Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What is Social Justice?

As Dr. James R. Fisher, Jr. ( points out, the purpose of a think tank is to create and disseminate original thought. As The Naples Institute is a think tank dedicated to fighting for social justice, I sent this one-question survey out to our members. I'd love to hear from you as well.

Q - In your view, what is "Social Justice?"

My own thoughts, to get your juices flowing:

I think that social justice is present in a society where everyone shares legitimately equal opportunity. If we live in a society where any child, even those born poor to the most miserable, unfit parents, has the unfettered chance to gain a top-notch education and pursue any career she chooses, then we have passed the most important litmus test of a just society. Add to that the consistently-applied, unbiased rule of law; freedom from governmental corruption; a safety net that ensures every person will not starve or suffer malnutrition, be exposed to the elements, or lack adequate health care; and that those honestly incapable of work can live free from poverty (the elderly, the truly infirm, the mentally incapable).

If our society delivers on this promise, then I view it as just - not "generous," but "fair."

I think a "generous" society is one that stunts adversity. Adversity has, throughout history, been the prime motivator for people to excel. I wouldn't want to take that benefit away from anyone.

By the way - this is from Jim's website:

Dr. Fisher is also a chartered member of THE NAPLES INSTITUTE, a leadership think tank fighting for social justice by identifying leadership problems of the world, producing new leaders, and promoting leadership consistent with its aims of social justice for all people.

I couldn't have said it as well - or as succinctly - myself.