I had somewhat decided to end my series on Social Justice Warriors with the last installment on the view of history used by social justice warriors. In a sense, I thought that I’d come full circle as I had covered both the methodology and ideology quite adequately, and once the history was covered to demonstrate how poor methodology applied to cherry picked examples are the engine of the movement, I could consider the series complete. However, then Nassim Nicholas Taleb tweeted out a question about virtue signalling, and I realized that this was a major gap in my series. Everyone engages in signalling, from the man who through posture and composure signals his status, to the woman who through her painted face and hourglass figure signal health and fertility.
However, the concept of signalling one’s virtue, is a relative new concept, first identified among the religious, where piety was the virtue most signaled, however much of human verbal and non-verbal communication is signalling on some level. Ranging from choices one makes in grooming, clothing, the manner in which one writes or speaks and many others. However, this differs somewhat from the signalling of virtue, as the former are honest signals, the latter may be argued to be dishonest signals.
Social Justice Warriors without virtue signalling are as hunters without weapons or a bank without money, it simply does not work. Virtue signaling to this community is not only a primary means of communicating status, and one’s allegiance to the group, it is also the means by which enemies are designated and then attacked. It forms the core of means, where I have previously covered motive and methodology. Virtue signalling has been a central element of many groups, from religious communes to atheist dictatorships, from Europe to the Americas and Africa, it is a central part of our communication as a species. Continue reading
For those of you who have read my precious essays on social justice, you will without a doubt have noticed the privilege hierarchy that serves as the social justice equivalent to the class struggle in Marxist doctrine. The privilege hierarchy exists in variants but it tends to cover race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, and wealth. So, a man who is white, Cisgender, hetereosexual, and wealthy has a privilege of over 9000, whereas a woman who is of color, trans/owlkin, non-majority sexual orientation, and broke is minimum privilege.
The ideology is largely based on an interprevist framework fueled by the tool of critical analysis courtesy of post-modernism, however as with all analysis techniques it depends on the chosen data set one interprets. Within research there is a concept called “convenience sampling” which is a nice way of saying that the researcher found a sample for their study that was conveniently available. A typical example of this type of sampling is when a phd student elects to use professors and other students as the sample for their study, to keep travel costs down, find a sample that is cooperative and incentivized to assist in the research. After all, if anyone sees the value in contributing to research it would be professors and other phd candidates that are likely to require the cooperation of the other candidate at a later date.
The downside of convenience sampling is that a researcher cannot make generalizations about the total population from the sample because it is not representative enough of the total population. This was somewhat highlighted by pollsters during the 2016 election, who made several sampling errors, out of which their tendency to over-sample in urban areas based on the location of their own firms was the major error. Perhaps the most clear example of this is that social justice ideology is largely based on historical analysis of the social framework from early modern history up to and including contemporary history. This gives them a sample range from roughly the early 16th century, including the European Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. In addition their focus is largely on American history, with quite a bit of Western European history added to the mixture. This means that out of 5000 years of recorded human history, they largely draw from a base consisting of at most 400 – 500 years. What this means is that their analysis is focused on the most convenient sample for someone who is educated in the West, as every country tends to be focused on their own history, and how their country relates to other countries. Continue reading
In my last post on the philosophical foundation of SJWs, I quickly outlined the differences between two of the major schools of philosophy that sprung from the enlightenment, namely analytic philosophy and continental philosophy. Continental philosophy being a reaction to the perceived issues of enlightenment philosophy, and the veneration of reason as being “cold“, “calculating” and overly “individualistic” to name a few. One could say that men like Immanuel Kant, who laid much of the foundation for postmodernism is his works “Critique of Pure Reason” and “Critique of Practical Reason“, were men who were comfortable letting reason kill religion and gods, but not comfortable without faith. In a sense, they wanted Religion without Religion.
Kant’s question is quite simple, can reason give us all the answers? The answer he arrived at in Critique of Pure Reason is embodied in the quote:
“I had to deny knowledge in order to make room for faith.” Immanuel Kant (Critique of Pure Reason)
In a sense, the world to the continental philosophers appeared empty without religion, without the duty that had been, and still is central to the German spirit. A third criticism of the enlightenment was the application of cold-blooded reason and evidence to humans and the human condition. In the same manner that homo economicus is an abstraction that imbues an average human with above average reason and below average emotion, the enlightenment view of humans appeared to the German cadre as being cold and unrealistic. Continue reading
I once sat next to an elderly gentleman on a transatlantic flight, and as I often do, I engaged in conversation with him for the duration of the flight. As we spoke, we shared our educational and professional backgrounds, he was retired but he had been active in multiple businesses during his professional life, and his educational background was in philosophy. Somewhat taken aback by this, I inquired as to his reasoning for electing philosophy above many of the other educational directions a man of his intellect could have pursued.
