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The Specter of Marxism Haunts the Social Justice Movement


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In discussions of white privilege, for example, a distinction is made between privileges worth having, such as rights like free speech or to the freedom to move into any neighborhood without encountering local prejudice, and privileges not worth having, such as the right to discriminate or ignore another person’s perspective. Given this distinction, the issue arises of identifying and defining the nature of each privilege that is worth having. For example, is private property a privilege worth having? If so, does everyone have a fair shot at owning his own plot of land or his own home or his own reserve of capital to invest for retirement? Or is private property an instrument of oppression and exploitation? The question of private property is particularly illustrative. There are some (or many?) anti-capitalist social justice warriors who, like nineteenth-century political economist Karl Marx, believe that private property can be a bane, or obstacle, to the cause of justice. It is no coincidence, then, that many partisans of the social justice movement ultimately find their inspiration, whether they know it or not, in the intellectual legacy of Karl Marx.

How I came to feel alienated from the social justice crusade.



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