A Gravity Model of Civic Deviance: Justice, Natural Duties, and Reparative Responsibilities
April 30, 2021
This paper presents a ‘gravity model’ of civic deviance and the principle of reparative responsibilities, addressing the question of when citizens are justified in shirking their civic obligations. Provided an unjust state, I raise the proposal that principled civic deviance (CD) should be, at the very least, permissible to varying levels as determined by a gravity equation. In select cases, I argue that CD may be obligatory. The gravity model, which sets to define the degree of permissible CD, features considerations such as the unfairness of the basic social structure, the individual extent of injustice faced, and the balance of CD-enabling natural duties against CD-restricting natural duties. In responding to one’s natural duty of justice, I claim that reparative responsibilities (RR) consign varying degrees of CD obligations, depending on the individual’s stake in injustice, beneficiary and contributory status, capacity to prevent and respond. Hence, individuals affected by an unjust state may permissibly, or necessarily, shirk their civic obligations only in line with their natural duties and RR.
“[O]ne has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”
— Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail
What conditions justify a citizen’s deviance from their civic obligations in a constitutional democracy? And more importantly, whom does the scope of justified civic deviance encompass? A common way of justifying uncivil actions is to accept that we are only under a prima facie duty to obey particular laws (i.e. when incivility poses seriously untoward consequences or involves an act that is mala in se) and that we have no such obligation to obey all its laws. When some laws surpass a given threshold of injustice, we may be justified in disobeying those laws. On this justification, some have argued that all individuals who are subject to unjust institutions in some manner should be allowed to challenge injustice by shirking their civic norms of reciprocity. Others have argued that only those who fall beyond the scope of tolerable injustice should be allowed to shirk their civic obligations. So, where should the threshold for justified civic deviance be drawn among members bound to a scheme of reciprocity and social cooperation? Is there a way to account for the level of injustice suffered individually along some sort of tolerability gradient while also extending the scope of justified civic deviance to all those within the broader scope of unjust institutions?
In this paper, I explain why an approach that selectively permits civic deviance (henceforth ‘CD’)—proposed in Tommie Shelby’s “Justice, Deviance, and the Dark Ghetto”—has to be reconsidered. I then outline the structure of what I have come to think is the correct one. My most significant response to Shelby’s argument focuses on his failure to offer details on setting thresholds as to when deviant behavior is justified or at least excused. That said, I recognize that the main aim of Shelby’s paper is only to stake out the conceptual grounds for these claims and to illustrate that these are conceptual categories worth mining. I aim to engage further in that mining process and to offer an original contribution to the debate by re-examining Shelby’s threshold account. I introduce what I call a ‘gravity model’ of CD and the principle of reparative responsibilities to permit varying degrees of CD for particular oppressed groups, while sustaining permission for all to exercise CD—provided an unjust social structure, and a positive difference of natural duties wherein CD-enabling natural duties outweigh CD-restricting natural duties. By CD-justified, I will come to mean ~ (CD-forbidden) or CD-permissible, and in select cases, CD-obligatory.
This paper is organized as follows. In Part I, I draw upon Shelby’s article, “Justice, Deviance, and the Dark Ghetto” and review some of the basic building blocks of CD. In section 1, I outline Shelby’s Rawlsian justification for CD, and in section 2, I reconstruct his application of CD to the “black ghetto underclass” of the United States. Section 3 is dedicated to pinpointing the inadequacies of Shelby’s view. When only a particular subset of the population is permitted to deviate from their civic obligations, there arises an imbalance of burden-sharing. I claim that it is unfair for those who do not suffer from intolerable injustice (and those who suffer from greater levels of intolerable injustice) to continue upholding reciprocity wherewith unjust institutions, especially if continuing to do so clashes with their natural duties.
In Part II, I lay out the elements of what I believe is a more adequate approach. I begin by advancing on Shelby’s conception of the natural duty of justice. In this light, I come to understand CD as that which extends to those within the limits of tolerable injustice, and the differences in the level of intolerable injustice will be accounted for through the gravity model of CD along with the principle of reparative responsibilities (RR). Provided an unjust social structure, all affected individuals are justified in shirking civic obligations but nonetheless remain bound to natural duties and reparative responsibilities. I will finally elaborate on what I take to be the guiding conditions of permissible and obligatory CD, drawing from the modern analytical political philosophy literature.
