One of the emptiest words in our culture is "justice." Its vacuous quality is what makes it so popular: it requires little in the way of focused, intelligent explication to employ it. To those on the political "left," justice" gets translated into a demand for money to be taken from some and bestowed upon others. Those on the political "right" use it as a plea for the building of more prisons and the hiring of more police officers to ferret out more persons to fill them. When people tell me "I demand justice," my response is to warn them to temper their insistence, as they might just get it!
When pressed for a definition, I reply that justice is the redistribution of violence. In its simplest form, X commits a wrong upon Y, for which Y demands retaliation against X. In its more complex form in our collectivized world, fifteen Saudis, two men from the United Arab Emirates, one Egyptian, and one Lebanese join in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center buildings. As these men were killed in the process, the demands for "justice" led most Americans to accept the bombing and killing of innocent men, women, and children in such unrelated places as Afghanistan and Iraq! Justice and rationality have little to do with one another.
~ Butler Shaffer, "What Is Justice?," LewRockwell.com, July 13, 2009