Oh my, this social justice stuff can be a touchy subject. I mean you can step on all kinds of toes if you ain’t careful. It’s about everybody you know. Social justice isn’t really a government thing, not really, I cold even say it is only about you and me, the people, or “just us”. See that makes it personal and not off somewhere in a congressional hearing, on the Senate floor or in the courts. So I’ll be careful as I write here; I’ll try to be sensitive to all classes, races, cultures and beliefs. But I’m sure I’ll fail and so please try and understand I am only wanting to enlighten and never, never to offend or embarrass. And since I know I will do those things I’ll ask for your forgiveness in advance.
Here’s a little of what Wikipedia says about social justice:
“Social justice is the fair and just relation between the individual and society. This is measured by the explicit and tacit terms for the distribution of wealth, opportunities for personal activity and social privileges. In Western as well as in older Asian cultures, the concept of social justice has often referred to the process of ensuring that individuals fulfill their societal roles and receive what was their due from society. In the current global grassroots movements for social justice, the emphasis has been on the breaking of unspoken barriers for social mobility, the creation of safety nets and economic justice.
Social justice assigns rights and duties in the institutions of society, which enables people to receive the basic benefits and burdens of cooperation. The relevant institutions often include taxation, social insurance, public health, public school, public services, labor law and regulation of markets, to ensure fair distribution of wealth, equal opportunity and equality of outcome.”
Well OK, yeah I suppose that’s a good explanation of social justice, yeah maybe. Seems like something’s not there though. Maybe it’s even a bit over defined? Maybe? You know what it is, at least for me, it sounds too institutional; it sounds out of touch with the true relationship that an individual has with society and with other individuals. Like this line, “Social justice assigns rights and duties in the institutions of society”. Yeah like social justice is a person our group of persons, an executive board of sorts. C’mon, it ain’t that. Here’s another line describing social justice, “the creation of safety nets and economic justice”. Bullshit. That ain’t gonna happen, no way, never will. We’re trying that already and have been for decades and all’s we’re getting is a bandage here and there–Meals on Wheels? Gimme a break. Welfare, Social Security, Acorn??? Ahh, we still stay detached, we still live for our own pockets, that’s us, that’s the human race. We don’t know or understand social justice, we put it off to the leaders, the social movements; to those who are the clay pots that hold rocks and leak water. That’s what our concept of social justice is, a detached building with offices and workers being paid to create “social justice”.
Yeah I told you this could be offensive. So when I say real social justice ain’t gonna happen unless YOU get off your ass and make it happen then understand that I just gotta say it that way. Yeah sure it makes me mad, yeah I’m all angry about it, you bet. It is something that has happened to me in the last few years, meaning I woke up to just how fucked up we are, just how inhumane we are…it sucks. I’m not talking about soldiers chopping heads off and torturing 16 year olds to find out where their covert dad is. It ain’t just “over there” in the Middle East or Africa, it’s not just the cooperate CEO looking to push the poor into deeper poverty so he or she can buy that 40 million dollar yacht. Yeah see that shit just happens, that’s just the anomalies of life. Who gives a fuck about anomalies? I’m talking about the lack of social justice in 9 of 10 households in America and the rest of the world, especially those households that have money.
Oh yeah it’s a money thing, sure it is–it’s a big part of it, anyway. If you don’t think that’s true then I’d bet a buck and a half it’s likely you have money. And I ain’t talking about lots of money, I might be talking about the middle income factory worker, the junior college professor, or even the humble bakery shop employee, yeah those folks. Of course I am including all those classes above these people as well, and yet, the truth is it includes just about all of us humans, including the super oppressed poor. It includes WE THE PEOPLE…US! WE ARE SOCIALLY INJUST!
But yeah it’s about money, sure it is. But the truth is most of it just comes from our need to find personal comfort anyway we can. It’s just that a lot of the time it involves money. If not money then it’s about drugs, alcohol, sex, TV or some combination of these. Give that a little thought and you’ll see what I mean.
