In my previous articles on the problem with social justice, I suggested that:
The problem with social justice is that it is based on justice.
Since most of us have become very comfortable with the idea of justice being a very good thing, I went on to say that:
The concept of justice as understood in modern culture is essentially self-centered.
That last idea is somewhat troublesome for those who see themselves pursuing justice on behalf of others. What could be more altruistic than making certain that people everywhere have access to sufficient food, clean water, medical care, and safety from oppression? Obviously, there is nothing more noble or needed than those things.
I am suggesting, however, that there is a better way to bring about widespread change in the ways that resources and human rights are distributed among all people.
Love, not justice, must be the foundation for addressing the problems of the world.
Justice demands a winner and a loser. Justice enforces a standard. In regard to social justice, it insists that something be taken away from those who have and be given to those who have not. The short term result is good. Yet, as history details, the action must be repeated over and over again. Our individualistic assertion of rights exceeds our ability to embrace the more divine leanings towards good for all.
Until “those who have” become willing to divest for the benefit of “those who have not,” the problem will never be fully resolved. And that’s why social justice is problematic.
Still, the concept of justice as a self-centered behavior is hard to accept. In the next article, we’ll take a look at why our tendencies to impose our own welfare are so strong — even in a context of goodwill toward others.