Introducing the Concept of Social Justice to a Capitalist

Capitalists tend to be averse to the concept of social justice. You therefore shouldn’t expect the task of introducing ‘social justice’ to a capitalist to be an easy one. Of course, at an intellectual level, the concept of social justice is one that is quite easy to make sense of. So that is not where the challenge lies. The challenge lies in getting the capitalist to actually embrace social justice. It is easy for the capitalist to understand the concept, yet fail to embrace it. In fact, in some circles, it is thought that social justice and capitalism can’t go together. But I disagree with this point of view. It is, in my view, possible for one to be a capitalist who, at the same time, also believes in social justice.

In trying to introduce the concept of social justice to a capitalist, you may start by showing him how interconnected and interdependent we all are. Then he may get to a point of seeing how the well-being of the entire society (which comes from social justice) would also be beneficial to him. Here, you may need to show the capitalist how, for instance, the members of the society ‘out there’ form the bulk of his workers. And how the members of the society ‘out there’ form the bulk of the buyers for whatever he deals in.

Further, in trying to introduce the concept of social justice to a capitalist, you may need to show him how fortunes change. You need to show him how, in a split second, he can transition from being a rich capitalist, to being one of the ‘masses’. You may need to give him an example: where, in a split second, he could move from giving instructions to his personal banker over the phone, to having to log into the paycom portal to view meager paychecks.

Further, in trying to introduce the concept of social justice to a capitalist, you may need to reassure him that social justice is not necessary injurious to his interests. That social justice doesn’t necessary entail taking resources from him (as a rich capitalist) and giving them unconditionally to the poor. And that social justice doesn’t necessary translate into socialism or communism.

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