Part I: Reflections on “Justice, Deviance, and the Dark Ghetto”
Let me begin with an explanation of the preliminary concepts underlying CD. In “Justice, Deviance, and the Dark Ghetto,” Shelby advances on Rawls’s apparatus of justice as fairness. Shelby builds his argument from the premise that within a liberal framework, justice, at least in part, is rooted in the political value of “reciprocity between persons who regard each other as equals,” bound together under a cooperative scheme for mutual advantage (p. 129, emphasis mine).
The social, political, and economic institutions of the basic structure of society fix an individual’s initial position within society, more or less favoring some individuals in the distribution of benefits and burdens—of liberties, duties, opportunities, and material advantages. Given that the basic structure bears an immense and wide-ranging influence over an individual’s lifetime prospects, which are deeply shaped by a social structure each individual did not choose, Shelby argues that the social arrangement should be formed by institutions, i.e., governments, schools, firms, markets, and families, as to provide each individual with a “fair chance to flourish” (p. 130). In this grander scheme of reciprocity, each participant of the social structure has a legitimate claim to a fair chance not to have their life prospects diminished by the social scheme in ways that cannot be justified on impartial grounds.
It is in virtue of this groundwork of reciprocity, or the principle of fair play, that ‘civic obligations’ have normative force. As a beneficiary of the primary goods afforded by the cooperative enterprise, each citizen is expected to shoulder an obligation to do their share as the arrangement requires, such that costs and benefits are divided in an equitable way. Citizens then have a duty to bear a share of the costs that are involved in the production of collective public goods. For example, they should pay taxes, obey the law, and so forth. This obligation is owed to those with whom one is cooperating, in order to maintain a fair basic structure. Each citizen of a democratic polity is ipso facto bound to civic obligations as required by the basic institutions. When a citizen evades or refuses to fulfill her civic obligations, she attempts to gain from or exploit the cooperative labor of others (‘free-riding’) without doing her fair share. The law-breaker acquires an unfair advantage over her fellow citizens, and this, in turn, warrants punishment to remove this advantage and re-establish a fair distribution of benefits and burdens among all members of the society.
Shelby further claims that an individual’s fair chance to thrive is a necessary condition for reciprocity. Each citizen is bound to civic obligations only “when these institutions are just” (p. 145). Citizens therefore are modus tollens not obligated to submit to unjust institutions, or at least not to institutions that “exceed the limits of tolerable injustice” (p. 145). Institutions that bring about injustice that is so serious as to be intolerable allows special civic permissions for disadvantaged individuals, that is, deviance from civic obligations or—as I term it—CD. Since those who suffer from intolerable injustice have been deprived of their fair share of benefits from the social scheme, they are not bound by the civic norms of reciprocity they have as citizens.
As to determine who falls beyond and beneath the radius of intolerable injustice, Shelby proposes the constitutional essentials standard, based on a loose criterion of adequacy. These include the basic rights of a liberal democratic regime, such as freedom of speech, conscience, assembly and association, political rights and other supplementary rights. For all citizens to be provided adequate exercise of these rights, Shelby adds, these rights should be impartially and effectively enforced, not merely codified in law, such that all citizens can have confidence that their rights will be respected by those with institutional power (p. 150).
Consider a society wherein constitutional essentials remain unsecured for certain peoples, that is, the social structure deprives certain peoples of their fair share of benefits. Shelby contends that in such a society, those affected by intolerable injustice should not be expected to fulfill the civic obligations demanded by unjust institutions. This is not to say, however, that those affected by intolerable injustice should be released from moral duties altogether. Here, Shelby provides a clear distinction between civic obligations required by all proper citizens, versus natural duties, which unconditionally bind to all moral persons regardless of their associational or institutional ties. Thus, while an individual beyond the limits of tolerable injustice may deviate from civic obligations, at no point in time can any person permissibly abandon natural duties.
One striking natural duty that Shelby highlights is the natural duty of justice. Drawing from the Rawlsian project, the two sub-principles of this natural duty are as follows: for each individual (1) to uphold and comply with just and efficient institutions when they do exist, and (2) to support the establishment of just and efficient institutions when they do not yet exist. The ‘positive’ natural duty of justice provides reason for CD, while its ‘negative’ form provides reasons for individuals not to deviate from their civic obligations.
