Sunday, 26 August 2018

Is Fighting for justice a right or a duty.

Is Fighting for justice a right or a duty.
The biggest decision a person makes in life is, do I take action or not.
Throughout the recorded history of humanity, there are many stories of people fighting for and against justice. The definition of what is “just” is not solid. It changes over time, and it is different from one place to another. Just two weeks ago the Catholic Church announced that Capital Punishment is not a just way to deal with criminals, reopening an age-old argument. Is it right to take a life for any reason, or is it not.
I grew up and lived my whole life in countries that don’t have capital punishment. Yet my childhood was spent in a war-torn area where many thousands of people constantly died fighting.  The main reason that propelled my parents to move to Canada was to live in peace. Peace and justice are nice but often don’t happen together. People discover that justice doesn’t happen without someone fighting for it or defending it, and that “someone” often pays the price.
There are many who fought against injustice in jails, right to this day. Canada right now is being “punished” by a kingdom of fanatics for expressing support for human rights.
One frequent problem is with people who treat the “commons” as their own. It is regularly mentioned in philosophical discussions. People assume that if something is not the private property of another individual than it is theirs to do with as they wish. Some destroy it; others improve it, all are justified in their own minds. Humans can’t function without setting rules.
Most people stay away from disputes over the commons. Protecting their own property, they are content to stay out of the fight. Let the government or authorities fight injustice, they say, forgetting that the government may be as unjust as anyone else.  Fighting against injustice remains with every person if we like it or not.
In my opinion, we don’t have the luxury to remain on the sidelines when we witness injustice. I strongly advocate peaceful, nonviolent resistance but not resisting is a statement by itself. Both sides in a conflict present themselves as being under attack. A person is obligated to figure out what is just and take appropriate action, or we will head in the wrong direction. Societies that didn’t have strong people fighting for what is right historically ended up causing great damage and failing miserably.
Currently, we see a trend where rich and powerful people remove victim’s ability to protest injustice. In the big picture, it is done by directing privately owned mass media outlets not to report what will damage profits or political power. If this is not enough the famous “fake news” comes to play. The honest news is rendered useless when it is flooded with opposing fabricated news.
Those in power get their way by rendering real news untrusted and by intimidating those who try to bring injustice to light. In some countries, the most dangerous job is to be a reporter.
You and I may witness unjust situations but often find ourselves unable to tell others about it. In the old days, shocking cases of abuse and crime were instantly the next day headlines in newspapers. In the modern environment, with internet and so much social media people discover that more is hidden then publicized. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the volume of so-called News without discovering injustice even when it affects our own lives. We have the means but can’t achieve the goals.
We all remember hearing about some well-known whistleblowers. Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden are just a few names that come to mind. People who chose to risk their lives in order to expose injustice, often towards all of us, have paid the price. They had to break an oath of secrecy in an attempt to stop evil actions, and they were incarcerated or hunted as bad animals. Many others simply were attacked with gossip and discredited for voicing opposition to unjust actions.
Overall, the question which faced people from the earliest time remains. Should a person speak up if he or she feels that unjust actions are taken, or not. In the current business led society majority will consider their own personal gain or loss before choosing sides. This attitude enhances the side opposing justice. Justice has nothing to do with personal gain. It is born with the person. If you have it in your blood, you will feel a draw towards taking just actions.
People on trial for crimes against humanity have justified their actions by the fact that they followed orders or were threatened into acting. Not many say that they didn’t know that their actions were inhumane. Others have used twists of religious texts in their defense but couldn’t say that they didn’t know that what they did was wrong.
I believe that there is what we call God’s justice. I don’t know any of your personal stories but I have witnessed that there is a universal justice simply as a function of nature. From my personal history I can suggest that over time, justice simply happens. Sometimes the justice that happens, not by the hands of humans is so severe that it makes me feel sorry for those who are punished by it.
I think that Capital Punishment is wrong even when we feel that it is just. If someone hurt my loved ones, I would wish them dead, but I shouldn’t support the killing. Killing other people is wrong. I also feel that each of us has the responsibility to speak up for what is “just” simply because we know that something is wrong. Others may feel different but if no action is taken injustice will triumph. Every person is a part of what human society becomes.
This is a link to my blog:  Feel free to check other articles and comment.
Internet free art by Pixabay.


  1. Speaking up is always easiest when we have nothing to lose. The challenge of employers and governments now is: "How do we convince people that they still have something to lose?" Regardless of difficulty, it is always important to speak up. Whether it does any good, however, is another matter.

    1. No-one has "nothing to lose". We are witnessing a world wide movement of speaking up, most notably in the US about the Trump organization. I seen nothing like it since the sixties.


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