Yesterday, news broke of all four members of Prime Minister Theresa May’s ‘Social Mobility Commission’ resigning. The chair of the commission published a resignation letter explaining why, but who cares. Obviously, they weren’t at all happy with the way things were going. Good!
Disillusionment, lack of unity, lack of confidence in the leadership. This is what we want to see in the government. This is what we want to see from all the political parties, actually. The more in-fighting and disagreement there is throughout them, the less gets done by the government and the less confidence the public has in the other parties as an alternative. The less public confidence, belief and faith in the political system as we know it the better.
That a supposedly Conservative government believes social justice is a desirable thing further shows how there is now no meaningful difference between Conservatism and Liberalism in the UK. It’s all one big blob of statism from a bunch of identikit statists who wear different coloured rosettes.
For a long time it wasn’t, but now the Political Right is in agreement with the Left that the expansive use of state power can be a force for economic good and should be used to engineer ‘social justice’. The woman who haunts every leftist’s dreams, Margaret Thatcher, will surely be turning in her grave.
Liberals should be pleased the current ‘Conservative’ government has designs on social justice policy, but they won’t be. They’ll stick to believing the Tories are the bad guys preventing Corbyn’s Labour from healing society’s ills.
Perhaps this convergence of modern Conservatism and modern liberalism is being driven by the public’s current crisis of faith in economic freedom, brought about by the effects of the global economic depression which now seem to have taken on a permanence in their lives.
This is presenting politicians with the opportunity to sell voters the idea of social justice, which seems to be bolder and to promise so much more than mere political justice.
For political justice to exist, everyone must have the same rights and everyone’s rights must be equally enforced. The extent to which this achieved is the extent to which the power of the government is limited.
To have social justice, everyone within a certain geographic area must have the same or similar amounts of wealth and economic opportunities. The extent to which this is achieved is the extent to which the power of the individual over his or her own life is limited; it is the extent to which individual freedom is restricted by the government.
Political justice restricts the use of force in society, whereas social justice expands the use of force in society. This is the profound difference between them. One preserves liberty, the other destroys it. The two cannot be equated and should not be conflated.
Think of it this way. Political justice is about equally distributing freedom, figuratively speaking, which everyone has a right to their own specific amount of. This can be done without extorting money from people and without violating people’s property rights.
Social justice is about equally distributing wealth and economic opportunities, which advocates assert everyone has a right to their own share of. But this can only be achieved through coercive redistribution of wealth and through violating people’s property rights.
If the highest degree of social justice was achieved through government force, then everyone would have very little wealth and few economic opportunities (think North Korea).
But, of course, this isn’t what proponents of social justice envisage. They don’t imagine equally distributing a relatively small amount of wealth such as exists in North Korea. They envisage taking the vast amount of wealth existing in the UK today and equally distributing that.
But what they don’t understand is this cannot be done without removing the economic freedoms that it was necessary for people to have to create that wealth in the first place and which they must retain to keep creating wealth.
No society can achieve the high standard of living the UK has without private ownership of the means of production and without consistently enforced property rights – which are basic human rights.
Political justice and social justice are mutually exclusive. If we have one, then we can’t have the other. If we choose social justice, then we cannot have political justice, which would be disastrous. If we choose political justice, then we cannot have social justice, which would be a good thing because a socially just society is an impoverished and unfree one.
Social justice is cutting society’s head off to spite its face; it’s destroying society’s economic foundations out of an urge to eat the rich. But the rich won’t get eaten. The wealthy elite has the means to escape to more liberal lands and will do so when the state becomes too oppressive to be tolerated, leaving the envious masses behind as the main course for the monster government they asked for.