|E.J. Dionne prepares to let loose another|
unction implosion all over the Washington
Post's newsroom. Better get the Brawny out.
Anyway, on with today's dose of 'Puter's wisdom.
Campaign 2012 has a fever, and according to E.J. Dionne, the only prescription is more cowbell. And by "more cowbell," Mr. Dionne means more social justice.*
Well, shucks. It never occurred to 'Puter that the one thing this country needs more than anything else -- more than jobs, more than spending control, more than a realistic foreign policy -- is social justice. But then, 'Puter's just a simple, Upstate lawyer, incapable of higher thought or reasoning, so he'll just take Mr. Dionne's word for it.
Nah. 'Puter doesn't take anyone's word on anything. He was educated by Jesuits, who are intellectual descendants of St. Thomas the Apostle (e.g., "Suuuuure Jesus came back from the dead and talked to you, Peter. I'll bet He even had his wounds suffered on the cross. Riiiight."). Let's take a gander and Mr. Dionne's central thesis, then beat it all to Hell, then put it back together correctly.
What is social justice? Mr. Dionne never defines it in his piece. Perhaps Mr. Dionne refuses to define social justice on purpose. In 'Puter's experience, if you ask a thousand people to define social justice, you get a thousand different answers. For those with ulterior motives like Mr. Dionne and the social justice apparatchiks, allowing we cattle to ascribe our own nonthreatening and nice meaning to the term. It's so much easier to hoodwink people if you prey on their decency, wolf in sheep's clothing and all that.
Since Mr. Dionne failed in his duty to explain his assumptions to his readership, let 'Puter have at it. As Mr. Dionne is a bleeding heart liberal and self proclaimed but in no meaningful sense Roman Catholic, 'Puter has decided to use the most bleeding heart definition of social justice he could find. What better source could 'Puter have than the University of California Berkeley's School of Social Welfare? Better yet, 'Puter lifted this definition from Berkeley's Social Justice Symposium. UC-Berkeley's hive-minded
Social Justice is a process, not an outcome, which (1) seeks fair (re)distribution of resources, opportunities, and responsibilities; (2) challenges the roots of oppression and injustice; (3) empowers all people to exercise self-determination and realize their full potential; (4) and builds social solidarity and community capacity for collaborative action.This definition is every bit as incisive and transparent as most Fortune 500 companies' vision and mission statements, which is to say it is neither incisive nor transparent at all.
Reading UC-Berkeley's social justice definition's first clause jogged loose a fragment of a memory, as yet unkilled by 'Puter's titanic alcohol consumption. 'Puter thought that he had read something very similar way back in his education (more like induction, a cramming into rather than a leading out of) at the hands of the Jesuits. "Jeder nach seinen Fähigkeiten, jedem nach seinen Bedürfnissen." Or, as we say in American, "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs." That certainly sounds like fair redistribution of resources to 'Puter, simple as he may be.
Maybe 'Puter, like the blind squirrel, has managed despite absolute ineptitude to find an intellectual nut. Let's move on to part two of UC-Berkeley's definition? Is there an historical analog to be found anywhere? Let's see. If we assume that the world is out to visit oppression and injustice of the less powerful, what can we come up with? How about,Or how about, "Hitherto, every form of society has been based ... on the antagonism of oppressing and oppressed classes." Pretty darned tight fit there. UC-Berkeley and Mr. Dionne are all about convincing the proles that they are antagonized and oppressed.
It's looking like 'Puter just may be on to something here. Surely there's no analog for UC-Berkeley's third prong, that social justice "empowers all people to exercise self-determination and realize their full potential," right? Wrong. How about, " [Social Justice]** deprives no man of the ability to appropriate the fruits of his labour. The only thing it deprives him of is the ability to enslave others by means of such appropriations." Chock full of self-determinationy goodness, this quote is. We proles will get to determine how best to use our labor in Mr. Dionne's forthcoming workers' paradise. O fraptious day!
What to make of "builds social solidarity and community capacity for collaborative action?" How about, "The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workers of the world, unite!"? Yup. Social solidarity and collaborative action all in one yummy ball of discredited ideology.
Isn't it just the oddest of all possible coincidences how each prong of Berkeley's definition of social justice finds a mirror image in a passage from Karl Marx' writings? Sadly, it's not a coincidence at all.
Of course, 'Puter rarely says this at all, and usually only to mock those who support the values of the quote's author, Karl Marx. 'Puter's not one to cast about the labels"Marxist" or "Communist" lightly, as he truly attempts to give folks the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps social justice's proponents don't know its intellectual heritage. Or perhaps they know damned well its history, and use the smiley faced fascism of today's Left to stealthily increase liberals' control over our lives, all in the name of doing good for others.
