This is Essay Eighteen in the series Lighten the Load, a back-to-basics re-think of government. What should a government be and do? What should it definitely NOT be and do? Is it even necessary at all? If so, how much and why? How do we decide, against what criteria?
by Steve Cook
It is astonishing how many injustices are committed in the name of justice.
Everybody wants justice; you rarely hear anyone saying, “I demand injustice!”
The vast majority of people do want justice: they recognize that it protects them, that in its purity it is an expression and exercise of reason and that, along with our survival codes, it forms an indispensable foundation stone of civilization.
They recognize too that its correct implementation brings order and enables disputes or unwelcome conduct to be settled without conflict or violence.
As a matter of simple logic, we can therefore conclude that where there are unresolved disputes, unrest, riots and conflicts, there is an ABSENCE OF JUSTICE.
There is, in other words, in some form and on the part of someone, INJUSTICE.
That tells us, then, that for a condition of conflict to persist, THERE MUST BE AN ABSENCE OF JUSTICE.
This makes nonsense of the idea that a war or other forms of oppression can be conducted “in the name of justice.”
Just as moral sense must be knocked out, so too must justice be negated in some way in order to have a war or persuade one group of people to knock seven bells out of another, steal their land, make off with their oil, turn them into slaves or force then to grow tobacco instead of food so people in the home country can die of cancer!
Most people agree that true justice is a very good idea. They want it a whole lot more than they want to be booted in the face or shot at or to boot or shoot others.
It is obvious, however, given the prevalence of conflict, unrest and strife, that justice is in more short supply than is good for us.
When we find ourselves in war, cheering on bombers or terrorist acts, or justifying giving some people we have never even met a hard time, we know that someone somewhere made sure justice was eliminated.
And the one hallmark of every incompetent government under which a nation sickens and dies is that it does not provide equal justice to all.
This is so even in the West, where the law is so complex and justice such a minefield that one must hire expensive experts to navigate through them and full access to justice and its protection is the privilege and luxury of those with a few hundred thousand bucks in the bank.
We can avoid all this turmoil and misery by ensuring justice is actually DONE and by making it the right of everyone.
We can make war and strife a thing of the past by making justice a thing of today and tomorrow.
But first we must first have a very thorough understanding of what justice is and what it is for. Once we know what the real McCoy looks like, we can more easily spot the cheap imitations.
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