His answer was that anything that ever takes place within human society is powered by philosophy, from how we approach our personal life to how we perceive the world is dependent on our philosophy. A person who values empiricism will view the world differently from a post-modernist, a person who subscribes to deontological ethics will view behavior from a different perspective than a person who values virtue or consequentialist ethics. Few places today is this as clear as the case of Social Justice Warriors against the rest of society. Continue reading
As politics has continued its evolution across time, my position has slowly drifted from what used to be a liberal one to one that seems to have more in common with the #altright. This was somewhat curious to me, as my values and perspectives have not really changed on what I consider the major issues. This is why I decided to write up a post on what being an enlightenment liberal actually entails. I’ve written on the enlightenment before as a part of the social justice chronicles, to give a quick introduction, it was a period where philosophers defined and argued in favor of the values that are the foundation for our modern western nation states. From Hobbes, John Stuart Mill and Thomas Paine on Government, Adam Smith on Economics, Kant on Ethics, Hume, Voltaire and Rousseau on a range of topics.
This created a foundation on which the most successful states of the next 300 – 400 years (depending on what you regard as the start of the enlightenment) were built, and that have made them the most free, and well-functioning states in the world. However, over time the ideals of classical liberalism have become undermined by the group referred to as the “regressive left” and by the conservatives who by now should be seeking to conserve those values. While the literature from the classical liberals and those who followed them, is great and diverse the agreement on Universality and freedom of expression is strong.
Foremost, what serves as the foundation for the philosophy of the enlightenment are the values that came forth in the scientific revolution, namely empiricism and reason.
“To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead, or endeavoring to convert an atheist by scripture.” Thomas Paine
We make many choices every day of our lives, we choose to do things, to not do them, to procrastinate choice, however we can rarely select to not make a choice at all. The catch-22, a double-bind, Hobson’s choice, Cornellian dilemma, Kobayashi-maru and Zugzwang, a child of many names that all attempt to articulate the same concept, the unwinnable scenario. While there are small differences, between the above, Hobson’s choice presents two choices, where there is really only one, a Cornelian dilemma is a choice between two different, yet unfavorable outcomes, a double-bind is a situation where you are put in a situation where completing one task, would result in failing the other, where a requirement is that you are successful in both. A catch-22, from the novel by the same name written by Joseph Heller, is best represented by the example of needing experience to get a job, but needing a job to gain experience. Zugzwang is a German chess-term meaning that you are forced to move, but any move you make would put you in a worse situation than if you did not move. They are all terms that amount to a no-win scenario.
The ideology of social justice is based on Marxist principles, and as such becomes authoritarian. Like most ideologies except those based on enlightenment principles, the logical conclusion of such ideologies is a collective narrative that is maintained through manipulation and coercion, from the perspective that the end justifies the means. Such ideologies frequently make use of various manipulative methods to maintain their malignant narratives. Continue reading
As I’ve been slowly working my way through the social justice chronicles I’ve come to discover that they have some founding principles that may appear somewhat strange to those who attempt to adhere to the tenets of universalism and logical consistency. In the Democratic People’s republic of North Korea for instance, they practice a strange principle when it comes to dealing with dissenters that include punishing three generations of a family for the sins of one member, based on the idea of needing to “purify” the family. In essence this boils down to that if your grandfather was a dissident, then he along with the next 2 generations (your parents and you) will be shipped off to a labour camp as well. This type of thinking is not a strange concept in the Western world as Christianity is based on the concept of inheritable sin, we are all guilty of the sin of Adam and Eve, until we are purified by the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. However, most of western jurisprudence have moved away from the concept, as punishing the son for the sins of the father makes society guilty of punishing people for acts they had no hand in.
Social justice warriors and other totalitarian ideologies on the other hand, are based on the principle of punishing dissenters, and nowhere is this more clear in the calls to “check your privilege“. This simple statement, designed to invalidate criticism and argument, form the backbone of social justice rhetoric and narratives. Social justice prejudice is based in 2 simple principles designed to rob you of individuality so that they can allocate blame an guilt to groups rather than individuals. Continue reading