Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Quote of the Day

“Social” justice is the opposite of justice as intelligibly conceived. It is justice not to persons, but to abstract groups. It is invariably a programme of State intervention, and it will invariably bring real and often acute injustice to most of the individuals it touches. There is no coincidence that those who cry for “social justice” not only engage in brownshirt demonstrations, but call their opponents “Nazis.”
-- David Warren


  1. Isn't social justice a fundamental doctrine of the Catholic Church?

    "Two crucial and intimately related areas of pastoral life [are] the family and the promotion of social justice” (John Paul II)

    1. Same words, different concept.

    2. Aye, but in failing to thus distinguish, Mr. Warren furthers the error he attacks. The concept is hardly novel to Catholicism; indeed, a continuous development of thought is traced to Plato. That the traditional and true concept of social justice has been popularly supplanted by a delusion does not excuse contemnation from apparent ignorance. As a somewhat notable conservative put it, and this a good decade before his conversion to Catholicism:

      "Personal or private justice is attained by that balance and harmony in character which shines out from those persons we call 'just men' - men who cannot be swayed from the path of rectitude by private interest, and who are masters of their own passions, and who deal impartially and honestly with everyone they meet. The other aspect of justice, social justice, is similarly marked by harmony and balance; it is the communal equivalent of that right proportion and government of reason, will, and appetite which the just man displays in his private character. ... [The just society is that] in which every man minds his own business, and receives always the rewards which are his due. ... Injustice in society comes when men try to to undertake roles for which they are not fitted, and claim rewards to which they are not entitled, and deny other men what really belongs to them. ... It is perfectly true, then, both in the eyes of the religious man and the eyes of the philosopher, that there is a real meaning to the term 'social justice'."

      Kirk, Russell. “The Problem of Social Justice.” Prospects for Conservatives, Henry Regnery Company, 1954, pp. 167–168.

      And as Kirk asks, perhaps all too uncomfortably to us latter-day conservatives: "And what is the conservative program where the problem of social justice is concerned?"

      Ibid., p. 192.

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  3. That's injustice to individuals because of their groups, though, not to the groups. Groups as such have no rights, only individuals—though sometimes the individuals have to form groups to meaningfully exercise their rights (see the Citizens United ruling—nobody ever mentions that the opposite finding would've basically banned class-action lawsuits).


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