What Should We Do with all those Defeated Rightists, when We’ve Won?

Social Justice isn’t really an evangelising faith. Despite their stated aims – to change the world -, the activist writers I’ve encountered don’t seem very interested in converting people to their way of thinking and thus saving them. In fact, they take great joy in damning their opponents.

I guess they think that anyone who expresses “incorrect thoughts” is a lost cause. The wrong opinion is evidence of their immutable bad character. After all, the Cartesian belief in the true, enduring self or soul is the starting point for most of these movements and beliefs. It justifies the venomous personal attacks on anyone who disagrees, rather than on their opinions[1].

Worship of the exalted self also forms the theoretical basis of all protests movements intent on ending discrimination, and of the pursuit of self-actualisation as the highest calling of humankind, which is one of the key reasons for expressing your Social Justice credentials, in the first place: to establish your beliefs and your identity. Activists are intent on proving themselves right, to their own satisfaction and that of their supporters. They are stating what they believe in and thus who they are.

So, modern on-line activists aren’t trying to persuade. They are cathartically venting their anger and frustration; they are trying to wound those who have hurt or obstructed them; and, of course, they are playing to the gallery for the approval of their own kind, reaffirming their tribal identities by a recitation of the creed.

Anyone who questions or disagrees with a social Justice activist, or even has reservations about their strategies, deserves to be utterly dismissed and thus not thought as an individual. They are just another faceless imperial stormtrooper. The Right’s opinions are abhorrent and enraging but its members don’t deserve to be thought of as individuals. They just need to be targeted, accused and thus “defeated”, in some vague way, but how protest and argument leads to the defeat of reactionary conservatives, or what is to be done with them, is not dealt with by most people who involve themselves in the movements[2]. Are we going to execute all these millions of defeated rightists? Imprison them? Use them as slaves?

[1] Personal attacks on a person’s character, like physical assaults, are designed to silence them, not refute their opinions. This might suggest that those opinions are difficult to refute. 

[2] Some very inventive campaign initiatives have been started by some creative campaigners, I admit. Many genuinely good-hearted, hard-working and caring activists have started very effective organisations to better the lives of the marginalised and oppressed and disadvantaged, but these are not protest movements, although they may be affiliated with them.

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