Just last week The Pilot alerted us that “A group of Western Carolina University education professors with social justice backgrounds toured [our] schools… [T]his year they’re leading quarterly training sessions for principals and assistant principals.”
In other words, our schools are being molded into institutions of “social justice.” It’s something that should scare all of us.
To “do justice” implies a punitive act which is designed to right a wrong. Of course, there is nothing wrong with doing right, but taking punitive actions against others to achieve justice for someone else is generally something reserved for our courts.
For instance, “criminal justice” is well understood. It is an action taken by the state to restore the law and order that a free people require. It may include any number of punitive responses from jail to fines to mental rehabilitation. But when we ask the state to do “social justice,” then we all ought to be plenty scared.
Asking the state to do social justice is to demand that the state govern our social interactions just as it governs criminals. It demands remedial action against those who defy the way the state demands that we interrelate. Freedom of association and individual liberty must be made subservient to the goals of the state.
So, if the goal of the state is to reduce income inequality, the wealthy and middle class may not enjoy the bounty of their hard work. Justice demands that they provide housing, medical care, food and clothing to everyone else. To enforce social justice is to require that the state take from each according to his ability and provide for each according to his need. Hence, social justice is socialism, a society where government affirmatively alters social interactions in order to achieve equity. The goal of government becomes enforced mediocrity.
Our current government is based upon free market capitalism. Our people are free to organize their social interactions in any way they see fit. It is places like China which are governed by principles of social justice. There, service to the state and the social goals of the state are scored and then secluded in state-controlled cyberspace. Social score, not capital formation is the ticket to success. And it works well for China… not so well for the residents of Hong Kong or the million Uighur Muslims in communist re-education camps.
Of course, some might argue that social credits and re-education camps are not likely to become common in Chicago or Charlotte. But, think again. One former Democratic candidate for President advocated revoking the tax-exempt status of churches that oppose same sex marriage. On a similar basis, the right of the Boy Scouts to use public facilities has been challenged in court. In some schools, inter-sex bathrooms and gym showers are becoming a symbol of social justice for transgenders.
Our Constitution is a document regulating a limited government. In it, the people loan the government the right to regulate capital. In the Bill of Rights, the people specifically reserve to themselves most other rights, including the right to personal liberty. Social engineering or “social justice” is not part of the pact.
Indeed, society is sometimes unjust. But in a capitalist society, the existence of inequity is seen as an incentive to seek success. That is not to say that those born rich ought to keep others poor. Through public education, we also pride ourselves in giving every person equal opportunity — actually, an equal opportunity to become unequal. We do not engineer society in order to ensure that every person reaches wealth. Success is never guaranteed. It is a personal responsibility. So, we do not tear down those who are successful to achieve a social equity. In exchange for hard work, we offer success. We do not offer universal mediocrity.
Welcoming social justice seminars in our schools or in society in general is to elevate socialism above capitalism. It is to use the power of the state to achieve social equity at the expense of personal liberty. It is to prefer that equity over excellence, leaving us with national mediocrity. Social justice is antithetical to a free market and a free people. Students must be taught to take advantage of their liberty. Blaming problems or even poverty on injustice is to accept failure and embrace mediocrity.