Sunday 28 August 2011

'Injustice' versus dishonesty - focus on the lesser sin


When I was working in the National Health Service as a part-time bureaucrat - the Leftist concept of 'justice' was one of the staples of discourse - it came up in conversation, in documentation, in small routine meetings, in large focused conferences.

To fight injustice was the whole self-asserted raison de etre of the NHS bureaucracy. That was what justified our existence. Other professionals might do actual work, provide actual services - but we bureaucrats pursued justice. 


What was justice? Well, in one sense it was a vague term of extremely wide, virtually unconstrained applicability; but in another sense it was used to refer to precise statistical inequalities in what were presumed to be desirable attributes - such as life expectancy, rates of illness, usage of health services (using health services was sometimes regarded as a bad thing, when it was termed 'need' for services; sometimes regarded as a good thing, when it was termed having 'access' to services).

Which specific statistic of 'injustice' was focused upon was chosen on socio-political grounds, in a very obvious, naive kind of way - but the motivations for such choices were protected by the taboo on mentioning hate facts such as innate differences; or by the taboo on 'victim blaming'. It was clear that certain favoured groups (the groups around which sub-bureaucracies had been organized) could only be analyzed in terms of being victims of injustice. Contradictions were simply ignored.


The social atmosphere was such that criticism of the analysis or methods of 'fighting injustice' was interpreted personally - the critic being at best an apologist for injustice and potentially an evil promoter of injustice (probably in the pay of some business interest or covertly working for some fascist organization).

If or when anyone insisted on presenting analysis or criticism of the forbidden type it was simply un-recorded by the bureaucratic machinery - while on the contrary, congenial analysis was built-into the discourse (for example being included in all minutes and internal memos, by becoming a recurrent agenda item).


(In fact, at that time in the early 1990s, we had a new word for injustice - inequity - which (being even-less understandable and precise than 'injustice') was more readily shaped to our bureaucratic purposes.)


The concept of 'injustice' trumped all other considerations, including the improvement of health. Indeed, health ought not to be improved unless by doing so injustice was diminished.

And it was even acceptable to advocate reducing the health of 'privileged' groups if this might more-or-less-plausibly be associated with a diminution in statistical inequality.

'Injustice' was therefore simultaneously dominating, all-inclusive of discourse, all applicable with respect to subject matter - yet applied very selectively, on grounds which themselves were not justified, using data and statistical analysis which was false yet uncriticizable.


The centrality of 'justice' to moral discourse is a Leftist tactic of long standing.

It is a clear example of the replacement of a greater sin by a lesser sin; because the lesser sin of injustice is mostly a sub-set of the greater sin of dishonesty - which is a breach of the transcendental Good of Truth.

(Most of the traditional examples of injustice are offences against truth - stealing, swindling etc.)


By installing Injustice as the ultimate sin, the Health Authority (as a part of the Left) was able to ignore Truth; was able to be dishonest in pursuit of 'justice'.

Indeed, truthfulness - the pursuit of truth, telling of truth - was not only ignored, but prohibited.

The bureaucracy was indeed openly dishonest, it was proud of its dishonesty. Dishonesty in the fight against injustice was regarded as evidence of moral seriousness.

So, here was a clear instance of moral inversion, typical of Leftism: a self-consciously and self-celebrating moral organization predicated on the elaboration and promotion of primary sin - the sin against Truth.



The Crow said...

Welcome home.
I begin to see why you have become so interested in Christianity.
When honesty goes out the window, chaos sweeps in.
And this chaos is the real nature of the enemy we face, not the unknowing ones who give it a comfortable environment in which to thrive.

Bruce Charlton said...

Ahah Crow! - first with a comment!