"The fact is that the average man's love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth." —H.L. Mencken|
"The central belief of every moron is that he is the victim of a mysterious conspiracy against his common rights and true deserts." —H.L. Mencken
[NOTE: The picture shows The Gordon Riots, depicted in an 1879 painting by John Seymour Lucas. About 285 people were shot dead, with another 200 wounded. Around 450 of the rioters were arrested. Of those arrested, about twenty or thirty were later tried and executed.]
No One Really Wants Justice
In the introduction to Freedom Philosophy the reason true philosoph is despised is explained: "They hate true philosophy because it describes reality as it actually is and it is reality the sophists and cynics, passing themselves off as intellectuals and philosophers despise."|
No one wants to learn about that kind of reality, but it is the only reality there is. No one wants philosophy because the reality it describes is not nice:
- The real world is a very difficult place to live.
- There are no shortcuts to life, success or happiness.
- You must earn everything by your own effort.
- Anything less than your best is failure.
- You cannot do wrong and get away with it.
- There is no forgiveness.
- There is no mercy.
- Neither your feelings nor your desires matter.
- Reality is all there is, the way it is.
- The truth is whatever correctly describes any aspect of reality.
Does that make reality sound harsh? Well, it is. The proper name for that harshness is justice.
It is that kind of real justice that no one wants. What most people mean by justice is the opposite of true justice, and almost always based on some notion of rights.
The false idea of, "rights," has been thoroughly addressed in the articles: "You Do Not Have A Right To Anything!" and "Untrue Things People Believe—Rights, at the end of which I wrote: "There is no such thing as rights. No one has a claim on anything in life that they have not produced, earned, or merited by their own effort."
What most people mean by justice is, "getting their rights," believing that anything that prevents them from having what they have a, "right," to, is an injustice. In this world today, there is almost nothing it is not assume one has a right to, simply because they were born. In addition to things, (like food, clothing, medicine, education, housing, or good paying jobs, for example), "rights," include being able to act without consequence, (being able to engage in any activity, behavior, or practice) without restriction or penalty. It is these latter, "rights," that are confused with, "freedom," meaning, freedom to do anything one chooses without consequence.
[NOTE: There is a worse idea of, "justice," called. "Penal Law," or, "retributive justice," associate with criminal law under governments which is nothing more than vengeance and vindictiveness raised to the level of an ideology.]
No one wants true justice, however, because true justice is determined by reality, not human dreams of utopian paradise, where everyone has whatever they think they have a right to have and do, without cost or consequence. What they want is not justice, but the undeserved, the unearned, and will never be happy because reality cannot be made to conform to their dreams.
Conversation With A Social Justice Advocate
The following is reprised from an actual discussion with a social justice advocate. The advocates comments are designated SJ: (social justice), and my responses are designated, MA: (my answer).
To my assertion that justice always prevailed except when human beings interfered in real consequences:|
SJ: What I'm less certain about is that justice is always served, that there are no unjust evils thrust on the innocent and unjust rewards given to those who do not deserve them.
MA: Whatever the consequences of one's choices and actions are, as determined by the nature of reality, is justice; whether those consequences are the benefit of our right choices and actions or a loss due to our wrong choices and actions.
SJ: It seems to me that if "nature" (or "natural consequences," let us say) were perfectly just in themselves, this would be right. The appropriate consequences would follow from good action, and the appropriate consequences would follow from bad action. But actual consequences are not what I call, "just."
MA: Our difference here is that you use the word, "just," as though it had some intrinsic meaning separate from consequences, or at least, natural consequences, and I regard natural consequences as what defines justice.
SJ: But is this the way the world actually works? Is virtue inevitably rewarded and vice greeted with the due consequences of vice? I think it's a hard sell to convince anybody who's lived here long that that's how it is. Sometimes the consequences we get are not what we deserve, but either byproducts of something we never intended, or even directly opposite to what we would expect for our actions. To put it simply, the wicked thrive and the righteous get pushed into the gutter ... at least, that happens as often as the consequences fit the choices made.
