Martha C. Nussbaum1
The Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Monday, May 1, 2017
"What’s the alternative? We can keep the spirit of determined protest against injustice while letting go of the empty fantasy of payback. This forward-looking strategy includes protesting wrongdoing when it occurs, but not imputing wrongdoing where there is, instead, the murky thicket of the global economy to manage, outsourcing and automation to reconcile with our citizens’ welfare. Never seizing hold of blame as a substitute for a feeling of powerlessness, but also not yielding to despair. Even when we are confident in imputing wrongdoing to an individual or a group, we can still firmly refuse payback, but look to the future with hope, choosing strategies designed to make things better rather than to inflict the maximum pain."