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What Does “Social Justice” Mean?

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Throughout the history of the world’s globalization, human beings have gone from one deadly conflict to the next. For instance, countries fought to expand their territories. Different groups within a country turned on their opponents to take the control. A person may kill someone for various reasons like vengeance. Different interests, races, religions, and many other factors are most likely the explanations for irrational actions. Due to differences, the idea of united world seems unrealistic at first, but it can be the only way to stop all the wars at once. To do that, there are four important aspects necessary to help people reach a stage, called “Equality to all.” At first, citizens must be the ones that have the right to pass judgments to others, not an executive head or a group of wealthy people. Based on “The African Constitution: Birth of Democracy”, the idea of self-government should be the main goal that human beings try to achieve. This structure provides good chances for people to listen to various opinions. “Chiefless societies” promotes more social connection without aggression or centralized authority. In order to have a right decision, we have to use our personal logic and understanding to approach the situation. Eventually, we will also learn to accept different viewpoints. According to the Catholic theologian Hans Kung in “Global Ethic and Human Responsibilities”, he states that all human beings regardless of races and religions need to maintain a minimum consensus. He means to encourage people to have respect on others’ common values, certain standard and moral attitudes. For instance, the rich should not look down on the poor. As what the Communists differentiate themselves from other working class parties through “Manifesto of the Communist Party”, they have the intention of replacing capitalist structures. Without private property, we can avoid conflicts with others. Moreover, the good way to promote equality is to have compassion and to feel sympathy for other people such even criminals or business opponents. “Restorative Justice” suggests that punishment is not necessary to resolve our problems, but communication is. Combining all important factors, all human beings who live in different places of the world will be able to understand and respect others. Therefore, through the process of discussion and negotiation, we can prevent all the bloody conflicts from happening.

Regarding the original African Constitution, the practice of chiefless states was widely used in many different parts of the societies. A country does not necessary need a leader to make all the decision, but all people who reside within must do. Each leader has unique and different perspectives when looking at one particular issue, so all issues of a country will be under his/her hand. This structure contains a lot of risk. For instance, Chinese history shows that if the king were a bright one, the Chinese society would be happy. On the other hand, when a king was helpless, the country was fallen. According to a China Culture, Qianlong, who was a great Emperor of Qing Dynasty, led his country toward success and prosperity in 60 years. However, after his reign, Chinese wealth went down the peak as if it were people skydiving. A king is like a chief in the society. When we have a chief to rely on, it is normal for us to eventually stop questioning his/her work. A person is heavily influenced by his/her personal experiences and cultures. Therefore, those factors will affect one’s judgment, so the idea of reunited world will be impossible. People should have their voices in the process of decision making, so the societies truly contain “Equality to all”. Talking, which provides opportunities for its member to talk, will help people understand better, and they will figure out a same point to work together. Based on African Constitution, it mentions that “lineage, then, was the most powerful and effective force for unity and stability” (165). People within a family have the power to work the issues out. The key is to expand that lineage out to the world.

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Ultimately, the world needs to have a global ethic because the increase in production and the desperate want of economic gain are causing harm to other species. When I was a kid, I saw many people who died due to cancer, and the reason was that a factory nearby kept throwing chemical trashes into the river. They were poisonous to the environment and people. Since the process of cleaning was costly to owners, so they decided to let the residents carry the burden. This example proves that the ignorance of responsibility is the cause for various problems in the society. People need to think for others, not just themselves. The world is in need of an ethic, and human beings have to keep it. In the article “To Uphold the World What Ancient India’s Buddhist Emperor Can Tell Us about Our Current Crisis”, Bruce Rich mentions that “an ethic that does not embrace the universal will plunge our world into still more chaos” (99). In order to obtain a global ethic, Bruce means to tell us to share part of our wealth for the poor in the society. People need to feel sympathy for others since we live in the same world. For example, crisis, which happens in Europe, can affect Asia. My auntie once said “Japan was far away, so we were safe”. She believed that the effect of Japanese leak of volatile radioactive chemicals would not ever reach America. It is a wrong assumption because we live in a circular world. We need to do what we can to help others out. It is the first step for an international ethic.

