“Social justice” is a misnomer.

Contrary to the yammerings of a million “progressives,” it is simple commutative justice that is social, sociable.

“Distributive justice,” the technical term for today’s trendy “social justice,” is less easy to construe as “social” in any meaningful way.

Old-fashinoed justice, based on property and the suppression of the gravest evils (rather than the achievement of the greatest goods), evolved outside of the great legislative bodies, evolving, decentralized, in courts and juries and religions and common sense. Its origin is in the interactions of human beings, and its focus is limited to those transactions that cause the greatest harm and are identifiable as anti-social by nature. This kind of justice seeks to correct or compensate for the most egregious actions of one person (or group) against another person (or group).

What is today called “social justice” is, instead, the shotgun wedding of poetic and cosmic justice. It signifies attempts to redress the imbalances provided by nature — genes, geography, culture, chance — by restricting society and inverting the presumed norms of evolved justice.

Compare and contrast: In old-fashioned justice, duress invalidates contracts, initiated force defines crime, and coercion’s prominence is downgraded in social intercourse. The standard of justice is peace and non-interference.

In modish social justice, on the other hand, coercion and compulsion assume gargantuan proportions and ever-present, unlimited scope in society; aggression against property becomes almost a norm; and duress becoming the hallmark of the new and ever-renewing “social contract.”