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Social Justice and the BBC

Presently BBC people (both in London and in Manchester) live in fear of the practical manifestation of “Social Justice” – i.e. that all income and wealth are a “social product” belonging to the collective (“the people” as a whole) to be “distributed” for the good of the “least favoured” (the poorest).

The rioters and looters are, of course, just putting this doctrine into practice – but the BBC people have suddenly remembered that they are rather wealthy, and so are scared (although even the very poorest are attacked and robbed by the looters – because they define “the people” as “me and my fellow looters”).

However, only last Saturday on the BBC Radio Four show “From Our Own Corespondent” (a “factual” show – not one the BBC’s communist comedian productions) the BBC journalists were busy pushing the “Social Justice” line.

For example, there was a report on Colombia in which the BBC reporter denounced the Colombian government for not giving people in a certain area health care. “Health care is a right!” the lady declared – not saying “it is a right in the Colombian Constitution” (according to that depressingly stupid document almost everything is a “right”), but “it is a right” in some abstract way – as if Robinson Crusoe on his island is having his rights violated because no one appears to give him health care.

And, of course, most of the population of Scotland were having their rights violated before 1845 – because, in most of Scotland before that date, there was no complusory income support (let alone free health care at taxpayer expense). Indeed almost all of humanity (which even in the Roman Empire was actually mostly made up of farmers to whom nothing was given by the state) have had their rights violated – only in recent decades in a few nations have “rights” finally been undersood. Everyone else in human history was wrong – indeed a criminal who violated peoples rights.

The lady did mention, in passing, that the local Communist terrorists (the FARC) blow up hospitals and kill any doctor the government of Colombia sends into the area – but this was a minor detail (not worth considering). It was the government who were the criminals really (slaves of corporations no doubt) violating the rights of the people.

And there was a report from Spain – this time praising the “indiginant ones” i.e. the people who (apart from visits to the local welfare offices of course) spend their time occupying town and city squares in Spain and demanding that the government (the Socialist Party government – although this went unmentioned in the report) do more to help them.

The “Nobel Prize” (Alfred did you actually set up any such prize for economics?) wining economist Stickinsect (who has endless “debates” with his fellow moron Paul Krugman – also a “Nobel Prize” winner) was quoted in support of the “indignant ones”, “this is not how a market economy is supposed to work” he said – denouncing the mass unemployment of the young.

Of course the idea that Spain (with its 1978 “Christmas tree of rights” Constitution putting unions above the law, and giving “rights” to income support, education, health care……) is not a “market economy” did not enter his head – or that of the BBC reporter.

No, it was all the fault of “the banks”. How many bank bailouts have there been in Spain and how does this compare with the amount of money spent on the Welfare State? And what do pro union laws (and minimum wage laws, and job security laws, and……) do to the labour market?

And, if you really do not like banks, perhaps we should go back to Roman law on “deposites” and loans (as some Spanish economist have suggested) of course this would mean much less credit rather than more credit, but…..

SHUT UP – no one is allowed to ask any questions, the “indignant ones” will get angry with you if you do.

The radio show went on and on – report after report.

And this was one show out of thousands – on radio and television.

And I am supposed to care if wealthy BBC people get robbed by the very forces of  “Social Justice” they spend every day pushing?


  1. Norf says:

    It is a given that the wealthy left believes it will somehow be spared in any uprising of the masses. They earnestly believe that the rabble will instinctively recognise that the champagne drinkers and chatterers were ‘on their side’ so the socialists can smugly watch from the safety of their penthouses as the city below them burns.

    The left, in the same vein, believes that ‘caring’ about human-made global warming will excuse them from any difficulties (no air travel for the poor holidaymakers but they are allowed their nobler missions to get to their villas and conferences) and even that supporting any RoP rush for sharia law will permit them to be spared from islamist oppression. After all, the female genital mutilation of poor muslim women is of not for our lefty harridans because the ayatollahs will be happy with their tacit support.

    The left, always arguing for social justice but hoping they are justly excused.

  2. Ian B says:

    The problem is that most people, including most economists, politicians, opinon formers, etc, have this model of the economy that it’s all about money, when only we valiant few understand that it’s all about production. So they think they can fix things by redistributing the money, and you can’t, you have to “redistribute” the production, which requires people to actually produce things so they can trade them for other things they want.

    I have no idea how to change peoples minds on this. Money is very visibly “wealth” in most ordinary folks’ eyes, so it seems so very logical to say, “we must shift the money around”. The problem for poor people isn’t the lack of money, that’s a symptom. The problem is they just aren’t producing enough, or anything at all. But if you try to talk to most people this way, their eyes glaze over and you lose them because of this strongly imbedded mental model of the economy as a whirling money machine.

