Good Words Gone Bad

Barb Wire

Among the most innocent victims of left-wing rule are honest English words. Democrat politicians, race hustlers, academic fat-heads, and a corrupt nooze media take clean, wholesome words and torture them beyond all recognition. There ought to be a law against what these people do to language.

No word has suffered at their hands more than “justice.” For libs and progs there is no such thing as “justice” as a free-standing ideal. There are only various kinds of pseudo-justice. Let us examine what they mean when they take the word “justice” into their mouths.

“Racial Justice” is hot, just now. The concept is simple. If you’re white, you’re wrong because you’re white; and if you’re black, you’re right because you’re black. The moment you emerge from the birth canal you’re either perpetually guilty or forever innocent.

White liberal rulers try to achieve Racial Justice by insisting that blacks never have to obey the law and are never to be criticized, let alone punished, for looting and burning stores, beating or even killing elderly whites as part of the very cool game of “Knockout,” robbing small businesses or mugging pedestrians, and so on. Leftist politicians and Black Leaders are always ready to protect them. Of course, there’s a price to be paid for that protection. You have to stay in the ghetto, never get anything resembling an education, grow up without a father in the home, and strictly avoid any work that might better your condition.

So Racial Justice is a quid pro quo. You have to live with unemployment, crime, gangs, and shootings: but in return, Democrats will always be on your side—especially after you get shot while committing a crime. They really love you after you’re dead.

“Social Justice” is subtly different. You don’t have to be white to feel the effects of Social Justice. Here’s what it looks like.

You work. They don’t. The government takes the money that you worked for and gives it to those who don’t work, in return for their political support. Actually, the rulers give only a little portion of your money to their clients. They keep most of it, and use it to set up huge bureaucracies with armies of unionized public employees whose dues get funneled back to the Party as campaign contributions. That’s Social Justice.

Then there’s “Environmental Justice.” According to this vision, the government has to take away the things you worked for—house, car, air conditioning, etc.—because your creature comforts are ruining the Environment.

Environmental Justice differs from Social Justice in that poor people in the poor countries aren’t supposed to have those nice things, either. We are told it would be an unmitigated disaster if Africans or Indians were ever to get air conditioning or round-the-clock electricity. It would be unjust to the Environment. As a reward for doing things for our good, whether we appreciate it or not, naturally our leaders must be allowed to continue living in mansions, zooming all around the world in private jets, and meeting at Davos to deplore the excesses of the riff-raff. The academics can give speeches, the noozies can cover the speeches, and everybody has a wonderful time.

Poor “justice”! It used to be such a nice word. But look what they’ve done to the word “smart.” As in “Smart Growth,” “Smart Government,” or “Smart Bombs.” What do all three have in common? They all involve destruction.

For Long John Silver, “smart” was the adjective he favored to describe actions like murder, betrayal, and mutiny. When a liberal says “smart,” just think of Long John slitting someone’s throat while he sleeps, and you’ll have the general idea.

It would be too depressing to go into what libs and progs mean by such words as “marriage,” “family,” “peace,” “democracy,” or “equality.” And don’t even think about what they’ve done to the word “truth.” Good, clean words, all of them—all twisted into monstrous parodies of themselves.

Let the Bible have the last word on the issue:

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” (Isaiah 5:20-21)

And woe to us, who are governed by such creatures.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Lee Duigon
Lee Duigon, a contributing editor with the Chalcedon Foundation, is a former newspaper reporter and editor, small businessman, teacher, and horror novelist. He has been married to his wife, Patricia, for 34 years. See his new fantasy/adventure novels, Bell Mountain and The Cellar Beneath the Cellar, available on

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