Addressing the Unfairness of the Heart and the Inequity in the Laws: What Code of Responsibility? – Jean-Marc Ferry

Rethinking Accountability – June 9, 2017

Beginning with three texts by Joseph Wresinski, notably “Justice in the Heart,” “The Violence done to the Poor,” and “The Right to be a Man,” Ferry reflects on what moral and political responsibility we must assume with respect to the unjust suffering inflicted on other human beings.

Ferry opposes the two poles of recognition, love and the law, two quite different gestures which are, from a moral point of view, two commandments (love of our fellow man, and respect of their rights) which cannot be required in the same way. These are also, love and law, two types of recognition. In the modern world they seem distant, one from the other, separated even, like the public and private spheres, religion and politics, conviction and responsibility, faith and reason.

How, without simplifying things, to overcome these opposites? How can a “post-secular” ethic allow us to envisage, if not a whole unity, at least a reasonable reconciliation?


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