Implementing these concepts into practice, Shelby pictures the plight of the black ghetto underclass in the United States. Shelby describes a widely assumed narrative about the urban poor, wherein residents live in the dark ghetto due to their self-defeating attitudes and malicious conduct, and thus violate legitimate expectations for civic reciprocity, including a duty to obey the law and support themselves through licit jobs. Under such misinformed narratives, when the ghetto poor engage in criminal activity (i.e., theft, drug-dealing, prostitution) or refuse to accept menial, low-paying, unsatisfying jobs, these actions appears to be “a failure of reciprocity on their part” (p. 146). Such attitudes call for acts of CD to be characterized as irresponsible lawbreaking and unenterprising criminality, and for such acts to be rightfully prosecuted and punished.
Shelby contends that this is the wrong conclusion to draw, however, since the mere existence of the dark ghetto—with its “combination of social stigma, extreme poverty, racial segregation… and shocking incarceration rates”—proves its incompatibility with any meaningful form of reciprocity among free and equal citizens (p. 150). There is sufficient reason to believe that the constitutional essentials standard is not currently met in dark ghettos of the United States. Since the black ghetto poor live under the rule of institutions that exceeds the limits of tolerable injustice, they thereby have a legitimate claim of deviance from civic obligations. That is to say, when the ghetto poor engage in criminal activity, refuse to accept menial jobs, or bear contempt for society, disrespecting the authority of the law qua law, they do not “violate the principle of reciprocity or shirk valid civic obligations” (p. 151).
If the social scheme miserably fails to embody the value of reciprocity for a certain group of peoples, those who are deprived of their fair share of benefits from social cooperation should not be required to reciprocate in civic obligations. There exist no valid civic obligations demandable from the victims of intolerable injustice, especially when the unaffected others—albeit unknowingly—profit from the unjust social structure.
Again, even if a society is deeply stained by injustice, moral duties remain owed to one another in the form of natural duties. Natural duties, including the duty not to be cruel, to help the needy and the vulnerable, not to cause unnecessary suffering, to respect the moral personhood of others, to help bring about just institutions, must be satisfied in the enactment of CD. Forms of deviant behavior that are compatible with natural duties, for instance, shoplifting and petty theft, may be conceived as permissible. Other extremes of deviance—for instance, some forms of gangsterism, which involves the use of “violence, threats, and intimidation, to forcibly extract money, goods, and services from others... [maiming] and even [killing]” (p. 137)—violate natural duties, namely the duty not to be cruel, not to cause unnecessary suffering, to show respect for the moral personhood of others, etc., and thus are always morally unjustified for all people, regardless of the inequity of a social scheme. On this regard, we may rule out forms of CD that involve mala per se, while still permitting CD acts that involve mala prohibita.
To briefly recapitulate, Shelby’s discussion brings into light a discussion of fairness and political obligations. Shelby’s view is that the empirical facts show that the conditions of political obligations do not hold. He proposes that in unfair, oppressive, or unjust social structures, individuals are no longer bound to a scheme of reciprocity, while nonetheless having natural duties.
Up to this point, my discussion—and certainly that of Shelby’s—has revolved around the implications of justifiable civic deviance for the ghetto poor, or those beyond the threshold of intolerable injustice. The question now extends to what civic obligations, permissible deviance, and natural duties are to be for those within the limits of tolerable injustice, including the benefactors of the unjust social regime.
For individuals who are not themselves affected by intolerable injustice, Shelby’s understanding of CD asserts that they should nonetheless remain bound to the duties of the unjust regime, and they would not be justified in shirking their valid civic obligations. On Shelby’s account, such individuals remain bound to a cooperative reciprocal scheme to do their fair share as a beneficiary of the primary goods afforded by the social scheme, even if there are those who may not be bound to it (i.e. the ghetto poor).
