On Justice, Part Three

Whereas energy, manufacturing, and technology are seemingly the comparative advantages and potential sources of economic growth for the Eastern world, arguably, the comparative advantages and potential sources of economic growth for the Western world are situated in information, leisure, and services.

Arguably, a couple of reasons as to why information is a comparative advantage of the West is because of its universities, companies like Amazon, and its general rules and norms regarding freedom of expression and freedom of speech, even though censorship and strict regulations do exist in the United States up until now. These Western comparative advantages and potential sources of economic growth, however, are at the moment both stifled and stinted as a result of both dirty politics in Washington and the overall outcomes of exhaustive and pointless wars over the course of the last three decades.

One should also note that if an all-important commodity such as oil is not on the market and is not available for purchase, then the money which is used to buy and purchase the commodity ends up being worthless to a certain extent. For some reason, this is a stupidly simple yet elusive and commonly overlooked fact in today’s public discourse. As one Lebanese man recently said during a street interview with a certain level of outrage: “We have the money in our pockets, but we cannot buy anything!”

With keeping comparative advantages in mind, it follows that American money ends up losing value when oil and gas are absent, while on the flip-side, Middle Eastern money ends up worthless without water. Thus, exchange is necessitated and obviated by virtue of comparative advantages. As a friend of mine in Qatar told me once, water is worth more than oil there. And of all the countries in the world, the United States has the largest supply of water, which makes the United States more amenable to human life than any other country if the right policies are in place. But throughout the rest of the world, oil and gas also have a ripple effect through the rest of the economy, in the sense that when the price of oil and gas goes up, the price of food and transportation goes up with it.

Moreover, when one is tackling and coming to terms with an issue such as social justice, one must eventually reckon with Karl Marx, even if Marx’s main conclusion has yet to be proven to its fullest extent. Arguably, the reckoning with Marx is inevitable, because the arguments and points which Marx made towards his conclusion about the issue of social justice are credible and legitimate and cannot be ignored or evaded.

The role of advancing the issue of social justice out of the European and Western world and on an international level — with the core aim of social justice in this day and age being the restoration of fairness between capital and virtually everyone else after about five centuries of transnational bourgeoisie abuse, extraction, and exploitation —was assumed by the former Soviet Union in the 20th century. And even after the demise of the former Soviet Union towards the end of the 20th century, Russia still remains active in getting as many non-western countries as possible to join its efforts in essentially changing and revising the status quo of the international system in the name of Marxian social justice. In recent times, Russia has gone as far as offering to built a nuclear energy plant in Morocco as a sweetener, which the King of Morocco — a traditional American ally — willingly accepted.

On numerous occasions, an Afghan professor and scholar who is based in California and had a television show there for many years would explain and shed light on the main question which prompted his lifelong intellectual and spiritual journey. At a young age, the core question which emerged in his mind and in turn prompted the rest of his intellectual and spiritual life was the question of whether God was a just God or an unjust God. But ultimately, one’s view of whether God is just or unjust comes down to a matter of belief, and at times, belief can fluctuate and waver. However, if one is a believer, then everything in the political and social domain amounts to a slow march towards justice, even if the duration and time of this slow march — as well as its exact outcomes — remain largely uncertain.

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