“Severe poverty is an ongoing harm we inflict upon the global poor.”
On rectification and its critics: “We indeed cannot inherit responsibility for our
forefathers' sins. But how then can we plausibly claim the fruits of their sins?”
On the subjunctive: “We indeed cannot inherit responsibility for our forefathers'
sins. But how then can we plausibly claim the fruits of their sins?” Furthermore,
when we “imagine a state of nature among human beings on this planet, one
could not realistically conceive it as involving suffering and early deaths on the
scale we are witnessing today. Only a thoroughly organized state of civilization
can produce such horrendous misery.”
Our current “institutional order is implicated in the reproduction of radical
inequality in that there is a feasible institutional alternative under which such
severe and extensive poverty would not persist.”
Who bears responsibility?
“Governments of our affluent countries bear primary responsibility for these
global institutional arrangements and can foresee their detrimental effects. And
many citizens of these affluent countries bear responsibility for the global
institutional arrangements their governments have negotiated in their names” (5).
“I seek to show that the global order not only does not harm the poor but can
plausibly be credited with the considerable improvements in human well-being
that have been achieved over the last 200 years” (10).
“The global order is not fundamentally unjust; instead, it is incompletely just, and
it should be credited with the great advances it has brought” (11). Patten
Diagnoses Pogge as subscribing to a minimal normative principle (don't do harm
as opposed to prevent harm) but comes to a maximalist conclusion.
Dilemma: either Pogge has a minimal normative principle with minimal
conclusion, or Pogge can get to the maximal conclusion only through a maximalist
How to interpret Pogge's notion of justice?
Patten: the first leads to the first horn, the second leads to the second horn
The problem with the procedural view, for Patten, “places far too much emphasis
on international factors and almost none at all on do