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Neither 'Social' nor 'Just': Rise of the New Hate.
The modern left is being destroyed from within by a dangerous new dogma. What is to be done?
In the last five years we've seen the rise of a new politics, that of "Social Justice", or perhaps of "intersectional feminism". Whatever one calls it, it has spread swiftly through the left-leaning population, who've been dazzled or terrorised into support for it. Most anyone I've seen try to speak out against even the most extreme forms of this new ideology, has been attacked through one method or another, and bullied into silence. Seems to me that many of our cultural spaces (for example science-fiction) are almost completely taken over by it, leaving dissenters afraid to speak their minds. As it is thus above critique, it grows ever more extreme and vicious. I believe this new ideology is the biggest existential threat that the Left has faced since the Thatcher/Reagan years, and it will likely be the end of the left as we know it. For the under-class (let's not call them the working-class any more, as fewer and fewer of them will be working in future) it is their greatest immediate enemy, the class weapon of a new international bourgeoisie.
Voices on the right rail against this madness, of course, but you can tell they like it. Finally all the things they ever said about the left are coming true. What could be better than having your opponents voluntarily turn into the straw-men you've always accused them of being? To be fair, some on the center-right probably aren't so pleased: they understand the importance of having a good opposition, and they are likely concerned by the way the political ecosystem is being homogenized by the new order, but the right is undergoing an extremist tilt too, so such center-right thinkers are perhaps becoming rare.
Feminism in particular has been injected with poison like sleeping beauty's apple, and that once-mythical (or at least extremely rare) beast the 'feminazi' is now real and everywhere we look. Ask yourself: would the suffragettes have supported calls for men to be blocked from publishing for a year? Would they have chained themselves to railings to defend Bahar Mustafa's right to call for an entire demographic group to be exterminated? I doubt it in both cases, I think most of them would have been horrified by what feminism seems to be becoming in the 21st century. Modern feminism is now reduced to saying "Okay, yeah, we do this shit. But lots of men do it too!" This is akin to seeing Amnesty International exposed for using slave labour, or seeing anti-corruption campaigners caught embezzling funds, and hearing them excuse themselves by saying "But everyone else is doing it! Why are you picking on us?" If you are truly opposed to something, slavery, embezzlement, racial and gender hatred, then you lead by not doing it yourself. If you are caught doing it, even once, then you are exposed as a bunch of hypocrites, and no amount of special pleading and feminist theory can change that outcome.
I firmly believe that it didn't used to be this way. Oh, the left has had it's madnesses in the past, as has the right. Communism and Fascism killed vast numbers of people for ugly utopian dreams that they couldn't deliver. But traditionally the left has stood for the idea of an inclusive, tolerant society in which all citizens are equal. Quite a few voices on the right have stood for that too, it's what David Cameron was trying to channel with his talk of the 'Big Society', and he is the PM who legalized gay marriage. But perhaps it's telling that he never really managed to sell this cosmopolitan worldview to his party. Over the past few years both left and right have become more extreme, and the truly tolerant, truly inclusive humanist voices have faded away. And in my opinion there has been no greater demolition engine applied to the vision of a better pan-human condition, than the trojan horse of "Social Justice".
The main thrust of "Social Justice" ideology, judging by what I've seen/experienced of it, goes as follows: We live in a "patriarchy", where "men" and "white people" rule. This means they have "privilege" that's attached to their race and gender (i.e. they are treated better by society than other groups). Racism and Sexism (and god knows what else) are defined as "Prejudice plus power", which is to say that only people with privilege/power can be racist, everyone else is engaging in some kind of lesser crime. Furthermore if you attack people higher up the privilege scale, by insulting or threatening them, you are "Punching up", which is good. If they do the same to you, they are "Punching down", which is bad. Finally someone's privilege is often taken to invalidate their viewpoint, about anything, and will be invoked as a reason to tell them to "Shut the fuck up". Now, none of this description comes from any manifesto or official statement of the ideology, I'm getting all this from observing the way these people conduct themselves and the things they say. Here, for instance, is Bahar Mustafa explaining racism to us:
"I, an ethnic minority woman, cannot be racist or sexist towards white men, because racism and sexism describe structures of privilege based on race and gender. Therefore, women of colour and minority genders cannot be racist or sexist, since we do not stand to benefit from such a system."
