"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority ... the Constitution was made to guard against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." - Noah Webster

"There is no worse tyranny than forcing a man to pay for what he does not want just because you think it would be good for him."
-- Robert A. Heinlein

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Social Justice

Hello, boys and girls!  Today's topic is about new-speak.  This is where we create labels for things that make them sound like one thing, when they really are something else, usually the complete opposite of what the term implies.

One of today's most abused words is "justice."  In the new Animal Farm world (Some would call it "Orwellian," but I don't think that's fair to George Orwell, since he was trying to warn us off this road we are on.), there really can't be any justice by itself.  You see, that would require that individuals be treated as, well, individuals, and that right and wrong be treated as objective truth.

What's with all that gasping I hear?  Oh, that's right! Many of you have been indoctrinated to believe that there is no such thing as objective truth. Some of you actually bought the idea that you have your own truth, and I have my own truth.  If you and I agree on some truth then it's truth for us, but not for somebody else.  Some people never get past the "stage one" thinking on that to realize that the most basic things in life can't possibly work on that basis.   I'm sorry if that stung your little senses, but here at the Ben-David farm, the laws of gravity and physics, and basic reality are all in effect. That means you probably need to fasten your safety belt and make sure that your tray table is in the upright and locked position.  You may be subject to some severe mental turbulence while riding this blog. We've long since discovered that life may be tough, but it's not as tough when you cooperate with the facts, rather than fight against them.  You can get away with denying reality out there in the Animal Farm for a good long time, but here we just don't have much patience for that nonsense.

The word justice is supposed to mean a condition in which things are right or correct. Some might even use the word "fair" as a synonym, but that word has been so abused that we don't think it's safe to use it in that sense.  Too often, people use the word fair to mean a kind of unqualified equality of condition, and a lot of times that has nothing to do with whether or not something is "just."   Example: Let's say  I work hard and play by the rules to build up a business that makes for me lots of money.  John Q. Public has a median level income on some job, but the only thing he aspires to is watching TV, spending all his disposable income on everything from sports to beer to cigarettes to anything other than creating and growing his own personal wealth. I'm rich.  John Q. is just getting by and plays the lottery hoping it will pay off.  That's justice.

It's not equal at all, but it certainly is justice.

The point is: justice is justice.  It's a stand alone word.  If you try to stick an adjective in front of it, it becomes meaningless.  If you think that's a bold statement, I've got all the proof I need from what I consider a hostile witness.  Wikipedia:

Social justice generally refers to the idea of creating an egalitarian society or institution that is based on the principles of equality and solidarity, that understands and values human rights, and that recognizes the dignity of every human being.[1][2] The term and modern concept of "social justice" was coined by the Jesuit Luigi Taparelli in 1840 based on the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas and given further exposure in 1848 by Antonio Rosmini-Serbati.[1][2][3][4][5] The idea was elaborated by the moral theologian John A. Ryan, who initiated the concept of a living wage. Father Coughlin also used the term in his publications in the 1930s and the 1940s. It is a part of Catholic social teaching, Social Gospel from Episcopalians and is one of the Four Pillars of the Green Party upheld by green parties worldwide. Social justice as a secular concept, distinct from religious teachings, emerged mainly in the late twentieth century, influenced primarily by philosopher John Rawls. Some tenets of social justice have been adopted by those on the left of the political spectrum.

In order for justice to be justice, it would have to be something that has always existed in the history of mankind. It can't be something that nobody thought of until 1840.  Justice can't be justice if it requires that individuals be forced to accept the beliefs of other people just because those other people want an egalitarian society.

You could stick the word "economic" in front of the word "justice," but what's the point?  If I get to keep what I earn and spend or invest it as I see fit, that's justice.  If get the benefit of what I agreed to pay for, or I get paid what I was expecting for the benefit I provided, that's justice.  Calling it "economic justice" is a waste of words.  The only thing worse would be to stick the two words "legal" and "justice" together.  Is there any such thing as "illegal justice?"  Oh crap!  I just got this vision in my head of Speaker-Elect John Boehner and Senator John McCain being tarred and feathered.  Let's move on, I think you get my point.

What "social justice" is in reality, is a newspeak way to mask the efforts of statists to create an egalitarian society where individuality is crushed and misery is spread evenly across the population.  Stated another way: "As long as somebody over there is suffering from making wrong personal decisions, you have no right to be enjoying yourself with your own hard earned success."

Pretty much all I need to know about the word "justice," is that if you want to stick another word with it, and make me accept it, you are looking to try to enslave me, and I want nothing to do with you.

There is no justice in interfering with between an employer and employee on how much they agree a job is worth.  There is no justice when you force responsible people to pay for the bad choices that other people make.  There is no justice when you force your unscientific and unproven theories on people and make them pay to eradicate your hypothetical monsters.  There is nothing just about forcing people to socialize with others whose lifestyles are repugnant and offensive.  Should I have to attend Ku Klux Klan rallies in order to show tolerance for their lifestyle so they won't feel shut out of society or feel stupid for wearing those pointed hoods?  Is there justice when little kids are born into abject poverty and a cyclical trap of hopelessness because "social justice" says we not only tolerate the entitlement mentality, but we must subsidize it?

Where is the justice, when those who love to preach about "social justice" vandalize other people's property and advocate the enslavement of those who can produce for the benefit of those who refuse to produce?

Here's a little experiment for you.  When you hear a group or an individual advocating for "social justice" ask them, or find out what they are willing to do to get it.  Ask them what should be done with the people who don't want to go along with "the plan" to bring about social justice.  Ask them how social justice will work if there is a significant portion of the populace who doesn't want to practice social justice.  Then ask a libertarian/real conservative how to bring about "social justice."

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