Let me invoke a hypothetical example to illustrate this point. Imagine a team of laborers— Dongbaek, Yongsik, and Jongryul—who sign a contract to work cooperatively under a scheme of mutual advantage in a table-lifting business. If laborer Dongbaek does not receive a fair share of benefits for the work that she performs in lifting an equivalent proportion of the table’s weight, and if this were to amount to Shelby’s standard of intolerable injustice, then Dongbaek may permissibly deviate from her civic obligations, that is, to drop her end of the table and walk away without being subject to moral criticism on this basis. Shelby’s argument continues in the implication that Dongbaek’s deviance does not render null the civic obligations (to move the table) owed by laborers Yongsik and Jongryul, who remain fairly compensated for lifting the table. Since Shelby’s standard of fairness is merely that of adequacy, let’s imagine that Yongsik well-beyond meets the fairness requirement (i.e. Yongsik receives an attractive bonus on top of his standard compensation), whereas Jongryul barely meets the adequacy threshold (i.e. Jongryul is provided with minimally adequate wage compensation for his labor). Regardless of Yongsik’s and Jongryul’s differing proximities from the threshold of tolerable injustice, insofar as they are fairly compensated—according to Shelby’s definition, not the Rawlsian standard—as beneficiaries of the (unjust) reciprocal scheme, Yongsik and Jongryul, who are not themselves affected by intolerable injustice, may not exercise CD.
There seems to arise an interesting conflict here. Shelby’s initial words on what establishes civic obligation is as follows: “[E]ach citizen has an obligation to fulfill the requirements of the basic institutions… when these institutions are just” (p. 145, emphasis mine). This implies, in converse, that when these institutions are unjust, each citizen bears no obligation to fulfill the civic requirements of the basic institutions. Extending on this suggestion, perhaps the standard of appropriate CD should be set at a lower bar, more broadly, such that the mere existence of unjust institutions invalidates a baseline of civic obligations for all citizens. As to delineating precisely what set of civic obligations consists of this threshold is a subject for further study. When Yongsik and Jongryul—after Dongbaek’s departure—now must lift heavier weights of the table for the same wage, they may decide that this entire table-lifting venture is fundamentally exploitative, skewed from the ground up, since the social structure generates enormously unfair distributions. In continuing to uphold this scheme along with its unjust institutions, Yongsik and Jongryul sustain injustice, perhaps contravening on positive natural duties, notably that of justice. All the while, other negative natural duties, for instance, the duty not to cause unnecessary suffering, prevent an extended of abuse of CD for the wrong reasons. There is sufficient reason to think that those unaffected by intolerable injustice may be permitted to shirk a baseline of civic obligations given a persisting unjust social structure (defined by some standard of unfairness).
On the other side of the spectrum, imagine workers Sangmi and Gyutae, who similar to Dongbaek, suffer from Shelby’s conception of intolerable injustice: the lack of constitutional essentials. Both Sangmi and Gyutae suffer from great intolerable injustice, falling far beyond adequacy conditions. Whereas Sangmi exercises CD, Gyutae does not. Here, Dongbaek’s exercise of CD, which seems to extend symmetrically for all those affected by intolerable injustice, takes advantage of Sangmi and Gyutae (and Yongsik and Jongryul), while Sangmi’s exercise of CD gains from the persisting social cooperation of Gyutae (and Yongsik and Jongryul). Imagine a case where Dongbaek steals a loaf of bread for herself, having starved for three days. For the purpose of illustration, let’s presume that the number of days starved—of one’s and one’s dependents—is the dimension by which we measure ‘unfairness.’ If Sangmi also hopes to steal a loaf of bread for himself and his entire family who have starved for seven days, but if Dongbaek’s deviance necessarily prevents Sangmi from doing so, it seems as if Dongbaek’s CD (indirectly) takes advantage of Sangmi, and wrongly so. Both Dongbaek and Sangmi would be taking advantage of Gyutae, who, having already completed one excruciating day of work, still has no purchasable food from the bakery to feed himself and his family, starving for 12 days. Given that Gyutae continues to hold onto the table while suffering from greater intolerable injustice—defined by a more pressing need for constitutional essentials—than compared to Dongbaek and Sangmi, it seems that Dongbaek harms the innocent Sangmi and Gyutae, and Sangmi takes advantage of Gyutae, and in both cases, the worst off is harmed. Thus, a CD permissibility condition of proportionality to one’s status of injustice faced appears relevant here. Given an initial baseline of permissible CD, I find it necessary that an additional permission to CD considers the level of intolerable injustice each individual suffers as a result of the unjust basic structure, establishing a gradient of tolerability.
Part II: Outline of a more adequate approach
The real puzzle of CD is, then, not how to draw a threshold line for the fairness of institutions and for the adequacy of constitutional essentials, but instead, how we should be accounting for the level of injustice suffered by individuals while also extending the scope of justified CD to all individuals within the broader scope of unjust structures and institutions.
