The Totalitarian Doctrine of ‘Social Justice Warriors’

From The Observer:

Much of SJW’s passion goes into speech and culture policing directed at victimless crimes that violate their moral taboos


The modern social justice movement, or the new “political correctness,” vaulted into the spotlight last year.  Student protests swept across campuses with demands often focused on purging thoughtcrime—leading to heated debates on whether this movement is a dangerous pseudo-progressive authoritarianism or a long-overdue effort to achieve justice for all. A year-in-review piece in The Daily Dot in late December proclaimed 2015 “the year of the social justice warrior.”

The Daily Dot author, graduate student and political columnist Michael Rosa, hailed this trend and urged liberals to “embrace the term.” Yet the accomplishments he invoked are, as the social justice crowd likes to say, problematic. His Exhibit A, the legalization of same-sex marriage, actually had very little to do with the current social justice movement; it was the result of two decades of very different, pragmatic activism that focused on a clear goal—the legal right to marry—and stressed equality, not gay identity. And #BlackLivesMatter, also a movement with a specific focus—police violence toward African-Americans—has been arguably hurt, not helped, by PC dogma that suppresses discussion of thorny issues such as black-on-black crime and attacks “insensitive” dissenting speech (Amherst protesters demanded disciplinary action against students who had put up “All Lives Matter” posters).

Unfortunately, Mr. Rosa’s other examples of “social justice” in action—the feminist revival, the new visibility of transgender issues and opposition to “Islamophobia”—are squarely in train-wreck territory. Not that there’s anything wrong with the principles: Most Americans support gender equality, believe transgender people should be able to live as they wish and reject anti-Muslim hate. But social justice warriors have turned these causes into malignant self-parody. Their feminism frets over men sitting with their legs apart on public transit, seeks dissent-free “safe spaces” and cries oppression at concern about obesity’s health risks. Their transgender advocacy demands respect for customized gender identities with personal pronouns that may change on a whim and crucifies a devoutly progressive filmmaker for a “transphobic” joke that presumes that female characters are anatomically female. Their anti-Islamophobia trashes feminist critics of conservative Islamism and victim-blames journalists murdered for publishing Mohammed cartoons.

Have the social justice warriors of 2015 supported some worthy causes? Sure. But much of their passion goes into speech and culture policing directed at victimless crimes that violate their moral taboos.

Consider last year’s protest against a Boston Museum of Fine Arts exhibit that allowed visitors to try on a kimono: Activists assailed this as “cultural appropriation” and racist imperialism, much to the bafflement of local Japanese-Americans and Japanese consulate staffers. Or consider the outcry over a T-shirt worn in promotional photos by stars of the film Suffragette, using a slogan from suffragist Emmeline Pankhurst, “I’d rather be a rebel than a slave.” This was blasted for “co-opting” the black experience of slavery and racism and ignoring the Civil War connotations of “rebel”—even though the quote had nothing to do with American slavery or Confederate rebellion and used both words in the universal sense.

Behind these outbreaks of self-righteous wrath is a distinct if somewhat amorphous ideology we could dub “SocJus.” (The callback to “IngSoc” from George Orwell’s 1984 is not quite coincidental.) At the center of this worldview is the evil of oppression, the virtue of “marginalized” identities—based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion or disability—and the perfectionist quest to eliminate anything the marginalized may perceive as oppressive or “invalidating.” Such perceptions are given a near-absolute presumption of validity, even if shared by a fraction of the “oppressed group.” Meanwhile, the viewpoints of the “privileged”—a category that includes economically disadvantaged whites, especially men—are radically devalued.

Because SocJus is so focused on changing bad attitudes and ferreting out subtle biases and insensitivities, its hostility to free speech and thought is not an unfortunate byproduct of the movement but its very essence. You can be welcoming and respectful toward transgender people yet still be branded a bigot if you don’t quite believe that transwomen who identify as female but have an intact male anatomy are “real women”—and even if you keep that opinion to yourself, you can be challenged to prove your loyalty to the party line.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on The Totalitarian Doctrine of ‘Social Justice Warriors’

Mark Cuban tears into ‘obstructionist’ Ted Cruz: ‘I think he is Joe McCarthy reincarnate’

From Raw Story:

17 Feb 2016

Billionaire investor and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban had some words of caution about GOP candidate Ted Cruz in an interview with WABC on Tuesday.

Speaking on the Rita Cosby Show, Cuban talked in depth about the GOP candidate field. The Texas senator, he said, reminds him of a “reincarnate” of infamous Joe McCarthy, a Wisconsin senator made famous for communist witch hunts during the Cold War.

“[H]e assigns labels to himself and he tries to live up to those labels,” Cuban said. “He assigns labels the others, you know, and denigrates people who don’t, who aren’t pure in how they are. I just, you know, I keep on waiting for him to say something to the effect, you know, are you or have you ever been a member of some party?”

Cuban said he believes Cruz, who has led efforts to shut down the government over disagreements with President Barack Obama in the past, is an obstructionist and not constructive.

“I just think that he doesn’t, he’s not the type of person who will accomplish anything,” Cuban said. “He’s just obstructionist and he really, you know and Paul Ryan says it best, you know, that the Republican Party needs to go from being obstructionist, to get, to be one of propositions rather than opposition. And Ted Cruz embodies pure opposition without proposition.”

He also voiced concerns about Cruz’s ability to get anything done, if elected.

“Where he’s been able to say, you know what, I was able to get this done,” he said. “I was able to get people to vote with me and for me, and we were able to accomplish A, B and C. That’s just a blank slate. And then when you talk to his peers, you get to see that they won’t support him.”

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Mark Cuban tears into ‘obstructionist’ Ted Cruz: ‘I think he is Joe McCarthy reincarnate’