Social Justice Doesn’t Sound Like Justice to Me

The term ‘social justice’ has been thrown around by collectivists since, probably, forever. Even though I’ve heard the term being thrown around I’ve never been able to understand the definition because, in context, it seems to mean a correction (in their eyes) of anything the speaker is against. Usually I’m quick to pick up a dictionary and look up terms I’m unfamiliar with but the dictionary doesn’t have an entry for ‘social justice’ so I turned to Wikipedia:

Social justice is based on the concepts of human rights and equality and involves a greater degree of economic egalitarianism through progressive taxation, income redistribution, or even property redistribution.

Now I’m even more confused than when I started. How is violent theft justice? Progressive taxation, like any form of taxation, is theft. The same goes for any type of redistribution. Redistribution, by definition, implies the taking of something from one person and giving it to another. Usually those screaming for social justice want to take property from the “rich” and distribute it amongst the “poor.” Their idea seems to be that the “rich” have “too much” and the “poor” “not enough,” so the only way to rectify the situation is to take some from the “rich” and give it to the “poor.” I had to use a lot of quotation marks because the definitions of rich, too much, poor, and not enough are entirely subjective based on the person you’re talking to. In my experience the definition of rich is usually “anybody who has more than the speaker,” too much is “more stuff than the speaker owns,” poor is “the speaker,” and not enough is usually “the amount of stuff the speaker owns.”

If social justice requires the initiation of force to achieve then it is not justice at all. It’s one thing if the advocates of social justice want stolen property return to rightful owners but in my experience most people demanding social justice want property taken from the “rich” and distributed amongst the “poor.” In my book justice is compensating for harm done by the harm doer. If you’ve stolen $100.00 from somebody it is right that the $100.00, plus any recovery costs, be returned to the original victim. I’d even go so far as to say it would be right if an additional $100.00 was then taken from the thief and given to the victim, since the thief really stole the right to $100.00 of property from the victim and fair compensation would be to have the right of $100.00 of property taken from the thief. The latter part is debatable, the former is not. Stolen property should always be returned to its rightful owner unless that rightful owner has said he doesn’t want his property retrieved (for example, if the owner is a pacifist).

Justice is not taking rightfully earned property from one and giving it to another, that’s theft.