The Core Argument of the Social Justice Movement

The social justice activists seem to rely on one core argument to make their case – they refer to their intellectual opponents as a sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, xenophobic, fascist, and/or white supremacist nazis.

In other words, their core argument is the logical fallacy known as ad hominem:

Ad hominem (Latin for “to the man” or “to the person”, short for argumentum ad hominem, is now usually understood as a logical fallacy in which an argument is rebutted by attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself.

This fallacy is often understood to be a personal attack.  And that makes sense given my hypothesis that the thinking of social justice activists is id-based.  Recall that the id is the place from where the aggression instinct is housed.  Personal attacks are simply verbal expressions of aggression.  So it would make sense that the primary argument of the social justice movement is verbal expressions of aggression.

What’s more, personal attacks are essentially childish arguments.  I’m sure most of us can remember that among the first arguments we developed as children on the playground came in the form name calling and personal attacks.  Because the id is basically an infantile impulse, it makes sense that social justice activists would retain this approach and express it through their ideology.

The bottom line here is that if you find yourself on the receiving end of some social justice tantrum, where the activist is calling you names like sexist, racist, homophobe, transphobe, Islamophobe, xenophobe, fascist, white supremacist nazi, etc., you should calmly respond by pointing out the activist is engaged in an ad hominem argument.  Point out that this is a fallacy and is thus irrational.  It won’t deter the social justice activist who is immune to the effects of critical thinking, but it will help any onlookers to appreciate what is happening.

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23 Responses to The Core Argument of the Social Justice Movement

  1. TFBW says:

    The social justice activists seem to rely on one core argument to make their case …

    They have a case?

  2. Bilbo says:

    Mike, are you assuming, as TFBW insinuates, that there is no social injustice in our society?

  3. stcordova says:

    Islamophobic?

    Islam justifies wife beating. The feminist man-haters have recruited known Islamic terrorists.
    At Evergreen State, there are now left-wing gestapo thugs doing patrols with baseball bats.

    These aren’t social justice warriors, they are thugs that only pretend they are champions of justice.

  4. TFBW says:

    @Bilbo: that’s not what I was insinuating, but I’m interested to hear your interpretation. My insinuation was actually intended to be more like, “they fail to state a (coherent) claim.” If I may ask, though, what is the distinction between social justice and plain old justice? I certainly think there’s injustice in society — some of it egregious — but the “social” qualifier seems to change the nature of the subject quite radically. My perception is that social justice and plain old justice are quite often at odds, and that this speaks against the legitimacy of social justice as a purported good. Your perception of “social justice” and mine may differ significantly, however, so my question is asked sincerely.

  5. Geoff Smith says:

    I think one may need recourse to Aristotle, here. We have to know what is persuasive. To normal onlookers, while there is something embarrassing about an adult lashing out like a child, I suspect several still feel the need to reflexively alleviate their pain. I think depending on the crowd though, mockery or calm explanation with no expectation for debate are your options. If you try to discuss, as you know, they yell or physically accost you. But if you reframe things into mockery, I think it helps people see that their antics make them into outcasts. I could be wrong.

  6. Kevin says:

    Bilbo,

    There’s a huge difference between denying the existence of social injustice and opposing the thuggish bigotry of the regressive left.

  7. Bilbo says:

    TFBW,

    I understand social injustice to mean discrimination against people based on their religion, race, gender, ethnic origin, age, or sexual orientation.

  8. TFBW says:

    @Bilbo: I submit that your definition differs from the understanding of the typical Social Justice Warrior, particularly those in evidence at Evergreen. As evidence, I put it to you that those SJW students at Evergreen would have agreed with Bret Weinstein’s argument against excluding white people from campus if they had been concerned with mere discrimination on the basis of race. I submit that their version of social justice is more about one collection of people being identified as oppressors of another group of people, and the former being shamed into subjugation by the latter as just punishment their collective guilt. The “justice” is applied at the group level, not the individual level, and that’s what makes it a travesty.

  9. stcordova says:

    “What’s more, personal attacks are essentially childish arguments”

    Jordan Peterson sees the left-wing thuggery for what it is. It is the story of Cain and Abel played out. Feminazi’s for example simply hate men for being naturally inclined and optimized for leadership roles in society. Peterson pointed out dominance hierarchies exist with males at the top of many mammalian species. That’s a deeply conserved feature of biology, it isn’t some perpetuated injustice of the patriarchy.

