Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Lessons in Justice

Contrary to the claims of most modern pundits, the only “fair” distribution of wealth is the one that arises when the creators of the wealth decide what to do with it. After all, the wealth only exists because of the efforts of these producers -- and it would therefore be patently unfair if they didn’t own and control it. Thus in a proper society, one in which each individual’s right to expend his time and energy to produce and own wealth is protected, there is no question of how to ensure that the goods are distributed “fairly”. The name for such a system is capitalism, and it is the only social system which results in true fairness -- better known as justice.

But if one dispenses with the view that individuals create wealth and thereby own it, to instead assert that wealth should be confiscated from the producers and distributed “fairly” among the collective, then there is no objective way to establish what is fair. A story on NPR’s Marketplace today (unintentionally) hammers this lesson home, showing a glimpse of the functioning of a society built on values opposite those underlying capitalist societies. Indeed, the society in question has explicitly racial, collectivist and tribal foundations; which is why one can only laugh at the problems they have in “fairly” distributing their confiscated spoils: who is of pure enough race, who can lay claim to being truly part of the tribe, who can control the gang. The society in question is the modern Native American tribal society – and their pitiful example is one that every person concerned with “fairness” and justice should heed.

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