I make no bones about having serious misgivings about social justice as she is spoke currently. As noted, just about everybody will be in favor of "social justice"; there are going to be disagreements about what it is and how to bring it about.
Now, here in the USA, it's been pretty much orthodoxy among Democrat opinion leaders that the Republican machine uses "social issues" to persuade the downtrodden to vote against their own interests. I can see that. Various elites stir up stinks about abortion, gay rights, and Confederate flags to rile the underclasses and divert their attention away from the legal and political systems that shrink their paychecks and hopes. It's probably conspiracy thinking, but I can totally see that.
And as you may have figured out, I'd categorize myself as an Old Right conservative with fairly strong small-l libertarian tendencies. And as a reactionary, I see at least a temporary need for an alliance with a politically effective Left in this country to mobilize and attempt to preserve what's left of our customary institutions and way of life. Unrestrained oligopoly capitalism, technological disruption, the declining prospects of finding a nest safe enough to raise a family in, and ecological destruction are our gravest problems.
And I think that the academic and online Left has been manipulated by the powers that be to keep them perennially chasing fancies the same way that the guns and Jesus crowd has been manipulated. The common theme has been to divert attention and energy to quarrels about cultural power to keep them distracted from issues about economic power. Since the cultural issues can often be seen as existential threats to your self-conception, while the economic issues do not engage gut feelings that easily, it's too easy to misdirect weak-minded apes this way.
All of the academic and online mummery about cultural "marginalization" and all the issues that flow therefrom is as much a distraction as the War on Christmas. Academic institutions with wealthy benefactors bristle with hundreds of Professors of Critical Theory and Departments of Granfalloon Studies, all devoted to keeping a chosen version of identity politics on the front burner. Somebody finds that sort of thing valuable to keep around. It disappoints but doesn't surprise me that the promising Black Lives Matter movement, which started out with concrete political targets, is in the process of being diverted into issues about campus symbolism. Getting college administrators fired will not reform those police departments.
So there is something to the concept of the divisive "social justice warrior" that merits taking a bit seriously, for the same reason that we despise the right-wing social issue warrior. Despite the different demographics, the two seem mirror images of each other.This entry was originally posted at http://ihcoyc.dreamwidth.org/212480.html. You may comment there using OpenID.