Social justice
No Social Justice No Human Growth!
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For me “liberation theology” is predicated on and pledged to the premise that reality is relational. How’s that for a pontifical metaphysical pronouncement? The Buddhists sum this idea up in the very polysyllabic Pāli term paticcasamuppāda, which can be translated as mutual origination. The nub of the notion is that the universe and all its contents are an ongoing and self-synchronizing collaborative creative effort of everyone and thing, the whole cosmic enchilada is the product of the organic and balanced blending together of the ingredients that each of us contributes.

Arguably at least, such is the foundational nature of being, and such is the foundational nature of what we call justice. Justice = the whole and healthy state of life that exists when we consciously and wisely work with the existential fact of relationality. I.e., when all of the parts and particles of our personhood, all of the facets and factors that go into forming a morally and spiritually high-functioning human being are evenly and elegantly integrated in each individual. And when society skillfully integrates and orders all of its priorities and values to promote such inner equilibrium in its citizens, when a socio-economic system systematically opts for the mutualism, equality, and unconditional respect for every individual’s integralness necessary to represent the fundamental reciprocality of reality.

Say what? When we both on the inside and societally reflect the deep truth of the universe’s underlying unity, when individuals marshal and marry together within themselves their best qualities to maximize their humanness, and then merge their maxed-out human potential into the collective potential of their community we create justice!

Conversely, when a society fails to cultivate the connectedness, coequality, and creative human excellence of its members it permits and perpetrates injustice. Our current socio-economic system is an egregious case in point. Capitalism actually explicitly encourages a selfishness and competiveness that dangerously flouts the relational Tao or modus operandi of existence. With its division of society into ethically depraved haves and economically deprived have nots, with its obscene concentration of the lion’s share of the world’s material wealth in the plutocratic hands of 2% of its population, capitalism rudely kicks human life seriously out of kilter. Such a socially, ethically, and spiritually out of kilter situation is inherently unjust.

What this means is that capitalism is not an originally good idea that’s unfortunately been corrupted, it’s a profoundly and pathologically unjust form of social organization that can never be adequately reformed or rendered morally righteous. Capitalism is a system that’s naturally inclined to produce people who squalidly lack balance and wholeness in their lives and personalities, who become pathetically one-dimensional in their single-minded pursuit of the almighty dollar, euro, or yen. In their futile quest for fulfillment through consumerism. In their limited understanding of themselves as Homo economicus.

And of course capitalism always and everywhere results in an inequitable and lopsided distribution of resources and riches. The capitalist system was designed from the start with total and cynical disregard for the deeper justice of existence. Its contempt for ethical and spiritual values always ranges from being thinly veiled to shamelessly in your face, but is never absent. No, capitalism is not a progressive idea that’s been perverted, rather it’s a perversion of the enlightened idea that the individual has an unalienable right to seek self-fulfillment into a justification for unjust greed. A greed that today has a small club of modern-day billionaire robber barons consigning and condemning the majority of humanity to one degree of poverty or another.

Genuine justice is an equation of fulfillment and interdependence. The fulfillment of the individual’s personal potential and sense of having a social purpose that transcends his puny ego, and the interdependence that’s both a necessary condition of and a natural outcome of human beings growing together. The damning ethical shortcoming of capitalism is that it has no such concept of organic justice and human flourishing, such humanistic and spiritual thinking is fundamentally alien to it...

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replied to:  charleslb
Replied to:  For me “liberation theology” is predicated...
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replied to:  charleslb
Replied to:  For me “liberation theology” is predicated...