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What is Social Justice?

Posted by cann0nba11 on August 2, 2010

There are two concepts called “social justice.” One is based on religion, the other based on economic status. Let’s first take a look at the religious version.

According to the popular catholic web site, in the Catholic Church:

Social service is giving direct aid to someone in need. It usually involves performing one or more of the corporal works of mercy. That is, giving alms to the poor, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick or imprisoned, taking care of orphans and widows, visiting the shut-ins etc. Another name for it is charity.

The concept of correcting the structures that perpetuate this need is called social justice.”

The same web site gives the following example:

A person visits a food bank and explains that he has no food because he has been unemployed for a long time. A food bank worker knows of an employer with an entry-level/unskilled position available and (a) gives the person some food and (b) places that person in touch with the employer. This solves both problems for that person. (a) the immediate need of food through an act of charity/social service, and (b) it eliminates the unemployment problem that created and perpetuated the need, therefore creating social justice.

This example of social justice is what is taught and preached in the church. It has been documented for a very long time. In 1891, Pope Leo XIII issued what we would now call a newsletter or circular entitled “Rights and Duties of Capital and Labor.” In this document, Leo provided an official Catholic response to the social instability and labor conflict that had arisen in the wake of industrialization and had led to the rise of socialism. The Pope taught that:

  • the role of the State is to promote social justice through the protection of rights, and
  • the Church must speak out on social issues in order to teach correct social principles and ensure class harmony.

He restated the Church’s long-standing teaching regarding the crucial importance of private property rights, but recognized that the free operation of market forces must be tempered by moral considerations:

Let the workingman and the employer make free agreements, and in particular let them agree freely as to the wages… wages ought not to be insufficient to support a frugal and well-behaved wage-earner. If through necessity or fear of a worse evil the workman accepts harder conditions because an employer or contractor will afford him no better, he is made the victim of force and injustice.

It is a concept that most human beings can relate to and understand, and it is a concept that few people should have a problem with. Pope John XXIII expanded on the concept in 1961 with his own encyclical titled “”Mater et Magistra” subtitled “Christianity and Social Progress”). In it he wrote:

Once again we exhort our people to take an active part in public life, and to contribute towards the attainment of the common good of the entire human family as well as to that of their own country. They should endeavor… to ensure that the various institutions—whether economic, social, cultural or political in purpose – should be such as not to create obstacles, but rather to facilitate or render less arduous people’s perfecting of themselves both in the natural order as well as in the supernatural.

Pope John Paul II wrote in 1981:

“On one hand there is a growing moral sensitivity alert to the value of every individual as a human being without any distinction of race, nationality, religion, political opinion, or social class. On the other hand these proclamations are contradicted in practice. How can these solemn affirmations be reconciled with the widespread attacks on human life and the refusal to accept those who are weak, needy, elderly, or just conceived? These attacks go directly against respect for life; they threaten the very meaning of democratic coexistence, and our cities risk becoming societies of people who are rejected, marginalized, uprooted, and oppressed, instead of communities of “people living together.”

There are many different principles within the church-related concept of “social justice.” Among them:

  • Human Dignity: each member of the human family is equal in dignity and has equal rights because we are all children of the one God.
  • Solidarity: working for change so that everyone will be able to reach their potential
  • The Common Good: social conditions that make it possible for each social group and all of their individual members to achieve their potential.
  • Participation: Because of intelligence and free will, people have both a right and a duty to participate in those decisions that most directly affect them. They are actively to shape their own destiny rather than simply accept the decisions of others.
  • Subsidiary: “It is a fundamental principle of social philosophy, fixed and unchangeable, that one should not withdraw from individuals and commit to the community what they can accomplish by their own enterprise and industry (Pope Pius XI, Quadragesimo Anno, 79).
  • Distributism: social and economic structures should promote wide ownership of corporations and is the basis for anti-trust laws and economic cooperatives.

In my opinion, the principles above are sound, just and worthy of promoting. They clearly state that individuals are freely responsible for shaping their own futures. However, this is not the same belief espoused by those that follow the tenets of the economic version of social justice. What does our president think?

