There’s a lot of talk these days about the decline of America, both domestically and on the world stage. I shan’t disagree too stridently, as the indicators have trended downward ever since the late 2008 mortgage crisis and the Bush the Younger Administration’s wholly incorrect response to it (compelled in part, I will allow, by hostile control of Congress.) Yet there are some hopeful signs. My colleague Dystopic highlights one in a recent essay:
Most of the time I prefer to mock Social Justice Warriors. Yes, I know, it’s probably petty, but they aren’t exactly welcoming of debate (you racist!), and so satire is the only real vehicle left to those of us who oppose them. Today, however, I will endeavor to rationally deconstruct their notion of privilege for the benefit of others.
If you read this little gem, Dear White, Straight, Cisgender, Man People: You Are Privileged, you will see the lunacy in all its obscene glory. This is a site that deliberately invokes a sort of childish air, with its hand-scrabble cartoons, preschool fonts and overall nursery-rhyme appearance appropriate for the infantile generation of coddled Social Justice advocates.
To the headline, I can only say: duh. Of course you are privileged. Anyone who is reading this is privileged. You have a computer or mobile device, you probably live in a First World country and there is a high probability you are in the upper 10% of income-earners worldwide. Your skin color and your sex are both irrelevant to that point.
Please read the whole thing. It’s a jewel of its kind.
The sign, of course, is that Dystopic’s reaction to the cited tirade has become the norm. A hefty majority of Americans have simply had it with the “social justice warriors,” their constant whining, their envy-driven demands, their inability to accept themselves as privileged, and above all their insistence on their moral superiority – a state of grace that entitles them to disrupt the lives and affairs of peaceable Americans in the name of whatever Holy Cause animates them this week.
We can’t know what the backbreaker was. It might have been the Occupy “protests.” Or the riots in Ferguson, Missouri. Maybe the crass behavior of the crowd at the first Obama inauguration had something to do with it. Perhaps there have been a few too many public celebrations of homosexuality and demands that it be viewed as “normal.” Perhaps the new trend of Y-chromosome bearers donning women’s clothes, proclaiming themselves to be women, and demanding to be treated as such – never mind the mutilations some of them accept upon their bodies – has finally opened a sufficient number of eyes. Maybe the horde marching down city streets chanting “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want them? Now!” was simply too much for the longsuffering public and its badly tried patience. It might never become clear.
Whatever the causal tale, it appears ever more likely that the “social justice warriors” have embarked upon their final voyage: the decline and fall of their Insanity Movement. Please, God, let it be so.
Revulsion is a powerful social force. When a people finds itself appalled by some practice, it will move against it. If the practitioners are themselves peaceable and orderly, they might merely be marginalized or ostracized. If they practice their habits “in your face,” the treatment they receive from the decent public will be proportionately less gentle. If they go to the extent of disrupting the affairs of others, they’ll be lucky to escape with their lives.
The contemporary Left has composed a strategy out of inverting those responses by the invocation of two words to which it has no proper claim: “rights” and “justice.” The more repellent are some group’s actions or demands, the more likely it is that the Left will adopt them as mascots and embrace their “cause.” The next step is the claim that the group’s members are “oppressed,” with a demand for compensatory action by “society.” Once the group’s status as victims, now the most priced of all political currencies, has been accepted by a sufficient fraction of the Main Stream Media, all that remains is the shouting for insane “rights” and social “justice”...and anyone not deafened by previous episodes of this sort surely hears a lot of it.
However, the artificially inculcated guilt upon which this relies has a finite lifetime. The more frequently the “victim” button is pressed, the less powerful and less prompt is the response. In addition, significant events such as the persecutions of George Zimmerman and Darren Wilson can lower the public’s susceptibility to the stimulus in a “step function” fashion.
My estimate of current public receptivity to the Social Justice Warriors’ demands and tactics is that it won’t take more than one more provocation from them to topple them into the abyss of overwhelming popular contempt... possibly with much worse consequences for their various causes and mascot-groups.
It’s highly significant that the Social Justice Warriors, sociologically, come mainly from the most privileged stratum of American society. Their economic standing is in the top 5% to 10% of the nation. A high percentage of them have college educations. Those that work are almost unanimously in white-collar trades. They are predominantly without a care for their general well-being...even the ones who’ve never earned their own livings.
Ludwig von Mises would classify them as among “the cousins:” they whose living standards and security stem from their clever, industrious older relatives. The more common term for them today would be “limousine liberals.” However, that term also subsumes many of the “idle rich:” the millionaire stars and moguls of the entertainment class. When they make themselves conspicuous, whether in the guise of an “Occupy”-style riot or a gathering of private jets as in Davos, they elicit contempt from the alert and knowledgeable, incredulity from the undecided...and unease from fellow-travelers who sense the hazards to their Cause.
That sense of unease is quite rational, especially given the already low reputations many of the more prominent individuals among them have earned in their several ways.
Let’s publicize such events to the hilt. It’s the best service we can do for freedom in these United States. Besides, shouldn’t the public be made aware of how deplorable are the conditions black transgender lesbian Marxist enviro-nazis must endure, to say nothing of the execrable accommodations at their semi-annual conferences? Some of them have only one iPad to their name – and no private jet! The horror! I mean, what if that were you?
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have snow to shovel. (Yes, already.)