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[Opinion] A Monopoly of Justice

Posted March. 06, 2005 22:36,   


The dictionary meaning for justice is: “The upright propriety that a human being should keep” or “morally correct and just acts.” Albeit opaque, it seems that justice refers to an upright comport that most people perceive. Nonetheless, it is worrisome that some morally-lacking people as regarded by most people are monopolizing justice in our society recently. These people are complacent that only their thoughts are right and the reforms they cry out would make the country a better society.

Indeed, it is not easy to find “rightness” that all people in a society, in which so many people have individual values and interests, can agree to. Thus, in the international community composed of nations prioritizing their national interests, it would be much more difficult to define “rightness” that everyone can agree on. Fidel Castro may be justice to Cuba’s nationalists and our society’s leftists, but he would be an injustice to poor Cubans and liberty lovers.

In our society, there are people who are seeking to monopolize the society’s justice just because of their “achievement” of having been persecuted in the past. They might have revered former North Korean leader Kim Il Sung’s “Juche” ideology, but it would be very serious if they are arguing for monopolistic right to this nation’s democratization because they had been persecuted by the dictatorial regime. Campaigning is important, but democratization is impossible without a rise in income levels. Those who silently worked for creating wealth for the past 40 years are also the top contributors to democratization.

Among those who try to push ahead with legislating some radical reforms, including the National Security Law as absolute virtue, a considerable number of monopolistic justice asserters can be seen. Most people will believe that reforming wrongs in a liberal democratic society is right, but it is dangerous to sell justice and force other people’s silence and only advance one’s own goals. The issue is how to weed out undesirable justice asserters. As the first step, we should be wary of monopolistic justice asserters who claim that only they are just.

Na Sung-rin, Guest Editorial Writer and Hanyang University Professor (Economics)