    It isn’t injustice for men to naturally be risk takers and rebels and hence increase the number of men in prison or men in positions of leadership. Feminazi’s hate that, they are jealous of the positions of power held by men. Feminazi’s don’t complain too much that the NFL Football league is male dominated, but Feminazi’s don’t come to terms with the possibility that males dominate leadership positions because they are biologically inclined to do so more than women. That isn’t social injustice. Feminazi-ism is driven by Id jealousy and jealousy is hatred of how God ordained the distribution of talent and opportunity. Peterson had a great deal of insight into this.

    Yes there is white privilege and an awful history of white oppression of black in the USA. But exacting revenge on the children of white oppressors, or revenge on 95% of the whites who didn’t descend from slave owners, is Cain’s jealousy of Abel, it is not fundamentally a quest for justice in God’s court of law.

  10. Bilbo says:

    TFBW, if your characterization of the “Social Justice Movement” is correct, then I agree that the Movement is fundamentally wrong. However, it’s not clear to me that your characterization of it is correct. For example, what is the correct description of events at Evergreen State University? According to this article, it is not nearly as bad as some might think:

    http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/education/discord-at-evergreen-state-simmered-for-a-year-before-it-boiled-over/

  11. Talon says:

    stcordova

    I’m not sure women or even Feminazis generally hate or envy men for being inclined to pursue leadership or risk taking, but object that leadership roles often fall to men solely in virtue of being risk-takers or possessing a more imposing physique and willingness to commit violence, rather than for good judgement, expertise and a sense of responsibility. Males are inclined to impulsiveness, aggression and overconfidence and as they grow older these inclinations are often beaten out of them or tempered by experience, social expectations or the law.

    Men may be biologically “optimized” to pursue risk-taking and leadership but this doesn’t mean they make optimal leaders or even particularly good ones, the issue is one of character and competence and not excluding women and other minorities from leadership positions because they lack the preferred, but not essential, skin color or genitalia.

    Lots of mammals have dominance hierarchies favoring males, so what? Lots of mammal species abandon their own young to predation or starvation when stressed or even consume them when prey is scarce, it doesn’t justify HUMAN practice of infanticide, dumpster babies or cannibalism. There’s that sticky “is-ought” gap to contend with and it doesn’t follow that appealing to non-rational animal behavior is sufficient to defend a male dominated HUMAN social hierarchy, deeply conserved or not.

    I think some of the accusations of female envy are self-projections or fantasy. Some men envy women because they feel disposable and undesired, for example, reading MRA websites leaves one with the impression these men feel resentment towards women, in part, because they have not been historically sent off to die in military service, can supposedly get sex-on-demand or get default custody of children in divorce proceedings. In other cases, I believe these men WANT to be envied, it allows them to rationalize away criticism (They’re just jealous! I have something they want!) and walk away feeling good about themselves.

  12. Michael says:

    Mike, are you assuming, as TFBW insinuates, that there is no social injustice in our society?

    If you define social justice as discrimination against people based on their religion, race, gender, ethnic origin, age, or sexual orientation, then I would agree there is social injustice in our society. In fact, such injustice is found in all societies and throughout history.

    Among the problems I have are as follows:

    1. I agree with TFBW in that the social justice movement promotes discrimination – discrimination against the people it subjectively deems to be “oppressors.” As such, the social justice movement embraces and perpetuates tribalism and this actually encourages and invites discrimination. If one is concerned about discrimination, trying to make one group the scapegoat is not a productive way of alleviating the problem.

    2. Most of the time, accusations of racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. are nothing more than ad hominem attacks. As such, the social justice movement too often cries wolf. Because more and more people are tuning out these accusations as the boy who cried wolf, the social justice activists are actually providing cover for people who are truly racist, sexist, etc.

  13. Bilbo says:

    Hmmm…Trump gets elected by fear-mongering about Mexican rapists and Muslim immigrant terrorists, but it’s the social justice movement that is crying wolf. Got it.

  14. Kevin says:

    I fail to see how Trump is relevant to the fact that leftist activists cry wolf far more often than they correctly identify actual bigotry, from what I’ve seen.

  15. TFBW says:

    @Bilbo:

    For example, what is the correct description of events at Evergreen State University?

    I’m basing my case primarily on the video evidence we have of their behaviour, rather than testimony about it. I’ll look at your linked article when I get a chance.

  16. stcordova says:

    Talon,

    Thank you for your response.

    “but object that leadership roles often fall to men solely in virtue of being risk-takers or possessing a more imposing physique and willingness to commit violence, rather than for good judgement, expertise and a sense of responsibility.”

