Justice IV

States always redefine the meaning of words to fit their ends, especially during war; certainly not just in modern times. The ancient Greek historian Thucydides mentions how the state and the war of his day (the Peloponnesian War) changed radically the meaning of words. “A thoughtless act of aggression was now regarded as courage; to think of the future and wait … cowardice; any idea of moderation was just an attempt to disguise one’s unmanly character …” Similarly, justice has been redefined by states as the rectification of injury and wrongdoing, when in fact nothing is rectified if the entire context of the “wrongdoing” is never addressed. The unhappy motive of such justice is often vengeance, terror, and fear-mongering. Though it is not difficult to notice this historical characteristic of states and institutions, those engaged with them seldom change them. Their complicity lends credence. Only the soliary or the sage can disengage from this process, which is not disengagement from the world but from the values that artificially prop up these institutions.