Table of Contents
Human beings are naturally selfish and, as such, they normally put their interests first at the expense of the interests of others. On this basis, human activities have to be regulated by law to ensure that there is some level of equality in the space in which people operate. Without laws, all human beings would behave like animals in the jungle. However, even with the effective current legislations, there are a number of activities, which perpetuate injustice that human beings are engaged in. Therefore, since some individuals tend to be more involved in unfair behaviors, there must be the ways in which people benefit from injustice, as it is an integral part of life in various societies.
The most common form of injustice that humans contend with in almost every society is social injustice. Many people around the world have been forced to encounter inequality since social classes have been created by those in power who mainly belong to the upper class; however, the society also has the middle class and representatives of the lower order. All these classes have been formed as a result of social injustice, and the beneficiaries are the elite who have done this at the expense of the underprivileged ones. To this extent, it is clear that the people who came from the upper orders of the society take advantage of injustice.
Around the world, different countries have undergone various changes that have made injustice beneficial to the most influential members of the society thus neglecting the interests of the ordinary folks. People in power often tend to gain advantage over those without any authority because they have the means to manage the community life in their favor. As such, they also control what is “just or unjust” without regard to the morals of the society.
Power enables one to commit biased acts and avoid any responsibility without people seeing the actual injustice because those in office have the means and the ability to control what is viewed as just or unjust. During the colonization, the European powers that concurred various parts of the world deprived the natives of the land and made it their own territory. At the same time, they made the communities whose land had been taken work on those lands as slaves or laborers. To legitimize their actions, the colonizers passed laws in their countries to make the land their own and as such prevent the original owners of these lands from reclaiming the latter. In this regard, the European powers benefited from injustice that they used against the nations they colonized. To the communities that were colonized these were acts of injustice but the colonizers regarded their activities as the acts of conquest and power, which were permissible in their own view.
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The creation of social classes around the globe has been attributed mainly to the rise of individualism and capitalism where it has been recognized that individual prosperity was important and that one could work towards success even at the expense of other people. Capitalists consider individual success without taking into account the interests of others. As Karl Marx claims, capitalism is a recipe for chaos in the human society. Marx traces the creation of classes to the capitalists where the owners of the means of production exploit the workers (Sperber, 2013). In the process, the employees devote enormous effort in their work but they are paid less thereby making the owners of the means of production richer due to the workers who toil for many hours to generate the profits enjoyed by the capitalists. Hence, behavior of the latter is unjust and is meant to oppress the subordinates. However, it is evident the capitalist benefits from the injustice against the workers and in the process the former found themselves wealthier at the expense of poor workers. In this regard, injustice pays for the capitalists.
Getting Away with a Crime
Morally speaking, criminal acts are supposed to be punished and should not be permitted. On many occasions, lawbreaking has been seen to pay off, especially in the event when a person gets away with a crime. People who acquire wealth through corruption but avoid any punishment are dangerous, as they deprive other people of opportunities. Corruption escalates the levels of poverty, particularly where it involves stealing of public resources. In some cases, powerful individuals who engage in the act of corruption normally are successful in their unlawful activities. The fact that one is able to exercise injustice remaining unpunished, which entails stealing from members of the public and denying people the opportunities, proves that injustice pays.
Moreover, injustice is advantageous when one opts to defend discriminatory activities. For instance, lawyers who defend criminals in court and get paid for it are beneficiaries of injustice. Despite the fact that it is a profession, such attorneys are able to make money by defending people who have committed unlawful acts, and any benefit they get from this work is a reward from unfair processes. Therefore, to such legal representatives injustice pays, especially if they defend their clients successfully. On the same ground, the criminals who gets away with a crime and are still able to hire lawyers to defend them in court also benefit from injustice.
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In many parts of the globe, offenders often live good lives, and in some cases, they even have the protection of the police and government officials. Some of the most notorious criminal in the world make a lot of money by reigning terror on people and continuing their criminal activities. If not arrested or killed by the authorities, such delinquents easily become icons who are celebrated in the societies and idols who are admired. Therefore, it in such circumstances crime is seen to pay off, and wrongdoers are able enjoy their wealth obtained as a result of lawbreaking without any problems. For example, in Colombia, during the time when Pablo Escobar resorted to terror, he was respected and regarded as one of the most powerful and influential men in the country. Having committed a crime, Escobar became one of the richest people in the world and the most successful criminal. Nevertheless, Escobar lived a luxurious life with his family and remained untouchable for a long time in Colombia. During his days of “glory”, Escobar enjoyed the wealth acquired through crime and terror; hence, in this period of time injustice paid for Escobar as he was affluent and untouchable despite being an offender.
