Letter: Brown undermines her own arguments

Posted
To the Editor:

In response to syndicated writer Susan Stamper Brown's "Social justice is an oxymoron" [10.18.17] The Banner should present conservative opinions, but I'd be grateful if they came from better writers.

It's not simply that I disagree with Ms. Brown. In place of a well-reasoned argument for her case—that the cure for injustice is not government wealth redistribution—Ms. Brown paints people with a very broad brush, filling her column with vague generalities, ad hominem arguments and logical fallacies. She does not support her case by stating "so-called" social justice warriors are hypocrites who protest by taking a knee and are yet are not personally charitable.

In Wikipedia, "[s]ocial justice warrior is a pejorative term for someone who promotes socially progressive views, including feminism, civil rights, multiculturalism, and identity politics. The accusation of being an SJW carries implications" of being disingenuous and motivated by vanity.

Ms. Brown states that social justice advocates want to live under a form of socialism disparaged by free-market economist Friedrich Hayek, who, contrary to her argument "advocated `some provision for those threatened by the extremes of indigence or starvation due to circumstances beyond their control' and argued that the `necessity of some such arrangement in an industrial society is unquestioned'" to prevent a revolution of the masses. "Summarizing Hayek's views . . ., journalist Nicholas Wapshott has argued that `[Hayek] advocated mandatory universal health care and unemployment insurance, enforced, if not directly provided, by the state.'"[Wikipedia]

Ms. Brown states that leftists today are Marxists who hate "religion, private property and Judeo-Christian values." That's a straw man argument. Not all leftists are Marxists, nor do they all feel that way.

Regarding running "out of any place of worship that combines Jesus, social justice, and the government in the same sentence," she seems unfamiliar with the character and beliefs attributed to Jesus in the Gospels of the Christian Bible. Leftists, in Brown's view, try "to convert their victims into non-thinking entitlement aficionados," who can be led to left-leaning cities "where crime and government handouts abound." I wonder how often Ms. Brown comes to the lower 48 from Alaska. Poverty and crime exist in the suburbs, towns, and rural areas down here, even in states with a Republican voting majority.

Surely there are conservative columnists who can argue their points without dismissing people who disagree with them.

Lucy Ijams

Bennington

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