Today’s Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) make me long for old-time socialists.
I’m only 50, but I remember when socialists still respected religious freedom, free speech, and freedom of association. I remember when the Left, advancing its case for bigger government and the forced redistribution of income, appealed to facts and logic. The Left opposed economic liberty, and while that is no small thing, the Left was otherwise sympathetic to the free society. I thought socialists were wrong, but at least you could have an honest discussion with them about economics, culture, feminism, abortion, foreign policy and pretty much every other issue.
Some decades ago, Leftists still believed in reality. They understood that a man cannot be a woman, no matter how fervently he may want or believe himself to be female. They understood that growing up in a fatherless home is not a good thing, neither for boys nor for girls. They believed that we can learn some things from history. Their view of human nature was misguided, but they did believe in our common humanity. I disagreed with what socialists claimed to be true, but at least they believed in the existence of truth. The socialists of old understood that reality matters more than subjective perception of reality, and that truth is built on facts not feelings.
No longer. Todays’ SJWs reject the unique dignity of each person, and instead define people by their race, skin colour, gender and sexual proclivities. This “identity politics” is at the heart of how SJWs see society as a permanent state of war between groups: men versus women, gay v. straight, dark-skinned v. light-skinned, rich v. poor, transgender v. non-transgender, and so on. For SJWs, the Marxist war between oppressors and the oppressed permeates every aspect of economics, society and politics.
SJWs exhibit a fanatical commitment to equality of outcome, disregarding the individual’s dignity and choices. SJWs prefer their narrative of oppression to the fact that individuals have different gifts and talents, and make choices that carry consequences, leading to different outcomes and results. For SJWs, there will never be peace, unless and until they achieve their utopia of equality of outcome, or equal results for all of society’s numerous warring groups.
Sadly, when this quest for an earthly utopia of equality was actually tried by the likes of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro and Pol Pot, tens of millions of people were killed. But history, science, facts and logic are accepted by SJWs only when they support the SJW narrative of oppression and group warfare.
The SJW denial of reality, and the denial of the existence of truth, means that feelings become the supreme authority. Therefore, the delicate snowflakes who now populate our universities must be provided with “trigger warnings” about controversial ideas, and spaces that are “safe” from challenges to existing beliefs. In fact, to hear a different idea is no different from being subjected to violence. Hence, it’s OK to use physical force – even violence – to “defend” yourself against those who articulate ideas that you “feel” are “offensive.”
Considering themselves morally superior to the “racist, sexist, homophobic bigots” who reject the SJW narrative, SJWs are quite willing to trample on the fundamental freedoms of those who disagree. It’s “freedom of speech for me, but not for thee.” SJWs insist on their freedom to promote their SJW religion of equality at all costs, but reject religious freedom for others. SJWs see those who stand in their way as stupid or evil, or some combination of both. Hence name-calling replaces intelligent debate, as a few minutes on the internet will quickly show you.
Old-time socialism is dying, and is being rapidly replaced by SJWs who advance an anti-freedom agenda through aggressive name-calling, internet activism and other forms of intimidation. However strongly I disagreed (and still disagree) with old-time socialism, I would gladly choose it over today’s reality-denying, feelings-worshipping and equality-obsessed SJWs. The Old Left is ashamed of its New Left children, or should be.
The good news is that SJWs can only advance their power and influence to the extent that we allow ourselves to be intimidated by them. The biggest problem today is not the growing influence of SJWs in and through government, but self censorship.
Those who are serious about taking down the thought police should buy and read Vox Day’s book “SJWs always lie.” SJWs are no match for truth, provided that those who cherish our free society continue to speak the truth, and to speak it loudly, fearlessly, persistently, continuously and permanently.
This column was originally printed in The Interim.