Frequent violations of fair principles in real-life settings raise the fundamental question
of whether such principles can guarantee the existence of a self-enforcing equilibrium in a
free economy. We show that elementary principles of distributive justice guarantee that a
pure-strategy Nash equilibrium exists in a finite economy where agents freely (and non-
cooperatively) choose their inputs and derive utility from their pay. Chief among these
principles is that: 1) your pay should not depend on your name; and 2) a more productive
agent should not earn less. When these principles are violated, an equilibrium may not exist.
Moreover, we uncover an intuitive condition|technological monotonicity|that guarantees
equilibrium uniqueness and efficiency. We generalize our findings to economies with social
justice and inclusion, implemented in the form of progressive taxation and redistribution,
and guaranteeing a basic income to unproductive agents. Our analysis uncovers a new
class of strategic form games by incorporating normative principles into non-cooperative
game theory. Our results rely on no particular assumptions, and our setup is entirely non-
parametric. Illustrations of the theory include applications to exchange economies, surplus
distribution in a firm, contagion and self-enforcing lockdown in a networked economy, and
bias in the academic peer-review system.