Justice; universally or never

By Sami Tekele, Sami, 24, is a student from Tessenei, Eritrea. Please read his entry and leave your comments below.

As we are very much dependent up on each other in this modern world, justice can be achieved only on a universal level. It can be maintained in all nations of the world or in no one.

Injustice always causes its object to be, in one or another way, unjustifiably disadvantaged by an act of another. As one is always naturally inclined towards protecting herself from any displeasure or misfortune, the position an unjust act leaves one in makes her desperately seek for what she lacks. This desperation can in turn cause another injustice.

We can take only what the world provides us with, which is not unlimited. Therefore, if someone is taking an excessive amount of what the world provides, it is inevitable that someone else will be lacking, until humanity becomes able to ensure the basic necessities of all its members and come up with excessive provision to the acquisition of which we can rightly compete. However hard you might work you can never be justified in taking what someone needs for survival. Competition, when it aims at acquiring what belongs to someone else, is unfair. Most people remain poor because of a lack of job opportunities. But even if laziness happens to be the reason for one’s poverty, it is unjust to work to earn what she needs, because though laziness might be immoral, it is not a crime that warrants capital punishment by starvation. from which follows that the accumulation of wealth in the hands of certain individuals or societies, though not illegal, is unfair and hence unjust. This injustice is the cause of all the problems which the underdeveloped world is facing because of poverty today.

The injustice that is pursued by the developed world has produced poverty which is one of the main causes of crimes. Studies show that murder and theft are very much higher in the poorest countries of the world. This injustice which is rampant in the undeveloped countries is the effect of the unjust distribution of wealth.

One who is unjustly treated is naturally grieved or frustrated. These negative feelings cause a person to be revengeful. The degrading acts and beliefs that are practiced against Islam, for example, intensify the hatred they have to the west. This hatred which is caused by the injustice of the west inspires another injustice: terrorism. The injustice against Islam in some European countries causes an injustice against Christians in several countries of the world.

As any one individual has a right to the truth, a failure to expose a child to the rich world of education and thereby save him from the narrowness and arrogance of an ignorant mind is unjust. The truth that no belief system is superior to any other, a right of each and every one of us to know,  would have saved a person who is indoctrinated from her childhood in a certain unexamined belief,  from her confining ethnocentric views. This injustice is a cause for the injustices the terrorists are causing in our world.

Some people, naturally or socially, are inclined towards being unjust. In societies where injustice is highly abhorred, such people are compelled to keep up with the justice that prevails. They might even forget their evil instincts and learn to become just. Injustice somewhere else can act as a precedent to such like pent up urge to inflict harm. One can find an inspiration to effect his desire to cause harm in someone else’s unjust act. Ensuring the equal treatment of woman in the US, for example, necessitates the need to ensure the equal treatment of women in Africa. As long as there are places in which those who seek to undermine the feminist cause can find an example for their beliefs, the equal treatment of women would be difficult to ensure in the US.

We are so much interlinked today that the effect of an unjust act in our justice system can be explained by the analogy of the effect of a disturbance in a calm pond. Though the farthest it goes the less stronger it becomes, a wave that arises in a certain part of a pond sends its disturbances in all directions and to far places. In the same way, injustice somewhere sends its reverberations in time and space. As no one nation can be absolutely separated from an interference from outside, poverty in one will most probably increase theft in another nation. Unjustified intervention in religious beliefs in one part of the world would cause strife and encourage similar acts in many other parts.

If we fight against injustice wherever we find it, we can eradicate it from the whole world. But if we fight against injustice against ourselves while been heedless to the cries of others or strive to ensure our individual or national interests at the expense of the interests of “others”, we leave that precedent for others who will probably have their turn in holding power; the precedent of not caring about injustice to others. We must remember that we are others to the others as long as we don’t learn to think in the level of humanity. We are so much tied to each other that no one can fail alone. Those who are at the bottom are the burden of those at the top, humanity, as long as it does not bring itself up wholly, will keep on being dragged back by its lagging part.

Injustice, like a highly contagious disease, if it is somewhere it is a threat to everyone around. If it is to be eradicated from the face of the earth it needs to be fought against on all places. When Ebola erupted in Africa the world acted in collaboration to stop it because it was a threat to a wide part of humanity. The same is true about injustice; It would be eradicated globally or never!

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