Jeremy Waldron has plausibly argued that historical injustices can be superseded by serious efforts to achieve justice in the present and future. This essay considers what it might mean to arrange things justly in the relevant way, focusing on the work of John Rawls as our best existing template for conceptualizing justice of this kind. The essay outlines ways in which a Rawlsian system of social justice seems unable to meet its own normative aspirations and unable to provide a model for overcoming historically constituted disadvantage. As the essay argues, the society described by Rawls is likely to remain divided by inherited class structures, given the motivational requirements of markets and the psychological effects of the division of labor, so that inheritors of historical injustice would remain disadvantaged even if Rawlsian principles were put into practice. The essay considers some speculative methods for overcoming these inequalities, and argues that the most promising approach in circumstances as we know them will draw on already-existing programs of compensation for historical expropriation. The essay also argues that Rawlsians should take seriously the application of the difference principle to the distribution of political authority alongside material resources, suggesting that we should give careful thought to how political structures can protect the interests of the least advantaged. The paper argues that, once again, existing mechanisms for Aboriginal self-governance are more appropriate as a system of forward-looking justice than they may otherwise appear. The essay argues in closing that political philosophy should give increased attention to the ethics of political action and to conflict among the disadvantaged in imperfect circumstances.