It is one of Hayek's famous essays which I would like to call to Ron Rosenbaum's attention. In The Mirage of Social Justice, Hayek dismantled this commonplace concept, demonstrating how the pursuit of "social justice" leads to harmful outcomes contrary to the benevolent intentions of those who subscribe to such doctrines. . . .Read the whole thing. I'm in a hurry to get ready to go travel The Road to Free Buffet.
What Hayek is saying is that "social justice" requires treating people as groups, rather than as individuals -- an error similar to the Jim Crow laws that the civil rights crusade sought to overturn. Indeed, with no intention to invoke Godwin's Law, we might say that "social justice" shares with Hitler's categorical antagonism to the Jews this conception of people in terms of groups and not individuals.
The pursuit of "social justice" -- accompanied by a rhetoric of "rights" misappropriated to describe what would be more accurately term entitlements — inexorably leads down that same path that Hayek described as The Road to Serfdom. Only an extremely powerful government can apportion outcomes in the egalitarian manner intended by the phrase "social justice," superintending the welfare of specially protected groups. As government power expands, individual liberty is eroded. . . .
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