“Specifically, I think that social justice derives from individuals having the freedom to pursue their own ideas of happiness and pursue prosperity using their blood, sweat, and tears,” Obama told FOX News on Tuesday (7/7/09). “I also think that opportunities are provided to individuals through civic institutions like religious organizations. And I also (think) the government plays an important role.”

So what is the basis of the “social justice movement?” The movement is working towards the realization of a world where all members of a society, regardless of background or procedural justice, have basic human rights and equal access to the benefits of their society. In fact, there are several different movements pursuing this goal at varying levels. It sounds like a noble cause, right? ‘Basic human rights’ and “equal access to benefits.” But where this version differs from the religious version is on how to get there.


I found a great article by Jerome du Bois at dated October 6, 2008. (source: ) he said:

“Commentators on the Obama-Ayers relationship concentrate on the “unrepentant terrorist” meme. But Steve Diamond, Stanley Kurtz, and Sol Stern put the focus where it belongs: on the decades-long collaboration between the two to transform education into indoctrination; specifically, neo-Stalinist, anti-American indoctrination, using the feelgood rubric “social justice.”

Du Bois refers to a National Review Onlin e article by Stanley Kurtz titled “NYT;s Ayers-Obama Whitewash” (October 4, 2008).

…Ayers sees his education work as carrying on his radicalism in a new guise. The point of Ayers’ education theory is that the United States is a fundamentally racist and oppressive nation. Students, Ayers believes, ought to be encouraged to resist this oppression. Obama was funding Ayers’ “small schools” project, built around this philosophy. Ayers’ radicalism isn’t something in the past. It’s something to which Obama gave moral and financial support as an adult. So when Shane says that Obama has never expressed sympathy for Ayers’ radicalism, he’s flat wrong. Obama’s funded it. Obama was perfectly aware of Ayers’ radical views, since he read and publicly endorsed, without qualification, Ayers’ book on juvenile crime. That book is quite radical, expressing doubts about whether we ought to have a prison system at all, comparing America to South Africa’s apartheid system, and contemptuously dismissing the idea of the United States as a kind or just country.

Steve Diamond posted in his invite-only blog Global Labor:

Ayers is what political scientists call a “neo-stalinist.” Neo-stalinism is an authoritarian form of politics which attempts to control and build social institutions to impose state control of the economy, politics and culture on the general population. It has similarities to the original Stalinism found in the former Soviet Union but it arose in other countries and used slightly different forms and in some instances created regimes that were at odds for various reasons with the Russian regime

Classic examples of neo-stalinist regimes –regimes that Ayers and people in his political camp respect and support– are the Chavez regime in Venezuela, the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua, the Castro regime in Cuba, and the Maoist regime in China.

How could such a world view have anything to do with Obama? Well, the route that Ayers and his camp have followed to promote his form of authoritarian politics is a critical policy area: education.

Ayers advocates what he calls a “social justice” approach to education. What that means is the promotion of his authoritarian politics through our public school system.

Diamond then lists four key areas of this program, and notes that a lot of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge money went to fund them:

…among the most important projects of the Challenge were the very same four policies so critical to Ayers political strategy:

  • promotion of local school councils,
  • financial support for small schools,
  • promotion of a “social justice” teaching agenda, and
  • a race based approach to education policy.

And Barack Obama signed off on all of them.

Educational scholar Sol Stern wrote at the City

Ayers’s school reform agenda focuses almost exclusively on the idea of teaching for “social justice” in the classroom. This has nothing to do with the social-justice ideals of the Sermon on the Mount or Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Rather, Ayers and his education school comrades are explicit about the need to indoctrinate public school children with the belief that America is a racist, militarist country and that the capitalist system is inherently unfair and oppressive. As a leader of this growing “reform” movement, Ayers was recently elected vice president for curriculum of the American Education Research Association, the nation’s largest organization of ed school professors and researchers.

Marinka Peschmann of the Canada Free Press ties the concept to Obama’s actual legislative efforts.

Obama’s education bill, S.2111, significantly redesigns and amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to allow, in part, for “State… local educational agencies, and schools to increase implementation of early intervention services, particularly school-wide positive behavior supports.”

