Pope Francis, (Partly) Explained


But the near-universal acceptance of a belief does not prove that it is valid or even meaningful any more than the general belief in witches or ghosts proved the validity of these concepts. What we have to deal with in the case of “social justice” is simply a quasi-religious superstition of the kind which we should respectfully leave in peace so long as it merely makes those happy who hold it, but which we must fight when it becomes the pretext of coercing other men. And the prevailing belief in “social justice” is at present probably the gravest threat to most other values of a free civilization.

Friedrich Hayek, The Mirage of Social Justice (1976)

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2 Responses to Pope Francis, (Partly) Explained

  1. bpuharic says:

    Isn’t a ‘free civilization’ itself ‘social justice’?

  2. Dain says:

    bpuhraric hints at something correct, I think.

    This is too abstract to be of much value to political debates. If you’re into secular humanism in general, which all of us are to varying degrees, then you’re into social justice as described here. Unless you’re Max Stirner ready to jettison a humanist attitude all together – and essentially explode the project of political philosophy itself – then Hayek’s critique goes too far. (Or doesn’t go far enough.)

    Of course we know what the LEFT has in mind by social justice, which is where conservatives depart.

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