Friday, October 12, 2018

What is "Social Justice" really?

The term “social justice” was apparently coined by a catholic priest named Luigi Taparelli in the 19th century to describe a process by which justice is applied in society. In the 20th century, however, social justice became a relative term. It had entirely different definitions for different people. For instance, Adolf Hitler used the term to describe his motivations to liberate Aryan Germans from the disproportionately wealthy and–in his mind– oppressive Jews. However, his rival, Winston Churchill, used the term to describe his and Franklin D. Roosevelt’s motivation to liberate the world from Hitler.

Over time the term ‘social justice’ became associated with critical theorists and Neo-Marxists from the Frankfurt School in Germany. They rejected universal rights or human rights as a basis for justice. They essentially rejected liberty for individuals as the hallmark for justice in society. They believed, instead, that parity between groups were the mark of justice in society. They rejected individualism and embraced collectivism. They did not define justice as equality of opportunity; they defined justice as equality of outcome.

They agreed with Karl Marx that disparities between privileged and underprivileged members of society are indicative of injustice. They believed privileged members of society and underprivileged members of society make up the oppressor and the oppressed. Therefore for them, justice—social justice meant eliminating disparities between groups in society. They concluded that justice is when a society implements a system that produces equality of outcome for groups, instead of equality of opportunity for individuals.

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