The Counter-culture and Redistributive Justice

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In small coffee houses and basement bars where only academic elite may drink, the left bastardized the moral principle of “distributive justice.” They called it “redistributive justice.” Some, mostly leftists attempting to hide their private little plan for socialism, pretend that Obama’s heavy use of the term was coined by Barack in 2001 when he was searching for a word. It wasn’t.

Browsing the left’s web sites, you’ll find academic papers on the subject. (Warning: you’ll gag.) You’ll even find papers sharing Obama’s lament that courts will not, on their own, institute redistributive justice. Rodrigo Nunes’s paper for the 2007 American Political Science Association meeting explains the left’s suspicion of the courts:

Will constitutional courts enforce social rights? According to incentive drive theories of judicial empowerment the answer is no, or at least not initially. Structural constraints and the preferences of power holders create disincentives for the judicial promotion of redistributive justice, and constitutional judges are not likely to pursue decisions that could compromise their institutional legitimacy and well-being.

Almost exactly what Obama told Chicago Public Radio in 2001. If want to find out how radical is the idea of redistributive justice, read Iris Marion Young’s “Theorizing Multiculturalism.”

The radical, transformative goal of redistributive justice . . . should consist in eliminating the structures in the division of labor that allocate certain kinds of devalued work to white women and women of color, and which keep them – especially people of color – in a marginalized underclass “reserve army.” [T]he goal of redistribution should be to eliminate the oppressed gender or race as a group, just as the goal of working-class movements must be the elimination of the proletariat as a group

Now, Obama lovers will claim I’m making this all up, that redistributive justice means something mild and acceptable. Here’s the definition from

Redistributive Justice is a term used to describe the equalization of property and wealth ownership by direct political fiat. It includes taxation designed to move wealth from one group to another, “land reform” and other means to promote “equality of result” over “equality of opportunity”. It is frequently associated with Marxism, socialism, or the transition from aristocracy or other form of oligarchy to more broadly based governments.

Remarkably, modern redistributionists like Obama make John Rawls look like a libertarian.

Barack Obama is a communist. Any attempt to argue otherwise is simply KGB doublespeak.

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