Other Essays by Rodney G. Peffer

     Here are some other essays that help round out my general theoretical project (as I have developed it so far).  They are listed in the order which I think makes most sense of my theoretical project rather than in strictly chronological order according to date of publication.            "Marxism, Morality, & Moral Truisms: Response to Kai Nielsen" is a friendly response to my good friend, Kai Nielsen.  It  further expounds on some of the metaethical issues examined in my 1990 book Marxism, Morality, and Social Justice, and argues -- among other points --  that it is important for Marxists not to cede the realm of morality, moral argument, and moral theorizing to other political perspectives. ... especially since there is no good reason to refuse to participate in such discussions once these areas of discourse are properly understood.        "Marxism, Markets, & Socialist Property Relations" simply points out that (A) we should advocate and promote whatever socioeconomic and political systems we believe best meet the moral theories and/or theories of social justice that we believe are most correct (or adequate) upon critical reflection, and that (B) while Marxists and socialists of all stripes think we should advocate and support socialism (of some type), we are required to offer sound arguments and persuasive evidence for our normative and empirical, social-scientific views ...  just as everyone else is required to do.                 "Equality, Socialism, Democracy - Cuba as a Test Case" defends socialist Cuba against the many false claims made against it (especially by the U.S. government and mainstream press/media) and argues that Cuba better conforms to correct moral principles and principles of social justice than almost any other developing society ... even though, admittedly, it is far from perfect.          "Towards a More Adequate Rawlsian Theory of Social Justice" (1994) comments on Rawls's book Political Liberalism (1993) and offers a second, more well-worked out version of my modified Rawlsian theory of social justice (in light of Rawls's mainly approving comments on it in Political Liberalism).          "Rawlsian Theory, Contemporary Marxism, & the Difference Principle" argues (1) that Rawlsian theories prefer socialism over capitalism given certain plausible empirical, social-scientific assumptions; (2) the theoretical differences between Rawls (and most other contemporary progressive liberals) and many contemporary Marxists -- especially Analytical Marxists such as G.A. Cohen, Jon Elster, and John Roemer -- are not primarily based on differences in their normative theories but differences in their empirical, social-scientific beliefs; and (3) Rawls's Difference Principle, once properly understood, is as egalitarian as is reasonable, and that the alternative -- even more egalitarian -- principles advocated by such theorists as G.A. Cohn and John Roemer are not preferable to it.          "What is to Be Distributed?" examines the "equality of what?" debate begun by Amartya Sen in 1980 and continued by Ronald Dworkin, G.A. Cohen, Richard Arneson, and others, over whether the object of principles of distributive justice is resources, welfare, opportunities for resources, opportunities for welfare, social primary goods, or basic capabilities (Sen's suggestion).  My essay concludes that Rawls's social primary goods are the best answer to this question, especially once a Basic (Subsistence) Rights Principle is accepted.          "Subsistence and Security Rights as Free-Standing, Universal Rights ...," which was written under the auspices of UNESCO (and plublished on its website), is partially  a response to the position that I believed Thomas Pogge to be taking in the early 2000s that the description of these rights as universal and free-standing was problematic.          "World Hunger, Moral Theory, and Radical Rawlsianism" examines almost all the major theoretical approaches to the moral (and practical-programmatic) assessment of the world hunger/extreme poverty problem, and argues that a "radical" Rawlsian theory that demands that the Difference Principle -- as well as the Subsistence Rights Principle  -- be applied globally (over time)  is preferable to any of the other theoretical approaches to this important problem.           "World Justice, Carbon-Credit Schemes, and Planetary Management Authorities"  -- which is partially based on a 1994 video documentary by James Burke called "After the Warming, Part 2" -- argues in favor of a carbon-credit scheme that would distribute carbon (that is, green house) gas emission rights to all the countries of the world (according to a particular formula) and then allow developing countries to trade (barter, but not sell for cash) their excess carbon credits to economically more highly developed countries for approved technologies and capital investments (in such areas as green energy technologies, agri-forestry, telecommunications, education, health care, etc.) as both a way to help ameliorate some of our worst environmental problems (such as air pollution and global warming) and achieve greater global distributive justice.  It also argues in favor of what Burke calls a Planetary Management Authority that would have the power and authority to oversee the implementation of this scheme.   I also advocate the creation of some kind of international institution that could (and would) oversee the complete elimination of weapons of mass destruction on this planet as well as prevent major military conflicts from breaking out ... which, of course, is precisely the foedis pacificum  (League of Peace) that Kant advocated in 1795 in his "Perpetual Peace."         This topic is taken up in more detail in the next essay, "Hiroshima, the American Empire, and the Iraq War" which utilizes what I take to be the correct interpretation of Just War Theory to argue (A) that those  atomic bombings -- as well as the fire bombings of major cities in both Japan and Germany during WW II -- were unnecessary and, thus, unjustified and (B) that these bombings and many other military (and para-military) actions by the U.S. against other countries, up to and including  the recent U.S. War in Iraq (that has destabilized most of the Middle East with disastrous consequences), have been the result of U.S. capitalist-driven imperialism that started in earnest in its war against Mexico from 1846-48 (and subsequent theft of almost half of its total territory) and which has continued to this day.  It argues that while not all U.S. military actions have been unjustified -- e.g. WW II was justified as a defensive war against the fascist powers -- many of them have been unjustified, and that this will not end until capitalism (and the military-industrial-congressional-think tank complex) is no longer the driving force behind U.S. foreign policy and (many) economic decisions.