Covid Will Not Kill Social Justice Warriors

Covid Will Not Kill Social Justice Warriors, by James Lindsay, who is interviewed by Rod Dreher. Lindsay is of the political left, but he is one of the smartest analysts of “Critical Social Justice, seeing it as a dangerous new religion.

The “Critical Social Justice” Theorists … are activists, first and foremost. … Their primary occupation isn’t being an academic, an administrator, a legislator, an HR director, an educator, or any other such profession you might find them in; it’s being an activist and making their professional role about doing their activism. …

Of course they’re going to find ways to use this crisis to their advantage. They go around inventing problems or dramatically exaggerating or misinterpreting small problems to push their agenda; why wouldn’t they do the same in a situation where there’s so much chaos and thus so much going wrong?

Not only do they think about almost nothing except ways that “systemic power” and “dominant groups” are creating all the problems around us, they’ve more or less forgotten how to think about problems in any other way. The underlying assumption of their Theory — and that’s intentionally capitalized because it means a very specific thing — is that the very fabric of society is built out of unjust systemic power dynamics, and it is their job (as “critical theorists”) to find those, “make them visible,” and then to move on to doing it with the next thing, ideally while teaching other people to do it too. This crisis will be full of opportunities to do that, and they will do it relentlessly. …

Appeals to safety are pretty much the main tool that they use when not outright calling people highly morally charged names (like “racist”) … They will make hay out of every possible instance of a preventable death of a member of a minority group and, more importantly, every single disparate outcome by identity groups, whether there are other explanations for this or not (like poverty, trust or lack thereof for the medical establishment, language barriers, etc.).

Some of this kind of watchdog behavior needs to be happening, of course, and helps us improve our systems, but the critical approach we see in Critical Social Justice will be overwhelming, tendentious, and often downright exaggerated, misinterpreted, underinformed, or ginned-up. …

It’s important to recognize that, in this crisis, we will see a necessary expansion of state power and will therefore need to be vigilant on the far side to make sure that it isn’t abused, as has happened in previous calamities. Because Critical Social Justice is ultimately a kind of bureaucratic takeover, that is, it’s fundamentally an institutional effort, it will certainly seek to use any expansions in state (and other institutional) power to its advantage. It will do this by bending the will of these institutions to their vision.

So watch out, more of the same from the hard left coming up.

hat-tip Stephen Neil