This is a guest post from a well-respected writer who must remain nameless for the time being.
This started out as an essay on fallacies believed by Social Justice Warriors. Somewhere along the lines, it split into two parts.
One of the problems with Vox Day’s recent, and highly recommended, book SJWs Always Lie, is that it doesn’t really define the average Social Justice Warrior. This is not, in fact, an easy task. Unlike fascists, communists or even radical Islamists, the SJWs are a collection of attitudes, rather than a genuine conspiracy. The average SJW may appear to be a decent person – he or she may even be a decent person – yet sharing the SJW attitudes or fallacies, as I call them, makes them a potential danger to human civilisation. These attitudes act as triggers. When pulled, they convert a decent person into an SJW, or, as I think of them, Social Justice Bully.
Some of my readers will say that the above statement is absurd. Bear with me a little.
The sheer irrationality of the SJWs is hard to comprehend, which works in their favour; it’s hard to get a grip on an opponent who thinks so differently from yourself. Indeed, many people view SJW ‘point-and-shriek’ assaults as being unique, even though we have seen dozens in the past few years alone. They seem to be a brand of craziness that has no explanation. But it does.
The average human being has what we may as well define as two minds, the rational and the emotional. When one of these minds is strongly involved, the other goes out the window. For example, a man might discover that one of his children is not actually his own – his wife cheated on him. He will often attack the child even though the child is the sole innocent in the affair. Or, upon discovering that her husband had a previous relationship, a wife will often go mad with rage, even though the relationship started and ended before she and her husband ever met and her husband is guilty of nothing more than keeping the relationship from her.
These are both emotional reactions, governed by the emotional mind. It matters not that a rational man is perfectly capable of adopting a child and treating him/her as his own child, it matters not that the wife is perfectly capable of understanding that her husband had no obligations towards her before they met.
As long as the emotional mind is engaged, rational thought is impossible.
This explains some of the odder political theories that still remain in the political mindset, even though they have failed spectacularly time and time again. ‘Tax the rich’ sounds good, particularly to someone who isn’t rich or doesn’t consider themselves to be rich; it does not, however, account for the rich moving away, evading the taxes or simply not producing as much the following year because they have to pay taxes rather than reinvesting in their businesses. Emotionally, socialism and communism sound good, so good that the emotional brain fails to grasp their flaws. No politician has ever been elected by warning people that they would have to tighten their belts and do more with less.
We see this on a personal level too. Everyone wants to be good – and be thought of as good – without giving much thought as to what ‘good’ actually is. The charge of ‘racism,’ therefore, can be used to silence debate because no one wants to be thought of as a racist, as racists are evil. Indeed, this is so pervasive in our society that the mere mention of the word ‘racist’ forces the accused to prove his innocence (and you can’t prove a negative) rather than the accusers his guilt. People, therefore, will bend over backwards to avoid the charge, thus turning a blind eye to anything that remotely smacks of ‘racism’.
Or, on another level, let us suppose you are in line for a promotion. You know you have all the qualifications for the post, but your pointy-haired idiot of a boss promotes one of your co-workers instead. Rationally, you may realise that the co-worker had additional qualifications you didn’t have, but emotionally you’ll be looking for a reason the boss favoured your rival over you. She’s a woman, he’s black, she’s a lesbian … you will cling to these feelings even though they have no basis in reality, because that’s easier than admitting you simply didn’t come up to scratch.
When a SJW is triggered, his/her emotional brain takes over. Rational consideration and debate – even the ability to accept that someone may honestly disagree without being a bad person – becomes impossible. Instead, the SJW horde – as Vox Day points out – attacks its victim relentlessly, seeking to completely obliterate the target and wipe him or her out of social existence. Think of every school story you’ve ever read where someone is singled out as the sole target for the bullies and you get the idea. No one wants to be associated with a target for fear the horde will turn on them next.
The weird thing about this is that it isn’t entirely an unjustified reaction. Triggers that push the emotional brain to the fore can cause a wave of strongly negative emotions. Trying to escape the cause isn’t actually a bad reaction, on the face of it. But the reaction is so strong that it overwhelms any consideration one might have for the rights or feelings of others. If someone happens to be so scared of dogs that they have panic attacks every time they see one, they may push for a complete ban on dogs even though hundreds of thousands of their fellows not only love dogs, they have dogs as pets.
However, there’s a nasty catch. The average individual cannot sustain a blatant emotional reaction for very long. At some point, the person will stop emoting in panic, which will allow the logical brain to take over once again. If, however, more than one person is involved, the emotional reaction from one triggers an emotional reaction from the other, which in turn spurs the first person into a bigger reaction. This leads, eventually, to mob thinking – “a person is smart,” as Tommy Lee Jones told us in Men in Black, “but people are dumb panicky dangerous animals and you know it.”
Imagine that something bad happens to you – you get fired, perhaps. Your first reaction will be the ‘fight or flight’ response; you’ll want to tell your former boss what you think of him, you’ll want to get down on your knees and beg for mercy or you’ll want to put as much distance between yourself and your former co-workers as possible. You may not be able to think straight for hours afterwards, but once you do start thinking straight you’ll realise that things are not as bad as they seem. You are still alive and you can find a new job.
If, however, you go home before you calm down and tell your partner, or your parents, or your children, you’ll only prolong the emotional response because they will be emoting too. It will take you much longer to calm down and start thinking rationally once again.
The SJW ‘point-and-shriek’ attack pattern is designed to keep that emotional reaction going as long as possible. Ordinary people, as I noted above, cannot sustain an emotional reaction for long without outside prompting. The more people who join the attack, the longer the attack lasts; the herd stampedes its victim into the ground before enough of its members manage to assess if the victim truly deserves it.
Vox Day’s three laws of SJWs – SJWs Always Lie, SJWs Always Double Down, SJWs Always Project – fit neatly into place. SJWs lie – or, in some cases, build a mountain of untruth out of a kernel of truth – in order to galvanise the emotional reaction. They double down because they cannot risk allowing the emotional reaction to abate before its target has been destroyed (i.e. pushed into resigning, which to them is an admission of guilt.) And they project because they know, at some level, that they do not regard people as individuals … and fear their enemies feel the same way too.
The only way to handle such an assault is to remain calm, do nothing and understand that it will eventually come to an end. However, as the target’s emotional brain is also being pushed into a ‘fight or flight’ reaction, this isn’t the easiest of tasks.