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What does Social Justice mean to you?

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What does Social Justice mean to you?

Post  Atheist Dude on Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:13 pm

What do you think should be the ultimate goal(s) of social justice?

I would like to see all people have an equal opportunity to pursue their dreams.

I don't believe everyone can rise to the same level of achievement due to differences in motivation, skill level, intelligence, temperament...etc.

Ideally, the only restrictions placed on an individual to pursue their dreams, are those imposed by nature and those they place upon themselves.
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Re: What does Social Justice mean to you?

Post  mood2 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:55 am

I'd just add that for opportunities to be truely equal sometimes means making adjustments to the way things have previously been done. So for example in employment that might mean a change in work practices like introducing flexible hours or job-share in order to make those jobs equally available to women. Or making adaptations for people with disabilities. It might be worth introducing quotas or fast track schemes in some cases for a while, to kick start change.

These sort of changes are more controversial and can cost employers time and money, and may be completely impractical for small businesses. If employers who could adapt are reluctant is it a legit role for government to offer perks to incentivise good practice? I reckon so.

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Re: What does Social Justice mean to you?

Post  Atheist Dude on Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:05 am

mood2 wrote:I'd just add that for opportunities to be truely equal sometimes means making adjustments to the way things have previously been done. So for example in employment that might mean a change in work practices like introducing flexible hours or job-share in order to make those jobs equally available to women. Or making adaptations for people with disabilities. It might be worth introducing quotas or fast track schemes in some cases for a while, to kick start change.

These sort of changes are more controversial and can cost employers time and money, and may be completely impractical for small businesses. If employers who could adapt are reluctant is it a legit role for government to offer perks to incentivise good practice? I reckon so.

Just to be clear, what I wrote are what I see as the "ultimate goals" of social justice.

The hard part(like you illustrated) is trying to figure out how to get there.
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Re: What does Social Justice mean to you?

Post  mood2 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:12 am

Ah OK Smile

A more vague sort of goal would be wouldn't it be fuckin nice if people were less judgemental about difference.

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Re: What does Social Justice mean to you?

Post  Atheist Dude on Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:02 pm

mood2 wrote:Ah OK Smile

A more vague sort of goal would be wouldn't it be fuckin nice if people were less judgemental about difference.

That would be a helluva good start!!
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Re: What does Social Justice mean to you?

Post  nullnvoid on Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:14 pm

I think of Social Justice as a recognition and call for redress to a set of inequalities that are caused by the written and unwritten rules of societies. These rules are partly legislative and partly cultural. We all generally acknowledge that some people have it better than others. Where we acknowledge that there is a systemic cause for these inequalities then it is time to seek methods by which those rules can be modified to establish a return to equality.

I was curious to investigate the criticisms of the idea that Social Justice and I found a series of discussions from LearnLiberty.org - which appears to be some type of libertarian think tank. It appears to be focused on reframing the concept of social justice to make it more approachable for libertarians. (https://youtu.be/lx6LTyMxyQQ) I don't concur with everything represented here but there are some interesting videos on the Learn Liberty site. This one was pretty good: http://www.learnliberty.org/videos/racial-inequality-in-the-criminal-justice-system. This one was kind of nit-picky and BS: http://www.learnliberty.org/content/do-women-earn-less-men

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Re: What does Social Justice mean to you?

Post  wind on Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:22 am

I think perfect social justice is probably an unattainable utopian dream. I *might* be wrong there, though. I can imagine a Star Trek type society, where everyone takes turns being the ag workers and bathroom cleaners, being maybe, possibly do-able, though, at least in theory...maybe.

Short term and much more plausibly, I think we should just aim to be a bit more like Scandinavia domestically in our respective Western countries. When it comes to capitalism and the poor internationally, things become a lot trickier. Then there are things like sexism and discrimination based on sexual orientation, which are somewhat, but not totally separate issues.

I guess I don't have a grand unifying theory of social justice, outside of something like Chomsky's "left-wing anarchy as a human ideal" and Orwell's glimpse of the short-lived Spanish Revolution and a society based on "free and equal human beings."

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Re: What does Social Justice mean to you?

Post  nullnvoid on Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:52 am

wind wrote:I think perfect social justice is probably an unattainable utopian dream. I *might* be wrong there, though. I can imagine a Star Trek type society, where everyone takes turns being the ag workers and bathroom cleaners, being maybe, possibly do-able, though, at least in theory...maybe.

Short term and much more plausibly, I think we should just aim to be a bit more like Scandinavia domestically in our respective Western countries. When it comes to capitalism and the poor internationally, things become a lot trickier. Then there are things like sexism and discrimination based on sexual orientation, which are somewhat, but not totally separate issues.

I guess I don't have a grand unifying theory of social justice, outside of something like Chomsky's "left-wing anarchy as a human ideal" and Orwell's glimpse of the short-lived Spanish Revolution and a society based on "free and equal human beings."

I tend to look at social justice as a constantly moving set of issues. You're right when you say that there will never be a Utopian society. Some aspect of society will inevitably wind up facing problems that result from the the rules of that society. Social Justice would therefore relate directly to the issues at hand within a given society at a given point.

Thinking about feminism as a for example, the issues have changed over time from the right to own property, the right to vote, the right to enter the workforce to the right to equal pay. At each stage a desired outcome is demanded and worked towards - and to some extent achieved. Progress has been slow, but there have been notable achievements. Even though many of these have been addressed within western societies, there are still gender imbalances and thus there are still social justice issues to be worked out with regards to feminism.

I think Social Justice is distinct from Utopia in that it is a collection of individually achievable goals. Not a vague notion of a perfect system.

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