Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Van Jones' Idea of Social Justice is an Anathema to a "Good Life"

Van Jones, the former Obama administration Green Jobs Czar and self-avowed communist, has a strange definition of what would constitute social justice, in my opinion.  In order to determine if true social justice exists in a community, Mr. Jones asks the hypothetical question of whether you would be willing to write your life on a card and then place it in a huge pile with everyone else's "life cards" and then draw at random a new card from the pile with total confidence that the new "life" you drew would be a "good life".

As the video below states, that is not social justice but rather it is communism.  Communism, as evidenced without fail particularly throughout the twentieth century, is the equal sharing of misery; not happiness.... and certainly by most measures, not a good life.

Further, Mr. Jones' whole premise is one I dismiss completely.  What one person considers a "good life" may be someone else's living hell.  I would be completely miserable if I were to have Donald Trump's life, while that may be someone else's happiness and very definition of a good life.  One might want to live the life of Bono and all of the fame and celebrity that comes with it.  Some people may simply want to live a quiet life of solitude in a monastery in contemplation of God.

I would be happy to have a nice cabin near a good trout stream somewhere in the mountains in western Montana or northern Idaho.  I am quite sure this would drive many people to the point of suicide though.

The fact is that we each are able pursue our own happiness and what makes a good life for us as individuals.
To some, that may mean lots of hard work and the accumulation of creature comforts and fine things in their life.  To others, they may not want to work that hard and rather choose to spend time with their family or volunteer in their community.  Neither is wrong.  What is right for one person is not right for all.

Having a form of "social justice" enforced on a community or nation to ensure equal outcomes is an anathema to happiness, in my opinion.  Now this does not mean that we as a civilized and prosperous nation do not have an obligation to care for those that are UNABLE to care for themselves.  We absolutely do have that moral obligation.  What we do NOT have though, is an obligation to provide for others what their definition of happiness might be.  By doing so we only rob them of that very happiness we are trying to provide.  Far better to have the dignity and pride of having found happiness by one's own means.  To have a society where the freedoms and opportunities exist so that one is able to accomplish through one's own God-given talents  what makes one's self happy through a self-defined good life is what social justice truly is.


The Heathen Republican said...

After I saw Bill O'Reilly cover this, I gave it some thought. My first thought was "of course I don't want to trade places with anyone else". Even with the crap in my own life, I wouldn't trade it for someone else's crap.

Jones hooked me though. I actually started to consider if he had a point about social justice. Then I realized it isn't about the so-called injustice faced by someone else. I don't want to give up everything I've worked for in my own life on the chance I'll wind up with some dope-smoking video game player's life.

T. Paine said...

And yet, there are many people in the country today that would consider that video-game-playing dope-smoker to have a "good life".

I think you chose correctly, sir!

Again, it is my opinion that true social justice comes in helping those that are unable to help themselves; not those that are too stoned to help themselves.