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Children's Justice In 5 Lessons
Five key ideas from Children's Justice.
Since Children’s Justice is a long book, I’ve created this quick reference with five key ideas from the book. A full understanding still requires reading the book. This article is intended to give the level of understanding one might have of any other complex social justice issue or political philosophy if they skimmed the Wikipedia page on it.
Key ideas from Children’s Justice:
1. Mistreatment of children is a social justice issue.
“Children’s Justice is the idea that the treatment of children is a social justice issue. If social justice is about protecting the vulnerable, the minority, and the oppressed, then there is no minority more vulnerable or oppressed than children. Children are the weakest members of society in every society, and any movement based in social justice must eventually face the reality that children are oppressed and have been since the beginning of history. If we want a just world and children are our future, we must begin with Children’s Justice.”
2. Mistreatment of children is a systemic issue.
“Social problems are systemic. Social problems do not arise merely because of bad individuals, but due to a confluence of systemic factors… It is possible for everyone involved in a system to be well-intentioned, yet for a system to produce bad outcomes.”
Children’s Justice defines the system that oppresses children as systemic pedophilia:
“Systemic pedophilia describes the beliefs, culture, practices, language, institutions, and other social systems that allow children to be harmed. Systemic pedophilia includes the abuse, rape, and genital cutting of children, and all aspects of society that allow or contribute to these forms of abuse.”
3. Much of society is complicit in harming children.
Since the harm of children is caused by social systems, not just individuals, participation in those systems is complicity in the harm of children:
The idea that we are not merely individuals but participants in cultural systems is a core idea of critical social justice theory. However, critical theory also suggests that we are morally culpable if complicit in those systems. This “Complicity Principle” states that “one is accountable for what others do when one intentionally participates in a collective that causes the harm together.” …Participants in systemic pedophilia might not have an individual ill will towards the child, but they have participatory intention. “Participatory intention is intention to act as part of a group in collective action of agents who orient themselves around a joint project.”
4. Language is the key to change.
The system that exists is only possible due to specialized language:
“Every system of power rests on a system of language.”
To understand the power of language, Children’s Justice primarily draws on:
1) Epistemic injustice:
“Epistemic injustice is the idea that there can be injustice around issues of knowledge and that certain voices are being unjustly privileged, silenced in favor of others, or denied the epistemic tools they need to express an idea… If this one aspect of systemic pedophilia were solved, I believe all others might fall like dominos.”
2) Philosopher Michel Foucault’s concept of power/knowledge:
“Power comes from language. Michel Foucault used the term “power/ knowledge” to describe the idea that power is maintained through specialized knowledge, which in turn reproduces itself through power. Power/knowledge is written as one word to show that the two are inseparable. In this view, knowledge is never neutral, and certain language actually contains and supports an entire power structure.”
Based on an analysis of the above, Children’s Justice concludes:
“To achieve power, change language.”
5. Systemic problems require systemic change.
To change systemic issues, we must develop a critical consciousness:
“How do we cease to be complicit in systemic pedophilia? Critical social justice theorists suggest that the only way to avoid being complicit in injustice is to develop a critical consciousness, which means to become consciously aware of systemic issues, how you participate in them and make a conscious effort to cease that participation and oppose those systems… The only solution is to become conscious of how we participate in the world and develop a critical consciousness.”
This critical consciousness must be applied to all aspects of society:
“If every institution or aspect of society is complicit in systemic pedophilia, then every institution or aspect of society is a space where Children’s Justice is required. Since systemic pedophilia currently holds hegemonic power over society, it gives Children's Justice a mandate to change that power in every aspect of society and replace the previous hegemony with itself. Children’s Justice is a revolutionary theory.”
To learn more, read Children’s Justice.
A full understanding of the change required to protect children will require reading the book Children’s Justice. However, if you’re looking for a summary to give others, share this article.
Read more key ideas here.
Marotta, Brendon. Children’s Justice. Hegemon Media, 2022, p. 1.
Marotta, Brendon. Children’s Justice. Hegemon Media, 2022, p. 19.
Marotta, Brendon. Children’s Justice. Hegemon Media, 2022, p. 31.
Marotta, Brendon. Children’s Justice. Hegemon Media, 2022, p. 33.
Marotta, Brendon. Children’s Justice. Hegemon Media, 2022, p. 21.
Marotta, Brendon. Children’s Justice. Hegemon Media, 2022, p. 40.
Marotta, Brendon. Children’s Justice. Hegemon Media, 2022, p. 87.
Marotta, Brendon. Children’s Justice. Hegemon Media, 2022, p. 23.
Marotta, Brendon. Children’s Justice. Hegemon Media, 2022, pp. 33-24.
Marotta, Brendon. Children’s Justice. Hegemon Media, 2022, p. 271.