Culture, Science & Faith

Social Justice and the War on Independent Thought

In contrast to what we are led to believe, social justice does not support true justice, freedom or equality.

Caroline Camden Lewis · Jun. 1, 2017

At first glance, the term “social justice” appears to be a good thing. What could be wrong with making a society just? Social justice, however, encompasses a great many issues from abortion “rights” to sanctuary cities to the war on police to the expansion of the welfare state to LGBTQ “rights” and anything else that “merits” a march or a protest. It seems that to each participant, social justice means something different. To some, it means helping the poor, to others it means allowing men in the women’s restroom. By using a vague term that sounds beneficial, many people support social justice without even stopping to ask what it is.

The term social justice has crept into the vernacular as a type of virtue describing our society’s quest to right wrongs through the road of equality, comparative to the Civil Rights Movement. Yet equating the broad umbrella of social justice with the civil rights struggle totally disrespects the real difficulties experienced by many blacks in this country. To include in that struggle the “oppressed” student who merely has to hear a different opinion, or the “disenfranchised” teenager who thinks he’s a girl, dilutes the great pain felt by many in the black community. The Civil Rights Movement fought for a race to be treated equally as fellow human beings in society and before the law. It was and remains a uniquely difficult struggle and should not be disrespectfully co-opted by those who wish to use it to their own advantage. The hypocritical social justice warriors (SJWs) have a term for this co-opting — cultural appropriation.

The true definition of justice means to punish the guilty and acquit the innocent. Social justice, in contrast, hinges on the supposed inequality of society and seeks to “fix” that inequality through “leveling the playing field” economically. This means the redistribution of wealth. In a free society, people create wealth through the combination of talent and hard work, not just institutional advantage. Thus, the social justice “war on wealth” is, at its base, the war on raw talent and uniqueness.

You don’t have to ask your mother to learn that “life is not fair.” Life is not just “unfair” or “unequal” in terms of material goods (i.e. salary, housing and schooling) but life unequally presents some children with extraordinary gifts in math, others with superb athletic ability, still others with intrinsic talent in art, music and dance.

In a functional family, we do not ask that every child be the same or that all siblings have the same talents. We simply ask that all children be given the same opportunities to work hard and develop their differing gifts. If we apply the principles of social justice to a family, we would have to stifle natural talent and minimize hard work so that all can be equal. A daughter must ponder it this way: “Is my sister good at art? She should slow down so that we can all be equal. Is my brother a math whiz? He should slack-off, because his talent is not fair or ‘socially just.’”

Social justice, in this sense, despises both ingenuity and uniqueness. Uniqueness and hard work, according to these critics, gives an unfair advantage to one person and not to another. Conformity solves this problem, so that we may all possess similar skills, similar thoughts and work at the same pace. We become a just society by becoming ideologically homogeneous.

Have you noticed the disingenuous encouragement of many graduation speeches these days? “Be whatever you want to be” really means “Be whatever you want to be as long as you agree with us.” In other words, be whatever you want to be as long as you don’t have an independent idea that strays from ideological conformity.

Social justice fights against the nature of the human person’s longing to be free, independent and to use one’s uniqueness in the marketplace. Social justice finds uniqueness to be unfair and remedies this through conformity. Nature supports uniqueness (not conformity), which leaves opponents with only one offensive weapon, fear: the fear of rejection and the fear of social isolation. Opponents of independent thinking, therefore, accuse people with words like, “bigot,” “homophobe,” “xenophobe,” “Islamophobe,” “fascist” and others. They use the fear of social isolation to bring people back into conformity.

On a deeper examination, the vagueness of the term social justice serves as a “catch-all” for any issue. By twisting the true definition of justice to mean the “the fight for anything,” social justice proponents instill feelings of guilt and social-shaming in those who oppose their ideas. Rather than fighting for the downtrodden, social justice supporters fight to strip our culture of uniqueness and free thought in order to create an ideologically homogenous society that fears independent thinking. This they call, “equality.”

In contrast to what we are led to believe, social justice does not support true justice, freedom or equality. If we understand name-calling and shaming as merely coercive tactics intended to induce ideological conformity, we can stand our ground against the infantile accusations of those who radically oppose free speech and freedom of thought.

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