Put simply, this is the most evil ideology I've seen outside of a history book (I'm sure there's worse out there, but I just haven't bumped into it recently, I don't attend National Front rallies or the like). Firstly, it's profoundly dishonest. If someone these days tells you that they're "Opposing racism", get them to define their terms. Often you will find that their definition of racism doesn't align with your own, or with the dictionary's. This is a deliberate attempt to mislead people by redefining terms, so that people wind up supporting positions that they would not support if the true agenda were bluntly stated. If this approach goes far enough, then it will ultimately result in secretly changing social norms. Of course, any supporter of this method would tell you that this is the aim: to change society for the better. But if it's for the better, why is it having to be done by subterfuge? "Social Justice" ideology steals the garments of things people have already made a commitment to, like feminism or anti-racism, and dresses something sinister up in them. Even the term "Social Justice" is a trick: who could be opposed to "Social Justice"? You can wrap almost anything up in this flag and no-one dare oppose something that sounds so positive. But the words "Social Justice" do not denote an ideology, they denote a goal, and an ideology is something different from a goal. An ideology might claim it can deliver a stated goal, but it can be wrong, or it can be lying. The same is true of issues (which are simply the starting point of goals: there's an issue, and the goal is to do something about it). It's not that the issues that Social Justice dogma highlights don't exist: often they do, but it's the ends to which those issues are put that matter. If, for instance, the crops are failing in the fields, that's an issue. If I say that we should 'burn more witches', then that's not an issue, that's an action that I'm claiming with solve the issue, but which may or may not, and actually I may be hijacking the issue to pursue my hatred of pagans. Similarly too many "Social Justice" ideologues cherry pick issues to demonize one class of people (white men), and while we're talking class...
I have a big problem with the way this ideology ignores class, in fact it denies class. I've had numerous conversations now with people who assert, completely straight facedly, that someone like myself, who is white and male but who grew up in a working-class background and neither of whose parents had degrees, is equivalent to David Cameron. Apparently I have exactly as much power as him, and am exactly as guilty for the state of the world as him. Furthermore my 'privilege' stays with me even if I'm homeless. It will come as no surprise I'm sure that the people I've found it the most impossible to break out of this mindset, are middle and upper-middle class women (but obviously #NotAllWomen and #NotAllMiddleClassWomen, so don't go accusing me of that, 'cos it's tiresome) . They grok that this ideology is a big win for them: it absolves them of their real privilege, that of wealth and education, and puts the blame for all the worlds ills on 'men'. If they're white, then sometimes they might have to do the abasements if they encounter a woman-of-color (this whole ideology is basically moral philosophy reduced to scissors-paper-stone) but for many purposes they're in an advantageous position. They can throw accusations and insults and claim they're "Punching down" 90% of the time. Thus they don't have to listen to anyone who disagrees with them, and so I've often experienced it to be. Social Justice ideology is a powerful weapon in the hands of rich, unscrupulous person with a good education, who knows how to play the game. At the same time it's focus on race and gender is divisive, and this harms the working class more than any other. The working class's main weapon was always collective action, but if you can highlight racial and gender divisions between its members, you can keep them busy fighting each other rather than uniting against corporate power or globalization or whatever today's invisible chains are. Thus, Social Justice is primarily a weapon of the upper classes and if you doubt me, look at who it's loudest proponents are.
