Allow me to describe the thinking of the regressive left (sometimes called the Social Justice Warriors) as I perceive it.
- The most important characteristic of a person’s identity is their group membership by birth — their ethnicity (partly their race, but sometimes also meaning the religion of their parents), their gender, and their sexual preference. This membership is much more important than any choices that they have made or anything that they have achieved in their lives.
- Individual rights are not very important. Group rights are essential.
- Not all groups have equal rights. All groups range on a continuum from “victim” to “privileged”, where “privileged” groups have no rights at all.
- The last two points often result in an analysis where, if there is a conflict between two individuals, what actually transpired between them is unimportant. All that matters is who is more “victim” and who is more “privileged”, determined by group membership, and from there, it follows that the “victim” party is completely unaccountable and anything the “privileged” party does or says is wrong.
The regressive left claims to be fighting for “equality”, but it’s a flat-out lie. They are aiming for a hierarchy with the “victims” on top and the “privileged” on the bottom.
The other objectionable thing about making group membership the core of everybody’s identity is that it moves us in exactly the opposite of the direction we need to go to transcend these differences.
One can wonder: “Why is it that so many of the ‘privileged’ go along with this framework which affords them no rights and blames them for everything wrong?”. There are a couple of severe penalties for non-compliance:
- There are real bigots in society, and most of them hail from humble origins, and are so uncouth and lacking in education and sophistication, that they are so profoundly repulsive that most others will pay any price to avoid being associated with them.
- If a person is in any position that involves hiring and firing people, they and their employer are potentially subject to catastrophic discrimination lawsuits. If your management detects any hint of dissent from the consensus of the regressive left from you, you may be fired, or at least, they will avoid putting you in any position of authority, to avoid putting the company in legal jeopardy.
- Nature / Nurture — the regressive left usually comes down heavily on the side of nurture, the one exception to this being sexual preference.
- Gender is a social construct. All observed behavioral differences between genders are learned.
- And all observed behavioral differences between genders should be eliminated.
- Race is a social construct. There are no physical differences, and especially no behavioral or cognitive differences, between ethnic groups other than the purely cosmetic.
- Popular generalizations about ethnicities or genders are generally false.
- Any observed relative under performance of “victim” groups is generally due to either discrimination or historical injustice.
These dogmas have not been proven either way. If someone who is trying to disprove all of them faces a high burden of proof, it can’t be met. But someone trying to prove them true has no hope of meeting a much lower burden of proof.
I believe pretty strongly that if these assumptions are debated on the basis of a preponderance of evidence, they don’t stand up very well at all. The position of the regressive left, on the other hand, is that we have a moral obligation to pretend to believe these things, whether they’re true or not, because believing them will somehow make them more true.
If an assumption is not true, and we design our society to depend upon that assumption, then our social policies are apt to fail. So it’s important to be able to conduct an honest inquiry into the truth.
The other thing is, if we tell everybody well-intentioned lies in the pursuit of some goal, everybody’s not going to just believe them and all live happily ever after. Some people will question the lies, and the lies will have to be defended. This is where it gets ugly. When someone challenges these assumptions, the position of the progressive left is that they are some kind monster, to be viciously and personally smeared and marginalized from public debate through any means necessary, including dishonesty.
Thus, the regressive left is a constant source of censorship and lies.