Thursday, September 3, 2009

There is no such thing as SOCIAL JUSTICE!

Sauvik has a piece titled “Saying no to ‘social justice’” indeed we must say no to those who “Advocates of social welfare........ But they invariably champion state redistribution”

Please remember as I have been saying in this blog that F A Hayek has valid points to ponder on “the idea of justice”.

As Sauvik writes:

  • “As Nobel laureate Friedrich Hayek says, “Rules of just individual conduct are as indispensable to the preservation of a peaceful society of free men as endeavours to realize ‘social justice’ are incompatible with it.”
  • Hayek goes further: He says, “No one has yet found even a single general rule from which we could derive what is ‘socially just’ in all particular instances that would fall under it.” Welfare is such a loose concept that “some will put it here and some will put it there”. Amartya Sen will champion nutrition, Jean Dreze employment generation, and Manmohan Singh education. A fourth person might find something else, say, healthcare. The decline of the modern West is indeed such a story, thanks to ideas of social justice, which produced the “Illfare State”.
  • Hayek also offers an explanation for the popularity of social justice: The idea appeals to our primitive instincts. Whereas liberalism is modern and individualistic, social justice yearns for a return to the happy days of hunter-gatherer tribes where there is the “leader” who shares the prey with all members. Yet, we emerged from primitive society only by disregarding the principles that held the old tribes together. The pioneers abandoned the old closed groups and sought unknown people they could trade with. This is how we created cities and towns, settled agriculture, and the Great and Open Society. Social justice is “atavistic”. As a theoretical concept, Hayek calls it “intellectually disreputable”.
  • This conclusion is strengthened by the fact that, while eminent étatists champion social justice, there is little real justice in India. The National Human Rights Commission registers 75,000 cases a year—against the State’s police! There are at least 30 million cases pending in courts. Murders and rapes go unpunished. Injustice rules the land—and these étatists wave the flag of a phoney justice, a mirage, an illusion, a trick. They must be defeated.”

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