I really can't avoid invoking my favorite Social Justice Warrior at this point, because they are the perfect illustration of what's wrong with this ideology. Drum roll please for science-fiction's radical darling and a person whom I'll never wash out of my mind, the radical 'rage blogger' "All that's required is that you hate" (requires_hate to her friends). Working under many false 'sock puppet' identities the appropriately named Ms Hate led a mob of radical lefties in attacking 'sexism and racism in science fiction'. What this translated into was a constant stream of insult, abuse and racial and gender hatred mostly directed at white male writers. But of course if a white woman stood up in defence of her male friends she was suddenly no longer a sista, as she still carried the stain of 'whiteness', and so could be attacked on that basis. When an asian person stood up, they discovered they were vulnerable because they were american-asian, or uk-asian, and requires_hate, being Thai, was 'asian-asian'. Effectively requires_hate declared them to be white people, and then attacked them on that basis.
As a Thai lesbian requires_hate had better cards for playing 'privilege' than most everyone in SF. She was always able to position herself lower on the 'privilege scale' than anyone who spoke up, allowing her to 'punch up'. Thus opposition was gradually silenced, and a reign of terror was initiated. The only person who could really oppose her was someone who had comparable cards to play: another woman-of-color not tainted by a western upbringing. So, while science-fiction awaited for its Katniss to appear, Ms Hate set about terrorizing the field. Her 'critiques' of SF writing, defended to the hilt as just 'harsh critique' by many influential voices, went so far as saying that writers should have acid poured down their throats for the things they'd written, that they should be beheaded or raped by dogs, or that they should have their hands cut off so they could never write again. For people trying to be writers within this community, requires_hate was the equivalent of Senator McCarthy or Hedda Hopper. If she denounced you, you would see the internet come alive with tweets and blogposts about what a misogynistic 'neckbeard' you were, which most people in SF would just believe because... well because they're very naieve middle-class lefties. Ms Hate very well understood Cardinal Richeleu's maxim:
Give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I will find therin some reason to have him hanged.
And she used it ruthlessly. I was one of her targets, and found myself having to defend my writing against people who were claiming that it was racist. Fortunately the story in question contained some lines that disproved the argument. But what if I had cut those lines, they didn't really carry weight? Well it didn't really make any difference either way, I couldn't defend myself against all the people saying things about me, they were too many. requires_hate had an army at her back, and I did not. And anyway, I'm white and male, so I'm guilty of something, right? I'm guilty of existing. Once marked by Ms Hate you'd see yourself denounced, often for views that you didn't hold, you'd start to have strange experiences among the sci-fi crowd, you'd see an uptick in the rejection rates of stories you sent out. I saw an uptick in non-responses, and when I queried I was told my submission had been 'lost in the system'. Which I found interesting because I'd not had that happen before. I'll never know if there's any real connection between all this and requires_hate, I'm pretty confident there was, but I can't prove it. Still, the effect is the same, you fall silent and withdraw. You see that the community is against you, always was against you, and is against you for your gender and race: you can give up your opinions and learn to love Big Sister, but you can't give up what you are.
Initially I had believed that requires_hate was a lie, that she was a right-wing false-flag operation set up to discredit the left, because I knew that her ideology was a ridiculous misrepresentation of what the left stood for. Many voices in the science-fiction community, under Ms Hate's prompting, responded by accusing me of racism, claiming my objections were driven by a disbelief that a Thai person could use English so well. Sci-fi's lefties are so easily played that it's shameful, you tell them something's racism or misogyny, and they march about like clockwork soldiers denouncing it. But then this is a phenomenon one commonly sees in totalitarian regimes, isn't it? Everyone is afraid of being denounced themselves, so they have to get their denouncement in first and demonstrate their commitment to the cause.
