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Social Justice

"The Socialists say, since the law organizes justice, why should it not organize labor, instruction, and religion?
Because it could not organize labor, instruction, and religion, without disorganizing justice."

   --  Frédéric Bastiat

Social terms

social market – a free market with regulation to support the general well being of society, even at the expense of profit eg. banning the sale of child porn
social justice – that idea that someone should be equal under society in the same way they are equal under the law. ie, they should have the same access to public services (schools, health, transport), and not have their life decided by anything other than their own actions and abilities.
social security – what yanks call National Insurance.
social studies – the academic discipline concerned with the behaviour of humans in large groups, as opposed to psycology which is small groups/individuals.
social progress – the manner in which human society has steadily raised the average quality of life, and continues to do so.
social history – the study of history with specific emphasis on the life of a civilian member of the public, and their culture. Different from say, military history or political history.
social responsibility – the expectations that members of society have of each other with respect to their behaviour.

Demands for social justice take two different forms, which I will call welfarism and egalitarianism. According to welfarism, individuals have a right to certain necessities of life, including minimum levels of food, shelter, clothing, medical care, education, and so on. It is the responsibility of society to ensure that all members have access to these necessities. But a laissez-faire capitalist system does not guarantee them to everyone. Thus, argue the welfarists, capitalism fails to satisfy its moral responsibility and so must be modified through state action to provide such goods to people who cannot obtain them by their own efforts.
According to egalitarianism, the wealth produced by a society must be distributed fairly. It is unjust for some people to earn fifteen, or fifty, or a hundred times as much income as others.

One Liners

Public servants or state servants.
Public required to give govt info, but public has no access to info.

What's wrong with the welfare state.

  • The state responds to short term crises without considering the worse long term crises such as rent controls leading to shortages of housing.
  • State officials do not spend money as effectively as owners of businesses
  • Hospitals and schools have no independence, profits or competition
  • Patients have no power
  • It has made the poor , poorer than they otherwise would have been
  • It has created consistent mass unemployment
  • It has depressed and alienated millions of people through unemployment and welfare dependency
  • It has caused millions of children to suffer misery and to under acheive by encouraging broken parenting
  • It has increased crime by causing so much alienation through broken parenting,  unemployment and welfare dependency
  • It has left millions illiterate and innumerate
  • People have become less decent and civil
  • Faith in central planning requires an absurd admiration of politicians and bureaucrats
    Do you believe that, sitting in their offices in Whitehall, politicians can make better investment decisions than industry insiders who are risking their own money? 


  • You live in a socialist state. In a socialist state what can the government not do that they could do to you in Communist Russia? (List 3 things).The ideas of socialism are the same as communism which is why most people would struggle to list 3 things.
  • When socialists mention 'free', we need to ask who is going to be paying, that is not where but who is the money coming from and what are the consequences of taking money from such sources.
Socialist view
  • Everyone is entitled to my opinion
  • A Collectivist sees society above individuals. Individualist sees society as a collection of individuals.
  • All people should have "X" amount of stuff.

Social justice questions

"If you do wrong against me, I am entitled to redress from you.(Aristotle) But when it comes to natural endowments of birth, there is no wrong doing. So it is unclear who the disadvantaged individuals have a claim against."

   --  Richard Epstein

  • Question… Whenever I hold or use property I am excluding others from doing so. How am I to hold property without violating social justice?
  • Another question to socialists, is what is the tax rate needed for a socially just society.
  • Also no two social justice advocates can agree what is exactly is social justice.
Class: There is no such thing as class war, just a division between those who take their responsibilities seriously and those who don't

Socialists confusion

"A Confusion of Terms Socialism, like the old policy from which it emanates, confounds Government and society. And so, every time we object to a thing being done by Government, it concludes that we object to its being done at all.
We disapprove of education by the State then we are against education altogether.
We object to a State religion then we would have no religion at all.
We object to an equality which is brought about by the State then we are against equality.
They might as well accuse us of wishing men not to eat, because we object to the cultivation of corn by the State."

   --  Frédéric Bastiat

We are encouraged to believe that any improvements which have taken place in our lives are a result of big government and more regulations.

   --  Vernon Coleman

Quote 833

There are at least three fundamental problems associated with this position. The first is that there is no single and salient answer to what everyone is supposed to have. Almost everyone who advocates for social justice has either a different view of this or—more commonly in my experience—no firm view they are willing to articulate. For example, try asking someone who says that “the rich” are not paying their “fair share” of taxes, “OK, what is the ‘fair share?’” You will either get a blank look or a single-word answer: “more.” Whatever the “well-off” are now paying, they should be paying more. Whatever the less well-off have, they should have more. How much more? Not saying. Just more.

   --  Randy Barnett

Quote 933

Too often would-be socialists want to compare capitalism in practice with some idea they have of what a socialist utopia might be like. The truth is that socialism was tried in many countries in different forms and had a deplorable record in all of them. It was characterized by suffering, shortages and the suppression of human freedom. In most cases it was accompanied by mass murder.

   --  Masden Pirie


Criticism from socialists

Answer to being brainwashed capitalist, is to say "I would expect to hear that from a brainwashed statist."