MA: Yes, that's the way the world actually works, but almost nobody likes it. It's much easier to blame all the, "bad," things that one experiences on an, "unjust, unfair," world, then to take responsibility for all one's choices and actions.
Life is hard and requires one to use all their abilities all the time to be and achieve all they can, to learn all they can, to develop every ability and skill they can, to work and produce all they can of value that their life requires, physically and psychologically. But there are no guarantees, except the guarantee that doing less than one's best means certain failure.
Reality does not care why you did a wrong thing—ignorance, defiance, laziness, or yielding to some irrational desire or impusle—the consequences (justice) are the same." By, "wrong," thing, I mean any choice or action made in contradiction of the nature of reality itself, of the laws of physics and the biological and psychological requirements of one's own nature. To defy any law of physics (like gravity or the nature of fire), to fail to nourish one's self (or to poison one's self), to not use and develop one's body, to not learn all one possibly can, to not think as well as one can about every choice, and to not work to produce all one can are all, "wrong," things; and to do anything that prevents one from being able to do those things is a, "wrong," thing.
Perhaps the most common, "wrong," thing most people do is to make their choices based on the belief that they have a right to a good life and when they discover life is difficult and problematic and that everything requires effort and often discomfort, they feel life is, "unjust," and their failure and suffering is not their fault—but it is always their fault.
Does anyone ever suffer anything that is it not their fault? Of course. We all do. They are not injustices, they are simply facts we must learn to deal with, if possible, and overcome, not use as excuses for more failure, which is how most people deal with them.
Life is tough. It is the means and potential to all good things and achievement, but it all has to be won by one's constant effort. Those of us who know what life is, what its potential is, regard no difficulty or hardship to high a price for the joy of a life of success, achievement and happiness, and know anything less is not a life worth living.
No one has to live that way, but they deserve what they get, and, however bad or cruel it seems, it is justice. Most of mankind refuses to live as their nature's require and go through life, blaming a cruel and unjust world for all their problems which are ultimately of their own making.
Their Own Chosen Ignorance Is The Reason For All Their Suffering
Anything that anyone anywhere in the world suffers today is regarded as some kind of gross injustice that deserves the worlds attention. Every example of poverty, hunger, every victim of crime, oppression, disaster or catastrophe, every one who is sick, depressed, cheated, mistreated, discriminated against, or has their feelings hurt or is unhappy for any other reason is a newsworthy event demanding our compassion, concern, and usually our money.
But it is all because the vast majority of mankind chooses to believe and live by what is not true, because they hate the truth.
From "Truth & Superstition:"
A Secret Loathing|
Reality is ruthless. Defy reality, and it will destroy you. Refuse to work, and you will starve. Refuse to learn, and the mistakes you make in your ignorance will kill you.
Reality is demanding. You must conform to the nature of reality all the time, because the moment you let up, it will strike you down. Stop paying attention, just for a few moments, while driving on the highway at 70 miles per hour. Don't bother paying your bills for a month. Forget your insulin injections for a day. Just forget where little Sarah is for a while at the Mall.
Reality seems cruel. Disease, death, disaster strike without regard to anyone's position or opinions. The world is full of destruction and misery, though most of it is created by other men. But all of nature seems cruel and the entire chain of life is one of death, killing, and being killed.
Reality is unforgiving. You've made a mistake, but the law forgives you, your parents and friends forgive you, you even manage to forgive yourself, but reality never forgives. It may be a forgivable mistake, but the dead animal cannot be made alive again, the pregnant girl cannot be made "unpregnant", (at least she can never have her virginity restored,) you cannot cancel what you have done, ever! Have you been unfaithful once, then you will always have been unfaithful once. Did you steal something once, then you can never claim always to have been honest. You do something stupid and loose an arm, a leg, or put out your own or someone else's eye. You may never do another thing so foolish, and you may be forgiven by others, but you will never have the arm, leg, or eye, yours or another's, restored.
