Concept of Injustice: Analytical Essay on Plato Republic

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What is injustice? There can be many interpretations of the word. Sometimes you need to ask what it means to be just, to understand the true nature of the word itself. What justifies an injustice nature? In “Plato Republic,” Injustice can be viewed as someone who intends to hurt an opposing party. A just person will not do harm into others even when they are an enemy. “The Black Stork” and “The Dark Side of Birth Control” gives evidence to this possible interpretation.

Much of the dialogue about being unjust, in the “Plato Republic,” takes place between Socrates, Polemarchus, and Cephalus. They first begin to interpret the data given to them as being just is giving back what is owed. But as the data unfolds they begin to keep asking questions that lead to better answers. How can you pay back what’s owed if it can potentially hurt that person. They even begin to interpret ones enemies and how it can affect their basic understanding of being just. They eventually come to an agreement based on the question, “it is never just to harm anyone?”[footnoteRef:1] “The Black Stork” and “The Dark Side of Birth Control” are great examples of this interpretation. [1: Plato, and C. D. C. Reeve. Republic. (Vancouver: Crane Library at the University of British Columbia, 2010) 11.]

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These two stories intertwine with similar themes. The government, illegal experimentation, genocide, and racism. At the basic root of Socrates understanding of being just, a just person cannot harm someone else. The basic plot of both stories explains how the feminist movement to allow women to gain control of their bodies turned to eugenics. The general idea that through contraception the government could control the Black population. This was considered a type of genocide. One quote from each story could easily explain injustice and prove the general idea of being just.

In “The Black Stork,” “Hamer had lost more than a tumor while unconscious-the surgeon had removed her uterus.”[footnoteRef:2] In “The Dark Side of Birth Control,” “the use of sterilization as a remedy for social problems was an extension of the brutality enforced against Black Americans.”[footnoteRef:3] This concludes the evidence of injustice. The American government proved to be unjust in their dealings towards their Black population. They purposefully tried to harm the population through illegal experimentation to control the reproduction of people they deemed unfit. [2: Washington, Harriet A. Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial times to the Present. (New York: Anchor Books, 2008.) 161] [3: Roberts, Dorothy E. Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty. (New York: Vintage Books, 2017.) 61]

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