many who do not find a sense of justice for their good; but if so, the forces making for stability are weaker. Under such conditions penal devices will play a much larger role in the social system. The greater the lack of congruence, the greater the likelihood, other things equal, of instability with its attendant evils. Yet none of this nullifies the collective rationality of the principles of justice; it is still to the advantage of each that everyone else should honor them. At least this holds true so long as the conception of justice is not so unstable that some other conception would be preferable.
Rawls, Theory, supra note 1, at 505.
[A]ll I mean by truth is what I cant help believingI dont know why I should assume except for practical purposes of conduct that [my] cant help has more cosmic worth than any otherI cant help preferring port to ditch-water, but I see no ground for supposing that the cosmos shares my weakness.
Letter from Oliver Wendell Holmes to John Gray (Sept. 3, 1905), quoted in Sheldon Novick, Honorable Justice: The Life of Oliver Wendell Holmes 283 (1989). This quotation was brought to my attention by Albert W. Alschuler, whose book is an informative and provocative exploration of legal and moral skepticism. Albert W. Alschuler, Law without Values: The Life, Work, and Legacy of Justice Holmes 24 (2000).
By contrast with associations within society, the power of the government cannot be evaded except by leaving the states territory. . . . [N]ormally, leaving is a grave step: it involves leaving the society and culture in which we have been raised, the society and culture whose language we use in speech and thought to express and understand ourselves, our aims, goals, and values; the society and culture whose history, customs, and conventions we depend on to find our place in our social world. . . .
The states authority cannot, then, be freely accepted in the sense that the bonds of society and culture, of history and social place of origin, begin so early to shape our life and are normally so strong that the right of emigration . . . does not suffice to make accepting its authority free, politically speaking, in the way that liberty of conscience suffices to make accepting ecclesiastical authority free, politically speaking.
Rawls, Restatement, supra note 1, at 9394 (footnotes omitted). [I]t is, says Rawls, no defense of the principles of political justice to say to those protesting them: You can always leave the country. The analogue of this may hold for associations but not for political society itself. Id. at 94 n.15; see also Rawls, Liberalism, supra note 1, at 136 n.4.
[T]he parties in the original position would recognize that the responsibility for distributive justice must lie with the separate, sovereign nation-states and not with any unified global regime. Each nation-state must be free to determine its own population growth and education policies, as well as other policies concerning savings rates and capital investments, and thus each must be free to establish its own separate income-sharing programs.
Id. at 264 (footnote omitted).