“The remedy for such a failure of the man at the top to Curb his desires does not lie, as the agitator would have us believe, in inflaming the desires of the man at the bottom; nor again in substituting for real justice some phantasmagoria of social justice. As a result of such a substitution, one will presently be turning from the punishment of the individual offender to an attack on the institution of property itself; and a war on capital Will speedily degenerate, as it always has in the past, into a war on thrift and industry in favour of laziness and incompetence, and finally into schemes of confiscation that profess to be idealistic and are in fact subversive of common honesty. Above all, social justice is likely to be unsound in its partial total suppression of Competition. Without competition it is impossible that the ends of true justice should be fulfilled-namely, that every man should receive according to his works.”
▪ Irving Babbitt, Democracy and Leadership (Liberty Fund, undated edition; 1924) extract from page 230.
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