Virtue Ethics and the Modern Left - a highly autistic essay - ITT: Why SJWs like Harry Potter so fucking much

Spunt

bwup
kiwifarms.net
I'm posting this here because I can't think of anywhere more suitable to post it. Also I'm at work and I don't have anything to do, so if I keep typing away it will look like I'm busy and nobody will give me anything more to do before I get to go home.

The following is an attempt to understand why the modern Social Justice movement, and the "Internet Left" in general, has some of the more perplexing characteristics that it does. Such as:

- Extreme authoritarianism
- Intellectual elitism and a refusal to consider anyone else's perspective
- An assumption that anyone they disagree with is not only wrong, but evil
- "Rules for thee, not for me" style hypocrisy
- A fixation on identity politics rather than economic redistribution, jobs, welfare, healthcare, trade unions and ideas associated with the "Old Left"
- A drive to "unperson" people they do not approve of, with no forgiveness, regardless of the target's apologies or attempts to put things right
- An ability to justify anything they say or do, no matter how awful, because they are on the "right side of history".
- A tendency not to take any actual action to make the world the way they want, just to express their opinion on it
- An inexplicable love of Harry fucking Potter

I will do this using the history of moral philosophy. I will write this assuming you know nothing about it. If you do have a background in philosophy or ethical theory, this may all come across as a bit basic and drastically simplified, I'm sorry. Bitch at me in the thread about it if you like. But I want as many people as possible to be able to follow what I'm talking about (assuming you just haven't rated this post autistic and moved on, I wouldn't blame you if you did). I do believe, however, that I can help you towards a better understanding of the aspects of the SJW mindset outlined above using this train of thought if you choose to follow along. Yes, even why they like Harry Potter.

First, A crash-course in moral philosophy.

Moral Philosophy is the study of what is right and wrong, and what those words really mean. There are two main (and quite broad) categories into which most post-medieval moral philosophy falls: deontology and consequentialism.

Deontology is the belief that actions carry moral weight. Deontologists believe that some actions are right, and some are wrong - importantly this is without context or considering the consequences of those actions. If X is wrong, X is always wrong.

The classic deontological moral text is The Ten Commandments. It says "Thou Shalt Not Steal". Not "Though shalt not steal, unless you're stealing bread for starving children", or "Though shalt not steal unless nobody notices" - the act of theft is morally wrong, and should not be done, ever. There are other, more nuanced versions - the New Testament's "Golden Rule" ("do unto others as you would have others do unto you") is one, as is Kant's "Categorical Imperative" ("do unto others as you would have everyone do unto everyone all the time").

Consequentialism is the belief that actions themselves are not moral or immoral, it is the consequences of those actions that carry moral weight. The best-known consequentialist movement is Utilitarianism, which posits that actions that promote "pleasure" are good, and actions that promote "pain" are bad. So stealing bread to feed starving children is the right thing to do, as would be killing a baby if you knew it would grow up to be a genocidal dictator.

The "Trolley Problem" is a classic thought experiment that separates which of these categories your beliefs fall into. Essentially it sets up a scenario in which a follower of each school would take an opposite decision - a deontologist would refuse to pull the lever because it would constitute an act of murder, a consequentialist would pull the lever to save the greatest possible number of lives.

Most moral philosophy since The Enlightenment has consisted of philosophers sperging back and forth as members of one or other of these groups. There is, however, a third category of moral philosophical thought - one that has been dormant, but not dead, for the last three centuries, and is undergoing a resurgence with the SJW movement -

Virtue Ethics

Virtue Ethics was the dominant school of ethical thought in Ancient Greece, particularly through Plato and Socrates, and has sporadically emerged from time to time since, notably through Nietzsche. Virtue Ethics differs from the other two schools in that it does not consider actions in any way when forming theories of right and wrong. Instead, it considers the root of right and wrong to lie in the motivations, character and thought-patterns of individual moral actors. For the Virtue Ethicist, actions and their consequences are not good or bad - people are good or bad. If their actions have any moral weight at all, it is only to the extent that those actions are in line with their beliefs and character. A good person will, by definition, do good things. But those good things that are done by good people are not good because of their nature or their consequences, they are good because a good person did them. Virtue Ethics is about good character being developed by self-reflection, mental discipline, self-improvement and purity of thought - internal processes, not external actions. As well as Ancient Greece, variations on these ideas were and are very popular in Eastern religions and philosophical schools as well, especially Buddhism, which teaches that the moral good comes from as much disconnection as possible from the physical world and developing inner purity instead.