    “Social justice” is actually a call for social “injustice”, by demanding that people not be commensurately rewarded for their creative achievements. It is saying that those who produce less should be given the production- via money- of those who produce more. That is fundamentally unjust.

  3. Paul Marks says:

    It is an ancient struggle.

    At the very start of “The Republic” (that is not the original title of course – as “Res Publica” is Latin not Ancient Greek) “Socrates” (i.e. Plato using “Socrates” as his mouth piece) attacks the traditional concept of justice – to each his own (an ancient concept even then – the concept that got human beings out of hunter gatherer packs).

    Plato uses every cheap trick (“if you borrowed an axe from a man and then he went mad – would you then give him back his own, knowing he would use the axe to murder people”) and bit of double talk, to try and discredit justice.


    Because he wants to replace the traditional concept of justice with his vision – a plan to control everyone, to tell them what they should have and how they should live. In short – totalitarianism. The end of the “Social Justice” road.

    To those people who say “Plato did not mean it – you are being simplistice” – oh go jump in the nearest lake.

    So many great “visionaries” since Plato’s day have really had the same collectivist vision.

    A return to the central control and the “fair shares” of the hunter-gatherer pack (both in “production” and “distribution”) – it is really the road not just to tyranny, but (eventually) to chaos and breakdown (chaos and tyranny are kin).

    Why does it keep comming back?

    F.A. Hayek argued that humans evolved in hunter gatherer packs – and that this inflenced our very instincts. Meaning that (in spite of both reason and experience) the collectivist impuse would keep comming back.

    A sort of athiest version of “original sin” a deep darkness in the depths of human beings – that can emerge at any time.

  4. NickM says:

    Paul, good post and I largely agree with your further comment. Except… During hunter-gathering days I doubt it always was “fair shares”. Picture the scene…

    Ogg: Let us divide the mammoth equally for we are all the same tribe and we all killed it!

    Ugg: Bloody Norah Ogg! When it charged you ran away and tripped over your own spear and Igg over there, yeah that’s you mate, your loin-skin dry now? He pissed hisself. And Agg just shouted things like “Get the bastard right between the eyes!” from a safe distance and up a tree!

    Mr Ugg therefore gets the first dibs on the best bits of the mammoth and takes it home to his cave which is larger and drier than Messrs Igg,Ogg or Agg’s dwellings where it will be cooked by Mrs Ugg who has a rather more desirable waist to hip ratio than Mrs Igg, Ogg or Agg.

    And in case you haven’t noticed this is not just because Ugg is braver and more skillful on the hunt but also eloquent, and knows which buttons to press. Shame of course being more powerful than guilt.

  5. Lynne says:

    The only social justice I’m prepared to tolerate is of the loudly closing cell door variety for the criminal scum who went on a looting and arson frenzy. As for the British Cultural Marxism Broadcasting Cunticulation, when are we going to disenfranchise them of our cash and put the bastards out of business?

    As for the banks – bring back the savings banks. The ones that worked just fine before they were assassinated taken over by commercial and retail banks eager to hand out easy money to profligate idiots with no sense almost limitless credit people couldn’t afford to pay it back.

  6. LJH says:

    Lovely timetravel bit, Nick M, but you left out the bit where the collective of Igg, Agg and Oggs, plan the redistribution of the mammoth on the grounds that they experience unfairness, and invite Egg from across the river to join them and tip the balance of power in their favour.

  7. NickM says:

    Well, if they had Eggs (and who doesn’t like eggs?*) then that would also make a fine repast so everyone is a winner! Which is the point. A sane polity is one in which whilst mammoth steaks are juicy they aren’t all you want. The brave spearer of tusky mountains of flesh has a role and so does the cunning setter of traps or indeed the clever but weedy fellow who has this hare-brained scheme called “agriculture”! A truly sophisticated and just society acknowledges that the butcher, the baker and the hatstand maker all have roles to play. It is the fallacy of the labour theory of value all over again. I mean what value is a kite in a land without wind?

    *My wife, she’s vegan. Somewhat flinted myself in the foot here…

  8. Roue le Jour says:

    Oh, come on. Hunter/gathers have nothing to do with it. They may share but they don’t always like doing it. Nigel Barley’s early work is a good source on this. Interestingly such groups always give returning hunters a warm welcome, where our society treats taxpayers pretty much with contempt. Hayek not withstanding, it’s a poor comparison.

    Here’s a better one, since you mention agriculture When I was at school it was considered an advance on hunter/gathering, but that has now been debunked. People are forced to change to agriculture when their numbers increase because a piece of land can support more people under cultivation than it can otherwise. And then the rot sets in. Agriculture is hard work, where hunting is mostly fun, so there is now an incentive to enslave your fellow man and make him do the backbreaking work instead.