    Men can make those objections as well against other men, and there is no guarantee women on average will be better for good judgement and expertise and sense of responsibility. Accusing all men for the failings of some men is man hating feminazi-ism.

    When Piper Harron demanded men in her math department resign, that is man-hating, not complaints about their “willingness to commit violence, rather than for good judgement, expertise and a sense of responsibility.”

    Men are more inclined to seek offices of leadership on average. Therefore they will on average be over represented in certain places. This isn’t true solely about leadership but also professions like football, basketball, fire fighting, roof repair, physics, etc. Is that unjust, is that some conspiracy of the patriarchy as feminazis portray it? Is that some moral or ethical failing? By what standard should we define just? If women don’t want and pursue certain offices as much as men, should punitive actions be taken against men until the numbers are equalized? That’s unfair, imho.

    Men are biologically inclined to do things, as long as they don’t actively commit harm, they shouldn’t be arbitrarily punished and discriminated against because they are inclined to be over-represented in some societal roles.

    On a side issue, I had problems with Asians being denied entry into colleges because black quotas had to be met. What ever the reasons for Asian over-representation, discriminating against people based on their race is a bad policy. Same could be said of white men. Selective discrimination isn’t a cure for disproportions of prosperity among the races. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and same could be said of feminazi hatred of men.

  17. TFBW says:

    @Bilbo: I read the article to which you linked, and I remain unmoved. Some people from Evergreen are making accusations of racism at the institution, but if you’ve seen footage of the “meeting” which took place between students and the college president, it becomes clear that the students present are thoroughly obsessed with group identity and oppression, and see the entire world through that lens. The article to which you link refers to a “campuswide equity proposal” produced by the “Equity and Inclusion Council” which contains such gems as the following.

    Trans Student Demands for a Safer Campus: Faculty collect, regularly use, and have mandatory training on pronoun usage, as well as staff and faculty training on systematic oppression and allyship to trans students; more gender neutral bathrooms;student-led bias response team with paid positions.

    Pronoun usage? Paging Dr Jordan Peterson. Bias response team? I guess “Thought Police” didn’t pass review by the marketing dept. Note also “allyship”. Are you familiar with what it means to be an “ally” in identity politics? The short version is that it means you are a member of an oppressor class, but voluntarily subjugate yourself to the victim classes in an act of contrition. “Ally” status is only as good as your last grovel. We see George Bridges, the college president, giving us an extended demonstration of “allyship” in the video coverage. Please don’t take my word for what “allyship” means, though: refer to a source that defends the concept in earnest.

    Note also the document’s focus on “equity”. Read about “Campus-Wide Initiatives” on page six, and see if you think that means something other than, “white people need to vacate their positions to make way for more people of colour.” This is Social Justice, and plain old racism. I’d comment further, but I really have other things to do right now.

    Short version: I don’t trust accusations of “racism” coming from a place like Evergreen. These are folks who would brand me a racist and white supremacist on the basis of my skin colour and lack of willingness to hate myself. The Social Justice movement doesn’t just cry wolf: they are warped, ranting ideologues who see wolves everywhere.

  18. stcordova says:

    Michael:
    “the social justice activists are actually providing cover for people who are truly racist, sexist, etc.”

    Example: Feminazi’s are sexist men-haters posing as seeking equality. They are like Cain trying to kill Abel. If they cared about women, they wouldn’t be making alliances with sharia-law-loving Muslim terrorists such as happened recently:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2017/01/terroristtied_cochairman_of_womens_march_relies_on_the_stupidity_of_liberal_american_females_to_push_sharia.html

    And then as far as black racism we have this:
    http://www.westernjournalism.com/liberal-white-hating-professor-beaten-blacks-harlem/

    “Recently a Columbia professor took a walk along Harlem’s Malcolm X Boulevard. The professor, who is a Skih with an Indian background, is a classic smug liberal. He is a “leader in speaking out against White Supremacy.” He speaks the right words, walks the correct walk, probably smokes the right cigarettes; yet on this stroll through “his” neighborhood he discovered he was just another enemy of the local people who seem willing to hate with impunity.
    ….
    Professor Prabhjot Singh didn’t get far when he was set upon and beaten becoming the latest non-Black victim of the growing bands of Black marauders searching for victims to avenge “Trayvon” or any other reason they deem sufficient to attack and kill people that don’t look like them.

    They attacked him shouting, ‘Get Osama’ and ‘terrorists,’ and tried to rip his beard off. When he ran they caught up with him and continued to beat him. His wounds included a broken jaw and kicked out teeth. He ran. They chased him and knocked him down and beat him some more.