In the end though, I was wrong about Ms Hate, and about the left. The ideology she was pushing was real, and is now dominant in many of our cultural spaces. Ms Hate herself was exposed when she finally turned on the wrong person. Attacking a white, female writer who had set a story in Thailand, Ms Hate miscalculated, because that writer had a friend who was a well-respected upcoming writer, and a woman-of-color with a non-western background. One must be honest, this person had previously supported requires_hate, but we all know that when we're told things about people we don't know, we tend to believe them. When someone says the same things about people we know well, that's when we finally smell a rat. Suddenly the people had a leader, and the tyrant's downfall was swift. Requires Hate was exposed as an upcoming writer who was using her sock-puppet pseudonym to attack other writers that were in the way of her glittering career. Furthermore, she'd been attacking all kinds of people, not just white guys like me, in fact she'd been targeting women and writers-of-color disproportionately, because they were on her turf. But, though 'Requires Hate' may have been a group identity of more than one person, the available evidence implies that she is Thai, and is an incredibly wealthy individual, gifted with a top education and dual nationality. Thus she is exactly the type of person who'd be attracted to an ideology that helps her deny her own privilege, and to ignore issues of wealth and class.
Let us now pause to note some things about the requires_hate phenomenon. This is mostly a failure of a community. Ms Hate herself may have done rotten things, but these days I lean towards thinking that she has psychological issues, and that blaming her is rather futile. There's a great many people out there who have learned to get through life by sticking the knife into others, and a community cannot exclude them. However, a community should be robust in the face of such misbehavior, and the 'progressive' SF community has been shown to not be robust at all. In fact, as wave after wave of fighting, backstabbing and hate-mobbery wash though it, it is instead shown to be a failing community. If things go on as they are it will surely not survive much longer: it's already shrunken and very aged, it needs to attract new people, but a community of people who constantly fight and hurl abuse at each other is not very attractive. However, the real issue here is the way that the SF community failed its members. It should not have tolerated abuse aimed at white men in the first place, and if it had have stopped things there, it would also have protected the women and people-of-color who later became Ms Hate's targets. However, the SF community is now dominated by a social-justice ideology that portrays white men as the enemy. Thus it always seeks to defend 'vulnernable people', which in practice means everyone but white men. I would invite people in the SF community to go and look at national suicide statistics almost anywhere in the world (except Saudi Arabia) and note who the demographic group is that are most at risk of suicide. The truth is that everyone is vulnerable in some way to some attack, and that the attacks a community suffers are not decided by who the best targets are, but rather by where the gaps are in the social armor.
Even if we accept that the SF community doesn't give a shit about its white and male members, believing them all 'privileged' and thus not entitled to the basic respect that most of us would expect to be extended to all, the community should still police abuse aimed at anyone in order to protect it's non-white-male members. Firstly, attacks against white males in the community will tend to produce a backlash, and people who are lashing always tend to hit innocent bystanders. If people feel they are under attack on the basis of race and gender, they will tend to hit back on that basis, and demagogues will enter the community to persuade the targetted group that they are engaged in a race and/or gender war, and this will be an easy sell because human beings tend to generalize the actions of a bad few to be representitive of the majority. Worse, if a community allows attacks against any subgroup of it's members: communists, hackers, jews, witches, straight-white-males, then anyone can be attacked simply by claiming they're actually members of the hated group. Requires Hate herself did this by accusing non-white targets of "thinking white" or "sounding white", at which point, having made them honorary white people, she could attack them as such. Thus a community that tries to protect only some of it's members, ultimately fails to protect anyone.
But the other significant thing about requires_hate was the revelations of her outstanding wealth, social capital, and privilege. She is what I call an "International Bright Young Thing", and it is these people for whom social justice is their weapon of choice. The "International Bright Young Thing" is a new international elite class. They've often been born in one country, bought up in another, educated in a third, and are now living and working in a forth. They speak multiple languages and have very good educations, social capital and connections. They're a multiracial (though still, I think, *mostly* white), multinational, multigendered group of people who are up to date with the latest things happening. Now, let me make one thing clear, the appearance of the IBTY is, in many ways, a good thing. The world needs well-educated, skilled, multilingual people. Apart from anything else we'll need them as diplomats to try and keep nations from each other's throats as resources become scarce and the international situation becomes more fraught. As with any group, most International Bright Young Things are good people, (well, as with any group, they're at least not actively harmful. Most people, of any group, are easily led, so one can argue that they're neither 'good' nor 'bad' but rather swing either way depending on the situation). However, if a group is specially positioned to do a thing, they experience a temptation that others don't, and those of their members that are morally challenged will tend to take the offered advantage. "Social Justice" is backed by complex theories of race and gender, and thus its most effective as a weapon in the hands of someone who has the education necessary to parse and utilize those theories. In the hands of an unscrupulous IBYT this system can be used to make their own level of privilege and advantage vanish, and as a means to oppress those around them who do not have such good cards.
