RE: Social justice is unjust
To the Editor,
The article this week posted by Mr. Manary on the injustice of social justice was enlightening. The points made about the absurdity of the right to Internet access and other rights, as he had articulated in the article, are valid and must be used by people who claim to be social justice advocates as the ultimate test of the pragmatism of their cause. That being said, his general point that social justice is unjust is flawed.
Without the concept of social justice, there would be no universal healthcare, a provision that is enjoyed by almost every industrialised country in the world. Without it, there would be no movement to rehabilitate prisoners, no attempts to remove the death penalty or even the basic worker’s rights to a safe workplace.
It took social justice advocates years to fight for these provision to be commonplace. Now while I agree that present day social advocates must see the pragmatism and necessity of their causes, to make the blanket statement that social justice is unjust is, at best, a misrepresentation of the entire social justice movement and at worst, is an acceptance of a Randian system of ethics and morals which are dictated by one’s self interests and not a common good.
As someone who considers peacful anarchy to only exist in Utopia, I understand Mr. Manary’s viewpoint, but must ask him to be pragmatic about this. Libertarianism does have its place in society, especially when it comes to the defense of civil liberties. The government does not and should not have the right to violate civil liberties for the sake of security.
On the other hand, libertarian economics, which cannot exist without truely free markets, is impractical and is at worst detrimental to a society that unconciously wishes to be economically stable, even if it is not prosperous.
2A Chemical Engineering
It may be true that the definition of social justice means different things to different students.
For example, for some students it may mean “distributive justice;” to other students it may mean “retorative justice,” and to other students it may mean somethng else.
I do agree with the newspaper article that rights used to justisify social justice may sometimes be "inconsistent," but that is different from writing they are "arbitrary."
When the Peaceful Anarchist asserts that the "right to education" (and I would add the "right to access the Internet") is as "equally valid" as the right to "chew bubblegum" it demonstrates he has little understanding of what many citizens mean by "totalitarian government."
It seems obvious to me that the Peaceful Anachist lives in an “academic bubble” and has never experienced war or oppression himself.
The Imprint article, however, is provocative and raises additional issues that are worthwhile of dialogue and informed debate.
Myron D. Steinman
3B social development