Accommodation Is Not a Shield From Criticism
So far, we’ve looked at the relationship of an individual and his or her environment, looking at the environment as a whole. We also talked about social justice. Now, let’s look at the relationship of the individual and her social groups.
Let’s start our analysis with an example. If we asked someone to choose between two hotels, we might ask them with the same question: which do you prefer? The first hotel seems more luxurious than the second one. However, we are likely to tell this person that he must choose the one that is more expensive, because the second hotel seems more luxurious than the first one. In other words, the social group of a person has a profound effect on how she responds to criticism. This is a very important point, and when we come to it, we will see how far one social group can go in the direction of being a protector of a person, and how far one social group can go in the direction of being a protector of an entire society.
We need to look at the idea of ‘social justice’ from two points of view. Firstly, we need to see whether criticism is unjustified or fair, using an impartial point of view. Are you criticizing the wrong person? Then you’re not really talking about justice, but about the social world. But if you’re criticizing someone who is just a little bit unjust or unfair, then you have a point about social justice – and if you’re criticizing someone who is a lot unjust or unfair, then you have a point about social justice to a higher degree. If you are criticizing an unjust society or a system that produces just-enough, then you’re taking an impartial point of view about justice. But if you are criticizing injustice at a high level, then that is not about justice, but about the social world.