Fwd: [karmayog] A Call From Justice
- View SourceFrom: MD Kini <mdkini@...>
A Call From Justice
By Allan Goldstein
*Life isn’t fair*. What is it within our souls that make us cringe at
those words? They’re true, aren’t they? They’re drummed into every child
by the age of five, when she first drops a lollipop in the dirt.
So why, even now, against all our adult experiences of disappointment,
tragedy and loss, do they still have the power to make us hurt?
If a human being puts his finger on a hot stove, he will feel pain. That’s
an innate reflex built into people, put there for our protection.
If a human being feels injustice he will feel pain. That’s built into
people too, and for the same reason.
To want justice is to *be* human. Every exposé we’ve ever seen, every
lament, every sad story, every unnecessary disaster, each one tugs on the
same place in our minds, plucks the same heartstrings.
Justice is the word that hides, naked and ashamed, beneath the uncorrupted
depths of the human heart. It has called to us since the beginning of
time. I believe it is time we listened.
It is no longer enough to be, vaguely, in a general way, in favor of
justice. Since the beginning of recorded history we have dreamed of a
fairer, more just world. Time and again we have placed our trust in
“isms,” hoping that this idea would produce the justice we seek.
Time and again the “isms” fail us. They are failing us today. Socialism
is a spent force; capitalism is devouring itself. “We need to find a third
way!” How many times have you heard that lament? How many years have we
spent looking for that elusive third way?
But the third way is not elusive; it’s *mythological*. Private activity
isn’t all that private because private individuals practice public
activity. We can talk about the economic balance, but that’s not where the
heart of the matter lies.
Economics is *mechanical* it’s a *method*. Capitalism and socialism are
left and right when where we really need to look is up.
Unfortunately, we’ve allowed our methods to become ideologies. Ideology
forces one to deny at least half of human nature. Free market ideologues
pretend that the markets decide the outcomes of everything, and to
interfere with them is not only useless, it’s blasphemous. They don’t
really think that way, not with their whole natures. Otherwise the most
successful among them wouldn’t spend the second halves of their lives
giving it all away to charity. But free markets are their gods, and homage
must be paid.
Socialists pretend that the collective is everything, that the profit
motive is selfish at best, sinful at worst. They pretend to believe in a
utopia where all property is public, shared, and equally distributed. They
don’t really think that way, not with their whole natures. They know that
people need a sense of ownership and the incentive to get off the couch and
do something. But socialism is their god and homage must be paid.
Those fixations are the result of making a *method* the measure of *virtue*.
Both sides believe that only their methods can possibly produce a just
result. Yet neither has done so; ideology is just an excuse for willful
The question isn’t whether our methods comply with our preconceived notions
of what *should* work. The question is do those notions work to bring more
justice or otherwise?
We’ve pummeled our way through five thousand years of history, hoping that
somehow, justice would come into the world as a byproduct of this or that
“ism.” If we weren’t so mesmerized by our pet methods we’d see them for
what they are: contingent, speculative, changeable, even disposable.
What is timeless is our deep, universal yearning for fairness, for
justice. Justice is the organizing principle of the human heart.
It can also be the organizing principle of human society. Not as a *
byproduct*, but as our stated, explicit goal.
If we want justice, we must fight for justice, directly, overtly, and
tirelessly. The “ism” we seek is right before our eyes. It has been all
I can hear the objections now. What is Justism? How do you define it?
Maybe what I call justice you call travesty.
We can argue about that, in fact, we *should* argue about that. It would
certainly elevate the conversation.
We spend all our lives calling for justice while all along it is calling
for us. This would be a good time to answer.
This article was published at NationofChange at:
http://www.nationofchange.org/call-justice-1371045475. All rights are