Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The injustice of "social justice"

I picked up F.A. Hayek's book Law, Legislation and Liberty, Volume 2: The Mirage of Social Justice that Glenn had ordered because the title was intriguing and I love Hayek's The Road to Serfdom.

I have never felt comfortable around academics who throw out the word "social justice" because it always seems restrictive and self-serving. Once I hear a group of social "scientists" employing the term, it generally means that are looking for reasons to favor some groups (almost always Democratic constituents), while excluding others. Hayek explains why he is not a fan of the term in his book on the topic:

I have now become convinced, however, that the people who habitually employ the phrase simply do it as an assertion that a claim is justified without giving a reason for it....

What I hope to have made clear is that the phrase 'social justice' is not, as most people probably feel, an innocent expression of good will towards the less fortunate, but that it has become a dishonest insinuation that one ought to agree to a demand of some special interest which can give no real reason for it. ...I have come to feel strongly that the greatest service I can still render to my fellow men would be that I could make the speakers and writers among them thoroughly ashamed ever again to employ the term 'social justice.'

We all have our own idea of social justice. My form of social justice is a little different. I would have people keeping the money they earn without the force of a gun to their head with orders to turn larger and larger amounts of it over to the government as they become more successful. I would also call it socially just to have people pay for their own health care without mandating others by force to pay for them.

Is the current form of "social justice" with its emphasis on government force for some special interest groups but not for others really justice? Not in my book and certainly not in Hayek's. But read the book and decide for yourself what you think of "social justice." Hayek might just change your mind.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Is hypo-masculinity the new normal?

Anchorman at The Daily Caller: "In defense of the father":

There is also a polar-opposite twin to hypermasculinity, brought on by the absence of male role models: “hypo-masculinity,” the absence of masculinity. And, again, portrayals of it abound in popular culture and everyday life: Metro-sexualism, the sensitive male, the banning of dodge ball, padded playgrounds, back and chest waxing, feminized scents and colognes, TV commercials that portray the father figure as buffoonish, incompetent or absent.

But there’s another manifestation that’s more troubling, and its track record is now undeniable. Author and therapist Michael Gurian writes about it in his book, "The Purpose of Boys."

“Girls outperform boys in nearly every academic area. Many of the old principles of education are diminished. In a classroom of 30 kids, about five boys will begin to fail in the first few years of pre-school and elementary school. By fifth grade, they will be diagnosed as learning disabled, ADD/ADHD, behaviorally disordered or “unmotivated.” They will no longer do their homework (though they may say they are doing it), they will disrupt class or withdraw from it, they will find a few islands of competence (like video games or computers) and overemphasize those..... Once a person sees a PET or SPECT scan of a boy’s brain and a girl’s brain, showing the different ways these brains learn, they understand. As one teacher put it to me, “Wow, no wonder we’re having so many problems with boys.”

The article makes a good point about the prevalence and problems of hypo-masculinity. Even the government seems to be in on the hypo-masculinity game. Reader Mathew sent in a link to the government site where Barack Obama's smiling face is on the front page sharing his "fatherhood message." In the media highlights, "good dads" are portrayed as a man getting a manicure from his daughter and another dad doing a cheerleading routine with his daughter.

Is this the President's vision of American manhood?


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all my readers out there who are dads. Is it my imagination or are there more commercials and signs up this year that have positive portrayals of Dads? I saw a commercial last night talking about how wonderful Dads were and hope this is the beginning of change.