Tuesday, December 10, 2013
When social justice is not just
What is the foundational principles of Social Justice (SJ) and how does that relate to Pagan warrior ethos and sovereignty? This is the kernel of an idea that leads to this essay. A recent Article in The Wild Hunt explored SJ as an expression of pagan spirituality. Here is an opportunity to tear part of the mask off the SJ movement in these circles.
To be an honest proponent of anything requires a measure of bravery. We must not only examine the motivations of our enemies, but of our allies and ourselves. The quest for justice is admirable, laudable, and I believe many good folks are driven by a sense of what ought to be, but they are less than honest about examining their motivations as to their goals or methods.
What is justice? How shall we determine right and wrong and our course of action? What is the proper application of Power to make things Just? Are we as warrior-hearted people permitted to act, and if so how far? Against what? Big questions, but an examination of this is required to figure out what to do in the face of a social justice claim
First, I'm going to burst bubbles by making a statement: Life isn't fair. We are born different, some smarter, some more beautiful, some stronger, some more healthy, some more productive. Accepting this as a fact is just common sense, but beyond the disappointment of self-doubt that it may reveal, understand that it is this inequality that is needed to make a society and economy function. If we all could do exactly the same things equally well, there'd be no need for interactions, trade, discussions or any kind of marketplace. We would never advance beyond subsistence level.
So that inequality itself forms the foundation of how we as groups pool resources, divide labor, and organize to overcome challenges of life. You're a better farmer, I'm a better hunter, neither of us are very good doctors, etc. Being free to choose the work we excel and are happy at means a better life for all of us.
But along comes the SJ crowd and argues that inequality is bad. Maybe in some areas, such as before the Law, or in respect to how we are treated in social settings, one ought value the Other as expert in his field, and in ownership of his life. This isn't far enough say the Sjers, they seek to make the world a
level playing field by restricting the ability of the strong to be strong. The intelligent to exercise intelligence, the bold from being audacious. Of course, they don't call it such, they couch it in terms of justice, fairness, equity. No right-thinking person wants to be unjust, unfair or treating people without equal regard, so the SJ-ers then have control of the language of the discussion and thus win the argument.
Why? I'm not sure. I think it's a combination of fear and envy. Fear of that which is greater than themselves, and envy of strength and power. What is too powerful? Anything more powerful than the person who asks the question. So ultimately, it becomes a form of suppression of strength to achieve “fairness”
I'm going to turn the tables by asking “What is fair?”. Is it fair for a person to have his wealth confiscated by others using government as a tool? Is it fair to have a student sit quietly and move along with the class rather than excel at learning? Is it fair to disarm the man who has defended his family from a home invasion, because he has shown he can kill?
The Gods have not handed us equal ability. They did not intend for us to cripple our strongest to make ourselves feel better about our weaknesses. They intend for us to aspire to be more than we are, to make ourselves strong and proud and free. And to defend that in others too. Nurture strength where we see it growing,
To be sovereign does not diminish the sovereignty of another – it enhances it, since we can meet as equals in spirit, kings and queens of our own lives regardless of the treasures we own or the land we occupy.
Envy is a powerful emotion, that destroys sovereignty. It places the center of value on what you don't have, an empty room, bank account, love life, etc. Envy has a twin sister named Guilt that destroys it by pushing that same center of value to the empty room, bank account etc, instead of the success that it ought to be focused on.
These twins are the weapons of the Social Justice crowd, and seek to destroy real accomplishments.
If you fall behind in your efforts, struggle and fail, they feed your Envy to try to destroy your betters. If you win, they seek to feed Guilt about your accomplishments, to level the playing field.
As part of the package-deal I rejected upon becoming Pagan was this same mentality of envy/guilt that populated the Christian churches and mindspace. I'm sad to say it's at home in Paganism because we lack the language of sovereignty, pride and power. So here is it folks:
You have the right to be happy, to make your life into whatever you want, as long as you don't hurt others.
You have the right to seek the best in life that your skills, talent and ambition will provide.
You have the right to own every bit of your own life, and whatever you produce yourself, and what you freely trade with others.
You have the right to defend yourself, your freedom, your justly acquired property, and that of innocent people, from anyone who would take it from you by whatever means are necessary. Not available means, only necessary means.
You have the right to stand up against injustices, provided your means and your goals do not perpetrate those same or other injustices on anyone.