Social Justice Bullies: The Authoritarianism of Millennial Social Justice

Once upon a time I was a pioneer transsexual activist. That was long ago before the word transgender was used.

I was a hippie when being a hippie meant being an outlaw.

I was a second wave feminist and a lesbian feminist. Among my Facebook friends are founding members of the Black Panther Party and SDS. I was a member of SDS.

I was so young and crazy brave and absolutely certain.

It was so long ago and now I am an inconvenient relic who gives lie to revisionist history of that era.

I have no place in the modern SJW movement of fame seeking social justice activists who live to score points based on lynching others for the thought crimes of non-conformity to the rigid ideologies of their movements.

Fahrenheit 451, 1984, Brave New World along with Vonnegut’s books were the literature of my time. I am clueless as to what drives the thinking of today.

So I dropped out.

Now I am part of a movement that lives frugally.

A friend recently said to me, “You’ve always been an outlaw.”

I refused to be part of this new movement.

I’d rather return to my outlaw hippie roots.

As for Social Justice…  I support the concept.  But I oppose the methods used by the SJW crowd which seem little more than the activities of lynch mobs both virtual and real as they seem to share too many common traits associated with those who brought us both fascism and the Chinese Cultural Revolution of the 1960s.

From  Medium via Loree Cook-Daniels on Facebook:

Aristotelis Orginos

Social justice, as a concept, has existed for millennia — at least as long as society has had inequity and inequality and there were individuals enlightened enough to question this. When we study history, we see, as the American Transcendentalist Theodore Parker famously wrote, “the arc [of the moral universe]…bends towards justice.” And this seems relatively evident when one looks at history as a single plot line. Things improve. And, if history is read as a book, the supporters of social justice are typically deemed the heroes, the opponents of it the villains.

And perhaps it’s my liberal heart speaking, the fact that I grew up in a liberal town, learned US history from a capital-S Socialist, and/or went to one of the most liberal universities in the country, but I view this is a good thing. The idea that societal ills should be remedied such that one group is not given an unfair advantage over another is not, to me, a radical idea.

But millennials are grown up now — and they’re angry. As children, they were told that they could be anything, do anything, and that they were special. As adults, they have formed a unique brand of Identity Politics wherein the groups with which one identifies is paramount. With such a strong narrative that focuses on which group one belongs to, there has been an increasing balkanization of identities. In an attempt to be open-minded toward other groups and to address social justice issues through a lens of intersectionality, clear and distinct lines have been drawn between people. One’s words and actions are inextricable from one’s identities. For example: this is not an article, but an article written by a straight, white, middle-class (etc.) male (and for this reason will be discounted by many on account of how my privilege blinds me — more on this later).

And while that’s well and good (that is — pride in oneself and in one’s identity), the resulting sociopolitical culture among millennials and their slightly older political forerunners is corrosive and destructive to progress in social justice. And herein lies the problem — in attempting to solve pressing and important social issues, millennial social justice advocates are violently sabotaging genuine opportunities for progress by infecting a liberal political narrative with, ironically, hate.

Many will understand this term I used — millennial social justice advocates — as a synonym to the pejorative “social justice warriors.” It’s a term driven to weakness through overuse, but it illustrates a key issue here: that, sword drawn and bloodthirsty, millennial social justice advocates have taken to verbal, emotional — and sometimes physical — violence.

In a dazzlingly archetypical display of horseshoe theory, this particular brand of millennial social justice advocates have warped an admirable cause for social, economic, and political equality into a socially authoritarian movement that has divided and dehumanized individuals on the basis of an insular ideology guised as academic theory. The modern social justice movement launched on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Jezebel, Slate, Huffington Post, et al. is far more reminiscent of a Red Scare (pick one) than the Civil Rights Movement.

When George Orwell wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four (and here some will lambast me for picking a white male author from a historically colonialist power despite the fact that he fought and wrote against this colonialism), he wrote it to warn against the several dangers of extremism on either side of the political spectrum. Orwell’s magnum opus is about authoritarianism on both ends of the political spectrum. If the arc of the moral universe bends toward justice, then the arc of the political spectrum bends toward authoritarianism at both ends.

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