It is a large and bewildering field of candidates for the Democratic Presidential nomination and their respective campaigns seem to meld in to each other, confusing and overwhelming even for our huge media establishment. What does come across in varying degrees of coherency is the dominant theme about social justice and the need for equality, presented in moralistic tones as a progressive approach to solve inequality. I hear little if at all from the Republican side, which indicates either the absence of coverage, or perhaps the absence of anything at all; I suspect a little of both as it’s clear that the Republican Party has chosen to remain silent, in a state of appeasement allowing the President to be their speaker.
This social justice theme is irrational as it lacks a basic understanding of the nature of rights, the essential one being that it is the nature of man that his basic right is to own himself. Based on the 18th C liberalism of their time, the Founding Fathers expressed this belief in man’s basic rights with such phrases as …all men are created equal…” with “…the right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…” Please note that it is not happiness itself that is stated as a right, but the pursuit of it.
Any other concept of equality is delusional, and any action for what is called social justice is some morally twisted concept that is little more than vicious envy. Are all soccer players equal to Lionel Messi? Are all investors equal to Warren Buffet? Are all mathematicians equal to Fibonacci? What should move all soccer players, investors and mathematicians is not to envy these people, but to admire them.
The point is we are not equal to anyone else because we are all different, possess different attributes and talents, which consequently represent an idiosyncratic value that results in some form of wealth we may derive from these attributes and talents, and which defines who we are, and the ownership of ourselves is for all of us our only equal and basic right.
So as we are bombarded with the new clichés about income inequality, the wealth gap, or the like, with the attenuating claims about the “rights” to free education, equal pay, free health care, etc., what we are not getting is a justification why such desires are “rights”. A claim to such rights would in turn require someone to provide whatever is claimed as a right, but who can do that?
In that question, and the answer to it, lies the inherent fallacy of social justice. The often given answer in this political context is if elected, whoever supports these desires as rights will see to it that the government provides for such rights. Once you assert that such a desire is a right, you then have to assert how such a right is to be realized; if it requires compelling someone to provide the means to satisfy such claims in the name of social justice, then the assertion is actually immoral as it deprives someone of their own rights in order to meet these desires that you have claimed as a right.
The more politically astute candidates will not go further than asserting such rights as doing so would expose such assertions as either fantasies or confiscations; the less astute but perhaps more honest candidates such as Warren and Sanders do go further, and consequently may therefore be less likely to be nominated. Ultimately, it may not make a difference which candidate is nominated to run against Trump as regardless of the winner, the basic right to own oneself is in peril.
As I have already written about the absurd cronyism and inherent corruption in the QE by the government to the benefit of their elite circle, I agree that such actions contributed to “income inequality” in that it dislocated capital from growth to financial manipulation, and disproportionately burdened us with even more debt. So why then would we expect such corruption to be absent from the government’s pursuit of “social justice”? That, coupled with the moral bankruptcy of such concepts, should be compelling enough for Americans to see through such policies as the destruction of our basic right to own ourselves, which includes the fruits of our talents and labors. To put it another way, the pursuit of equality as social justice asserts the moral prerogative to have others supply you with your desires at the expense of their efforts.
Consider two examples of the basic right to own oneself:
- The immutable (unless the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade) justification for a women to own her right of free choice to choose pregnancy or its termination.
- The abolitionist position as expressed by Fredrick Douglass based on this basic right to own oneself.
Why so many “Progressives” see women’s right to choose what is best for their own bodies as clearly a basic human right, but appear incapable of extending such a basic right in all things is bewildering. Among Fredrick Douglass’ detractors were many socialists who felt his position undercut their belief that all men are slaves to the existence of private property and capitalism, a position which Douglas rejected as contrary to the basic right of man. Our shared natural basic right to own ourselves is the only equality there is, and a right for all regardless of race, wealth, or whatever our individual attributes and talents may be that distinguish us as who we are.