The only argument for social justice movements that makes sense
Looking in today’s corridors of power, men dominate—whether you believe this to be by merit or manipulation. Without getting into a huge epistemological debate about the nature of an accurate and meaningful definition of “power”, let us agree on the institutions most widely viewed to wield the greatest amount of power (however it is defined). These are (in no particular order):
- Western democratic governments (for example, 68% of MPs in the UK are men)
- Technology (especially software) industries (for example, women hold less than 20% of tech jobs in the US)
- Large corporations (for example, women make up 5% of Fortune 500 CEOs in 2018)
Governments shape legislative, judicial and political policy. Tech companies wield great influence over our day-to-day lives (from how we talk to friends and family, to how we form opinions about key issues). Large corporations have huge lobbying power over everything because most of the wealth in the economy flows through them.
Virtually all of these are dominated by men, usually white. I believe the evolution of academic institutions into political ideology battlegrounds is the result of social justice movements attempting to infiltrate institutions of power, by overrunning the pipelines which feed them. Therefore, academic institutions (by proxy) have become key targets in this battle for power.
There is an argument for believing that more women (and other minority groups) should be present in these corridors of power—through merit or manipulation—because decisions made in them affect such people. But, this is reasonable only if you believe that power is a function of representation, rather than effectiveness.
The social justice movement compromises itself because rather than admitting the primal (yet justifiable) origin of its doctrines—a thirst for power—it attempts to manufacture “facts” that cast its motivations as being more high-minded. But most people aren’t stupid—they can see through the deceptions and incoherencies of obscurantist social justice (faux) principles. That’s why most Americans (young and old) actually dislike social justice movements and extreme political correctness.
Let’s take for example, the view that white supremacy is rampant and that everything wrong in a given black person’s life is the fault of white people. This doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. The fact that all major liberal news outlets fixate on rare instances of police shootings (justified and unjustified)—manipulatively magnifying them to systemic epidemic levels—while no one will criticise the (intra-racial) gang violence, which accounts for a much larger share of deaths among black people (without showing signs of improving), reveals our true intentions. It’s not that we care about black people dying—it’s that we care about proving white people are evil and need to be stripped of power. And if that power is (presumably) to move into the hands of minorities, we can’t very well admit that they can be just as evil too (so we try to downplay or conceal evidence supporting that conclusion).
Social justice movements claim to be about fairness and equality for all… but that is literally the opposite of what they stand for. And I will prove it.
First of all, they cannot claim that their foundational cause is fighting discrimination because they do not fight discrimination without prejudice—they fight it extremely selectively. We only care about discrimination when it’s perpetrated by a white person against a black person, or a man against a women, for example. We do not care when it’s the other way around. Nor do we fight militantly against the many other kinds of discrimination that exist, aside from the racial variety—such as discrimination based on political affiliation (illustrated by the Google lawsuit) or geographical discrimination (illustrated by the contempt openly shown by “erudite” city dwellers, such as Hilary Clinton, towards “hick” or “simple-minded” rural civilians—during the Brexit vote and US presidential elections). If this were about discrimination, we would criticise homophobic Islamic and Judeo-Christian doctrines with the same fervour directed (undeservedly) at the likes of Ben Shapiro. But we do not. Homophobia and transphobia are bad… unless they’re being exhibited by a muslim (or some other member of a “protected” minority group). The whole thing is utterly incoherent.
Secondly, social justice warriors (SJWs) cannot claim to be fighting for gender parity because they fight that problem extremely selectively too. We don’t fight every gender disparity—such as the fact that female nurses outnumber male nurses, or that the most dangerous jobs are most likely to be undertaken by men (almost all workplace fatalities involve men). In fact, men have been typically considered the more disposable sex throughout history—from being most likely to be sent to war, to being most likely to be sent to fight predators (in our hunter-gatherer days). Till today, men (on average) still die much younger than women do. If we’re happy to claim that women have been reduced to their sexual value (at the cost of their humanity), we can claim that men have been reduced to their physical value (at the cost of their life expectancy). These statements only reveal the ridiculousness of making sweeping generalisations based on such limited data points. I don’t see anyone campaigning for women to undertake more dangerous jobs so that men don’t have to die while trying to make a living. Would that not be a good cause to champion? And we don’t even care to prove gender-based discrimination before we launch selective attempts at achieving gender parity (for example, the existence of the lifetime earnings gap has not been proven to be due to gender-based discrimination). This means many of our so-called initiatives to “empower women” may not, substantively, be about gender parity at all since they might be (inadvertently) pressuring women to do things they don’t want to.
Thirdly, SJWs cannot claim that these social justice battles are about unequal access to wealth because… (well, you guessed it) they fight that battle selectively too. We always pit the white household against the black household, and use this dichotomy as (questionable) proof of the fact that Western European caucasians have constructed a system designed to put them (and only them) at the top. How then do we explain the fact that Asian-American households earn (on average) more than white ones? How do we explain the chart-topping wealth of Jewish families, if everything in Western societies is designed to be discriminatory against minorities and deepen oppression? Why do lesbians earn more than straight women—and why do we not care? What kind of heteronormative, white male supremacy-based system forgets to put straight white men at the top? And why do we not assume that Asians and Jews have been so successful only by virtue of unfair exploitation? I know! Hitler used that argument—remember how that went? Now, people who claim to be against everything for which Hitler stood use the same race-based argument against white men (without a hint of irony).