I thus propose a gravity model of justified CD. This model is not intended to be taken as a literal, mathematic formula that citizens can employ to meticulously calculate their degree of permissible CD. Rather, I provide this model in the spirit of opening up alternative ways to think about CD and its implications. The model (first pass), taking into account the discussion on burden-sharing (§I.3, supra) is as follows:
Permissible CD (first pass) = extent of the unfairness of the basic structure (measure of unfairness of institutions) • extent of injustice faced (measure of tolerability)
The first equational factor is the baseline concerning the fairness of the rules, laws, principles, and institutions that constitute the basic social structure, or the fairness of the basic structure itself. Since this first factor is more broadly applicable, Rawls’s somewhat more demanding standard of justice as fairness could be applied here. The second factor refers to the individual measure of injustice faced: those who are subject to greater forms of (intolerable) injustice may be allowed greater CD permissions. This relation is modeled in Figure 2.1. Both Rawls’s and Shelby’s standards of fairness, the FEO and DP versus constitutional essentials, are not mutually exclusive, for they may be modeled on the same gradient as follows in Figure 2.2, with steeper inclines for each threshold crossing. Other models of fairness could be introduced here (i.e. insert dimension-D along the x-axis or add in threshold-T in place of Rawls and Shelby’s standards). In Figure 2.2, Rawls’s threshold is positioned to the left of Shelby’s since it is an ideal of justice that makes it harder for unjust societies to fulfill: it is more likely for unjust institutions not to meet the requisites of Rawls’s standard of justice as FEO and DP (footnote 7, supra) than to achieve Shelby’s fairly looser standard of adequacy.
Natural duties, particularly that of justice, also play a significant role as a factor regulating CD. The second sub-principle of the natural duty of justice holds that each moral agent has a duty—in helping to bring about just rules, laws, principles, and institutions—to fight against unjust rules, laws, principles, and institutions, plausibly by means of CD. These CD-enabling (positive) natural duties may also be limited by CD-restricting (negative) natural duties, for instance, to not be cruel, etc., which impose restrictions on the exercise of CD. Considerations of alternative (i.e. legal) forms of resistance to the unjust basic structure (i.e. peaceful protests, petitions, authorized public events, and other law-respecting acts of solidarity) also fall under the category of CD-restricting natural duties. On this basis, indiscriminate and unwarranted forms of ex ante violence on the innocent can be restricted. What I call the difference of natural duties (ND difference) thus permits CD if and only if the CD-enabling factors outweigh the CD-restricting factors; if the natural duty of justice to upturn severely unjust structures compels the exercise of CD over all other natural duties. If the CD-restricting factors override the CD-enabling features, then CD may, at the very least, face moral limits. If the CD-restricting factors are so great as to cancel out the extent of the unfairness of the basic structure and the extent of intolerable injustice faced, then CD may not be justified.
At this point, there arises another relevant concern on whether or not CD could be, in select cases, not only permissible or encouraged but also necessary or required. Building upon the brief mention of alternative forms of action (subsumed under ND difference), I have come to believe that certain forms of CD may be morally necessary to fulfill natural duties when all other alternatives to CD and its weak forms have been completely exhausted (footnote 26, supra). When a member of the ghetto poor, having exhausted all other (i.e. legal) alternatives of securing adequate resources to feed himself and his family, decides to steal a morsel of bread from the bakery next door, he may not merely be permitted but rather obligated to do so. For if he refuses to steal bread and feed his family, he violates the natural duties of self-respect, respect for the moral personhood of others, and duty not to cause unnecessary suffering, among others. The pressing immediacy of respect and preventable suffering for his family outweighs the dues of respect for the bakery-owners.
Under some circumstances, a failure to exercise CD represents a failure to do one’s own part in upholding one’s natural duty of justice: those who blindly obey, rather than those who disobey the law, may be accused of perpetuating and sustaining vehement forms of injustice, and be accused of free-riding on their fellow citizens’ cooperative moral efforts. The need for solidarity may call upon CD not merely as a supererogatory act but rather as an obligation: when Gyutae, for instance, fails to exercise CD—which incurs on his, others’, and their shared natural duties—he might be contravening valid CD obligations.
