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Concept of social justice actually perpetuates societal injustice

Justice Contributing Writer

Published: Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 02:10

For centuries, philosophers have formulated and debated various theories of justice. Justice is an essential precept of morality; morality is a code of right and wrong to guide individual action. Since individuals live and interact with one another, it’s necessary for morality to apply in a social context, dictating how individuals ought to treat one another. Justice fulfills this role. Therefore, the best working definition of justice is individuals getting what they deserve, and in a legal sense, equal treatment of all individuals under the law.

The unit that morality, and thus justice, is concerned with is the individual.

Only individuals are moral agents, since thinking and acting are individual attributes. A group is only an object of moral concern when viewed as the sum of the individuals involved. When individuals commit a wrong as part of a group, only the individual wrongdoers should be blamed and punished, not the entire group.

Justice is by definition applicable only to individuals in a social context.

To insert the adjective “social” before justice, as in “social justice,” is redundant. Either “social justice” has the same meaning as “justice” or it doesn’t. And in fact, the two are very different.

Social justice doesn’t have a singular, clear definition, but generally entails helping disadvantaged and oppressed groups. Herein, however, lies the problem: the unit of concern in “social justice” is always the group, be it racial, religious or socioeconomic—never the individual.

Consider for example, social and political oppression by one group over another. The proper role of justice would be to affix individual blame, punish those responsible and reform the law to be equal to all individuals regardless of social or political affiliation.

Social justice, however, presents an oppressed group with a compensatory advantage at the expense of those who are perceived as part of the oppressing group. Yet two wrongs don’t make a right. In awarding this compensation, “social justice” ignores individual culpability. All those who belong to the same group as the oppressors are punished. Similarly, victimhood of the individual members in the oppressed group is also ignored; they’re all compensated equally. Advocates of “social justice” claim to be champions of equality, but they only manage to inflict an equal amount of injustice.

For example, observe the history of slavery in America. A firm and just resolution would have been to affix individual blame to each perpetrator. Justice would have been to force those slave drivers to live in shackles as they once forced others to and to pay financial reparations. “Social justice,” however, seeks to help those who were disadvantaged across time. For decades, policies have been carried out which give compensatory advantages to the black community at the expense of other communities. This amounts to punishing those who were never responsible, simply because they look like the perpetrators. It’s unjust to punish innocent people for the injustices committed by other members of their racial group.

The greatest transgressions of justice by “social justice,” however, occur when it’s invoked to remedy economic inequalities. Justice concerns itself with protecting the justly-earned fruits of one’s labor from thieves: Social justice concerns itself with ensuring that everyone has the same amount of fruits, regardless of whether or not they’re justly-earned.

Justice seeks the protection of property rights, while “social justice” demands that we violate those rights by redistributing property. The question of whose rights will get violated for someone else’s unearned benefit is simply a matter of who has property and who needs it.

It is clear that “social justice” will always ignore and violate individual rights because individuals are not its main object of concern.

Instead, advocates of “social justice” clamor for group rights. These include the “rights” of the poor, sick, elderly, unemployed, employed, underpaid, minorities, men, women, children, unborn, animals, businessmen, consumers and so on. Which groups have rights remains unclear. What is clear, however, is that these groups are yelling for a “right to a home,” a “right to a job,” a “right to equal pay,” a “right to a living wage,” and a “right to health care,” to name a few.

All this is to be paid for at the expense of any individual whose rights are considered worthless because he or she is not part of a protected group.

Any alleged right that violates another right, is not and cannot be a right. Group rights necessitate the violation of individual rights and thus are unjust.

Both “social justice” and group rights are deliberately deceptive concepts meant to pervert the concepts they rely upon; justice and individual rights. Such semantic fraud is simply a disingenuous excuse to acquire one’s desires or needs by force. “Social justice” is nothing more than a thin veneer used to morally justify the assault and perversion of justice. As such, it must be rejected.  

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