There can be no doubt that the Left's notion of so-called social justice is anything more than a thinly-veiled excuse to consolidate power over every facet of your life in the hands of unelected government workers in Washington.
Social Justice isn't a "process." Social justice is Marxism in softer, more consumer friendly packaging. At the core of social justice, just as at the core of Marxism, is the notion that all property must be owned in common.
Without common ownership of all property, how else can a society "redistribut[e] resources, opportunities, and responsibilities?" How else can our enlightened betters challenge "the roots of oppression and injustice?" The U.C. Berkeley faculty cannot possibly empower "all people to exercise self-determination and realize their full potential" or build "social solidarity and community capacity for collaborative action" without forcible compulsion of those who may think otherwise.
And, cynically, 'Puter believes that without common ownership of all property, our liberal intelligentsia cannot hope to install itself as the unquestioned and all-powerful arbiter of creating The Way Things Should Be.
Don't worry, though, because Karl Marx has provided social justice advocates like Mr. Dionne an instruction manual for cramming down on we benighted conservatives and libertarians a workers' paradise of The Way Things Should Be, whether we want it or not. Here are some instructions, straight from the pen of good old Karl his own bad self. Let's see how neatly these quotes align with liberal actions and policies of late.
"The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to [social justice]." Let's see. Which party has dedicated itself to stamping out any opposition to the notion liberalism and its One True God, Barack Obama may in any manner be fallible and/or self-interested? Aside from the mainstream media, that would be Democrats. Does "No justice, no peace!" sound familiar? Social justice advocates and many liberals are willing to riot to get their way. See, e.g., Wisconsin state house during the collective bargaining statute amendments. And they don't give a rat's rear end who ends up hurt.
"Religion is the impotence of the human mind to deal with occurrences it cannot understand." See also, "Religion is the opiate of the masses." And just who is dedicated to destroying religion in the name of freedom, wherever it may be encountered? That again would be the Left and their Democrat enablers. Catholic hospitals are forced by the Obama Administration to take action directly contrary to their long standing and mainstream core beliefs, all in the name of freedom for women, and despite the fact that such services (abortion) and products (birth control) are widely and freely available elsewhere. Religion must be torn asunder in order that liberals' new world order may prevail.
"The theory of [Social Justice]** may be summed up in one sentence: Abolish all private property." And there's the rub. In order to implement liberals' brave new world or new world order or workers' paradise or whatever the politically correct and focus group tested mainstream media approved term is these days, the government (read: liberals) have to control everything you have and everything you do. That's exactly why The Founders insisted on strong and guaranteed property rights, including absolute bars on government appropriation of private property without exceptionally good cause and fair market compensation.
Social justice is not about any meaningful change in the lot of the less fortunate. The only change social justice advocates care about is a change that installs them in a position of absolute power. Social justice is nothing more than an intellectual Trojan horse, a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Social justice is a means to a political end, and that's it.
So when Mr. Dionne advocates, as he does today, for a greater commitment to social justice in this year's presidential campaign, remember this. For Mr. Dionne, social justice is not about liberating the poor, it's about enslaving the rest of us. Mr. Dionne believes that in order for America to achieve social justice, social justice must be compulsory.
'Puter, like all simple minded folks in America's hinterlands, believes that if social justice is compulsory, it is in no manner just. Quite the contrary, in fact. For Mr. Dionne and his ilk, social justice is nothing more than a convenient way to force Americans to behave as they see fit***.
Social justice, as conceived by Mr. Dionne and his liberal fellow travelers, is nothing more than an alternate spelling of fascism.
*Mr. Dionne's column today is titled The Campaign's Moral Hole. Mr. Dionne, 'Puter surely sees a hole in your column, but "moral" is not the correct adjective.
**'Puter removed the word "Communism" from these two places, replacing it with its synonym "social justice."
***'Puter can't help but think of Huxley's Brave New World when thinking of how deluded Mr. Dionne and the UC-Berkely faculty must be to believe Democratic power brokers will ever let them anywhere near the levers of power. Mr. Dionne is merely a convenient tool to be used and discarded when no longer needed. Why, 'Puter can practically hear Mr. Dionne thinking to himself:
Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because they're so frightfully clever. I'm really awfully glad I'm a Beta, because I don't work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don't want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They're too stupid to be able …
But that's a topic for another day.