The term “social uprooting” was borne out of a desire of many PoC to move away from the problematic discourse surrounding current social justice.
The social justice movement is primarily white dominated, and focuses on a set of rules that only really work for some people, some of the time. It doesn’t recognize cultural differences, or personal experiences, which is, funny enough, supposed to be the point. Current social justice rhetoric is a set of laws drafted by a small group of people that ALL people affected are expected to live by, and despite the constant dropping of the term “intersectionality”, often is enactedagainst people it is supposed to help due to a lack of true understanding of the meaning of the term.
In a review of the book The Tyranny of Cliche’s: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas by Jonah Goldberg, The American magazine summarizes the book’s conservative critique of social justice.
Another chapter explores the nebulous concept of “social justice.” Sounds like a warm, benign, friendly idea that everyone should favor. Who, after all, could possibly oppose “social justice”? But ask any propagator of social justice what the notion actually means, and you probably won’t like the answer, because it inevitably boils down to redistributing wealth in a more “socially optimal” fashion. (The equivalent Jewish concept of “tikkun olam,” or “repairing the world,” is an equally slippery and likewise abused notion.)
hm, so social justice refers to how proponents of social justice portray themselves and their causes online? and if so, who are they treating like shit?
Well, I’ve been feeling the urge lately to rant a lot about online social justice culture, which is a very different thing to social justice itself. (The way I see it: social justice is about not treating people like shit. But lately, many aspects of online social justice culture seem to be treating people like shit in the name of not treating people like shit, though there are still a lot of good people out there too.)
This is the first mention of measurable social justice goals I’ve read about. The article cites a report by a German think tank that uses a Social Justice Index, which measures six factors: poverty prevention, access to education, labor market inclusion, social cohesion and non-discrimination, health, and intergenerational justice.
There is also one definition of social justice! (bolding mine)
Social justice does not depend solely on a nation’s wealth or its economic prosperity. Social justice is about creating equal opportunities for every individual. It is thus decisive that the right priorities are set in a number of policy fields. We have tried to measure the degree of social justice in each OECD country by looking at six key factors: poverty prevention, access to education, labor market inclusion, social cohesion and non-discrimination, health, as well as what we call “intergenerational justice.”
The index weighs poverty prevention most strongly, because it is arguably a “fundamental precondition” for social justice. They write:
Under conditions of poverty, social participation is possible only with great difficulty.
The introduction of social participation here is confusing me a little bit - one of the six factors of the social justice index is particularly necessary to achieve social justice - or social participation, which is not part of the six factors. Which indicates that the six factors, though important, do not make a sum of social justice. Social justice is something more…
The report is available from the article or here.
I’m linking this just because it’s a good reminder of what makes social justice “movements.”
Interesting read…thinking about how sometimes we forget the “pre-movement” (see article) and expect to pop out a movement, sometimes we look at movements and expect social justice organizations
In a movement moment, the imperatives of organization building can be set aside, and we might even recognize that not every organization has to live forever to make a great contribution. Organizers are used to hunkering down for marathons, but movement moments require sprinting. As a collective body, we must prepare to run full out.
I just read this article by Rinku Sen. Catching up on my #occupy reading since I’ve been away on vacation.
I was glad to see discussion of linking other struggles to the action on economic justice that is going on. I haven’t been to the protests personally, so I can’t comment on the diversity of the crowd - reports do claim a mix of folks. My intuition says, though, that we can always use a reminder that explicitly naming intersections of economic injustice with other justice struggles is something that builds power, rather than blocking progress. This is a huge part of my social justice practice, though the article does not mention the term “social justice.”
Rinku Sen also mentions early on:
Everybody’s suffering, and these wedge issues are so often used to divide the working class that many activists lean toward a universal framework for making change. The problem with a universal framework is that what is dominant also gets called universal.
The “wedge issues” she’s referring to can be address race + poverty or sexism + poverty. Those types of intersections. I think this quote is another great reminder - social justice is often misconstrued (in my opinion) as a universal framework for general social issues. I can see why - BUT I think that conception of social justice also leaves out far too much, like the naming of intersections and “wedge issues” (which are no longer left to be considered wedge issues).
I am still figuring out a way to configure this tumblr - what content to add, so sorry if my postings have been slow.
I haven’t quite started collecting for this tumblr since I’ve been busy with this job search. However, I’m noticing just how rare it is to find organizations that are dedicated to social justice. There are so many service organizations, so many achievement-based organizations, and just not enough social justice organizations (uh…that are hiring. This may be a sign of less turnover?)
Social justice generally refers to the idea of creating a society or institution that is based on the principles of equality and solidarity, that understands and values human rights, and that recognizes the dignity of every human being. The term and modern concept of “social justice” was coined by the Jesuit Luigi Taparelli in 1840 based on the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas and given further exposure in 1848 by Antonio Rosmini-Serbati. The idea was elaborated by the moral theologian John A. Ryan, who initiated the concept of a living wage. Father Coughlin also used the term in his publications in the 1930s and the 1940s. It is a part of Catholic social teaching, Social Gospel from Episcopalians, and is one of the Four Pillars of the Green Party upheld by green parties worldwide. Social justice as a secular concept, distinct from religious teachings, emerged mainly in the late twentieth century, influenced primarily by philosopher John Rawls. Some tenets of social justice have been adopted by those on the left of the political spectrum.
Social justice is based on the concepts of human rights and equality and involves a greater degree of economic egalitarianism through progressive taxation, income redistribution, or even property redistribution. These policies aim to achieve what developmental economists refer to as more equality of opportunity than may currently exist in some societies, and to manufacture equality of outcome in cases where incidental inequalities appear in a procedurally just system. The Constitution of the International Labour Organization affirms that “universal and lasting peace can be established only if it is based upon social justice.” And the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action treats social justice as a purpose of the human rights education.