Indeed, in the realm of science-fiction an interesting thing can be seen happening. In the last few years we've seen the rise of demands for SF to become less eurocentric and anglophone. Various people have demanded more international settings, more international and multi-racial characters, and a number of writers have attempted to do just that. However, doing this gets you attacked by the likes of requires_hate. Yes, we all want a more international SF, but if you try and do it, working-class white boy, you'll do it wrong, and we'll crucify you for it. And so it goes. And who is it who can do this and get it right? Well first, you have to understand that doing this kind of thing 'right' has nothing to do with what you put down on the page. No matter what you write the modern Richeleu's can find something in there to hang you for. And if you've really do make some mistakes, so much the better. But the truth is you can't get it right. The only defence is to demonstrate that you have better knowledge about the region where you're setting your fiction than your accusers do. So, who is it that can write this new science-fiction? Only the International Bright Young Thing, of course. And so once again we see that so-called "Social Justice" is a class weapon for the well-educated rich, allowing them to exclude others from cultural spaces. And, like any weapon, it corrupts those who wield it, it leads them into temptation, it hurts them in ways that may not be immediately obvious.
And it may hurt them more than they know: for there's an ugly twist in this tale. This ideology betrays everyone in the end, and now we come to my biggest problem with "Social Justice".
The arguments and concepts that we use and believe have consequences. If you accept 'A' then a cascade of other things flow from that. Furthermore any argument you use can be used by others for their own purposes. The "Social Justice" style of argument that claims people can be treated differently depending on where they stand on topography of privilege has powerful consequences: it is the first form of argument that I've encountered which can overturn the post-holocaust consensus in the minds of well educated and left-leaning people.
The 'post-holocaust consensus' is my name for the modern commitment (a shakey and frequently broken commitment I admit) that all human lives matter, and that all people are fundamentally equal. The clearest illustration of the sudden appearance of this consensus is the sharp collapse of the Eugenics movement, and also the swift decline of ideas of racial superiority that had been widespread and popular during the western imperial era. Prior to World War II it was a respectable idea that humanity could be 'improved' by selective breeding, guided evolution as it were, and that sometimes this might mean there was an argument for forced sterilization. International Eugenics conferences were held as late as the 1930s. Yet eugenics was in the dustbin of history by the end of WWII, and the belief that some races were clearly superior to others were also no longer fashionable (which doesn't mean it went away, but it became more disapproved of after WWII, and has increasingly been so since). What was it that changed the world's outlook on this and so many other matters? What was it that caused people to begin to think in terms of a shared human identity and the common value of any human life (something people constantly fail to live up to, but which most now at least espouse)? It was the holocaust. Why do you think a certain kind of person is so fond of claiming this event never happened? Because it's a massive moral pin holding a big chunk of society in place, if you want to change society in certain ways, you have to pull out that pin.
Most people do not live their lives according to well-worked-out rules of behavior. They are too busy to do the thinking that this would entail. Most people live their lives according to heuristics: broad-stroke rules of behavior that they pick up from others. Thus "don't be racist, racism is bad" might be one such rule, and many people will attempt to live by it (though many will also not). But generally people haven't thought in any detail about what the core term in this rule means. This often manifests when you see people reacting to something that they consider racist, and you ask them why they consider it racist. The thing in question may very well be racist, or maybe it's not, but the reply is often fuzzy. Perhaps the thing "sounds racist" or perhaps it would be racist if deployed in certain contexts, but isn't being used in that context currently. The truth is that you come to realize that most people, in fact I would say all people, do not have a solid ground to all the terms they use and all the things they believe. To do this, to develop a solid grounding for your moral positions, is a Herculean task: it might take a lifetime of thought to achieve. Instead most people cling to broad-stroke resolutions that others have figured out for them.
