Victor-Marie Hugo a French poet, novelist, essayist, playwright, and dramatist of the Romantic movement. During a literary career that spanned more than sixty years, he wrote abundantly in an exceptional variety of genres: lyrics, satires, epics, philosophical poems, epigrams, novels, history, critical essays, political speeches, funeral orations, diaries, and letters public and private, as well as dramas in verse and prose. He posited; “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” – Les Misérables
Social justice, a subcategory of justice, refers to the division of resources, opportunities, and privileges in society. Social justice perspectives emphasize the role of fairness or impartiality in how those things are divvied up. Originally a religious concept, it has come to be conceptualized more loosely as the just organization of social institutions which deliver access to the returns of economic growth, which is why it is sometimes referred to as “distributive justice”
As such, the concept of social justice first arose in the 19th century during the Industrial Revolution as attempts were made to promote more egalitarian societies and reduce the exploitation of certain marginalized groups due to the vast disparity between the rich and poor at the time. Social justice initially focused on issues such as the distribution of capital, property, and wealth due to the extreme levels of inequality and economic distress prevalent at the time, resulting from the European social class structure.
Today, social justice has shifted towards a stronger emphasis on human rights and improving the lives of disadvantaged and marginalized groups that have historically faced discrimination in society. Many of these groups have been discriminated against on the basis of factors such as sex, age, wealth, ethnicity, heritage, social status, religion, and others. Social justice often leads to efforts to redistribute wealth to some of the underprivileged groups through providing income, jobs, and education support and opportunities.
In the light of the foregoing, and the desire for the “Dawn Of A New Era” – the various profound changes that have affected the world, and particularly its geostrategic dimensions, since the end of the Cold War radically altered the nature of conflicts? More than three decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union and two decades after the destruction of the twin towers in New York, (9/11), there is an apparent degree of continuity in the resilience of former centres of unresolved conflicts and of armed groups involved in them.
Nonetheless, whereas most armed conflicts can today be classified as ‘intrastate’, the general context has changed to the extent that reference is now made to the phenomenon of ‘new wars’. Increasingly inacceptable economic and political imbalances along with globalization, environmental damage and its consequences or the emergence of large-scale conflicts triggered by organized crime are some of the perils already affecting the nature of today’s conflicts or potentially defining those of the future.
As the period dominated by jihadist groups with a universalist vocation possibly draws to an end, the current trend seems to be towards a new generation of guerrilla fighters who stand to benefit, in particular, from the erosion of the nation-state and from geopolitical convulsions arising from the post-colonial legacy as the starting point for intensely zealous and violent long-term ventures. The impact of globalization could cause a flare-up of some existing conflicts that are currently limited in scope while the international community struggles to redefine other rules and to adapt them to the new dialectic of war and peace.
We’ve heard it said and it proves to be true: the unexamined life is not worth living. If we flow through life without evaluating who we are, what we believe and stand for, we have not really lived. Deep down, we all desire to take a stand and live according to a consistent set of beliefs. This requires the boldness to go beyond the surface and into our very soul! Without this boldness we may give the appearance of living, and may even fool ourselves for the number of years, but there will always be an emptiness until we look deep within and deal with what we find.
As we reflect on the fundamental of existence and the importance of how to approach life, we cannot ignore the desperate needs around us, we must make ourselves available to the vulnerable, we must look beyond personalities and identities which may be affected by prejudice, and identify the fundamental causes of the challenges that we confront. Prejudice towards individuals and group can be countered by pragmatism as we work together to solve the challenges of our great Nations in the continents. Ultimately, it is by our resolve and actions toward the amicable resolution of the challenges determine our legacy.
Simply put, when insight meet with capacity, and preparedness the result is going to be unimaginable success. In your deepest struggle lies your greatest strength. Your wounds can become your wisdom. You can turn pain into medicine. You can feel the light sneak through the cracks in your armor. Stay awhile longer and hope. The future listens to HOPE. It is time to rebuild our beloved country Nigeria.
ARISE ‘O COMPATRIOTS.
Richard Odusanya is a Social Reform Crusader and the convener of AFRICA COVENANT RESCUE INITIATIVE ACRI.