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Is Social Justice, Just?

Social responsibility towards hunger and poverty

Social Justice consists in the idea that any individual should be treated the same, and should have the same equal rights in every aspect- economic, political, social rights and opportunities. This term denotes that the distribution of rights in a society should be equal, giving individuals the opportunity to fulfill their social roles, but at the same time denotes that society should offer equal rights.

There are five principles of social justice and these are equality, participation, rights, diversity and access.

You've probably heard of Maslow's Pyramid of Need, a well-known theory which explains that motivation is everything - the fuel that fuels every action people take. Therefore, Maslow identified and ranked people's major needs. At the base of this pyramid we have the physiological needs (the need for water, food, shelter, health), followed by the need of security (the need for justice, stability), the need for belonging (the need for family, friends, affection and to be accepted in a society), followed by the need for esteem (respect, recognition, status, self-esteem) and the last but not the least, the need for self-actualization (the need for knowledge and wisdom, beauty and aesthetics, truth and justice, overcoming personal potential).

Therefore, Social Justice is one of the motivating factors of our personal needs. However, these Social Justice is both a process and a goal, and imply the vision of a society with equal rights, in which all its members have both physical and physiological security and safety. But unfortunately this social justice is not always so just, and people's basic needs are not always equal.

Today's consumer world is a world of discrimination and human rights violations, an extreme situation in which billions of people find themselves. Most of them are in different parts of the world and they don't have access to basic necessities. Current society faces serious problems such as hunger, poverty, economic and social crises. Although social justice teaches us that every individual has the right to access and equal rights, more than 9 million people die of hunger each year, and even if society leads us to believe that modern organizations succeed in fighting hunger and poverty, the reality is quite harsh, as the statistics are showing a disappointing progression. Moreover, today's ignorant society creates a huge amount of food waste, almost a third of the food produced is discarded before being consumed, about 1.3 trillion tons. The world produces so much food every year that it can feed every child woman or man in the world. Therefore, this is not about the lack of food, but is about a better social responsibility.

Also, in addition to the ignorant society, the world has also been hit by the Coronavirus Pandemic, which has further aggravated the situation of hunger, further aggravating the socio-economic aspects. With massive job losses due to the huge number of small business closures, the poverty and hunger rate has risen dramatically. Poverty does not only mean lack of food and nutrition, it also means limited access to technology, education, decent job opportunities, access to safety and health. Social justice demands equal rights between individuals, but current moral education in society often prevents this from happening.

While some people in this society spend billions to be in space for 5 minutes, other people die of hunger every day. With the money Jeff Bezos spent in order to be able to stay in space for 4 minutes, he could have saved 37.5 million people from starvation, or he could fund the development of agriculture in less developed regions that do not have access to technology.

Today's society should be educated in this regard, with a moral and social conscience towards the less advantaged people, who need equality, security and belonging, accordingly to social justice. What was supposed to be a basic need, something that should not have been lacking in this era, something that any individual should have access to, the need for food , security, stability and the need for justice, has become something that not everyone has access, and something that still leads to death. The social justice is trying to explain to us what an ideal world would look like, a world without issues, without prejudices, a perfect world, but unfortunately this perfect does not exist, so it is our moral duty to try to be our best version, not to be individualistic, and to think about our compatriots, who may not have been as lucky as us. Change always comes from inside, and change begins with you, through small things. You can be the change towards a responsible society.


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