The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Before you enlist in the social-justice war

The term "social justice warrior" was, I think, coined in sarcasm. However I have seen some supporters of "social justice" wonder how bad a thing it is to struggle in this holy cause. I'll take a, er, shot at this here.

The first question you as potential recruit to the "social justice" fight should ask is what the term even means. Wars should also, ideally, end - at least, for you. There's a lot of literature praising people who die fighting. Most of those causes, to outsiders, look misguided at best. And at any rate you'll not be there to enjoy it because you'll be dead. So you'll want to know what a victory might look like.

You will observe that "social justice" has an adjective attached to a noun. There is a root, "justice". Justice is easy enough to define at the most basic primate level: you do not lie or commit violence to your own tribe for personal gain. This scales up perhaps as far as the Roman and German systems of justice: impartial judges, protection of personal property (at least the most personal effects), stuff like that. Most cultures agree on the basic tenets. Arguably the best summary is CS Lewis's "Tao" or "Natural Law" as he set it in Abolition of Man.

When the adjective comes in, you are telling me you have a sort of Justice-Plus, like Atheism-Plus, not (yet!) available to those who do not share your social views. The problem here is that even other social-justice proponents cannot agree on what the -Plus is. Catholics have Social Teaching; Jews have the Noachide laws. Sayyid Qutb wrote a whole book translated Social Justice in Islam. The Jew and the Catholic do not agree with Qutb. I doubt you will agree with Qutb either.

Since you hold your views to be desiderata amongst all nations, you cannot coexist with the nativist Right (for a start). You disagree that, say, the King of England has the sovereign right to force universities in his part of the island to promote a royalist English worldview - at least, not if this conflicts with global social justice. If your Justice-Plus is secularist, you also cannot coexist with any religion beyond atheist philosophy-systems like Buddhism. Since you're an ideologue and not a nativist, you're not a natalist outside your sect; for you, homosexuality and sex-dysphoria are not problems.

I am not saying that your social views are wrong - at least, not right here in this post. I'm not even sure what your social views are. You might be a Qutbist or a Catholic for all I know.

I am saying that they are not to be confused with natural-law / Tao. They are not justice. At the very least you need to be making the case, narrowly, for whatever tenet you want to promote as justice.

The social-justice war, as such, implies you've already accepted your definition and think it so obvious that you aren't just arguing for it, you're in a war for it. You don't want to give the rest of us a Platform. You want us shut down: converts, enslaved, or dead, as is the end of all wars.

Here's the thing: the rest of us are increasingly figuring this out, not just reactionaries like me but also the Catholics and the Jews and the Muslims with their own, rival Justice-Plus'es. This should give you pause; it should spur you to consider if this is a war you want to fight. Or if it's even the right(eous) side.

Because I just see in "social justice" another pack self-righteous jockeying thugs, a secular ISIS, more interested in a fight than in an argument. I don't want to live in your world. And when the pack decides on a new definition of "social justice" - and history tells us it always does - you won't, either.

posted by Zimri on 14:23 | link | 0 comments

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