We Need a Theory of Injustice

Back in the day, liberal professor John Rawls impressed all the chin-waggers with his A Theory of Justice. The idea was to justify left-liberal politics on the basis of the “veil of ignorance.” When we liberal professors all sit around deciding on the kind of justice we are going to impose on the deplorables we pretend not to know whose side we are on.

Rawls’ theory was yet another effort to order human society according to the billiard ball approach of Newtonian mechanics that tends to forget that humans are not just actors in the public square but, as conservative Roger Scruton writes in On Human Nature, “embodied beings.” Thus, it is one thing to write a law and judge a trial of rape. It is another thing to be the victim of rape.

Forced against her will to experience her sex as a bodily function rather than a gift of herself, [a woman] feels assaulted and polluted in her very [embodied] being.

Thus, the experience of everything in the private sphere: “erotic love, the love of children and parents, the attachment to home, the fear of death and suffering” is, in a deep sense, visceral. The rules of the public sphere, of laws and government regulations, judges and lawyers, of legal process, are all very well when you are reading about them or watching the unfolding of some national scandal on TV. But when it is happening to you personally, Michael Flynn, it takes on a different aspect.

I guess that is what all the #MeToo girls are telling us.

Or, to put it another way, Hurricane Dorian was very interesting to those following it on https://nhc.noaa.gov, but a matter of life and death to those living on the Abaco Islands, Bahamas. Because the residents of Abaco were on the receiving end of Hurricane Dorian. And how.

In other words, any “theory of justice” needs to think about the folks on the receiving end of justice, those that our liberal friends call the “other.” Roger Scruton:

[There needs to be] a shared assumption that you are accountable to me for your voluntary actions insofar as they affect me.

This statement comes at the end of a long and dense disquisition about first person and second person perspective. Okay, good job, Roger. But my job here, pace Rush Limbaugh, is “to make the complex understandable.” In other words to shamelessly simplify it.

So, in our United States right now there is no feeling among our liberal friends that they are responsible for their actions insofar as they affect deplorables and other racist sexist homophobes. On the contrary, the deplorables deserve to get it, good and hard.

There is, indeed, no effort at all among our liberal friends to discover the actual result of all their moral preening, their programs, their activism, their self-dealing, their overweening pride on the folks on the receiving end. Why bother? You are the ruling class, ordained by God, or at least history, to rule over the dumb masses, who are mired in bigotry and superstition and don’t know what is good for them.

In other words, the rulers put their heads under the instrument hood and fly the whole civilization on instruments. (That is the steely-eyed aviator version of tender upper-class sprouts determining the fate of millions from within their “veil of ignorance.”) So shut up, rubes.

The reason I am making such a fuss about this is that I think that Scruton’s notion proves my maxim:

There is no such thing as justice, only injustice.

Justice is something that the ruling class experiences as it pats itself on the back for being the most just and evolved ruling class in history. It is, in Scruton’s language, a “first person” perspective and does not stop to ask what the people on the receiving end of their glorious justice think about it.

Injustice is what the ordinary people experience as they try to live their lives despite the difficulties, the barriers, the oppressions put in their way by a prideful and powerful ruling class. A ruling class worth its salt would always be thinking about the “second person” perspective and asking itself what its fabled justice actually means when experienced on the receiving end by ordinary people that live by obeying the law, going to work, and following the rules. Ours does not.

By the way, did you know how the great philosopher Roger Scruton met his wife? He was riding to hounds on a gelding, and at every hunt meet his gelding would want to get next to a certain pretty mare -- on which mare happened to be sitting the future bride of Roger Scruton.

But Scruton does not tell us what his future bride thought about being on the receiving end of this equine power play.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.

Back in the day, liberal professor John Rawls impressed all the chin-waggers with his A Theory of Justice. The idea was to justify left-liberal politics on the basis of the “veil of ignorance.” When we liberal professors all sit around deciding on the kind of justice we are going to impose on the deplorables we pretend not to know whose side we are on.

Rawls’ theory was yet another effort to order human society according to the billiard ball approach of Newtonian mechanics that tends to forget that humans are not just actors in the public square but, as conservative Roger Scruton writes in On Human Nature, “embodied beings.” Thus, it is one thing to write a law and judge a trial of rape. It is another thing to be the victim of rape.

Forced against her will to experience her sex as a bodily function rather than a gift of herself, [a woman] feels assaulted and polluted in her very [embodied] being.

Thus, the experience of everything in the private sphere: “erotic love, the love of children and parents, the attachment to home, the fear of death and suffering” is, in a deep sense, visceral. The rules of the public sphere, of laws and government regulations, judges and lawyers, of legal process, are all very well when you are reading about them or watching the unfolding of some national scandal on TV. But when it is happening to you personally, Michael Flynn, it takes on a different aspect.

I guess that is what all the #MeToo girls are telling us.

Or, to put it another way, Hurricane Dorian was very interesting to those following it on https://nhc.noaa.gov, but a matter of life and death to those living on the Abaco Islands, Bahamas. Because the residents of Abaco were on the receiving end of Hurricane Dorian. And how.

In other words, any “theory of justice” needs to think about the folks on the receiving end of justice, those that our liberal friends call the “other.” Roger Scruton:

[There needs to be] a shared assumption that you are accountable to me for your voluntary actions insofar as they affect me.

This statement comes at the end of a long and dense disquisition about first person and second person perspective. Okay, good job, Roger. But my job here, pace Rush Limbaugh, is “to make the complex understandable.” In other words to shamelessly simplify it.

So, in our United States right now there is no feeling among our liberal friends that they are responsible for their actions insofar as they affect deplorables and other racist sexist homophobes. On the contrary, the deplorables deserve to get it, good and hard.

There is, indeed, no effort at all among our liberal friends to discover the actual result of all their moral preening, their programs, their activism, their self-dealing, their overweening pride on the folks on the receiving end. Why bother? You are the ruling class, ordained by God, or at least history, to rule over the dumb masses, who are mired in bigotry and superstition and don’t know what is good for them.

In other words, the rulers put their heads under the instrument hood and fly the whole civilization on instruments. (That is the steely-eyed aviator version of tender upper-class sprouts determining the fate of millions from within their “veil of ignorance.”) So shut up, rubes.

The reason I am making such a fuss about this is that I think that Scruton’s notion proves my maxim:

There is no such thing as justice, only injustice.

Justice is something that the ruling class experiences as it pats itself on the back for being the most just and evolved ruling class in history. It is, in Scruton’s language, a “first person” perspective and does not stop to ask what the people on the receiving end of their glorious justice think about it.

Injustice is what the ordinary people experience as they try to live their lives despite the difficulties, the barriers, the oppressions put in their way by a prideful and powerful ruling class. A ruling class worth its salt would always be thinking about the “second person” perspective and asking itself what its fabled justice actually means when experienced on the receiving end by ordinary people that live by obeying the law, going to work, and following the rules. Ours does not.

By the way, did you know how the great philosopher Roger Scruton met his wife? He was riding to hounds on a gelding, and at every hunt meet his gelding would want to get next to a certain pretty mare -- on which mare happened to be sitting the future bride of Roger Scruton.

But Scruton does not tell us what his future bride thought about being on the receiving end of this equine power play.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.