We actually need SJWs

A place for every personality

If you've been in the internet culture long, you've probably seen some shock and outrage over a topic that shouldn't be controversial at all.
You will inevitably see some of these raging commentators and opinion bloggers referred to as "social justice warriors", and they can be found almost anywhere on the internet. People lament them on every social media site. What we now call SJWs are perceived as a near unstoppable force that could destroy us.

Is it possible we are missing something in understanding them?

Enter Anonymous, a classic case of weaponized “SJW-ism”. If you put aside what you’ve heard, objectively things they’ve done don’t all make sense.

Can terrorist groups have a good side?

If you want to understand the overall personality of Anonymous terrorists, look for things they’ve done that don’t fit the profile. I recommend Wikipedia’s timeline of events. From that list, we know they’ve attacked in the name of Occupy Wall Street… but right after that it seems they fought to maintain the integrity of U.S. Elections. We also see they attacked the Federal Reserve… but after that, they attacked North Korea, showing hatred of the brutal totalitarian regime. Whose side are they on?

The short answer is they’re on their own side. They are people who make knee-jerk conclusions and then spring into judgmental actions. This will be important in a second. Let’s talk about personalities, shall we?

Hard truth: we’re not all the same deep down.

If you study the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator as deeply as my wife and I have, you start to see it everywhere. It’s a “Tetris Effect” of studying people. It has helped me (& wife) to piece together why people do what they do.

Here’s a quick visual guide.

(Credit to PhoebeMillerDesign at visual.ly for preserving this graphic once posted at Behance)

The Myers-Briggs (or MBTI) is used in career and aptitude testing, and is used in one form or another in many industries and education systems. It’s pretty accurate and very useful. You can boil it down to 4 factors:

  • Where you get energy — intimate settings(I) or crowds(E)
  • Gathering info — external senses(S) or mental intuition(N)
  • Making decisions — mind&logic(T) or heart&emotion(F)
  • How you handle life — organizing(J) or relaxing(P) (think OCD v ADD)

The kind of people we described above, SJWs and activists, are generally S for the second, and J for last one. My wife and I jokingly call the four “SJs” (ISTJ,ESTJ,ISFJ,ESFJ) “social justice”. They are people who are passionate about right and wrong, but don’t put a lot of introspection into it like the N-type people do, and some tend to be authoritarian. This isn’t just me speaking, if you’d like to look at what professionals say about the SJs, see Keirsey.com’s article on them.

What you must first remind yourself about all of the 16 combinations of letters is that none of these attributes is inherently good or bad. Yes, the E-types will be more likely to protest and the F-types will get emotionally wound up. But each personality has strengths and weaknesses, and whether the person lives an ethical or moral life will dictate whether they have more strengths or more weaknesses. The Keirsey article puts a more positive spin on SJs than I could.

Here’s me as a non-SJ example: I’m an INTJ. I’m an engineer — a thinker, as are NT types. We’re hard to understand, and are the ridiculed young nerds, then later venerated Stephen Hawkings and Elon Musks. What you won’t hear is that we are also the Augustus Caesar and Hannibal types. We can be cold sociopaths and borderline serial killers. What makes me otherwise? I’d say I was raised in a family of faith — you could say i’m warm and calculating instead of cold.

Let’s return now and take another look at SJWs. What have people in the “SJ” categories accomplished? George Washington was one. So was Sam Walton of Walmart, and Roy Disney, Walt Disney’s brother who helped make his visions reality. The loving and beloved Mother Teresa was an SJ.

Mother Teresa (Wikimedia Commons)

It’s clearly about proper application of “personality” force. Look up careers of some of the SJ types (just search any of the four 4-letter combos I listed above, order matters) and you’ll notice something. They are the best doctors, teachers, police, and firefighters. These are people who will work long and thankless hours to keep people healthy. These are people who will be the first to run into a burning building to save somebody they don’t know. These are the people who will die on the front lines of the battlefield to make sure their country remains safe.

Feel guilty yet? Don’t. People who choose to make their lives about controlling or attacking others are a problem. SJWs are seldom anything like Mother Teresa. But do realize they have the potential to be that good or evil, depending on how they are raised or taught, or how they live their lives.

Many potential SJWs who made something of themselves are too busy making the world a better place to throw mud on social media. Remember that the soldiers who fight for evil oppressive regimes are human too. Our duty is not to call them evil, but to convince them to fight for a better cause.

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