While it is true that reality is ruthless, demanding, and unforgiving, cruelty cannot really be attributed to reality, even though all the things listed as cruel are true in nature, the evaluation of them as cruel is a subjective judgment. This characterization of reality is only a partial view, the view of one whose knowledge is primarily irrational and superstitious.
It is this view, however, though seldom made explicit, that is the motivator for our mysterious factor, the cause of universal superstition. Mankind, generally, hates reality, just because mankind does view reality as ruthless, demanding, cruel, and unforgiving.
What mankind wishes for is a reality that is pliable, easy-going, kind, and forgiving. At bottom, mankind hates reality, hates the necessity of having to work hard all the time, hates the necessity of having to learn so much, hates never being able to act on whim, or passion, or impulse without consequences, hates knowing they cannot do wrong and get away with it, hates knowing you cannot get something for nothing.
What mankind wants is exemption from consequences and a shortcut to success, wealth, happiness, or whatever else their current whims and fancies convince them they want. Reason does not show them how to have or achieve what they want the way they want it. Reason only enables them to understand the truth that describes reality as it is. They don't want truth, either. The truth just condemns them for their hatred of reality. They hate the truth, too.
Here, finally, is the secret, that unrevealed factor, the mystery of why almost all men prefer their superstitions to the truth.
At the heart of all superstitious beliefs, sometimes explicit, but always implicit, is the promise that there is something more than reality, something above reality, something which cancels the requirements of reality, a secret that enables those who know it to rise above mere reality, to defy it and get away with it. Superstition, which is never called superstition, is a magic wand that makes exist what in reality cannot exist, a metaphysical wild card that makes one automatically a winner, the universal "get-out-of-jail-free" card that allows one to escape the consequences of their choices and actions, the flying carpet that defies all of reality to give its owner a free ride to success and happiness.
Since reason is limited to discovering the truth of reality, the means to that, "knowledge," which the superstitious desire must be something other than reason, something like that "knowledge" itself, something "above" reason. The superstitious generally, readily admit their superstitious beliefs are not based on "mere" reason. They have knowledge which is, "above," that. Unless you are prepared to deal with someone very angry, it is never a good idea to press the superstitious to explain exactly how they came to their "knowledge which is above the truth."
The simple truth is that 99% of all trouble and suffering in this world is the fault and product of the individual human beings themselves. In, "Never Take Any Of It Seriously"—Mencken and Rand I explained:
Is there terrible oppression in the world, crushing poverty, incredible cruelty, sickness and suffering? Yes there is. No one wants to hear it, but all the misery one hears about every day is exactly what those who are suffering it deserve. It is not some omnipotent being imposing some kind of punishment, it is simply the consequence of defying reality. In many cases it is oppressive governments that are blamed for the suffering, but a government can only be made up of the same kind of people that are the society that government rules. They are the government.
In a truly moral society, most of the people living today would be dead, because most people live by mooching off the productive efforts of others, or live totally irresponsible lives which would kill them if others were not forced to clean up after them. Far from instituting justice, all governments defy justice; every government policy and law flies in the face of justice producing the greatest injustices imaginable. Nevertheless, the justice of reality prevails, and all the horrors, misery, and suffering of the modern world are not injustices at all, but the ruthless justice of reality.
The ultimate moral principle is, produce or die. The requirements of human life are not provided by nature. Human beings are not, like the animals, provided the equivalent of instinct to know what the requirements of their lives are. Every individual human being must discover or learn what those requirements are and then choose to work and produce what their nature requires.
One Gets What One Deserves
Those who refuse to be engaged in some effort or work that produces some product or provides some service of value to themselves or others deserve to die. Those who claim they cannot work, have no more expectation of life than those who cannot breathe, or cannot digest food. Anyone who claims they cannot work, which claim is almost always a lie, is claiming they cannot live, and should not. They would not live in a just society. Any society in which those who produce nothing are able to live is an evil society which makes slaves of those who do produce for the sake of those who do not. "Produce or die," is the principle reality imposes on humanity. Where the unproductive live reality is defied and the consequences are always tragedy and disaster, both individually and socially.
