Perverting language to turn equality of outcome into “justice”

Traditionally, one of the things to remember about “justice” is that “justice” isn’t always fair.  Sometimes doing the right or “just” thing means that someone gets hurt or left out or punished.  A friend of mine sent me an image that tries to pervert language so that “equality” means “unfair,” and “justice” means “equality of outcome.”  And really, once you’ve done this, nothing has any meaning at all anyway:

Equality and Justice

The bottom line is that life is sometimes unfair, and the moment you pretend that fairness and justice have an acceptable meaning only when they are identical to equality of outcome, you’ve cleared the pathway to tyranny. if I had any artistic ability, I’d do another image, showing all the people behind the three boys who can’t see a damn thing with them standing on those stacked boxes in the front row.

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  • eeyore

    All three boys are standing outside of the stadium looking in.  This means they have not paid admission to the game and are watching it for free.  The poster is therefore anti-capitalist discussing “equality and justice” in that way as well.

  • Charles Martel

    Hmmmm. The dimwit who came up with this cartoon didn’t realize that in having the three boys watch a baseball game he undermines the point he’s trying to make. If he’d used baseball players instead, he would have shown three men, each with a different batting average based on the same number of at-bats before the same pitcher (“equality”). Let’s say the first player is batting .363, the second is batting .235, and the third is batting .130.
    Now, to show “justice,” he’d have the .363 batter with 20-lb weights on his arms and a bat filled with lead. The .235 batter would also have weights, but of lesser poundage. The third batter would have no weights attached and would allowed to use a treated bat that moves faster and harder through the air than the bats of the other two.
    I would certainly pay to see a ball game based on “justice.”

  • Beth

    eeyore you beat me to it–equality must mean it’s okay to steal as long as we’re all equal.

  • Libby

    The short story “Harrison Bergereon” is the best illustration of justice. Just create a picture of Harrison with all of his headgear to stifle his intellect vs. a regular person, or the ballerina with the weights and mask to hinder her grace and beauty.

  • 11B40

    Whenever one of the misbegotten brings up some ill-conceived version of justice in order to validate his version of authoritarianism, I can’t help but inquire, “Isn’t justice what…
    Lenin and Stalin brought to Russia ???
    Mussolini brought to Italy ???
    Hitler brought to Germany ???
    Mao brought to China ???
    Castro brought to Cuba ???
    Ho brought to Viet Nam ???
    Pol Pot brought to Cambodia ???

  • DL Sly

    I used this this morning to give an impromptu “Summer School” lesson to the VES.  Even she understood that the poster was anything but about equality and justice.  And, I pointed out to her, in actuality, what the poster is depicting is: justice – all three boys have the same exact box, or each being treated the same under the eyes of the law (which is what “justice” is all about) and inequality in that the smallest person is getting the most — hardly *equal* treatment wrt the other two boys.  And then I asked her what the second picture is really depicting.  She looked at me confused.  I told her, “Common sense!”  If you can’t see, what do you with the boxes? 
    Of course, by this point, her eyes had resumed the “Summer Vacation” glaze and *school* was dismissed.  But she saw through the hubris with ease.  I pray more of her generation are as perceptive.
    And for you Devil’s Advocate types out there, there are still minor league and lower games that can be seen from a hillside perch for free — with management’s awareness and permission.  They’re just happy to have the fans.

  • Charles Martel

    DL Sly, you make some great points.
    Regarding fans watching for nothing, Cal Berkeley’s football stadium is flanked by the locally famous “Tightwad Hill,” where students and other budget-minded folks gather for free to watch games. It is a treasured tradition and the last person to even hint at closing off Tightwad Hill to spectators was tarred with tofu paste and feathered with free-range/fair-trade plumes by a squad of irate unidexter lesbian cheerleaders representing Berkeley’s differently-abled Cheapskate Community.

  • Gringo

    Re equality, justice, and baseball : when was owner of the St.Louis Browns, Bill Veeck hired a midget as a pinch hitter. As no big league  pitcher could easily  throw a midget a strike, he ended up on first base. There was a fast decision from league officials to ban midgets, as midgets were determined to have an unfair advantage in getting a base on balls.
    What would the PC people say of this today?
    I considered it very unfair that I couldn’t hit a fastball.   :)
    I had an interesting experience with unpaid attendance at the Newport  Jazz Festival [then @ Newport] in 1971. [Guess that dates me.] I hitched to Newport and bought tickets for admission- very affordable on my dishwashing wages. There was a crowd outside the chain link  fence listening to the concerts, for free. What’s the problem? I didn’t see any. I doubt that   Newport Jazz Festival impresario George Wein saw a problem either, though he would certainly have preferred paying customers.
    There was no problem until the crowd outside the fence broke down the fence. Breaking down barriers and all that good stuff. All outside concerts should be free. What have you. Bunch of idiots.
    Which prematurely ended the concert- and the festival- and resulted in the concert series moving to New York City the next year.

  • Tim (Random Observations)

    This isn’t “Justice” at all — it’s “Social Justice”, or, as Thomas Sowell dubbed it, “Cosmic Justice” — which is not at all “just.”


    “Cosmic justice is not simply a higher degree of traditional justice, it is a fundamentally different concept. Traditionally, justice or injustice is characteristic of a process. A defendant in a criminal case would be said to have received justice if the trial were conducted as it should be, under fair rules and with the judge and jury being impartial….”

    “But this is not what is meant by those people who speak of ‘social justice.’ In fact, rules and standards equally applicable to all are often deliberately set aside in pursuit of ‘social justice.’ Nor are such exceptions aberrations. The two concepts are mutually incompatible….”

    “Not only does cosmic justice differ from traditional justice, and conflict with it, more momentously cosmic justice is irreconcilable with personal freedom based on the rule of law. Traditional justice can be mass-produced by impersonal prospective rules governing the interactions of flesh-and-blood human beings, but cosmic justice must be hand-made by holders of power who impose their own decisions on how these flesh-and-blood individuals should be categorized into abstractions and how these abstractions should then be forcibly configured to fit the vision of the power-holders. Merely the power to select beneficiaries is an enormous power, for it is also the power to select victims—and to reduce both to the role of supplicants of those who hold this power.”



  • Oldflyer

    To me the second picture depicts  generosity and human kindness, because the tall boy recognized the plight of the  little guy, and took action to assist him.  Or are we to assume this was an imposed outcome?
    Actually, by labeling the second picture as justice, the  creator clearly does intend to imply that the solution was imposed.  The message obviously is that justice is only served  when equality of outcomes is imposed.  The concept just as clearly is meant to apply in all things, all of the time.  What a twisted view of the world.

  • Trejo

    Damn, I’ve had the mental image of what you just described in my mind ever since I first saw that hypocritical portrayal of “true” equality/justice posted somewhere in the feeds of social media.

    Equality of outcome is used as an excuse to lift different social and ethnic minorities in a pedestal and whenever that reaches the level of seemingly social inequality preventing measures like “positive discrimination” or Orwellian Newspeak rhetorics such as “hate speech”, what is really being done is defining individuals on basis of their lowest common denominator.

    And ironically, it is being done in the name of preventing the perception and treatment of minorities or otherwise “fragile” groups due to their lowest common denominator.