Social Justice is NOT Achieved by Income Redistribution Essay

Social Justice is NOT Achieved by Income Redistribution Essay

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The term “social justice” has existed since the 1840s and has continued to transform over the years. “Global justice” is simply another in a long line of interchangeable prefixes such as “national justice”, “economic justice” etc that precede the word justice. A plethora of policies are advocated under the name of “global justice”. This paper will consider the more popular proposal of income redistribution and consider its intellectual foundation and how it relates to justice, as well as its real world implications.
The most apparent and theoretically, the most easily overcome obstacle inherent in this idea is the very definition of the term “social justice”. As the years go by the term grows to encompass an ever increasing number of issues. It can mean anything from income redistribution to AIDS prevention. For some contemporary examples, the student activist group Global Justice1 has no definition of the term it so prominently uses as its name yet states that its purpose deals with “AIDS, trade and child survival”. Nowhere does the organization attempt to explain why their particular stand on those particular issues has anything to do with “global justice”. USC professor Robin D.G. Kelley is the executive editor of the “Social Justice Wiki”2. The stated objective of the online encyclopedia is to document various activist groups and movements3. Any attempt to discern any further insight of the term 'social justice' from the very encyclopedia dedicated to its name will result in failure as there is no indication as to why those specific groups fall under the banner of social justice and other groups do not, except for purely subjective and arbitrary guidelines4.
The pervasiveness and the emptiness of the term speak volumes ab...


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...e on “society”, but rather we have a clear case of who is being unjust to whom. The incredible irony of this situation would be that this legitimate and justifiable form of 'global justice' (in which case the guilty parties were unjust in their individual conduct and are clearly identified) would usually be invoked in order to counter policies enacted precisely under the justification of “social justice”. Perhaps “social justice” activists can redeem themselves of this past error, but only if they begin advocating against the injustice of trade barriers and immigration restrictions; for that is the only valid application of “justice on a global scale”. Any other justification for income redistribution leads to innocent individuals who justly acquired their material wealth, unjustly forced to pay compensation for the suffering of others they had no part in promoting.

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