It seems that today, more evidently than ever before, we have become witness through our multimedia channels of information, to a great deal of injustice, to which we simply reply with living our lives as if nothing happened, as if it’s the norm. It is purely understandable, I mean who are we to deal with all the injustice that surrounds us? Are we the police? Are we lawyers or judges? Are we the government?
I know that you all smirked while reading that last sentence. I know because I was smirking as I wrote it. But it is true. The institutions we have built to safeguard justice in our society, have become the pillars of the status-quo of our complete lack of it.
So why do we strive to be just? Why is it considered a moral obligation for everyone to be fair and morally conscious? Why, if our everyday experience of life in a modern society has made it abundantly clear that it wants nothing to do with justice, do we consider it so damn important?
One logical explanation would be because we are afraid. We are afraid that if we are not just, we will be accused, if we are not fair, we will be slandered, if we are not morally conscious, we will be cast out of our otherwise corrupt society. Some may even fear “God”. But if we think about it a bit longer, we stumble into a paradox. Since our societies tolerate injustice and, all things considered, nurture it, then why should we be afraid of being unjust? Now hold that thought.
We have filled whole libraries with textbooks of law, we have state law, some have federal law, we have European law, international law, naval law, tax law, civil law, we have tribunals, investigative committees, courts of every kind…yet we have no justice. But these things are only symbols of justice. They are simply a wish of a principle that should be. A prayer made out of passion for what is ideal, for what is right, a prayer made out of fear of what our world would be like, if we didn’t even try.
Most people in our modern societies are workers, day to day laborers, employees, people next door. Most of them go about their day, making a living, and dreaming of another one, somewhere else. Most of us are too busy with our own survival and well-being and our dreams of a better future in that fancy part of town, that we do not bother with such questions. We fail to see the irony of it all since we are too busy complying, too busy pressing “Agree”, too busy ignoring everything that might pose a threat to that dream that will never come.
We know that there is no fairness in this world, we know that justice is just a dream. The rich are getting richer and the poor continue to be poor, if not poorer. We stand powerless from all the lies and all the failed promises and we become numb inside. Our humanity, our sense of morality and our inner cry for justice dies a little each day as we see ourselves as victims of society, of a situation that we did not cause, so no one can blame us for it. We see ourselves as victims and we become victims. We doubt ourselves, we doubt our beliefs and we doubt if there is even such a thing as justice in the first place. We accept injustice and in many cases we enforce it, without mercy, as long as there is someone else who is willing to accept responsibility, an authority willing to justify us, willing to let it all go away.
I believe that we have been led astray. Save me from all the law books, the religious laws, the courts, the lawyers, the judges and the priests. We all know what is right, deep down we all do. Even if we don’t do it, we know when we are being unfair or unjust. We have it inside us, in all of us, a moral compass that shows us where true justice lies in our every deed, in our every thought. We only need to follow it. That is how we achieve justice in a modern society. For you can build as many courtrooms, law schools, libraries of law, but in the end all you have left is bricks and pages, not a just society.
All you need to have a society is people, which is all you are ever going to need. And if a society is judged by the moral backbone of its people, then all you need to have in order to make that society just, is enough people that are willing to follow their true north.