By invoking familiar normative categories, we may formulate ‘CD-justified’ in the following forms: CD-permissible or ~(CD-forbidden), and CD-obligatory. At the very least, provided an unjust social structure with its set of unjust institutions and so forth, we necessarily have CD-permissible—though to varying degrees depending on the gravity model equation—and ~(CD-forbidden). In select cases, determinable by when a neglect of CD seriously contravenes on ND, we may have CD-obligatory.
I propose a further original condition to CD: the principle of reparative responsibilities (RR). Provided a case of justified CD, not only do citizens retain their natural duties (i.e. to respect others’ humanity, etc.) but also come to bear a new set of obligations—in varying degrees—to restore or re-establish reciprocity, trust, and civic cooperation in the long run. This need not be immediate. Let’s return to the table-lifting example. When a member drops their portion of the table, and when others express solidarity by dropping their portion of the table in an act of radical reform, all members are still due respect to another as equal moral persons (and perhaps the table-dropping is a vehement expression that this has not been the case), and now may be tasked with another duty to work in reallocating the burdens (or benefits) so as to provide for a fairer share of benefits (or burdens). In addition, all individuals—including those who do not eventually engage in CD—now bear the responsibility to amend these damaged social bonds, restore justice, and provide closure to affected victims. RR imposes a duty on all to work towards the adjusting and redrafting of the fundamental social conventions so as to reduce unjust laws and practices in a continued process of reflective equilibrium.
In carrying forth the duty of justice, individuals equipped with greater powers and benefits (as a result of unjust institutions) should be bound to a correspondingly greater set of RR to countermand injustice; individuals (i.e. Yongsik in the table-lifters case) with a greater capacity and ability to prevent or counter injustice, in a better situated position to influence change, as well as those who are greater beneficiaries of and contributors to injustices, should be held to a greater degree of responsibility in amending unjust institutions. That said, the underlying RR extends also to the victims of intolerable injustice, as they play a part, albeit small, in sustaining unjust social structures. The ghetto poor, for instance, may not be held to the same degree of RR as the uber rich, provided that RR varies depending on an individual’s relational status in the social scheme. Since justice as fairness demands an unequal distribution of primary goods, RR extends unequally depending on the individual stake in injustice, capacity for political sway, beneficiary, and contributory status until at least society is tolerably just. RR, like any obligations, compel individuals to take action.
Given these additions, my gravity model of CD may be revised as follows:
Justified (Permissible/Obligatory) CD = [extent of the unfairness of the basic structure • extent of (intolerable) injustice faced] • [ND difference] in line with [ND • RR]
An act of CD is justified if and only if—and to the extent that—the basic structure is unjust and the individual faces an extent of intolerable injustice, or CD-enabling factors override CD-preventing factors. Acts of CD should be undertaken with natural duties of justice and reparative responsibilities in mind, which—to varying degrees—impose the normative considerations of respect for humanity and the (eventual) restoration of social cooperation. Acts of CD are obligatory, as opposed to merely permissible, provided the exhaustion of non-CD alternatives and of the least harmful forms of CD, or when unanimously called for by the natural duty of justice.
Working together, the ND difference and RR ensure that CD does not arise out of cathartic or exploitative motivations or aims (supra footnote 20) but rather occurs in line with ND and RR. It is important to note that in the equation of justified CD, I preclude concerns of political effectiveness or pragmatism. Similar to Rawls’s reasoning, the effectiveness of CD does not establish the right of deviance, but once that right is independently established, CD should be shouldered with political effectiveness in mind. As Shelby declares, if street capital is to be converted into “political capital in a resistance movement” (p. 160), the oppressed should, whenever possible, publicly register dissent.
The justification of CD provides an inquiry into the nature of justice, civic obligations, natural duties, and reparative responsibilities. My gravity model of CD provides a different way of thinking about questions of civic and moral agency, and the duties that individuals should carry depending on the justness of their social structure, alongside the special obligations and responsibilities that follow from their unique standing in the basic structure. Members within unjust structures who exercise CD with respect to their natural duties and reparative responsibilities should not be, echoing Shelby’s words, “demonized, stigmatized, or otherwise dehumanized, just as surely as they should not be romanticized” (p. 160). The ultimate goal is, after all, to shape meaningful bonds of solidarity, to build meaningful political alliances, and to invite the joint action needed to establish and maintain justice.