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To the modern person, the term social justice almost seems self-explanatory. From the moment one gets interested in politics, “social justice” seems to have always been part of the argumentation of politicians from both the left and the right. But what does “social justice” mean? And is it always used in the same way? What is the relationship between “justice” and “social justice”? Can “social justice” actually be achieved?
These and other questions are answered in “The Mirage of Social Justice”, the second part of one of Friedrich August von Hayek’s most important books, Law, Legislation and Liberty. Its three parts are perhaps the essence of Hayek’s socio-philosophical thought. The great Austrian economist and social philosopher published a variety of articles and books, some of which deservedly became classics of modern 20th-century liberalism. Here we will mainly focus on the second part of Hayek’s magnum opus.
In “The Mirage of Social Justice” Hayek tries to prove that not only is the term “social justice” empty and meaningless, but the ideas behind the term as well as the execution of policies aimed at reaching “social justice” are a grave danger to the “Great Society” and our liberal civilisation. According to Hayek, “social justice” and its proponents have the potential to destroy the very institutions and concepts that make a free society and civilisation possible.

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