Now a guy could go ahead and say, “Well hell, that’s just human nature ain’t it? I mean we can’t fix everything and everybody…ain’t it true?” The thing to understand about that statement is it is exactly what “we” say. We accept the world as imperfect, we accept pain and anguish, we accept poverty, war, sickness and death. We see these as the rolling on of our days, the stuff we can’t change AND SO we detach, we disassociate and then from that the guy mowing his lawn can say, “all is well—for me”.
See what I am looking to do here is make you feel guilty, all of you. Yeah I wanna see you get really disgusted with yourself and not just the government, the corporations and institutions, but YOU! You are the one who needs help, you are the one who is sick, selfish and lost. I mean you the person reading this, you-are-sick…oh-oh sorry, you say you give to charities? Oh shit, you volunteer at the community center? Well fuck-de-lot-te-dah, sorry to have imposed. I don’t apologize, it’s like that. You think all your good work for others gets you out of this deal? No it does not. See if you think that then you do not understand what the real problem is here. Now this is where it really gets touchy. Remember the title of this piece, Social Justice Needs Sharing, Cooperation and Hard Work.
Let me start with your life. I mean you the person in that last paragraph who is a giver already. Don’t get me wrong, I’m absolutely sure your heart is good, you want to give, you give without expecting anything in return including recognition. I admire that and wish I were that way, I am not, I am quite selfish actually. There other people like you out there but still, you are in a minority. Now I know not all of people like you are in the class I’m about to describe, but it’s a fact that most all of your kind likely have some money. You don’t have to have a lot of money, but you gotta not be needing it so much like a lot of us need it—money is not giving you trouble in other words. And it stands to reason that this would be the case. Cuz either you’re giving money to those in need or giving it to a cause, or, since you are not in trouble with money it most likely means you also have time and therefore are “doing’ things for others or causes. Now if you are a giver and don’t have money, then you are indeed a rare human being and probably some kinda unrecognized saint. We see these types in ghettos or maybe war zones, they tirelessly are trying to help others who are in the same predicament as they themselves are. It is this kind of person I am trying to lead us to in this writing.
Yes that is correct, I am trying to get us all, or as many as can possibly be gotten, to become that unrecognized saint. When WE THE PEOPLE as a collective have been personified into an unrecognized saint, then the change I’ve wanted to see will have arrived. In that event WE THE PEOPLE will have become socially just. The burden will no longer have been laid to governments and institutions and because of that we will have achieved true social justice. That is what I mean in the title where it says “Sharing, Cooperation and Hard Work”. Yeah see that means your life has to change entirely to something it isn’t now. This sort of change suggest that money won’t mean much to you, neither will prestige, comforts, etc. Instead the concept of “what can I do to help” will come to rule your doings.
Now you might be asking me, and I hope you are, “Why have you been so vehement about this sort of human evolution and what is it we have to ‘help’ with?” Well it ain’t cuz I’m a kumbaya kinda fella, I sure ain’t, I’m more or less an asshole to tell the truth. I’m kinda mean in a way and downright selfish so scratch that off your list of guesses. No the reason I am after this change in humanity is cuz we absolutely need it. See, if we don’t get this change real soon then eventually we’re gonna die, that is, go extinct. It could even bring on the planet’s 6th great mass extinction which consist of most all species on the planet, including humans. So, when thinking in terms of trying to avoid something like a mass extinction event you can’t just sit back and rely on a few governments and other socially aligned institutions to resolve these matters. No, something this big has to involve everybody, let me say it again, everybody. That includes YOU, the guy or gal reading this right now.
I really shouldn’t have to say this but I hope you the reader knows why this evolution is so important and I also hope that you already know that there are existing dangers that call for an evolution of this type. But if you don’t know these dangers then here they are: climate change, water depletion, arable land depletion, contamination of food and water, nuclear waste and proliferation, biochemical waste and proliferation, and events that lead to civilization collapse such as economics, war and the unforeseen recklessness of the human condition. Don’t take these lightly, they are as real as real gets. We have landed ourselves on these paths and have set so many traps towards extinction that I have to wonder if I’m wasting my time doing a god damn blog? Truth is we may have already gone too far down those paths. But there it is nonetheless. Good luck and thanks for listening.