Fourthly, social justice movements cannot claim these battles are about equal access to education because, yet again, they are selective in that battle. Girls are outperforming boys in school and graduating at a higher rate. Why is this not seen as evidence that women are keeping men down—even when research shows that female teachers are unfairly and disproportionately critical of male students? Why do we only care that male students outnumber female students in STEM fields, when the bigger picture suggests the entire education system actually favours girls over boys? And why do we not care that Asian and Jewish students seem to consistently outperform those from other racial groups—and that they’re suffering for it? Why is racism not assumed to be implicit in those dynamics? Why do we cherrypick and care only in instances where males seem to have a leg up on females, and whites seem to have a leg up on non-whites? Why do we not care that working class, young, white men are actually the most disadvantaged group, academically and economically speaking, in the UK?
Fifthly, SJWs cannot claim that these battles are about gender-based abuse. Again, they fight that battle extremely selectively—taking aim at specific groups, rather than the vice itself. Let’s take the horrific crime of rape—we rightly fight to stamp it out. Yet, this (surely) must be balanced against the very real threat of false rape accusations—which not only ruin the men accused but also undermine women who are genuine victims. Yet, we still have (several) people openly claiming that false rape accusations are so rare that we should ignore them—if a few innocent men have to go down, who cares? The “believe all women” crew basically concludes that crimes with catastrophic consequences matter only when the victims are female. Well, this incredibly illogical, callous and bad faith argument would also undermine the support received by rape victims. If you turn this into a “statistics game”, then we find that (in the UK, for example), 85,000 women are raped each year. A truly worrying number. Now, let’s apply the “if it’s only a small percentage, we shouldn’t care” mentality. There are 33.5 million women in the UK—that means 0.2% are rape victims. Even if we expand the scope of crimes to indecent exposure and unwanted sexual touching, that figure rises to 2.7% of women. In the US, I could find figures only for 2015—90,185 rapes. In 2015, there were 163.82 million women in the US—which means 0.05% of women were raped. Want to guess what percentage of rape allegations are *proven* to be false? 8%, according to the FBI… and some estimates are higher (with the lowest estimates being 2%). If 0.2% is big enough to warrant international movements, why is 8% not big enough? Even the BBC is insensitive enough to claim that most men falsely accused don’t go to prison, so it’s not a big deal—what does that matter? All those men still have their lives ruined. And, for those that do go to prison, their futures are stolen too—the statistics don’t matter to these men, their ruined lives do. I know both women who have been raped and men who have been/proven to be falsely accused of rape—both scenarios are horrific. My point is, you don’t want to reduce people to statistics when it comes to crimes that involve such a violation of a person’s body, life and mind. Certain people present fighting rape and fighting spurious rape claims as a false dichotomy… but that’s incredibly stupid. Fighting one is not mutually exclusive with fighting the other—we can do both! In fact, fighting one is good for the other. Only those (male and female) obsessed with gender-based punishment present the issue in such unresolvable terms.
If what social justice movements care about is abuse, they’d fight it no matter where it appears. They would not contradict themselves by feverishly evangelising on behalf of some victims, while crassly dismissing the incredible damage suffered by others. Ask yourself, “Are these the qualities of a truly compassionate heart?”
Why do we care when Asia Argento tells her story of being abused, but not when she herself is revealed to be an abuser of an underaged boy? And in a bizarre display of intersectional social justice orthodoxy destroying itself, a white woman just apologised for falsely accusing a 9-year old black boy of sexually assaulting her. Am I sexist if I question the woman’s accusation or am I racist if I question the boy’s innocence? What a silly mess.
So, if none of discrimination, gender disparities, income inequality, academic inequality or gender-based abuse is the common denominator of social justice battles, what is? Power. Basically, the only crimes that matter are those committed by a member of a group considered to have power, against a member of a group deemed to lack it. This is because these are the only crimes that give us an excuse to implement large-scale social engineering experiments that move power from one group to another. I think social justice movements would actually have more success if they simply admitted this (not that I want them to be more successful—I don’t).
Regardless of how power came to reside in the institutions (seemingly) naturally dominated by men (such as tech and business) and white people (such as Western democratic political institutions), I can understand the urge to seek the diffusion of that power. And I think many people would too—if social justice movements were to speak honestly about this. Instead of asking people to ponder, “Do men, as a group, hate women?” We are, instead, posed the much more reasonable question, “Should women (or any other group) have more power to steer the society in which they live?” The question of why Group A or Group B is evil doesn’t even come into it—and it’s a completely unproductive question to ask because it can (at best) be answered only poorly. And the amount of effort it would take to answer such a question, even poorly, is so asymmetric that such effort would be better directed towards finding a path to a brighter future.
White males do not represent the majority of the population, even in Western European societies. So, when people who do not fit this description look around and see that power is concentrated in the hands of such people, it is only natural for them to seek to appropriate some of that power—through any means necessary. This is our finely honed survival instinct in action.
Why would any group, comprising logical individuals, allow itself to remain vulnerable to the caprices of another? Observed through this lens, the very irrational arguments and behaviours of social justice movements appear to be underpinned by extremely rational instincts.
Does this mean social justice movements are justified and not harmful? Absolutely not. They are extremely harmful—precisely because they are ideologically possessed without recognising the instinct driving their possession. This makes them irrational, which makes them erratic, which makes them more dangerous the more power they wield. Giving them power is like giving an angry 7-year old a loaded, fully automatic weapon. They are the liberal left’s answer to the conservative right’s racial supremacists. Both offer intoxicatingly simplistic answers to complex, emotionally taxing problems. We must resist the lure of both. Their message (and they are spreading the same core message) is not only intoxicating… it is fatally toxic.
I love the saying, “To understand people’s true motivations, observe what they do, not what they say.” And the deeds of social justice advocates are not saying, “I want equality.”—they’re screaming, “I want power!”