Sunday, May 08, 2011

The Failure of Modern "Social Justice"

Howard Fuller is a smart man, a dedicated husband and parent, and a courageous guy.

That said, he just exposed the utter bankruptcy of modern "Social Justice" theory on the Mike Gousha show.

Fuller opposes Walker's plan to open school choice to all the children of the city of Milwaukee. Most of us remember that Howard Fuller was THE principal advocate of 'school choice' when it first appeared on the scene; he was joined by George Mitchell, Charlie Sykes, and Scott Jensen (among other prominent thinkers.) The idea was --in general-- that parents should be able to place their children in the school which was best for the child's education. Those 'best' schools might not be Milwaukee Public schools; they might be other secular (or religious) institutions. It was restricted to parents who were earning low incomes. The idea became reality under Tommy Thompson, and now about 20,000 children use State of Wisconsin vouchers to attend schools which their parents choose.

Now that Governor Walker has put forth the idea of 'school choice' for ALL Milwaukee's children by removing the income limits for eligibility, however, Mr. Fuller is opposed. (Much more on the program from P-Mac here.)

In the conversation with Gousha, Fuller posited that Walker's program is a 'violation of social justice.'

When he did that, Fuller exposed the utter failure of modern "social justice" theory. For if it is truly "justice," then it applies to all, not just 'some.' Fuller tripped over the modern perversion of the term, which substitutes materialistic equality for the real equality and dignity of man as a child of God.

Some understanding of the term is provided here:

"Social Justice" originates in the 19th Century writings of Italian Jesuit Luigi Taparelli who articulated the idea that free will is not the sole condition of the dignity of man. Rather, man's social existence (natural dependence) carries moral dimensions. As such, one cannot equate "the good" with the pleasurable nor the useful; in fact, the autonomous individual who pursues material existence cannot experience true transcendence, for it is grace that transforms the (informed) conscience and moves us to choose the greater good over the fulfillment of individual desires.

...By the mid-20th Century, life and dignity were presumed to be foundational in Western democracies that defended freedom and prosperity. The term "Social Justice" had attained popular use in the American media and cultural elite for its transcendence as well as its materialist ideas, without fully articulating its origins in free will, the culture of life, and the dignity of man.

In other words, 'social justice', properly defined, has everything to do with salvation and the moral necessities attached thereto; it underlines the requirement that man treat other men as children of God (the real "equality" of men) and the moral imperative of charity in all things.

It is not founded in materialism, nor its philosophical child, material equality; it does not look to temporal government for its definition nor its implementation, other than in the most basic ways, e.g., laws forbidding murder, theft, (etc.)

With that out of the way, Professor Fuller, let's engage the debate.

Much more on the question of 'social justice,' although indirectly so, is here.

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