|I Want a President Who Plays by the Rules||Is "Social Justice Warrior" a Pejorative?|
by Christopher Chantrill
April 07, 2015 at 12:00 am
LAST WEEK WE saw our exquisitely politically correct liberals and their special forces, the social justice warriors, indulging in a little bit of satisfying mob action.
Now, of course liberals are evolved and educated, and they are practiced at putting themselves in the place of the “other.” They would never insult Muslims with special forces exercises during Ramadan or the holy festival of Eid. So why are they descending on Indiana during Lent and trashing pizza joints during Holy Week?
OK, I know, I know. Liberals always have a reason for their hypocrisies; hypocrites always do. Christians are bigots, and gays are victims -- in an America where anyone can lose their job for having the wrong opinion about gays, and Apple’s CEO is gay.
Why can’t liberals just live and let live?
Here’s the answer: If you have power and you don’t use it, all you have is responsibility, and who needs that, Barack?
Responsible people go into the world to find something useful to do, and when we find it, we usually get paid for it: enough to feed our families and put a little aside for a rainy day. Occasionally, one of us comes up with a surprising technical innovation that changes the world. Welcome to the “Bourgeois Era,” Deirdre McCloskey’s books that describe how we have increased human well-being by nearly two orders of magnitude in two centuries.
But that is not enough for some people; they need to self-medicate on power, and the way you do that in our era is by fighting for the victims.
So we get Tim Cook, CEO of the most valuable company in America, writing op-eds in the establishment New York Times in support of his marginalized gay brothers that need to keep those gap-toothed Christians down on the farm.
Imagine that! The CEO of the liberals’ favorite corporation as helpless victim! Truly, we live in wondrous times.
But what’s the solution? Perhaps the answer is for Christians and conservatives to join the crowd and reimagine ourselves as victims. The social justice warrior Anita Sarkeesian is the poster girl for this, and I blogged about her here. Sarkeesian grew up experiencing “the world largely as a series of individuals making their own personal individual choices.” But then she had her Road to Damascus moment. Reading the feminist classics with the help of feminist mentors, she came
to understand the world as it really exists, as a series of intersecting social systems. Once you have a systemic and institutional framework, you see how oppression manifests in many subtle ways under the systems of what bell hooks calls “white supremacist capitalist patriarchy”.
Now Sarkeesian has the warrant she needs to deploy armies of social justice warriors to reduce the citadels of the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy, starting with the video gaming industry. The goal, according to Sarkeesian, is “the collective liberation of all women.”
I wonder what “collective liberation of all women” actually means in practice. I imagine it starts with “safe spaces” and death to the microaggressors and continues on from there. And no cease-fires during Christian Holy Week.
It would be easy to get very discouraged about all this. But think about it like Dennis Prager. He always talks about the value of “clarity.”
When President Obama promised you could keep your doctor, what could conservatives say in reply, since any pushback was racist? When liberals pushed gay marriage because equality and love, who could escape the charge of homophobia for opposing it? When feminists wanted to make the campus safe from rape, who but a rapist would object?
Democracy, according to H.L. Mencken, is giving the people what they want, good and hard. Now Americans have Obamacare good and hard, but they can’t keep their doctor. Now it turns out that gay marriage is not about love but humiliating Christians. Now it turns out that keeping the campus safe means that your son gets stripped of his due-process rights.
This is the beginning of clarity. It gives Republican politicians easy sound-bites. “They” promised you could keep your doctor, and they delivered higher premiums and deductibles. “They” said gay marriage was about love and equality. Now they are sending virtual mobs out against mom-and-pop pizza joints. “They” said that one in five college women faced sexual harassment. Now your friend’s kid has a black mark on his record forever.
I could go on. “They” promised affordable housing, and crashed the financial system. “They” promised college for all, and bankrupted our kids with debt.
If I were a Republican running for office right now, I’d like my chances.
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
Civil Societya complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churchesbuilds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State
These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self
Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism
For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008
As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable...
[1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006
No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome: if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent: if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe. They all require their strong wine diluted by a very large admixture of insipid common sense.
Lord Salisbury, Letter to Lord Lytton
What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph
In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, The Scientist as Rebel