Scholars Respond to the Question 'Is Social Justice Just?': News Releases: The Independent Institute

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News Release
May 31, 2023

Scholars Respond to the Question
“Is Social Justice Just?”

New Independent Institute book includes foreword by Jordan B. Peterson

Oakland, CA—An honest examination of the term “social justice” is essential in the current political economy. Twenty-one contributors to a new book agree on one thing: when the government attempts to implement social justice, the result is usually public funding of grift and reckless cronyism, otherwise known as “rent seeking.”

The best way to adjudicate “social justice” is the subject of the new book Is Social Justice Just?, published by the Independent Institute. With ample evidence from real-world experiences, lessons from history, the wisdom of the classics, the modern philosophers, and even the teachings of the world religions, the authors of Is Social Justice Just? present an invaluable analysis of justice that illuminates the central role of the individual in achieving justice in all its aspects.

Is Social Justice Just? includes a special foreword by author, psychologist, and Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto, Jordan B. Peterson. As Peterson points out in his foreword, the “social justice warrior” of our time insists on diversity of every kind, except diversity of outcome. He writes of the books’ authors, “Perhaps their work will do something to protect us all from the poisonous fangs of the narcissists of compassion.”

“We all hunger to live in a just world. This can happen when everyone rejects the idea that one group or one individual is superior to another,” says Co-Editor Robert W. Whaples, Independent Institute Sr. Fellow and Professor of Economics at Wake Forest University. Whaples also contributed a chapter titled “Social Justice, Antiracism, and Public Policy.”

Pursuing social justice can still be good for society and some authors in this nuanced volume even argue that the government is necessary in some cases. Still, Is Social Justice Just? largely explores how individuals—not governments—can and should work toward a better world for themselves and their fellow man.

For more information or to interview Robert Whaples, contact Robert Ade, [email protected], or (510) 635-3690.


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The Independent Institute is a non-profit, public policy, research, and educational organization that promotes the power of independent thinking to boldly advance peaceful, prosperous, and free societies grounded in a commitment to human worth and dignity.

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