Justice and the Social Order

Justice and the Social Order

Justice and the Social Order

Justice and the Social Order

Excerpt

THE WHOLE WORLD IS CRYING OUT FOR JUSTICE All suffering is bitter, but unjust suffering is doubly bitter. The suffering which is fate unites men; unjust suffering breeds strife. There is a kind of suffering which belongs to the life of the creature as it were by nature, but unjust suffering is unnatural. Unjust suffering does not merely thwart man's desire for happiness; it also destroys an established order; it deprives me of my due. Unjust suffering arouses indignation; it affects the life of the spirit; it eats into the personality. It is the injustice which constitutes the real suffering, not the wrong which has been unjustly done. Only man knows this kind of suffering, because only man knows an order of things in virtue of which something is, or is not, his by right.

Injustice there has always been, but no age has yet witnessed such a measure of injustice as ours. Mankind has passed through epochs of cruelty, but not yet an epoch like this, when wrong is done in the name of right, indeed when wrong has become systematic, when the reversal of the very principle of justice has become the order of the day and the system of the state. To violate the order of justice by dis-orderly passion is one thing; to set up dis-order as a principle of order is a very different thing. Wrong as a setting aside of order is evil; wrong as a system, as an approved and permanent perversion of a just order, is intolerable. There have at all times been men of power who have called right wrong and wrong right, but it was reserved to our time to turn that perversion into a political principle, a standard of public order. A perversion of such a kind cannot be . . .

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