Monday, November 29, 2010

Real Social Justice

Ryan Messmore on Luigi Taparelli D’Azeglio who coined Social Justice,
His vision of social justice, then, emphasized freedom and respect for human beings and the small institutions through which they pursue basic needs. He held that true justice can’t be achieved without doing justice to our social nature and natural forms of association. Social justice entailed a social order in which government doesn’t overrun or crowd out institutions of civil society such as family, church and local organizations. Rather, they are respected, protected, and allowed to flourish.

Today, well-meaning policy makers and activists often do just the opposite as they try to overcome social challenges. Rather than viewing society as a network of smaller associations and communities, they mistakenly equate society with the state, centering its identity upon civic government.

As a result, these policy makers and activists conceive justice in terms of how much government directly addresses the needs of individuals. They too often bypass the web of intermediary institutions or deem those institutions irrelevant—or detrimental—in addressing and solving large social problems.


Mickbic said...

Interesting that a few years back someone remarked that Marvin Olasky was falling for *liberal* values in wanting Big Gov to fund faith based iniatives in his allegedly compassionate conservatism advocacy.

One reviewer of the Durants' work on civilization opines that the American Experiment will ultimately fail--you could work for freedom or equality but not both.

So SJ seems to be a somewhat worn out little phrase, perhaps garnering deserved snickers from some quarters.

Bill Baar said...

SJ needs a little redefining I think. I'd like to see a little more emphasis on the spiritual growth we get out of doing the work of social justice versus anything we give in that work.