June 24, 2010

The deep perniciousness of "social justice"

I saw this quote by one Jerry H. Tempelman in an amazon.com review of Law, Legislation and Liberty, Volume 2: The Mirage of Social Justice, by F. A. Hayek...

...The following passage sums up the entire book quite well: "[I]n...a system in which each is allowed to use his knowledge for his own purposes the concept of 'social justice' is necessarily empty and meaningless, because in it nobody's will can determine the relative incomes of the different people, or prevent that they be partly dependent on accident. 'Social justice' can be given a meaning only in a directed or 'command' economy (such as an army) in which the individuals are ordered what to do; and any particular conception of 'social justice' could be realized only in such a centrally directed system. It presupposes that people are guided by specific directions and not by rules of just individual conduct.

Indeed, no system of rules of just individual conduct, and therefore no free action of the individuals, could produce results satisfying any principle of distributive justice...In a free society in which the position of the different individuals and groups is not the result of anybody's design—or could, within such a society, be altered in accordance with a generally applicable principle—the differences in reward simply cannot meaningfully be described as just or unjust." (pp. 69-70) ...

Thanks, I'm glad I don't need to read the book    ;-)

Actually, I'm posting this mostly because a blog is a good place to store this sort of thing. And I may need it someday because the term "social justice" is heard a lot in the Catholic world. I never say nothin' but I could someday, and I think 'social justice' is a deeply wicked idea.

Posted by John Weidner at June 24, 2010 9:05 PM
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