Letter: Brown wrong on social justice stance

Posted
To The Editor:

Surely the Banner can find better use for space on its Opinion page (October 18) than the juvenile "Ayn Rand style" nonsense peddled by Susan Stamper Brown. She was blunt in her opinion, so I will be blunt in mine. Brown wastes more than a dozen paragraphs arguing that somehow social justice is Communistic, un-Christian, un-American, and "unjust," while citing the alt-right icon economist Hayek, that apologist of dictators like Pinochet, as proof. I know it is hard to grow out of childhood and come to understand that while we are all individuals, we are also all members of a society. It is hard to accept that with that membership comes responsibility not only for ourselves but for others. The kind of pseudo-intellectual conspiracy mongering Brown offers may have a place in high school sophomore bull sessions, but most of us grow out of it. The fact that Brown has not been able to do so is no reason to grant her a spot on the Op/Ed page.

Every person I know acknowledges that life is unfair and that all of us, since we live in communities and social groups, have a duty to help those less fortunate than ourselves. Even the simplest communities share food and shelter. Archaeologists tell us that even Neanderthals supported members of their group who needed help. Every religion and every Christian denomination recognizes this duty. Brown forgets that in this country, we the people actually are the government. It is we the people who direct the functions of the government. One of the things we do, as a government, is help to remedy the economic injustice inflicted on some of our neighbors by circumstance and the consequences of corporate greed. We do that because it is the right thing to do, but it is also true that as a society we are stronger when more just. Brown cannot point to a single democracy on the face of the earth that functions as she imagines we should. That is because her ideas are undemocratic at their heart.

Times are hard for local papers like the Banner, and I sure hope you didn't pay very much for Brown's political screed. Your readers deserve better.

Richard W. Poeton

Bennington

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