What is the Meaning of Social Justice Today?June 28, 2021
Social justice, which is shown as the public basic principle of the contemporary social state of law, is now defined as follows: “All social values in a society should be treated fairly, without ignoring the historical and sociological conditions of that society, its cultural elements and the moral values adopted by members of different cultural groups. a principle or ideal that foresees its distribution” (Balı 2001, p. 203).
Thus, the types of justice explained as “distributive justice”, which emerged with Aristotle, and “redistributive justice” with Rawls, provide the opportunity to apply in contemporary public administration. Why is social justice such an important element of order for today’s societies and pluralist democracies? In fact, Rawls explained the reason for this at the beginning of his work. He aimed to establish a theory of justice that would coincide with our moral values with the theory of justice as fairness. Indeed, social justice constitutes the essence of the social legal order as “a product of humanism that, above all, exalts the value of the person and especially the labor, in the present cultural stage of humanity” (İzveren 1991, p. 103). While social justice ensures the redistribution of the national wealth of a society on the basis of its equitable distribution, it ensures the happiness of the whole people, not just individuals. Herein lies the moral essence of social justice. In order to be a modern state of law, personal freedoms are no longer sufficient. It covers all members of the society without exception, provides a minimum income and living standard, has the right to suitable working hours, unpaid leave, health and education; the equitable distribution of national income and wealth; It is only possible to talk about the modernity of a society in which social security is provided, in short, where social and economic justice prevails, and that it can be a state of law. The current meaning of social justice includes these. Social justice constitutes the most basic and moral element of today’s societies, social state and social legal order.
Apart from the moral meaning of social justice, another important issue that needs to be addressed is its relationship with the economy. It should be noted that while we are talking about social justice, we have not succeeded in separating it from economic elements. Because the current meaning of social justice does not distinguish it from economic justice. There are even those who understand social justice as economic justice, such as the legal thinker Del Vecchio. Only by learning what economic justice is we can decide whether this idea is acceptable or not.