THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
In intellectual exile?
Government "savings" in perspective

Justice vs Social Justice 2

One of my old posts most found from Google et al is this one. People are curious about what "social justice" really means and rightly so. It is one of the most dangerous and deceptive phrases in current use and it pains me when even a "Conservative" like David Cameron uses it approvingly.

I heard a story recently that made me think of it. It involved some disgraceful behaviour by a man I had never met. The details were told me in confidence so let's just say he conducted himself to a lady in a distinctly unchivalric manner. Trust me, this is a massive understatement even by English standards.

What has this to do with social justice? Well my first reaction, as someone educated by Socialists in a British state school and regularly exposed ever since to BBC/Guardian collectivism, was to be embarrassed on behalf of all men by this stranger's behaviour. This is, of course, nonsense. He is a bad person who happens to be of the same sex as me. Respectable men who would never conduct themselves thus are not to blame for his wicked conduct.

This reaction made me think however. If ladies from the anglosphere read my second paragraph and the word "sexist" went through their minds, they were guilty of the same error. Because social justice is really nothing more than blaming and penalising groups for the misconduct (real or imagined) of individuals. It is collective punishment, than which there are few greater injustices. It is also scapegoating as a basis for hate-based ideology and - most often - as a justification for redistribution of wealth or "privilege". It is insidious because it appeals to the tribalism deep in our natures. The exact same tribalism in fact that makes for petty nationalisms, racism and other things that social justice merchants denounce as evil (when they are not exploiting them).

If you have thought nastily about all bankers on the basis of the misconduct of some, or exclaimed "men!" or "women!" in exasperation at one individual's behaviour, or dislike people because of their family background, their accent or the school or university they went to  (as opposed in each case to judging an individual human on the content of his or her character) you are a collectivist practising social justice and therefore committing injustice.

I respectfully suggest it's not a good idea.