I was, and perhaps still am, in love with the idea of justice. Neither the massacres of totalitarianists and populists who provided a bloody application of justice, nor the atrocities of the secret police behind the Iron Curtain, managed to shake my faith in its importance. But my concept of justice is very far from the justice of oppression and of throwing people into iron forms.
I was, and still can be, rejecting that opposition between justice and freedom, fabricated by totalitarian ideologies and totalitarian religions. Justice and freedom are inseparable twins, and freedom is a condition of justice, not a consequence of it.
And to me, justice does not mean literal equality. I do not care that Bill Gates’ fortune is 80 billion, compared to the fact that so-and-so earn a few thousand a week as long as these thousands suffice him for a decent life in which he and his family good health enjoy, adequate food, good education and an acceptable provision for the end of life. I do not desire the billions of the rich; Because confiscating it will not bring justice, but I strive to realize the dream of global basic income, according to which every human being on this earth will have the minimum unconditional money sufficient to provide for his basic needs even if he does not work. .
To me, justice has nothing to do with “foolish socialism”, that socialism that does not love the poor but hates the rich, and does not want to abolish poverty, but rather wants to generalize it among the people. Venezuela, for example, was a center for the automobile industry and exports, and then Chavez came and closed the factories in the name of the fight against imperialism, to turn it into prisons and jails. How far is my conception of justice from the madness of poverty and the hysteria of hatred for production, money and abundance.
But the issue of justice is very complex, and literature may be the only outlet to explain its complexity if philosophy and economics are impotent.
If you want me to tell you about the trials of modern justice, I’ll tell you how it was manifested in a play by the playwright Alfred Farag, one of the symbols of Egyptian theater in its golden age, the play ” Letters”. of the Judge of Seville. “
The judge of Seville resigns because of his old age from the post of judge of judges, and the prince asks him to write to him about the strangest cases brought before him. But the judge shocks our ears before he tells his stories by approving a strange and unexpected principle. The Sevilla judge says in the play:
“The judge – may God preserve you – does not work with the establishment of justice among people, nor is it his job, as error usually takes you. The judge’s job is rather to rule between people with the law. The law may not apply to justice, and justice may not conform to the law! “
Was I as surprised as I was by this distinction between justice and law? We have always united them, and regard them as one mass or a single atom that cannot be scattered. If it is divided, society will be shaken by massive explosions of injustice, tyranny and chaos.
But what is the simplest fact. The law does not necessarily bring justice. How many laws were drafted by tyrants to increase their tyranny, and how many laws were enacted by the oppressors to increase their ability to suppress the oppressed.
Have you seen if one of the thousands of teachers, whose salaries were cut three years ago, stole a loaf of bread to feed his family, then he was arrested and his case was brought before a judge? Will the judge judge him by righteousness or by law?
The judge is obliged to rule by law, and the law is expressly in the penalty for theft and the conditions thereof. The judge may be merciful and apply the “spirit of the law,” instead of its text, and reduce the punishment to half or a quarter, but in the end he will rule by the law, but he will not. does not achieve justice and will not do justice to the aggrieved teacher. And if the judge wanted justice, he would have to summon the ruling authorities, who stopped paying employees’ salaries for more than four years and enjoyed the levies and aid money until their stomachs, veins and elderly people swelled.
I know the idea that jumped in between the lines in your head. And I know you will say that a judge must break the law, rule justly and challenge authority if necessary. Do not the history books tell us about judges who challenged the rulers and implemented the rule of law in spite of the ruler’s dissatisfaction?
But I say unto you, This judge that challenged the sultan did not execute justice, but applied the law; Because the application of justice required him to rebel against the sultan and demand his removal, in which case he would change from a judge to a rebel, and the judge charged with the application of the law , would become a victim of both the law and justice.
As for the judge of Seville, as depicted by Alfred Faraj’s play, he says to the prince:
“To realize the difference between law and justice, sit down to judge and before you is a group outside the Sultan. If you rule by law, you must defeat the outside group, and if you invoke justice, you must know the certainty of the difference between revival and revolt.The prophets of God came out three of them.to their sultans and they brought about revival, just as every evil faction that rebelled against its authority caused revolt, so you investigating, but when the judge went to investigate the intent, purpose and essence of the uprising, he relinquished his allegiance to the sultan, thus relinquishing his authority over the case and declaring every verdict he issued invalid, as the power of enforceability Judgment rests only with the Sultan.
The law is the outcome of the balance between power and interest, the power of authority and the interest of the people. As for justice, it is the outcome of justice that does not care about power, and in the case of tyranny, justice does not exist unless the authority falls. But the fall of authority also means the fall of the law, and people seek the application of justice without a regulatory power, and consequently they fall into chaos and ruin. Was it not our fault and the fault of the Arab Spring in 2011 and beyond, that we wanted to achieve justice and bring the law to a fall, so that we both lost?
The Seville judge tells the emir: “The law – may God bless you – is the essence of the benefit and the importance that can only be achieved by force. He who has no power has no law … As far as justice is concerned , he is blindfolded He does not distinguish between the strength of the interest and the importance of the power While the law is open-eyed based on The balance between the elements of power, and the law is the sum and balance of these forces.
Let me conclude my questions with this true story.
Weeks ago, the sites reported the news of a poor seller, who owns a street stall, who killed four municipal employees in his city.
In the face of such an incident, we face two paths: the path of justice and the path of justice.
The path of justice will seek the reasons why poor Bayaa committed this crime. The path of justice will discover endless crimes from the levies that power rests on the poor. He will further ascend the path of justice to discover a hidden system of terrorism, looting and levies that the few riyals withdraw from the pockets of the poor and turn into billions in the pockets of the hidden power hyenas.
The path of righteousness will face him for two crimes; A petty crime is the murder of civil servants, and a major crime is the extortion and starvation of an entire nation. And justice will be punished for the two crimes! But the path of justice does not exist in the reality of societies subject to tyranny and oppression.
The judge has only one way, and that is the way of the law. The law is important, but it is owned by the government, and the government punishes only minor crimes; Because the big crimes are her daily behavior.
Excerpt from the author’s Facebook page