All governments are an attempt to provide people, or at least promise to provide them, what reality forbids—the unearned and the undeserved.
So to worry about the terrible "injustices" one sees every day in today's society, or the world, is a distraction from what is really important in life. It is one of those things one should never worry about. Not only is it something one can do nothing about, which one should never worry about, it is, in fact, an affirmation of the principles of truth, of the ruthless implacable justice of reality.
They Deserve What They Get!
The history of the world is dominated by wars, famines, plagues, natural disasters, atrocities, persecution, slavery, torture, unmitigated cruelty, starvation, and poverty. Most of history is the record of human failure and misery. With few exceptions, all the suffering of history continues in most of the world today, and it is all unnecessary and wholly the consequence of the choices of those who suffer.
No normal decent human being can enjoy observing the suffering of others, but it is wrong to desire or hope for the suffering of those whose misfortunes are the consequences of their own choices and behavior to be different. To expect or desire anything other would be in defiance of reality itself, the entertainment of a wish, rather than a love of the truth.
As terrible as the things that happen to people every day are, they are not injustices, but the rightful consequences of their own beliefs, and their own choices and actions determined by those beliefs.
The Example Of Idiot Mobs
At least 18 dead in attack in China's Xinjiang amid Muslim tensions.... after ethnic Uighurs attacked police with knives and bombs at a traffic checkpoint in China's western Xinjiang region.
While China is accused of oppression of the Uighurs, some or all of which is probably true, the Uighurs are Muslims, a minority in Xinjiang province, and there is no persecution of the Hans of which there are many more in the same area. Islam is an absurdly ignorant superstition, and while no one should be persecuted for what they believe, no matter how absurd, to suffer for one's own ignorance is still one's own fault.
Myanmar Security Forces Kill 34 Anti-Coup Protesters If you learn a little about Burma's history you will discover Islam is at the heart of most of the trouble there.
The common belief at the heart of all this suffering is that being part of a mob or gang, no matter it's called, "protest," or, "demonstration," or, "activism," is both irrational and stupid. It's a common theme:
Corruption protests rock Haiti; 6 killed, 5 injured
16 injured in Kashmir protests after 2 rebels killed
Kiev—Ukraine: 25 Killed, 241 Injured In Kiev Clashes
70 protesters killed, 500 wounded in Ukraine capital
Protests turn deadly in Thailand as police attempt to clear demonstrators ... at least four people dead and 64 others injured.
Nigerian forces killed 12 peaceful protesters, Amnesty says
The dominant characteristic of most human beings, and the cause of all their trouble, is their ignorance and their superstitious beliefs that guide their behavior. There is nothing more ignorant or stupid than the belief any good can come from joining some gang of others, as ignorant and stupid as oneself, to engage in mindless, "protests," being lead by an unruly mob which inevitably results in destructive, and frequently, violent and deadly behavior, as vicious as any irrational animal.
Even more insane are the cries of despair and grief over the, so-called, "injustices," suffered by, "activists," "demonstrators," and, "protesters," and other euphemisms for mindless rowdy mobs and vandals, when they are beaten, gassed, arrested, jailed, shot, wounded or killed. What they suffer is not, "injustice," at all. It is exactly what they deserve. If there is any injustice it is the fact they are not all wounded or killed.
Free individuals do not, "join," anything, much less mobs intent on causing trouble. These mindless ideas of, "organized," activism are neither freedom or individualism—they are submission (to some leader or ideology), which a free individualist totally rejects, just as Ayn Rand described:
"Individualists have always been reluctant to form any sort of organization. The best, the most independent, the hardest working, the most productive members of society have always lived and worked alone. But the incompetent and the unscrupulous have organized." [The Letters of Ayn Rand, July 20, 1941, to Channing Pollock.]
Moral individuals are too busy being creative productive human beings to waste their abilities, time, and effort on the organized efforts of others. Organized efforts are for, "the incompetent and the unscrupulous." The truly moral human being wants no part of them.