by Robert Gore
Straight Line Logic
Even small children recognize injustice, especially when they are its victims. “No fair” is the common schoolyard refrain. A sense of justice undoubtedly serves a host of evolutionary purposes. Imagine a world where the unjust, the wrong, always triumphed. Thieves prospered as crime went unpunished, the few stalwarts hewing to honesty and rectitude were marginalized or eliminated, and this social order evoked commendation rather than condemnation. How long would such a society survive? Cynics will say we are there now. That’s overblown, but they have a point.
A desire for political change that becomes an actual movement drip-feeds on perceived injustices. No political movement of consequence fails either to wrap its objectives in the mantle of justice or portray its opponents as evil. The Declaration of Independence is a transcendently important work of political philosophy, but it’s also a laundry list of grievances against King George.