Wednesday 20 May 2015

Is Social Justice/ Political Correctness/ New Leftism a religion? Actually *not* (despite superficial similarities)


"Social Justice” is a religion. It has saints, dogma, and sacraments.

There are some similarities (which the writer goes on to enumerate) but actually, in its core features, 'social justice' (New Leftism, political correctness) is not a religion - because it is essentially negative and oppositional, hence fluid and self-consuming.

The Old Left, such as Communism, was very much like a Godless religion; and it did have saints- such as Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Mao. But the New Left of Social Justice and Political Correctness has only temporary idols, any of whom may be vilified and demonized at any time.

The idols of the Social Justice Warriors are not saints, but merely function as clubs, taken-up to beat the enemy - then usually discarded. 

The evidence is that the majority of hate figures of the Left are themselves Leftists who used to be revered. Most early IQ researchers - such as Cyril Burt - were socialists; most victims of Two Minutes Hate such as James Watson and Larry Summers are Democrats; ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair was a socialist. For Heavens sake, the Nazis were socialists! 

The lesson is that modern Leftism is parricidal (as well as fratricidal), nobody is secure in their Sainthood - indeed nobody and no group is secure in the status: even Marx's 'proletariat' was redefined as evil white males. Today's Gods are tomorrow’s devils.

And this is the essence of the beast: it is negative, oppositional, lives by subversion, inversion and destruction of the Good; its stance is perpetual opposition.

Stability and the status quo and tradition is attacked, but there is no alternative stable state in view; no Social Justice utopia being aimed-at; no end-point at which political correctness will say 'enough', 'this is it'.

This non-religious nature comes from the New Left being located in the mass media, and not in any political organization. The mass media is subverting, inverting and destroying;one thing after another; but it is going nowhere except towards chaos.

So, fundamentally the Social Justice Warriors are something new; not a religion but instead something only possible after the death of religion as a political force; after mass apostasy and the forcible exclusion of religion from public discourse.

The New Left is in reality an anti-religion; and its religious aspects are merely tactical accidents of its negative and oppositional stance.



Rich said...

I wish I had begun to tally how many of your insights breathe truth into my soul. You continue to light the path for me, Bruce.

Great stuff lately. I am finally getting round to picking up a copy of WD Hamilton's Narrow Roads. Thanks for pointing it out.

Unknown said...

I would say that this has been a tendency of the Left from the beginning.

The Protestants at first hated only the Catholics, but soon began to cannibalize each other; after Luther dissented, Zwingli disagreed with him, the Anabaptists disagreed with both, etc., etc., and they gladly engaged in internal wars, purges, etc.

In the French Revolution, it was (non-noble) upper-class people who fomented revolutionary sentiments at first, but many of these swiftly became enemies of the people. The "true revolution" changed hands - Girondins to the Jacobins and Sans-Culottes, etc. - with former murderous leaders such as Danton, Robespierre and Saint-Just eventually being hoisted upon their own petards.

Socialism and Communism were characterized by similar internal dissent and purges; many propagandists encouraged the revolutionaries to team up long enough to destroy the old order, saying there would be plenty of time for them to kill each other once enemy numero uno was dispatched. I always remember that scene in Red Violin, where the Chinese woman who plays the violin cites one of the Communist revolutionaries' favorable opinion on Classical (musical) training, only to be told by some brown shirt that the former leader had been identified as an enemy of the people and killed. Surely she doesn't still support such a man herself, does she? I always appreciate how aptly that scene captured the reality of life under the revolution; we see this attitude in our modern Leftist, too, as you point out.

So, I reckon this has always been a feature of the crisis in the West since the turn of the 15th century (it's all one revolution, beginning with the Protestant apostasy). One can see that there is a high-minded kind of Masonic pretension amongst some of the revolutionaries; but only a few men have felt this with any conviction, and they did so almost exclusively in the early phases of the revolution. Since then such an attitude must increasingly be an affectation, and as virtue wanes all the more, revolutionaries have no need for such noble (cishet patriarchal) sentiments. Now we have college professors writing that parents who read to their kids should feel bad for giving them an "unfair" advantage. The "betterment of man" is no longer even their pretense; the "equal and non-discriminatory flattening of humyns and their otherkin allies" is now their intent, and they wear it more or less on their sleeves.

I hope that as we come to this - the obvious and pitiful conclusion of the train of thought that has existed ever since the Protestants first made truth subject to private persons - some decent men will begin to stand up and say "anathema sit" (or, rather, concur with the "anathema sit" which had been repeatedly pronounced upon it by Christ's Holy Church, as we would have expected). I think the men of the West are finally seeing the rotten system for what it is; but I don't think they have yet penetrated through to the full extent of the spiritual crisis, nor to just what kind of repentance and religious return will be required to cure it.

Bruce Charlton said...

@CP - It doesn't make sense to date Leftism in Christianity to the Reformation - it would have to be dated back to the Great Schism, with the Western Church on the Leftist side - I argue this in

But I have come to find this analysis less and less helpful over the past few years. It seems to be God's way to take 'where we are' as the starting point - after all mortal life seems to be about experience, education, theosis - not about everybody living in the best possible earthly society (which is, even so, bound to be very flawed indeed).