What is social justice?

Since only individuals act, only individual actions can be judged.  Groups, governments, corporations, etc. are not acting entities and therefore cannot be judged.  The individuals who act under the aegis of such groups can, of course, be judged.  So what could social justice possibly mean?

Along comes the redoubtable Wendy McElroy with an answer.  It is “forced distribution of ‘privileges’ across society with an emphasis on providing wealth and opportunity to classes of people who are considered to be disadvantaged.”  It matters not whether a particular set of circumstances is the result of voluntary interactions.  Individuals who are female, have dark skin, low income, etc. qualify automatically as victims.  Examples of redress include affirmative action and progressive taxation.

Enough from me.  Please go read Wendy’s post.

4 thoughts on “What is social justice?

  1. Unfortunately the US Supreme Court disagrees with you. As Mitt Romney famously said “Corporations are people my friend.” SCOTUS agrees and says that corporate people have free speech rights just like biological people and that political spending = political speech. As much as I like your opinion, only their opinion counts.

    • Mitt Romney’s opininon, or even the Supreme Court’s opinion, is irrelevant. It’s a biological fact that only individual humans have thoughts, emotions, plans, actions. If a corporation donates to a campaign, for example, what really happens is that individual employees and managers make the decision, write the check, make the announcement, etc. Same for governments, political parties, etc. Only individuals act. Or as Mises said so pithily, “The hangman hangs the criminal, not the state.”

  2. Sorry Warren, the law is the law. Agents for principals make the decisions and write the checks. The Supreme Court’s opinions are anything but irrelevant. Violate one and see if von Mises can keep you out of jail or save you from paying the fine.

Please keep it civil

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