left and rightThe perversion of justice takes many forms, but the most interesting are the political. Especially the common misconceptions on the left and on the right.

There is an element of fairness embedded in the idea of justice. The vice of the left is to think that fairness can be imposed upon society by correcting for nature and chance, which operate heedless of human preferences. This is such an awesome task — impossible, really — that the motto of the left could be “everything is political” . . . for “everything” must be corrected.

The left’s characteristic form of righteous indignation is envy. And there is no intellectual humility in sight.

There is an element of vengeance to the idea of justice. The vice of the right is to think that this is the whole of the matter, and that extremity of retaliation for a wrong is usually better than moderation. The motto of the right could be “there is no kill like overkill.”

The right’s characteristic form of righteous indignation is wrath. And intellectual rigor is rarely welcome.

Of course, the terms left and right, as relating to politics, are perhaps outmoded and flimsy; your mileage may differ, simply because of the inherent relativity of “left and right.” Whether something appears at left or at right depends upon which direction you are looking.

But it is astounding how unidirectional most folk are, as if they were cattle — hence the ability to plot politics, if clumsily, in one-dimensional terms. And name the vices.

Cross-posted at LocoFoco.Liberty.me.