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Whether the issue is tax reform, apartheid, abortion or homosexual
rights, whenever you hear the expression “social justice,” you are
almost certainly listening to a liberal. What does “social justice”
mean? Well, to liberals it means a level of fairness in society
enforced by the state — as liberals, of course, define fairness.
Unfortunately, this liberal idea of fairness has very little to do with
actual justice. Indeed, it often proposes injustice. Liberals
oppose actual social justice while loudly advocating it.
All justice is social. After all, as Thomas Sowell once observed,
could there be any justice on an island inhabited by a single
individual? It takes at least two people to assure justice because
justice involves how people treat each other. Justice, in fact, means
giving people their due. If I promise a grocery store two
dollars for a gallon of milk, I treat the owners justly if I pay it.
The owners deserve to get the price for their property that I
have consented to pay. If I take the milk and do not pay the price, I
have not only stolen, I have treated the store owners unjustly; I have
not treated the owners as they deserve to be treated. Giving one what
he deserves is justice — or “social justice,” if you prefer.
A big part of justice is that everybody must play by the same rules.
This is the sort of justice the Bible teaches. We read in Leviticus
24:22, ” Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as
for one of your own country: for I am the LORD your God.” There
can’t be different laws for different kinds of people. If we say, “The
law should allow housewives to buy bananas at five cents a pound cheaper
than fathers may buy them,” we are advocating injustice. More
malevolently, if a nation establishes laws tyrannizing certain of its
citizens, as Hitler and Stalin did Jews and Christians, it is practicing
a horrifying injustice.
In the United States, the Constitution guarantees certain legal
protections. They are called The Bill of Rights. If the state permits
the right of free speech and assembly to journalists and newscasters but
not to preachers and physicians, it acts unjustly. Laws that treat some
classifications differently from others, especially laws that help
certain people at the expense of others, are unjust laws. Laws
that are not enforced fairly for all kinds of people are not fair laws.
They constitute social injustice. This is just what is happening in the
United States today. Let me give three examples:
In this country, if you don’t have much money, you may not be
permitted to protect yourself against criminals. The liberals who tend
to greatly influence gun control legislation want to take guns away from
everybody except those few that get special licenses for them; this
includes security guards that patrol gated communities in which
wealthier people live. The laws prohibiting gun ownership don’t
jeopardize these people since they have enough money to pay other people
to own and use guns to protect them. The state allows these security
guards to own guns. They may not allow poorer people in the inner city
to own guns. Thus, certain gun control laws make poorer inner city
people an easy target for people there who want to commit crimes with
guns. Liberals discriminate against poor people. Poor inner-city
people are not given their due. They should be as free as wealthy
people to protect themselves and their property by guns. If they are
not, they are treated unjustly.
Likewise, if you are wealthy in this country, you are a target of
liberal injustice. A greater percentage of your income is subject to
taxation. Income tax means appropriation of a portion of your income by
the state at, if necessary, the end of a gun barrel. (If you don’t
believe this, try not paying your taxes for a while.) Most liberals
believe, like Karl Marx, in a graduated income tax where you pay a
higher percentage of tax if you make more money. Why is this? To
destroy large concentrations of wealth, for one thing, since liberals
consider large concentrations of wealth by businesspeople to be
dangerous. (For some reason, they do not consider large concentrations
of power by politicians to be dangerous.)
For another thing, liberal politicians can buy votes this way. If a
politician stood outside the polling station and offered $100 to every
poor person who voted for him, he’d go to jail. If, however, he
promises that if each votes for him and he gets elected, he’ll use the
gun barrel of the state to steal rich people’s money and give to the
poor, he’ll get off scot-free and he usually gets elected. Frankly, it
would be much better just to let him buy-off votes right at the polling
station because there, at least, he’s using his own money. But using
the liberal way, he’s stealing other people’s money. Graduated income
tax, the staple of Soviet Marxism and American liberalism, treats the
rich unjustly. They are penalized for their wealth. This is just the
opposite of social justice. It is bending the law to help some by
Finally, if you are a certain color or sex in this country, you may
not be able to get into certain universities or companies. This is
because liberal laws governing admissions are tilted to discriminate
against some and support others. “Minorities” are said to be
“under-represented,” and the way the liberal state deals with this is to
require “quotas”; a certain portion of the student body or company job
force must be a certain sex or race. (This is strange in the case of
women, since they are the majority of the American populace.) If
you are Latino or Black or Indian American, you may be able to get in
even if you qualify less than a European or Asian American. Yes, this
is discrimination; but, it is worse. It is social injustice.
It is not giving qualified people their due.
The problem is not that liberals hate poor Americans when it comes to
gun control, rich Americans when it comes to income tax, or European or
Asian Americans when it comes to employment and university admissions.
The problem is that liberals have no sense of social justice.
Liberals, who blather about social justice, are usually the enemies
of social justice. They don’t want everybody to play by the rules. They
want to bend the rules to help some people and hurt others. This is not
justice. It is injustice.
For this reason, liberalism is an attack on the just society.