    Anyway, I would argue socialism a straightforward desire to return to the certainties of childhood. The state as parent, making sure each child gets an equal slice of cake.

  9. Kevin B says:

    Nick, don’t forget the Asperger’s kid sat at the back of the cave banging rocks together. The tribe that succeeded was the one where the chief, when he cut himself on a sharp bit of flint, rather than killing the useless little scrote, thought “Hey, we can use these to carve up mammoths.”

    Course they were stymied when the kid set fire to the new straw they gave him, but even that was a learning experience.

  10. NickM says:

    Wel, it’s all a learning experinece. The microwave oven derives from cooked pigeons dropping off radar masts. And you know what? That Isaac Newton chappy (who – for shame – devised the modern age) has been ret-conned as having something like Asperger’s. Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps he was gay. Maybe, maybe not.

    I do not care. Newton is the reason I type this drivel rather than dig turnips.

  11. Sam Duncan says:

    Good points, Nick, but what Hayek was actually on about was that fair shares (properly fair, the sort of thing you were talking about) not only worked in small hunter-gatherer tribes, but were seen to work. That is, everyone knew everyone else, so they knew – all knew – that Agg was a lazy bastard and didn’t deserve any more than he got while Ygg was just having a bit of an off day ‘cos his missus had been eaten by a sabre-toothed tiger and we should probably cut him some slack.

    That kind of thing just doesn’t scale up to a nation of 66 million. A system designed to give everyone the same share plain doesn’t work – never has, and as I say, Hayek didn’t really mean that – but a system based on genuinely fair principles that works well in small groups doesn’t work on that scale either, because it can’t take circumstances and personal knowledge into account.

  12. Paul Marks says:

    Hunter gather packs varried.

    One of the errors of Marxism is that it assumes that tools and other such (the “forces of production”) determine (rather than just influence) everything else. That is why Karl (and henchpersons) talked in terms of X piece of technoology producing a certain sort of society – including ownership (“relations of production”) and ideas (ideology).

    Actually societies with the same level of technology can be wildly different – with (for example) some having serfdom and others (identical techologically – and even in terms of climate, soil and so on) not having serfdom.

    Papua New Guinea was (when discoved) described as a “stone age culture” – but the more it was studied the more it became obvious that it was many, wildly different, cultures (different in just about everything – including things like ownership) – yet all “stone age” in terms of techology.

    Still back to the hunter gather packs…..

    They differed – some allowd private property, and some did not (or who had property only in the sense that the strongest took what he liked from the weaker members – ruling by fear).

    The groups where people were allowed to keep stuff (even if they were weak, wounded or old) tended to develop new ideas and ways of doing things.

    If it is “fair shares for all” progress is not going to happen.

    But if it is “the bully takes what he likes” progess is not going to happen either.

    It was ideas (a sense of justice, to each his own, – and acting on it, not plundering others, indeed protecting them from being pundered) that changed society (that opened the door to new methods and tools) not the other way round.

    We, or rather the cultural leadership of our society, have rejected the ideas that created our society – branding private property rights “reactionary”, “selfish, and “socially unjust” (if you put the word “social” in front of any other concept it sucks the meaning out of it – like a weasel sucking the yolk out of an egg, hence “weasel word” as Hayek pointed out).

    Well if the ideas that created them are rejected you can start off with all the wonders of modern technology – but they will go (eventually).

    If you ape the morality of the tribe (of the worst, not the best, hunter gatherer packs) then back to the tribe you will go.

    The logical end point of “Social Justice” is not just to plunder the goods of others (and then watch, astonished, as civilization collapses) it is also to consume each other’s physical bodies.

    “You have gone to far Paul”.

    Not at all – it has happened before, and IF these ideas continue to wax in power it will happen again.

    The vast populations of places like Britain can not sustain themselves by hunter gathering, or subsistance farming (no matter how well organized the communes) – if advanced civilization falls millions (indeed tens of millions) on this island will starve.

    Yet everyone has been taught that they have “rights” in the sense of goods (not in the “negative” sense) – even the most ignorant street thug knows he has “rights” and these include the right to food.

    Regardless of what he has to do to get this food – after all the “taboos”, the “inhibitions” have been undermined.

    It does not have to happen (certainly not) – but if the present trends (trends in ideas) continue – it will happen.

    After all – what rational person, even now, would set up a new manufacturing business in Britain?

    And conditions for enterprise do not look like they are going to get better – rather the reverse.

    Ideas (beliefs) must change – if horror is to be prevented.

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