If you want to change how people think, it's probably best not to go directly up against these heuristics. You'll have a tough time convincing people that, actually, racism isn't bad at all. They know the mantra, and if you challenge it, they'll tend to walk away. Instead go for their weak-point, their definition of racism, because many people don't really have one. Presented with a nicely-constructed argument, most people fold, especially if you can bring peer pressure to bear. Solomon Asch showed that people can be convinced of anything if enough people argue against them. I've frequently felt this pressure myself, in part it's just because for every word you say, four people can say four, and so they barrage you with objections that you can't possibly answer, eventually you have to give up. But it's more than that, it's the desire to fit in, to be part of the group. Thus, once people feel they're surrounded by others, who believe something that doesn't seem to offend their ideological commitments, that doesn't seem to trigger any warnings, they will tend to go over to the majority position.
So, we have moving from an age when human value and human equality were considered absolute, to an age when they're considered dependant on 'privilege'. Once you've accepted that there's no such thing as racism or sexism towards certain groups a number of things flow from that. Certain behaviors that previously weren't acceptable become acceptable, and the ground has been laid for the next ideological change. "Social Justice" ideology is the first example I've seen of a line of argument that can make even progressive lefties support statements like "Kill all <insert racial group here>". People will argue that these statements are only made in jest, but I do think there was a time when they would have been considered radically unacceptable among most left-wing people, even in jest. Now an increasing number of people on the left use these slogans, turn a blind eye to abuse and hateful statements aimed at white men. Tellingly they also accept accusations leveled against white men (as a group, and sometimes as individuals, as the Tim Hunt case illustrates) without checking the facts. These people have let go of the post-holocaust consensus, and are starting to believe once again that one racial group is responsible for all the world's ills. As so many of these people are themselves cis-gendered-straight-white-males it will be argued that there are limits on how far this ideological rot can go. However, let us note that, in terms of selling someone an essentially fascist line of argument, middle-class lefties were surely the hardest sell. Now that a way has been discovered to sugar-coat the argument so that they will swallow it, the argument is ready to be sold elsewhere. If it works in the most difficult case, it will work on everyone. This line of argumentation is destined to spread to people who are not straight-white-males and thus who have no fear of taking it to the limit and it's also destined to be retargetted at other groups.
The arguments used by "Social Justice" ideologues are not their intellectual property. The argument that "racism and sexism describe structures of privilege" will be deadly throughout much of the world when other groups take them up and apply them to whomever they wish to target. Amy Chua's book World on Fire discusses the situation in much of the world. In a great many countries a significant amount of wealth is controlled by a 'Market Dominant Minority'. This is a racial or otherwise defined group of 'outsiders' who have been very successful capitalists, and who thus enjoy a level of power and privilege far above most of the population. Groups who have historically found themselves in this position would include the Knights Templar, the Rwandan Tutsi, and Europe's Jews in the early 20th century. Market dominant minorities tend to face high levels of resentment, and if things go bad for them, they tend to go bad in well-defined ways. Firstly the populations are sold an argument that these people are 'different' in some way that makes them not entirely human. This process is known as Moral Exclusion. Wikipedia defines this as the process whereby "The targeted group is viewed as undeserving of morally mandated rights and protections". Notice that this line of argument does not strike directly at the idea of rights and protections and equal treatment for all human beings, but instead seeks to move a group outside of the human collective identity, so that the rules of society no longer apply to them. It should be obvious that "Social Justice" is an example of this form of argument. Taking the example that I'm most familiar with: Ms Hate's reign of terror in the science-fiction community was due in large part to the way that community practices moral exclusion towards it's market-dominant minority, white men (white men are over-represented in 'top tier' positions of the community, though of course these are mostly not *working class* white men, illustrating again how class gets ignored). Imagine what the reign of someone like Ms Hate would look like if, instead of being played out in a middle-class cultural space, it were played out at the national level where intense ethnic resentments and hatred were in play. Well, you don't have to imagine, history has countless examples.
