"Justice, like liberty and coercion, is a concept which,
for the sake of clarity, ought to be confined
to the deliberate treatment of men by other men."
Friedrich August von Hayek
(1899-1992), Nobel Laureate of Economic Sciences 1974
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Reader comments about this quote:
I do understand a narrow interpretation that would legitimize the quote's concept. On a much broader canvas, Justice, like natural law, needs be discovered and administered by men but, can not be reduced or confined to the unique and deliberate treatment of men by other men. Liberty is also a greater subject matter than man's unique and exclusionary treatment. No sake of clarity can justify man's unjust use of coercion.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Great summary Mike. I'm with you,
     -- Anon     
    The entire realm of social justice presumes that imbalances of situation can be corrected by a benevolent government. The reality, injustice is done to the "priveleged" classes in the taking of their property and injustice is done to the "under-priveleged" classes by making them wards of the state. For a justice system to be just, it must concern itself with crimes against life liberty and property only.
     -- Justin, Elkland     
     -- RBESRQ      
    I don't even UNDERSTAND this one. I can think of numerous exceptions to it. At best, it doesn't really say much.
     -- Laura, New York     
    I know of no Nobel (anything) that wasn't a "member" of the global collectivist elite. And, as such, should be considered suspect, if not outright dangerous to liberty. Aside from the above, I find nothing held in common between liberty and coercion. "For in seeing we have such great hope, we use great plainess of speech." A thought that if known, was ignored by Fredrich, much to the detriment of his credibility.
     -- Louis, Fort Worth     
    I think what Hayek means is that when it comes to 'justice,' it is still what men do to other men. Many religionists believe that 'God' will punish the wicked and reward the good in the 'after life.' But mankind still insists on enforcing 'justice' rather than leaving it up to the Day of Judgement. So when a man or coterie of men judge another man, they take that immense power in their hands to condemn a man, to destroy him, to administer god's judgement in his stead. I think Hayek means that when a man judges another, let him be honest enough to say that it is his judgement, and not 'God's'.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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