Social Justice is an attempt to insert Christian charity into the concept of justice so that justice is then understood to include both the traditional Aristotelian-Biblical notion of justice and the Biblical notion of charity (love) within itself. To strive for social justice, then, is to strive for a society in which love has been institutionalized, which is to say, removed from the sphere of personal moral decision and incorporated into the impersonal, automatic functioning of the social system. If a woman loses her husband, she does not need neighbours or the local church to rally around because a welfare cheque automatically arrives in her mailbox from the government. What was once occasional, haphazard and personal has been rendered perpetual, organized and institutional.
This transference of the necessity of private charity into the realm of bureaucratic institutions is an attempt to implement a Utopia in which the social system is so good that no individual need be good. What goes naturally with such a society is the release of the individual for hedonistic satisfaction of the impulses of the lower nature – immediate gratification of the sexual urge being the primary form this lifestyle takes. Sex has been disassociated from family, economics, honour and duty and thus has been animalized. As the nanny state grows we observe that first the family becomes unnecessary and then, finally, the church becomes irrelevant. The all-powerful, provident, parental State now presents itself as the source of all goods and the provider of all needs. When the mask finally falls off, the tyrannous, ravenous Beast is revealed as the Idol which demands worship and stands in the place of God.
Social justice can have a perfectly innocuous and respectable meaning, which is totally different from that meaning described above. It can simply mean justice applied to social relations, as opposed to justice applied to the individual qua individual. It such cases it is basically redundant because justice is justice whether applied to the individual as individual or to the individual as a member of society. The traditional Aristotelian and Biblical notion of justice is “giving to each one what he is owed.” In fact, one can see from this definition that since there is a person who owes and a person who is owed, all justice is actually social. Prefixing the adjective “social” to the noun “justice” thus effects nothing except a redundancy unless the point is subtly to change the meaning of justice from “what one is owed” to “the right to be loved.”
No one has a “right” to be loved because to love is a free moral choice and to say that Person A has a right to be loved is to say that someone has the duty to love him. If Person A has the right to be married, then some person has the duty to marry him. But marriage is an act of persons who freely contract with one another and, in fact, one partner contracting out of duty or coercion actually annuls and makes invalid the marriage contract. So no one could possibly have the “duty” to marry anybody and, therefore, no one could possibly have the “right” to be married. Just so, no one has the “right” to be loved. Love is personal, free and the very opposite of a duty.
If love can be combined with justice in the way that those who promote the idea of social justice advocate, then either love will be reduced to justice, which will result in a hard and rough set of social relations or else justice will be reduced to love, which will result in justice being turned into sentimentality. Sentiment is meant to temper and supplement justice, not define it. And love must pick up where justice leaves off if society is to be leavened by personal relationships based on charity.
In literature, the best depiction of a society in which the idea of social justice has completely triumphed is Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. There is no crime, no poverty, no sickness, no unemployment, nothing to fear and nothing to live for except mindless, sensual pleasures. It is far more horrifying than the “hard totalitarianisms” of the twentieth century. It is dehumanizing and animalistic. Social justice sounds nice, but turns out to be the destruction of our true humanity. “There is a way that seems right to man, but the end thereof is destruction.”