What is The Cause Of Social Injustices?
The cause of all revolutions and social upheavals, and the root of all moral failings, are these two attitudes or approaches.
I don’t care if others die because of hunger so longer as my own stomach is full.
You must bear the costs of my ease–you must work so that I may eat.
A peaceful social life depends on the balance between the elite and common people or the rich and the poor. This balance is based on care and compassion on the part of the elite, and respect and obedience on the part of the latter. Nevertheless, the first attitude (Let others die of hunger so long as I am well-fed) has driven the rich to wrongdoing, usurpation, immorality and mercilessness, while the second one (You toil so that I may be at ease) has led the poor to hatred, grudges, envy and conflict with the rich. As this conflict has destroyed social peace of mankind for the last two or three centuries, so too, as the result of the century-old struggle between labor and capital, those famous upheavals have taken place in Europe. So, despite all its charitable societies, institutions of moral training and severe laws and regulations, modern civilization has succeeded in neither reconciling these two social classes nor healing those two severe wounds of human life, whereas the Holy Book eradicates the first attitude through the obligation of alms giving and heals the wound caused by it, and eradicates the second through the prohibition of all interest-bearing transactions. Indeed, the relevant verses of the Holy Book stand at the door of the world and turn away interest. ‘In order to close the doors to social conflicts and struggles, close the doors of banks or houses of interest,’ it decrees to mankind not to enter through them.
By Bediuzzaman Said Nursi