Only when people obtain a global ethic, in term of crisis, we are able to consider the common values, criteria and attitude first. This advanced development of the society is really driven by collective struggle of working middle class, so the Communists claim to resolve the problem by replacing the capitalist structures. We must provide equal opportunities to all groups of people. Instead of turning down minority opinions, we should try to understand each other through discussion, persuasion, and negotiation. Those methods are helpful to find the common interests between different classes. The communist party mentions that “the immediate aim of the communists is the same as that of all other proletarian parties: formation of the proletariat into a class, overthrow of the bourgeois supremacy, conquest of political power by the proletariat” (Marx and Engels 122. To provide “Equality to All”, no one should be excluded from the process of making decisions. Indeed, all parties can discuss matters together and find a common voice to make the whole society work. This solution can be achieved if both the communist party and capitalists agree to share. Communication is what can help people find a common voice. The concept of “Restorative Justice” provides what human needs. Society plays a key role to maintain justice based on its social and political form, and punishment is not how mankind resolves the issues. Throughout history, people seem to consider punishment as the best way to solve the issue. For instance, there was a famous Chinese TV series called “Justice Bao” in 1993. It was about a most compassionate governor who helped innocent people find justice and punished evil doers. However, his way of defining justice was for criminals to get the equal punishment. If you killed a person, you would receive a death penalty. In “How, and what terms, Should Restorative Justice Be Conceived”, Gerry Johnstone describes that “although people often demand punishment, this is because punishment is the only method available” (9). It is opposite to the idea of “Restorative Justice”. Looking at a situation from a different view point is the key to make the true justice work. In generally, we all rely on our past experiences, cultures, family values, so our judgments are based solely on what we see. However, the reality is not that simple. There is always a reason for certain behaviors that other people need to understand, and we can’t ignore the opinions from the victims themselves. “Restorative Justice” encourages people to calm down and listen to others’ situations. Therefore, we make sure “Equality to all”. History proves that “Restorative Justice” can really work. For example, there is one remarkable story about Azim Khamisa’s forgiveness. He was willing to forgive a criminal who killed his 20-year-old son and cooperate with the criminal to found Tariq Khamisa Foundation to teach the society a valuable lesson. He proves the theory of “Restorative Justices” can actually bring people closer and help them understand better. Similarly, Gerry Johnstone states that “proponents of restorative justice can hope that the process will lead to many people seeing the merits of a restorative rather than punitive disposition” (12). Even though the forgiveness takes great courage and time, it will eventually become the alternative way to deal with crime or violence. “Restorative Justice” can eliminate any violation to human rights. Ultimate, it will help the world in its transition to unity.

Finally, important decisions within the society have to come all members, not just a leader because he/she does not always have a bright mind. When we communicate in a large group, each member has an equal voice to one particular problem. Regardless of our own religion or race, common values, certain standard and moral attitudes should always remain top priority to avoid conflicts. Only after we meet that expectation, the world will finally have an ethic to promote close connection between people. As a result, human beings will realize the alternative method when dealing with criminals. However, when we are actually in the situation, it is extremely hard to do as we discuss. In fact, if a person killed your beloved one, you would not easily confront the criminal and talk with him/her. The risk of being unable to forgive still lies with whoever meets this critical situation, but “Equality to all” is more realistic and a best approach when we try our best. In our situation, each country has the different strategy to one problem, and the governments won’t abandon people who vote for them. It means that we can never be able to unite and stop all the potential conflict. My four-step theory of justice promotes communication from local to national level. People with various differences are the causes for any issues. I encourage them to think more critically, embrace different ideas and control their anger and resentment better. In the end, this theory of justice only works if the world is willing to cooperate. To bring this type of justice into practice, I will need support from all over the world. In fact, this idea is really hard to achieve. However, years ago, human beings always considered the earth at the center of the polar system, but it changed eventually. It proves that, by working harder and harder, anything can be achieved. The world will have a chance to unite and provide “Equality to all”.

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