According to Section 3, “the term ‘positive behavior support’ means a systematic approach to embed proven practices for early intervening services, including a range of systemic and individualized strategies to reinforce desired behaviors and eliminate reinforcement for problem behaviors, in order to achieve important social outcomes.

Now lets take a look at the people that Obama has surrounded himself with and their stances on social justice.

  • High-ranking legal adviser in the State Department Harold Koh, former dean of the Law School at Yale University. Koh is an advocate of transnationalism, which is defined as being: … a concept that argues in favor of “global governance” as opposed to the constitutional sovereignty of independent nation-states. In other words, he does not support the sovereignty of the United States and the supremacy of the U.S. Constitution as the law of the land.
  • Another radical is John Holdren, the Dr. Mengele wannabe that is now Obama’s science czar.
    • Women could be forced to abort their pregnancies, whether they wanted to or not;
    • The population at large could be sterilized by infertility drugs intentionally put into the nation’s drinking water or in food;
    • Single mothers and teen mothers should have their babies seized from them against their will and given away to other couples to raise;
    • People who “contribute to social deterioration” (i.e. undesirables) “can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility” — in other words, be compelled to have abortions or be sterilized.
    • A transnational “Planetary Regime” should assume control of the global economy and also dictate the most intimate details of Americans’ lives — using an armed international police force.
  • Mark Lloyd, Obama’s FCC diversity czar, who is an open admirer of leftist thug Hugo Chavez in Venezuela
    • Not only does he want to redistribute private profits, he wants to regulate much of the programming on these stations to make sure they focus on “diverse views” (Progressive Views) and government activities.
  • Cass Sunstein, the regulatory czar. Sunstein believes that hunting should be banned and animals should have the right to sue people. Oh, he also believes there should be a Fairness Doctrine for the Internet.
  • Van Jones, the former so-called green jobs czar, an open and admitted communist and truther.
  • Global Warming Czar Carol Browner was — until last week — listed as one of 14 leaders of a socialist group that advocates what’s called “global governance” and says rich countries must shrink their economies to address climate change. The Washington Times reports Browner’s name and biography were listed on the Web page for Socialist International.

What does Barack Obama want to do? He calls for shifting more tax burden back to corporations and the wealthy, reversing various huge reductions for the upper echelon under Ronald Reagan and then George W. Bush. He hopes to raise the minimum wage and/or the earned income tax credit. He vows to find a path toward universal health care, reversing a 60-year string of failures that started with Harry Truman. He aims to invest more in education and alternative energy.

He calls for shifting more tax burden back to corporations and the wealthy, reversing various huge reductions for the upper echelon under Ronald Reagan and then George W. Bush. He hopes to raise the minimum wage and/or the earned income tax credit. He vows to find a path toward universal health care, reversing a 60-year string of failures that started with Harry Truman. He aims to invest more in education and alternative energy.

Lack of Objectivity in the Media (Dennis Prager)

For most liberal news reporters, therefore, the purpose of news reporting is not to report news as objectively as possible. The purpose of the media in general and of reporting specifically is to promote social justice and the social transformation of society.

For most liberal judges, the primary purpose of being a judge is to promote social justice and transform society. That is why liberal judges are so much more likely to be judicial activists than conservative judges.

Most liberal judges do not see their roles as merely adjudicating a dispute according to the law. They see their role primarily as using the law and their power to rule on the law to promote social justice.

For most university professors — and many high school teachers, as well — outside of the natural sciences and math, the same holds true. The task of a teacher is to teach, i.e., to convey the most important information as honestly as possible. But, again, this conflicts with the social justice goal of the left.

History teachers who merely teach history are of little use to the left. History — and English and political science, and sociology and other liberal arts — teachers must use their classroom to produce young people who will wish to engage in society-transforming work for social justice.

For most liberals in the arts (there are very few conservatives in the arts) there is no denial of their having an agenda.

They state quite candidly that the purpose of the arts is to challenge the (conservative) status quo, to raise political and social consciousness by advancing a “progressive” political and social agenda.


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