Ms Chua's book has its critics, but most of them object to her claim that free-market-democracy exacerbates ethnic hatred. The core point that Market Dominant Minorities exist, are widespread, and are commonly targets for genocide, cannot be denied. Quoting from one objector, George Leef of the John Locke Foundation:
"All that World on Fire proves in the end is that governments cannot be depended upon to prevent violence against people who have been, for whatever reason, demonized by others. That's nothing new."
Thus I would claim that we should be deeply worried about any line of argument that demonizes any group of people, and even more so of a complex ideology that justifies demonization. If it's a "good" argument that educated people will accept, then it can be retooled to persuade anyone to turn against any group. It may sound a reach to claim that arguments can be used like weapons in this way, but if you think about it something like this must happen all the time. This is, after all, what propaganda is about, it's about changing the mind of the public, and you do it one step at a time, and each step makes a further step possible.
Today, all around the world, there are ethnic groups in market dominant minority positions. These include Chinese people throughout much of Asia, Lebanese in some parts of Africa, Alawites in Syria, Whites in many previously colonial countries, etc, etc. By Amy Chua's estimation Chinese are 1% of the Philippines population but they control 60% of the economy. In Indonesia they are 3% of the population but control 70% of the economy. In Requires Hate's native Thailand a similar situation exists (Ms Hate is herself Thai Chinese) but the situation there is less fraught, as the Thai government forced the Chinese minority to 'become Thai' taking on Thai names, intermarrying and learning the language. Still, though the situation there is less incendiary, the possibility of ethnic cleansing still exists: Yugoslavians lived as one people, and intermarried to a great degree, but still wound up slaughtering each other in the end.
For all these groups the argument can be made that they enjoy 'privilege and power' and thus that by Bahar Mustafa's reckoning, one cannot be 'racist' towards them. Once people have accepted this argument, they will begin to behave in ways that were previously disapproved of. This fundamentally changes society, shifting the "Overton Window" and bringing into sight other attitudes, behaviors and beliefs that were previously considered unworkable or forbidden. If we change the way people think about racism and sexism and other types of prejudice, as we have been doing, to claim that some groups are 'fair game' to these attacks, we will unleash a force that we cannot control, with consequences that we cannot entirely foresee. What we can foresee of them we tend to turn away from. When racial hate-movements start using "social justice" ideology and language, which they will, the left will find itself increasingly unable to use the ideology and language that it has spent years committing to. Overnight it will become a defanged and hollow shell, experiencing a decline as swift and lasting as that of the Eugenics movement after WWII.
What is to be done? Very little, unfortunately. By and large the situation has moved too fast, and it is already too late. A cohort of people indoctrinated with these ideas are destined to take their positions in the ranks of left-wing politics, and inevitably we will see the phenomenon of well educated middle-class politicos lecturing the working class about their 'racial privilege', and This. Will. Not. Fly. The left is about to experience a massive rejection by its previous supporters, who will swing their allegiance over to the far right. This change is already underway across Europe. Worse, at some point the defining event will occur that reveals the emperor has no clothes and 'social justice' will be discredited. When this happens a lot of left-wing babies are going to be thrown out with the bathwater, and likely entire areas of debate and discussion will become locked down. The ultimate result, on many issues, will be a profound rightwards shift of the Overton window.
The best course of action for people on the left alarmed at this ongoing take-over, is to form breakaway cultural/political groups and movements that return to the 'collective humanity' attitudes that the left once had. However, for this to work will require abandoning much of the language of the left. A new identity will have to be developed and new terms invented, because much of the language of the left will be discredited by the abuses of the 'social justice' crowd. These groups will be small and lack any real political power, but they will maintain a degree of diversity of political thought. They will be 'seed banks', as it were, for a new political landscape after social-justice has detonated itself.