It seems to me that the concept of justice, as it has existed across time, civilizations and age, is rooted in the concept of the Golden Rule. You remember, the one that goes, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” Pretty simple really. Do things to other people that you would like them to do to you… And don’t do things to them that you wouldn’t want them to do to you. This is true justice. As opposed to social justice which means, “Do unto others before they do unto you.” Which is actually a form of injustice masquerading as justice.
Confucius went on and on about how the ruler should be the ruler he would want while the subject should be the subject he would want and the father being the father he would want while the son is the son he would want. He put it many ways like, maintain the fences to the left as you would have your neighbor on the right do his. Piled up they amount to the golden rule. So much so, we can safely say, one leg of Confucianism is the Golden Rule.
I bet almost all religions have at their core the Golden Rule. This should give us pause. If so many sages across the ages have agreed on the Golden Rule being a fundamental truth of life, I ask you, why do so many people eschew it for social justice? Perhaps it is because they have been misled? The media are full of questions.
Questions such as, should the government do all it can to improve the lives of it’s citizens are specious. They presuppose that an activist government improves the lives of it’s citizens. To presuppose such a giant thing requires hubris. Especially when a large and growing segment of the World’s population are relearning things that have been intentionally hidden. The advances of the Enlightenment.
The Enlightenment taught us that the market system is the only system that has ever raised the lot of mankind. Every other system, ever tried, has lowered or at best maintained the standard of living, for the few, at cost of the manys’ very liberty. This was one of the principle advances of the Enlightenment. To have forgotten such a profound truth is a tragedy. To have intentionally hidden it is a sin.
Social justice flies in the face of thinkers such as Voltaire and Hobbs. They were all about the liberty of the individual to seek his or her interests without government coercion. They were big promoters of the market system and free economy. They saw clearly that people, when left to their own interests, not only made their own lot better but in doing so, improved the lot of everyone else too.
But Social Justice finds the Golden Rule too simple. The promoters of Social Justice are looking for a more nuanced form of Golden Rule. They want to do what they want, to those they don’t like, the rich for example, while denying the “rich” the ability to do back unto them. In other words, the person who favors Social Justice, is a hypocrite.
The very definition of hypocrite (from Dictionary.com) “A person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.” We can say that hypocrisy is a form of breaking the Golden Rule. In this case the hypocrites are open about their hypocrisy. Not only open but actually yelling it from the rooftops. Unabashedly calling attention to their moral failings, while cajoling others to join them, with sophistry and rhetoric.
The promoters of Social Justice are not only hypocrites but are falling into the very trap Bastiat warned of. That people would come to have the mistaken belief that the role of government is to seize the wealth of those not in power and protect the wealth of those in power. We see this attitude in bills that seek to make the system “fair” by punishing some group that is disliked by those in power. This inevitably leads to the disordering of society due to everyone being acutely interested in the affairs of government, fighting with their political enemies and not looking after business.
So, we have reasoned, that Social Justice is actually hypocritical and destructive to the body politic, therefore it is indeed a form of injustice. The injustice of Social Justice must not be let to grow further. It’s growth leads directly to the lowering of the lot of mankind. If however, the truth of Justice is the Golden Rule, and people apply it to more and more situations, the lot of mankind will be improved greatly.
The question is, do we want injustice masquerading as social justice, or a better standard of living for everyone through real justice… the Golden Rule and the market system.