More on why social justice is bad

Libertarianism isn’t a cure-all, it’s just necessary (at least a lot of it is) for the protection of whatever makes life worth living.

If social justice—equality of outcome—is to be achieved the only things that can be allowed to count are things like formal qualifications that a bureaucracy can measure and administer. Otherwise control is impossible and there is room for endless arbitrariness. Big government must therefore work to make idiosyncratic choices, habits and relationships as irrelevant to practical affairs as possible. But freedom, virtue and love essentially involve personal choice, habit and relationship. Big government must therefore make them as ineffectual as possible. The effects of choice must be muffled, vice and virtue confused, love debunked as favoritism, or as dominance and dependency. How can any of that be good?

2 thoughts on “More on why social justice is bad”

  1. A state, exercising its
    A state, exercising its traditional police powers, can uphold traditional morality, at least in public places. It can censor pornography. It can proscribe abortion. It can do much to support marriage and make divorce difficult. It can take measures against indecent public behavior. Libertarians oppose all this. And, of course, in contemporary America, the Supreme Court, with its Incorporation Doctrine and its ahistorical reading of the Bill of Rights, has made such policies all but impossible.

    If you want to abolish the Department of Education, the EEOC, OSHA, and countless other administrative agencies (federal & state), I’ll support you. But libertarianism subverts the government’s real and necessary role in supporting standards in a traditional, decent society. Remember Cohen v. California from law school? In terms of policy, as opposed to constitutionality, a libertarian would side with Cohen, and I with the state.


  2. I suppose on the Internet I
    I suppose on the Internet I shouldn’t have talked about “libertarianism” because it carries such a definite ideological meaning. I just meant that radical reduction in the scope and responsibility of government would be a very good idea. I have nothing against traditional police powers, or for that matter established religion. I’ll add a parenthetical to make my meaning clearer.


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