I am currently reading Korsgaard's Self-Constitution in the Ethics of Plato and Kant (which you can find here). I was wondering if the argumentative step from an injustice in the perfectly arranged polis to an injustice in a contemporary democracy is justified somewhere. I will try to explain what I mean. Korsgaard writes (p.7):
And this explains Socrates’s puzzling definition of justice. Justice, he says, is “doing one’s own work and not meddling with what isn’t one’s own” (433a–b). When Socrates first introduces this principle into the discussion (369eff.), he’s talking about the specialization of labor, and that’s what the principle sounds like it’s about. But if we think of the constitution as laying out the procedures for deliberative action, and the roles and offices that constitute those procedures, we can see what Socrates’s point is. For usurping the office of another in the constitutional procedures for collective action is precisely what we mean by injustice, or at least it is one thing we mean. For instance if the constitution says that the president cannot make war without the agreement of the congress, and yet he does, he has usurped congress’s role in this decision, and that’s unjust. If the constitution says that each citizen gets to cast one vote in the election, and through some fraud you manage to vote more than once, you are diminishing the voice of others in the election, and that’s unjust. So injustice, in one of its most familiar senses, is usurping the role of another in the deliberative procedures that define collective action. It is meddling with somebody else’s work.
Now, considering that the polis Plato has in mind is arranged perfectly, and thus just, somebody who "meddles with what isn't her own" is being unjust. But having bought that, are we already, without further steps, buying that the same goes for acting against the constitution of, say, the US? Doesn't the assessment of a person's act as unjust mainly depend on the installation of justice in the society that person is acting in? For that would mean that it might not be unjust to non-conform with the constitution of an unjust society.
If I read the following correctly, then it's not Korsgaard's goal to tell us how to behave in a society. She tells us that to conform to a constitution means to make collective action possible in the first place, and later she will, just as Plato, transfer this back to the person and its faculties/soul. Nonetheless, I wonder if her modernisation of Plato can carry the argument. Therefore the question: Is usurping the office of another in a society that might be described as not yet just unjust in the same way it would be in the perfect polis? I don't think so.
My question would be: Does anybody know whether Korsgaard herself motivated this step somewhere else, maybe in Self-Constituion: Agency, Identity, and Integrity? In that case I would be grateful for a specific reference and/or an answer explaining what seems to be the argumentative gap. I would also appreciate some further references to criticisms of Korsgaard's argument.