Social Justice Warriors Are Assholes


Column by Paul Bonneau.

Exclusive to STR

The Social Justice Warrior (SJW) phenomenon has gotten a lot of discussion lately. There is more to it than first appears.

SJWs operate primarily through social disapproval, although like almost any interest group they also enlist government in their cause, if they can. An example of the latter is telling landlords who they must rent to. Of course there are also dodges to get around such meddling. Anyway, this article is not about the government side of the equation.

In his book, On Liberty, John Stuart Mill railed against social disapproval. Obviously he thought it as important an opponent to liberty, as any government action. Social disapproval must have been very strong in his day. Somehow though, I can’t agree with his main point, mostly because social disapproval does not violate NAP; this is so even though some people have lost their jobs through it. Disapproving of somebody is not aggression. Talking about it is not, either.

Years ago, social disapproval was a tool used primarily by Christians. Their free-thinking opponents were for “anything goes” and “do your own thing.” Nowadays, social disapproval is used primarily against Christians; they are now getting a dose of their own medicine. Strangely, those formerly in the mindset of “do your own thing” are now the ones wielding the social disapproval bludgeon. I guess it has morphed into “do my thing”! This is the normal progression when a class or group of people, formerly without power, finally gets their hands on some of it. The old principles and virtues get kicked to the curb. These people don’t look or act like John Lennon any more. Don’t expect humans to be consistent; they ain’t got it in ‘em.

For all the carping about SJWs now being against free speech and for political correctness, a perfectly free society would probably have a lot of SJW activity. When there is no government to regulate society and define its norms, social disapproval will expand to fill the role. So this latest bit of it (outside the government interventions) is hardly unexpected. We experienced weak social disapproval for quite a while and got used to that, but it seems to be back with a vengeance lately. Oh, well . . . .

One thing that social disapproval violates, if not NAP, is MYOB (minding your own business). Just because social disapproval is permissible in a free society, does not mean one is not an asshole for wielding that tool. Yes, sad to say, there still will be assholes in Libertarian Paradise. In the old days the people telling dark brown people not to use water fountains reserved for “whites,” or objecting to Jackie Robinson, were expressing social disapproval, and they were also being assholes. These days the people complaining about triggers are expressing social disapproval and being assholes as well. They are the spiritual descendants of Bull Connor back in the 1950s and 1960s (granted, Connor was in government, but I’m talking about his mindset, not his occupation).

Social disapproval can be a useful tool, though a bit crude. The Mormons have used shunning to keep their communities effectively all Mormon, and this is thought a good thing for Mormons (no doubt with some dissent within their ranks about it). However, the reluctance of being thought an asshole is perhaps enough to keep its use to a low roar. Though a tool for regulating society, it turns out it is self-regulated as well.

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Paul Bonneau's picture
Columns on STR: 106


KenK's picture

It's not just assholery Paul, although they are assholes, but a part of a political scheme. Obama and Sen. Reid broadside against the NFL's Washington Redskins today shows how the SJW schtick works. Indians are a reliable Dem constituency and the Obama model is to get these groups all hopped up on SJW memes prior to the November election. Assholes focusing on the big plan.

Douglas Herman's picture

If a SJW is under, say, 22-25, he  or she is probably suffering from a lack of important life experiences, remaining a narrowminded adolescent, victim of PC classrooms and part or the peer-pressured Selfie Generation.
Obviously MOST of these young SJWs have NEVER read any Thoreau, otherwise they wouldn't be such douches, nitwits and pampered pricks. White AND Black.
A lot of the SJWs caught on YouTube or Infowars street cams are acting out for their posses. And alas, some of them are just paid agents provocateurs.

Douglas Herman's picture

BTW, Check out thses assholes over at Infowars. Talk about clueless SJWs


New Jersey Trump protesters spew the typical "racist," "sexist" talking points


Paul's picture

Douglas, I watched that video. What I didn't see was effective behavior. If anything, this sort of thing creates more Trump supporters. Even provocateurs must understand this can't work. Who would take them seriously?

But yeah, definitely assholes.

D. Saul Weiner's picture

Social disapproval is, like practically everything, a double-edged sword. In earlier periods, it served the cause of liberty in certain instances, for example there was a period of time when taking welfare from the government was frowned upon and avoided, when possible. Likewise, having children out of wedlock was not approved of. Clearly, those days are gone.

The most common and extreme form of social disapproval in vogue these days is directed at those who do not subscribe to the government vaccine program. Besides for the blatant nastiness unleashed toward these folks, this form of disapproval or shaming has gotten to the point that family members will sever relationships with one another, doctors will not accept their children in their practices,  and, politically, governments have become more brazen in removing exemptions to their ever-increasing mandates.

While some libertarians might view this latter form of disapproval as an expression of civil society "policing its own", that would be a misreading of the situation.  It is not a grassroots phenomenon by any means. It has been manufactured by state propaganda, a compliant media, and corrupt research performed and sanctioned by government.

Paul's picture

I do not subscribe to the government vaccine program, but I never experienced anything adverse about it.

I suspect the people getting grief over it are those using half measures. That is, they protect their kids from vaccines, but still send them to the government indoctrination centers.

The schools do not belong to "the people" (whatever that means); they belong to the government. People should not be surprised at what happens there, nor does it make sense to complain about it. Just leave; that is the answer.

D. Saul Weiner's picture

Not everyone is adversely affected by vaccines. But lots of people are being adversely affected by them nowadays, now that Congress has eliminated liability for manufacturers, doctors, and those ordering them, and the vaccine schedule subsequently exploded (in the 1990s and beyond). The current generation of kids is much sicker than prior ones, with high rates of autism, ADHD, allergies, seizures, learning disabilities, and autoimmune disease. Military members have been hard-hit by vaccines (think Gulf War syndrome) and adults are also being harmed. The flu shot has generated the most claims in vaccine court and sometimes it causes death, paralysis.

It is a good idea to leave the government schools, for a variety of reasons, but the vaccine mafia is making it extremely difficult to escape its dictates nowadays. In California, kids can no longer even go to PRIVATE schools if they have not taken the shots "recommended" by the CDC. Day care workers must do likewise in CA. Hospital workers are losing their jobs if they refuse their annual flu shots (there is a provision in Obamacare whereby hospitals lose Medicare funding if they don't maintain sufficiently high flu "compliance" rates). There is a bill in Congress now to bring CA-type laws to the whole country. University students are now being required to take various shots. That is why we are hearing about mumps outbreaks on campuses early on in the school year. Mothers giving birth in hospitals who refuse the Hep B shot for their newborn are being threatened that the hospital will bring in CPS; this happens on a regular basis. Mind you that Hep B is a condition that only the sexually active and drug users are susceptible to (and children of mothers who have the virus, which can be tested for). The U.S. is one of the only countries in the world that does this.

So the bottom line is, if we do not stand up against this tyranny, we can all look forward to being vaccinated from womb to tomb.

Paul's picture

I found this SJW Attack Survival Guide. It looks like it could be quite a help.