at 7:25
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    It is at the very end of ToJ V.46 and preceded by:"In the more extreme and tangled instances of nonideal theory this priority of rules will no doubt fail; and indeed, we may be able to find no satisfactory answer at all. But we must..." It is the day when priority of liberty and justice that guide application of the two principles of "ideal" theory to the "tangled" cases fails to resolve them. Schaar, p.89 discusses what happens then under Rawls's "general conception" of justice, and claims that "Rawls has collapsed justice into equality".
    – Conifold
    Sep 13, 2023 at 8:33
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    Most revolutions start over issues of perceived injustice. I'd say everyone involved in events that led to the Terror following the French Revolution, wishes things had gone differently, I'd point to that as history's clearest example of lose-lose consequences of injustice. The Fall of Rome was another reckoning, where the Goths had been excluded from true integration & access to power - essentially taxation without representation. Not a great time was had all around, given the deprivations of the Dark Ages. Reckonings like these are known by all educated people, surely.
    – CriglCragl
    Sep 13, 2023 at 10:48


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