Political revolutions are one of the methods used to introduce justice for the atrocities that they have faced in the hands of oppressive regimes. It is also a time when injustice is clearly revealed, as people who fight for their rights are killed in cold blood by soldiers who are protecting the regime. Therefore, while the public try to liberate themselves from unfair activities of the state, they encounter great injustice (Kahn, 2012). However, in many cases, political revolutions become successful, as the unjust regimes are toppled and a new system of governance is introduced. At this point, one can assert that the injustice experienced earlier has been able to pay people with freedom. For example, the ideals of democracy that are enjoyed globally by many citizens are attributed to the French Revolution. Before the revolution started, the French lived under oppression where injustice was the order of the day. It has become a norm that those in power no longer consider the individuals they abuse as useful, however, such an injustice served as an eye opener to the French, and they challenged the authority of the King having removed him from power. Therefore, the French citizens achieved the implementation of the new system of government. If the French had not faced injustice practiced by their rulers, there would have never been the French revolution, and democracy in the world today. However, based on the fact that the French were oppressed, they revolted against the monarchy and introduced a democratic system of government. Therefore, the injustice that the French people faced led to the revolution and has paid off to the whole world, which currently enjoys democracy that was born as a result of this revolution.
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Wars and Conquest
Globally power has often been consolidated through the wars of conquest, but on many occasions, these wars led to death of numerous people around the world and as such have been sources of injustice. Nevertheless, it is through these wars that the largest and the most powerful kingdoms, namely the Roman Empire and the British Empire, were established and ruled the world for years. To the leaders of these wars of conquest, the injustice served as a source of glory and prestige, as they were celebrated widely for their achievements. The whole world faces the situation where they had to be ruled by people from other countries who brought with them different cultures and their own beliefs. Many individuals were taken into slavery and were expected to pay taxes as well as other important dues to those in power. The brutality with which soldiers treated ordinary citizens made them fear and comply with the imposed demands. Therefore, the authorities benefited from the exploitation that they made people vulnerable to during the period of colonization.
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Industrialization in the West is mainly attributed to the fact that the colonized countries produced raw materials and slaves who worked in these industries. Most of the slaves came from Africa just like the raw materials for the enterprises. Africans were forced to work in the farms of white settlers in their home countries while some were taken as slaves to the West. Hence, the Western states managed to grow and become developed enough to the extent of being referred to as the first world or developed countries as compared to the African states, which have been left behind in terms of advancement and are still considered developing or the third world countries. In this case, the Western nations benefited from the injustice associated with slavery and colonization to develop into the present state (Lovejoy, 2012). The acts of injustice, namely deprivation of land from Africans and forcing them to work on this land, as slaves provide raw materials for the industries in the West. Therefore, the Western countries became richer and more prosperous, and as such, the injustice paid off.
Powerful people are often capable of committing unfair acts and still have their way of controlling resources or the ability to hold powerful positions. For instance, in many parts of the world, one may acquire a leadership position by rigging elections. Even without obtaining enough votes, they are able to stay in office since they control the military and can force people to support their activities on behalf of the state (Merle, 2013). Hence, this a common trend in Africa where electoral fraud is committed with leaders using the police and the military to toe the line. In some cases, when people are stubborn they are killed by the law enforcement officers so that the government could remain in power. Consequently, those who assume power unlawfully are beneficiaries of injustice.
Even though the acts of injustice may pay, on many occasions they benefit only a few individuals at the expense of many other people. Thus, those who commit unjust acts often consider only their personal advantages and the interest of their close surroundings but not the well-being of the general public. Therefore, they make the whole community suffer while just several people profit from such behaviors. In some cases, however, unjust acts lead to situations where the majority protest against injustice to gain their liberation hence administering justice with regard to those who have faced discrimination by all means necessary. Despite the losses that might be sustained in the process, inequity becomes the factor that encourages people to strive for equity; consequently, injustice pays through justice.