Liberty And Justice For All

Liberty And Justice For All

Ever since the Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892, all official versions of the Pledge have ended with the words, "liberty and justice for all". The somewhat controversial phrase, Under God was incorporated to the present version in 1954.

Human beings have a natural disposition for both liberty and justice, yet, many do not appreciate the meaning of these concepts. Many of us have forgotten the essence of these concepts, in part thanks to how liberty and justice are portrayed on TV, and especially on cable news talk shows.

Justice has been conceptually reduced to "retribution", or a form of revenge; It begins "after" a crime has been committed, and it is almost exclusively implemented, enforced and executed by the state. We are made to believe that justice is impersonal, it "happens" in courts, by lawyers, juries, and judges. We think that our personal perceptions of "fair" and "unfair" have very little to do with justice. But justice begins way before a crime is committed. For example, it is not a crime to pay workers a minimum wage, but many full time near minimum-wage workers can barely afford food, while the owners and CEO's of corporations that they work for make billions, and lobby lawmakers to keep the minimum wage low. No crime is committed there, but what then is the meaning of "justice for all".

Liberty has also lost its meaning. People are led to believe that they are "free" to do whatever they want, as long as it is not forbidden by the social contract. But the "social contract" is growing ever passing day. Starting with the constitution, when we add federal, state and municipal laws and ordinances, we find that we are bound and restricted by laws numbering in the hundreds-of-thousands. Most of the plethora of these laws have very little to do with justice or fairness - as they claim. They are about protecting the powers of the state, and through it, the privileged. And, on a personal level, liberty and our so called "free will" is further diminished by manipulation, advertisement and propaganda: Our "desires are manufactured for us" by others...
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