To this war of every man against every man, this also in consequent; that nothing can be unjust. The notions of right and wrong, justice and injustice have there no place. Where there is no common power, there is no law, where no law, no injustice. Force, and fraud, are in war the cardinal virtues.
I know there is a God, and that He hates injustice and slavery. I see the storm coming, and I know that His hand is in it. If he has a place and work for me—and I think He has—I believe I am ready.
Attributed to Abraham Lincoln in Joseph Gilbert Holland, The Life of Abraham Lincoln (1886), p. 237; reported as unverified in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989). This comment was alleged to have been made in a private conversation with Newton Bateman, superintendent of public instruction for the state of Illinois, a few days before the election of 1860. During the election of 1960, Senator John F. Kennedy recited this in a speech to the United Steelworkers of America convention, Atlantic City, New Jersey (September 19, 1960), as reported in Freedom of Communications (1961), final report of the Committee on Commerce, United States Senate, part 1, p. 286. Senate Rept. 87–994. As president, Kennedy used a variation of these words at the 10th annual presidential prayer breakfast (March 1, 1962). Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1962, p. 176.
Injustice we worship; all that lifts us out of the miseries of life is the sublime fruit of injustice. Every immortal deed was an act of fearful injustice; the world of grandeur, of triumph, of courage, of lofty aspiration, was built up on injustice. Man would not be man but for injustice.
People, beware of injustice, for injustice shall be darkness on the Day of Judgment.
Muhammad, narrated in Mosnad Ahmad, #5798, and Saheeh Al-Bukhari, #2447.
It is fair to assume that Parisians would not have stormed the Bastille, Gandhi would not have challenged the empire on which the sun used not to set, Martin Luther King would not have fought white supremacy in ‘the land of the free and the home of the brave’, without their sense of manifest injustices that could be overcome. They were not trying to achieve a perfectly just world (even if there were any agreement on what that would be like), but they did want to remove clear injustices to the extent they could.
Tragedy springs from outrage; it protests at the conditions of life. It carries in it the possibilities of disorder, for all tragic poets have something of the rebelliousness of Antigone. Goethe, on the contrary, loathed disorder. He once said that he preferred injustice, signifying by that cruel assertion not his support for reactionary political ideals, but his conviction that injustice is temporary and reparable whereas disorder destroys the very possibilities of human progress. Again, this is an anti-tragic view; in tragedy it is the individual instance of injustice that infirms the general pretence of order. One Hamlet is enough to convict a state of rottenness.
Men's indignation, it seems, is more excited by legal wrong than by violent wrong; the first looks like being cheated by an equal, the second like being compelled by a superior.
Thucydides, The History of the Peloponnesian War, trans. Richard Crawley (1876), book 1, p. 50.
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
Desmond Tutu, as quoted in Ending Poverty As We Know It : Guaranteeing a Right to a Job at a Living Wage (2003) by William P. Quigley, p. 8.
A promise which the promisor should reasonably expect to induce action or forbearance on the part of the promisee or a third person and which does induce such action or forbearance is binding if injustice can be avoided only by enforcement of the promise.