On Justice, Part Two

Moreover, everyone has a sense of what justice feels like and looks like, but in many cases, the feeling and the vision of justice cannot be put into exact words. Nevertheless, the global situation prompts the creation and development of a fair and just international community and international society after the demise and failure of neoliberalism, as mentioned before. Neoliberalism coincided with rapid advancements in globalization and technology over the past few decades, and these advancements developed and fostered a “transnational bourgeoisie” which was both invisible and omnipotent to a certain extent.

Through their invisibility and virtual omnipotence, this “transnational bourgeoisie” was essentially playing God over the last few decades. This “transnational bourgeoisie” waged illegal wars and engineered a global financial crisis with impunity. Now, with the global situation spiraling out of control, someone has to clean up the mess that this “transnational bourgeoisie” has left behind and one has to make clear their lack of immortality. 

Mahatma Gandhi defined the terms “justice” and “equity” in one of his political writings in the following manner:

“Justice and equity mean the establishment of just and equitable relations between capital and labor, between the landlord and the tenant. The landlord and the capitalist will cease to exploit the tenant and the laborer but will studiously protect his interests.”

Thus, in a sense, justice and equity or equality go hand in hand. One of the viable alternatives put forth to neoliberalism in this day and age is “socialism” or a form of “social democracy” that is inclusive rather than exclusive, as well as mutually beneficial rather than extractive and exploitative. As Gandhi argued:

“Socialism is a beautiful word and so far as I am aware in socialism all the members of society are equal – none low, none high. In the individual body the head is not high because it is the top of the body, nor are the soles of the feet low because they touch the earth. Even as members of the individual body are equal so are the members of society. That is socialism.”

Plus, as argued before, the sanitary worker and the nurse are far more valuable in the bigger scheme of things than the banker and the bureaucrat. Moreover, this point has been obviated by recent phenomena such as the coronavirus pandemic and the inability to find workers in recent times. Hence, as Gandhi argued, justice and equality means “abolishing the eternal conflict between capital and labor.” Nor can anyone in the world achieve true freedom and independence as long as neoliberal extraction and exploitation continues. In speaking about the colonial exploitation and extraction which served as the foundation and the underpinnings of present-day neoliberal extraction and exploitation, Gandhi wrote:

“I long for freedom from the English yoke. I would pay any price for it. I would accept chaos in exchange for it. For the English peace is the peace of the grave. Anything would be better than this living death of a whole people.” 

Gandhi added:

“This Satanic rule has well-nigh ruined this fair land materially, morally and spiritually. I daily see its law-courts denying justice and murdering truth…In order to protect its immoral commerce, this rule regards no means too mean, and in order to keep [millions of people] under the heels of a hundred thousand, it carries a military expenditure which is keeping millions in a state of semi-starvation and polluting thousands of mouths with intoxicating liquor.”

What Gandhi was experiencing on a local level in India during the colonial era is now being experienced by billions of people around the world because of the breadth and reach of neoliberal extraction and exploitation in an age of globalization and technology. And like the political and social upheaval vis-à-vis colonial extraction and exploitation during Gandhi’s time, the political and social upheaval which is occurring now in many places is the result of a loss of authority, credibility, and legitimacy on the part of politicians and leaders due to a bankrupt and failed ideology which gave cover to brute and rote extraction and exploitation on a global scale and scope in recent decades. 

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