Monday, 4 October 2010

Justice is not a measured quantity.

Justice is simply the absence of injustice, injustice being the tangible force. Many seek to define justice on its own and fail miserably, there is a simple reason, and it exists in no more than an abstract.

Darkness not a tangible and material part of reality, rather it is the absence of light. In this way we can define darkness only through the absence of a particle. In a similar manner we can only define justice through the absence of injustice. Just as there are infinite possibilities for light both in a pure form as well as in complex combinations of light frequencies, injustice is derived in multiple forms. This simplifies the definition of justice. Just as dark as to the absence of light, injustice is the absence of injustice.

Light comes in many forms. These are all related yet perceived differently. Many frequencies of light exist outside the bounds of what is perceived. These particles either to energetic or lacking in the energy required to stimulate our senses exist nonetheless. The reality is that far more types of light exist than could be imagined through human consciousness. We know of these and would use them but perceive them only through external means.

The same principle applies toward justice. Injustice can occur myriad of ways. For each known injustice, an infinite variety of injustice can exist and does. Some of these are seen and recorded. Others exist but pass from the memory of men. This in no way detracts from their reality. These injustices continue to exist recorded or not in both their effect and potential. Treating justice as a tangible goal is the fallacy of many political systems. The only achievable and measurable system is the creation of the system that minimizes in justice. For as dark as defined by the absence of light, justice only exist through the absence of its opposite, injustice.

The effect is that no effort to create justice in itself can succeed. Individual efforts can be made to remove selected injustices but nothing can ever create justice itself. Each effort to create a more just society through an attack on injustice in itself requires input. Each expense and expenditure takes away from other possibilities in the limited world that we exist. This is not to say that we should ignore injustice, rather we need to measure the effects of countering it.

The cost of injustice can be measured. The cost and consequences of acting against any particular injustice can be measured, usually after the fact, but within bounds of certainty. No effort to create justice can ever be quantified. In quantifying the cost of removing an injustice it is essential to consider multiple costs and effects. This includes both the cost of the injustice itself if it was left to exist as well as the cost of alternatives. Each injustice is a particle. It is intangible and metaphysical but it affects the real life and existence of people.

Other considerations in the pursuit of countering injustice include the negative. For each injustice pursued, multiple other injustices will be left unaddressed. Worse, the fight against injustice requires input. This is the taxation or funding of projects designed to create a more just society. In doing this, the property reallocation occurs can itself be an injustice. Hence, any fight against injustice can have a negative consequence of making a more unjust society.

Any system seeking to make society fairer or more just needs to consider the consequences of its actions. It is essential the way both the cost of taking the action designed to minimize injustice as well as the lost opportunity costs that result from not acting on other injustices.

The absence cannot be achieved. Just as no part of our universe is truly dark, no part of our world can be truly just. The answer is to minimize the level of injustice when weighed against the cost.