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  • Try this at your next party. Ask your guests to define the term Social Justice.

  • Okay, it's not Charades or Twister, but it

  • should generate some interesting conversation, especially if your guests are on the political Left.

  • Since everyone on that side of the spectrum talks incessantly about social justice,

  • they should be able to provide a good definition, right?

  • But ask ten liberals to tell you what they mean by social justice and youll get ten

  • different answers. That’s because Social Justice means anything

  • its champions want it to mean.

  • Almost without exception, labor unions, universities and colleges, private foundations and public charities

  • claim at least part of their mission to be the spreading of Social Justice far and wide.

  • Here’s the Mission Statement of the AFL-CIO,

  • but it could be the mission statement for a thousand such organizations:

  • The mission of the AFL-CIO is to improve the lives of working families -- to bring economic justice

  • to the workplace, and social justice to our nation.”

  • In short, “social justiceis code for good things no one needs to argue for --

  • and no one dare be against.

  • This very much troubled the great economist Friedrich Hayek.

  • This is what he wrote in 1976, two years after winning the Nobel Prize in Economics.

  • “I have come to feel strongly that the greatest service I can still render to my fellow men

  • would be that I could make the speakers and writers among them thoroughly ashamed ever

  • again to employ the termsocial justice’.”

  • Why was Hayek so upset by what seems like such a positive, and certainly unobjectionable term?

  • Because Hayek, as he so often did, saw right

  • to the core of the issue. And what he saw frightened him.

  • Hayek understood that beneath the political opportunism and intellectual laziness of the

  • termsocial justicewas a pernicious philosophical claim,

  • namely that freedom must be sacrificed in order to redistribute income.

  • Ultimately, “social justiceis about the state amassing ever increasing power in

  • order to, dogood things.” What are good things?

  • Well, whatever the champions of social justice decide this week.

  • But first, last and always it is the cause of economic redistribution.

  • According to the doctrine of Social Justice, the haves always have too much, the have nots,

  • never have enough. You don’t have to take my word for it.

  • That is precisely how a UN report on Social Justice defines the term:

  • Social justice may be broadly understood as the fair and compassionate distribution

  • of the fruits of economic growth.

  • Social justice is not possible without strong and coherent redistributive policies

  • conceived and implemented by public agencies.” I repeat: “Strong and coherent redistributive

  • policies conceived and implemented by public agencies.”

  • And it gets worse.

  • The UN report goes on to insist that: “Present-day believers in an absolute truth identified

  • with virtue and justice are neither willing nor desirable companions for the defenders

  • of social justice.” Translation: if you believe truth and justice

  • are concepts independent of the agenda of the forces of progress as defined by the left,

  • you are an enemy of social justice.

  • Compassionor social justice -- is when government takes your money and gives it to someone else.

  • Greed is when you want to keep it.

  • The underlying point of social justice, then, amounts to a sweeping indictment of a free society.

  • It suggests that any perceived unfairness,

  • or sorrow, or economic want must be addressed by yet another government effort to remedy

  • that unfairness, that sorrow, or that economic want.

  • All we need to do is invoke the abracadabra phrasesocial justiceand were on our way.

  • The invocation of social justice always works from the assumption that the right people

  • the anointed fewcan simply impose fairness, prosperity and any other good thing

  • you can think of. And the only institution capable of imposing social justice is the state.

  • And keep in mind, the conventional wisdom among liberal elites

  • is that conservatives are the ones who want to impose their values on everyone else.

  • The self-declared champions of social justice believe the state must remedy and can remedy

  • all perceived wrongs. Anyone who disagrees is an enemy of what is

  • good and right. And the state must therefore coerce them

  • to do what is socially just. And that, as Hayek prophesied, is no longer a free society.

  • Is that the kind of society you want to live in?

  • If it isn’t, beware of what will be done in the name of social justice.

  • I’m Jonah Goldberg of the American Enterprise Institute and National Review for Prager University.

Try this at your next party. Ask your guests to define the term Social Justice.

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What is Social Justice?

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    SylviaQQ   に公開 2015 年 09 月 12 日
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