What Justice Depends on - a Crash Course
With no apology to relativists for such a brazen title, I offer an important insight on justice gleaned over a great many years of observation.
First off, two major problems need to be highlighted:
Big Problem Number One: The human being is naturally ambivalent toward what is morally right and what is morally wrong, and cannot be trusted to be naturally virtuous. Needs, desires, temptation, weakness, doubt, frustration all militate against morally responsible action. Being a decent human being, having a functioning moral “sense,” does not come with one’s physical equipment, including heart and brain. Whether one is robust or delicate, warm or cold, bright or slow – or one of countless in-betweens – moral response must be learned and made habit. At its fundamental and most direct level, justice depends on morally responsive people, not on feelings or idols of the marketplace, including technological progress.
Big Problem Number Two: “Democratic” or not, with or without respect for “equality,” power gravitates to the few, making it virtually impossible for government to be truly representative of its people. The larger the government, the more out of touch the head is to the body. Where the moral sense is weak or lacking, the natural tendency of power to concentrate into few hands raises injustice to dangerous levels.
King Solomon asked of his Creator, “Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong. For who is able to govern this vast people of yours?”
Well, for a democratically-oriented country of immense proportions like the United States, the question is: who is able to govern this vast people if the people have no understanding heart and fail to distinguish right from wrong?
I speak of real justice, not the appearance of justice. Politically expedient or “politically correct” justice has no business here – or anywhere else for that matter. To hold that every point of view is valid – except the one held, of course – is to reveal a profound ignorance and submit to power as a director of “justice.”
After all is said that needs to be said about “justice by force,” after the baloney is sliced every which way, after the reductions are made from the sublime to the ridiculous, and the amplifications made from the ridiculous to the sublime, true justice boils down to three basic conditions: the right to live, the right to be free, and the duty to act morally.
Take away any one of the basic three and justice goes whistling. The first two fundamentals – the right to live, the right to be free – slide away as power condenses – through collusion, merge, purge, syndication, media buy-out, secret pact, blackmail, smear. The methods, need it be said, are amoral – that is, indifferent to justice. End trumps means in the power game as played from time immemorial. If it involves murder, well, so be it.
The third basic, the duty to act morally, requires and demands that each individual – repeat, each individual – choose what is morally right and follow through on that choice. Owing to contradictory elements in human nature, often in conflict with one another, one is best trained for this basic duty from the cradle. Unless an individual instinctively and habitually hates what is evil and instinctively and habitually loves what is good, the choices will take the line of least resistance – that is, indifference to what is just, in pursuit of what is advantageous. And he/she will most likely learn to apply any device, including reason, to “justify” it. Please note that what is hated, in this context, is not people but evil actions.
The duty to act morally is difficult to maintain even when the right to live and the right to be free are guaranteed, which they are not. The amorality or indifference to true justice of those who pull the strings of society tells us that the right to live and the right to be free are habitually ignored. The way of all power toward justice, uninhibited by a sound
moral sense, is downhill.
The position of those in power is continually reinforced via opinion-molding news and entertainment, school, church, books, magazines, politically-loaded “opinion polls,” and elections by the resulting brainwashed public.
Minds accustomed to mainstream channels of information, including those that claim “fair and balanced” treatment, may be offended by these dissonant remarks. A quick defense is all I can offer in this “crash course.” Roughly 90% of news and entertainment media endorse the status quo, whether the source is billed as “liberal” or “conservative.” School texts are written to conform to politically correct standards. If you act or think in a politically wrong way, you may expect “sensitivity training” at your work place. Mainline churches are in lock step with the political status quo, not with the politically incorrect Gospel. Opinion polls are worded to ignore or misrepresent opposing views – a neat form of censorship and brainwash. Money dictates which candidates run for office. Media dictates which get elected.
I invite all to easily confirm this crash course in politics for themselves. But don’t go to the mainstream media for the truth; you’ll have to do some heavy lifting to get at valid information. For any who think that all this is OK, normal, part of the “democratic process,” I feel pity.
I invite all who deny justice – in action, not rhetoric – to suspend the pretense to a greater knowledge and wisdom than their Creator, bearing in mind where your true loyalty lies . . .
For He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what the Lord requires of you is to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God [Micah 6:8].
Image credit: John Youngson