    A liberal apologist for Black bad behavior to the end, Singh maintains he is not sure his attackers were Black explaining he was unable to determine their race because it was “dark.” “

  19. MP says:

    Bilbo, in fact, social injustice is widespread in the West. For example, it is an example of social injustice that abortion is promoted by laws and customs. Yet when we see those examples, we also see that the “Social Justice Movement” and the like tend to promote social injustice instead of fighting against it.

    And if you want to know what social justice actually is, Vatican has “Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church”.

  20. Michael says:

    Hmmm…Trump gets elected by fear-mongering about Mexican rapists and Muslim immigrant terrorists, but it’s the social justice movement that is crying wolf. Got it.

    I would agree with Kevin: “I fail to see how Trump is relevant to the fact that leftist activists cry wolf far more often than they correctly identify actual bigotry, from what I’ve seen.” Do you really think Bret Weinstein is a racist?

    If you are concerned about discrimination, why would you support the social justice movement? As I pointed out, that movement promotes tribalism and tribalism and discrimination are linked. What’s more, by using labels like “racist, sexist, etc.” as ad hominem attacks, the social justice movement cries wolf. As such, more and more people will become desensitized to such labels, making it easier for true racists/sexists to be racist/sexist.

  21. Dhay says:

    MP > And if you want to know what social justice actually is, Vatican has “Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church”.

    Thanks, I’ll have a read. I see it is online at:

    http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=7209

  22. Talon says:

    “Men can make those objections as well against other men, and there is no guarantee women on average will be better for good judgement and expertise and sense of responsibility. Accusing all men for the failings of some men is man hating feminazi-ism.”

    Of course men can make those objections as well, I never implied otherwise. The issue is whether those criticism, particularly if mostly offered by women, will be taken seriously or possibly dismissed as envy or a sinful refusal to accept “their place” in society. True, women might not, on average, be better for good judgement, but if they are no worse than men, on average, might some other bias be at work keeping them out of leadership roles? Shouldn’t individual evaluations be made for leadership roles rather than bringing gender into it? I’ve heard a few RadTrad men say they would never accept instruction or leadership from a woman (women are weaker, temptation of Eve, the Bible supports male headship only and similar), would you reject this alongside the man-blaming of Feminazis? Reasonable questions can asked about the role of bias in choosing leadership without one concluding all men are participants in some dastardly conspiracy.

    I think careful evaluation of hiring practices are needed to determine if racism or sexism are really present, respecting that qualified candidates of X race or gender might not always be plentiful. I believe if racial/cultural/gender minorities feel they are under-represented in a certain sector, they also need to engage themselves in community action to create the leadership they want to see. Reach out to the local schools and create programs to encourage them, volunteer to mentor an interested minority student rather than simply firing/ignoring existing white faculty and replacing them with “diverse” people with little concern to their qualification.

    I do think a college environment benefits from cultural and ideological diversity, so I am fine with administration pursuing faculty of varied background/race/religion etc., which includes conservatives, who I see as under-represented. I also see value in things like affirmative action but wonder if we’ll ever see a day when we no longer feel they are needed or if we’ve become too dependent on government to push social improvement and good race relations. I worry we’re creating a political environment which feeds on mutual distrust of the various racial/religious/gender groups and it will produce a forever fractured nation, unwilling to cooperate, compromise or focus on collective benefit rather than varied historical grievances.

  23. stcordova says:

    Talon,

    Thank you for your response. That was one of the more rational opposing viewpoints I’ve heard. We obviously have differences of opinion, but yours is one of the better opposing views I’ve heard expressed.

    It may sound sexist to say it, but girls may need help in areas men are on average more optimized for, and men will need help in areas women are more optimized for. That may or may not balance the numbers out in terms of proportional representation among the sexes in various societal roles, but I’m not convinced equalizing the numbers is necessarily a just thing or something that needs to be remedied. I for one, don’t relish the idea of increasing the number of female combat deaths by female soldiers. I’m not convinced having more women on the front lines of the battle field or police force will necessarily increase operation effectiveness. I don’t think in unjust to women to spare them the horrors of war or some areas of law enforcement.

    I don’t hear Feminazi’s advocating the rights of an inordinate number of men dying on the job vs. women. If they were really for equality, they should at least say something on the topic, but instead, they give silence.

    I don’t trust much of the “women’s rights” movement that aligns itself with muslim sharia-law terrorists that have a long history of abusing women systemically. That suggests to me they say one thing, but really mean another deep in their heart.

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