A certain picture emerges from reading commentaries on Rawls. Rawls and his friends think that in the end, only the state (or “society”) is truly alive; all individuals are mere tentacles or fingers of the state through which the state manifests his life.
If the state wants to make his fingers equal, he’ll make them equal; if he wants the fingers to pursue various “conceptions of the good,” they’ll pursue the conceptions of the good. The state has full authority and absolute power to do with the individuals — who are simply its material parts or organs — as he pleases.
The state is not an organization created by people to solve definite problems, such as of crime by catching thieves. On the contrary, it is the individuals who are created by the state.