Before we look at criticisms of Virtue Ethics, let's look at how it has taken over from the other schools as the core moral philosophy of the Left. To do that we need to look at Marx and the death of Free Will in Leftist philosophy.

Marxism, at least as written by Marx himself, is a very unusual political philosophy, because unlike almost all others it does not descend from a moral philosophy. Instead it descends from Economics, and claims to be scientific. That the proletariat will overthrow the bourgeoisie is not going to happen because it is a morally good thing (though most Marxists of course believe it is), but because unavoidable, inevitable economic forces will make it happen. Mass forces (economics, class and social structure changes) are greater than the wills and acts of individuals. We live in a society, after all. In fact the thoughts and beliefs of individuals are put down to their class environment - the rich believe right-wing ideas because those ideas say they deserve to be rich, the poor adopt left-wing ideas because those ideas say they do not deserve to be poor. Feminism has similar ideas about stereotypically "male" ideas becoming dominant because men are socially dominant, not because of those ideas necessarily being the best.

Combine this loss of free will with post-modernism, which came to ascribe almost all beliefs and ideas as "social constructs", not results of an individual's free will, and the idea of a link between someone's actions and their responsibility for those actions was all but severed. "Society made me do it" was the call of the progressive from the 1960's onwards, and feminists adopted the ideas of "patriarchy" and "internalised misogyny" - the idea was that people's actions were the results of social forces over which they had no control, or even awareness.

So if people have no control over their actions, then surely they cannot be held responsible for them? In that case, how can we tell who is right or wrong if people's actions (or their consequences) are no longer a guide?

The solution was to adopt Virtue Ethics instead.

From the 1960s onwards Virtue Ethics became a growing influence in left-wing academic circles in a movement known as the "aretaic turn". Once again, the idea that people are right or wrong, not actions, was gaining traction (and besides, the other ideas were clearly the inventions of white bourgeois men and were thus problematic). In a world where your actions were driven by mass social and economic forces, it was what you believed and how fervently you believed it that sorted the moral from the immoral. Identity, not actions. Feels, not reals.

Virtue Ethics is at the core of the SJW movement (whether or not individual activists are fully aware of it). The phrase "the right side of history" is telling, as it reveals the deterministic nature of the SJW outlook. The Leftist belief system will inevitably win out, so you either get with the program (good) or oppose it (evil), in your heart. Actions don't matter (dindu nuffin, after all), whether you are good or bad is determined by what you are, not what you do. Swallowing the Kool-Aid is a one-way ticket to moral virtue, and you don't even need to leave your basement.

Criticisms of Virtue Ethics

In my view, Virtue Ethics went out of fashion for damn good reasons. Criticisms of it include:

- Everyone is the hero of their own story. We tend to believe that we are good people regardless of the evidence. Virtue Ethics allows people to entirely disregard their own actions and their consequences in their assessment of their moral character. Most Virtue Ethics relies on people making honest self-assessments, and people are really fucking bad at that.
- Whilst it may be possible (if you do manage to overcome your ego) to make an assessment as to whether your own character is virtuous, it is much harder to do that to other people, because all you have to go on are their words and actions, which are not theoretically relevant. Is a system of ethics where you cannot reliably judge if someone else is good or bad a useful or coherent one?
- What is the point of an ethical system that does not give guidance as to action, especially if you also have a deterministic worldview that minimises or negates the role of the individual, as Marxists and many Postmodernists do? Nietzsche believed in Virtue Ethics, but he also believed that the will of the individual was the most powerful force in the world. The Left believe in the collective, not the individual.
- Can an ethical system that ignores pain and suffering, and does not judge people's actions, really be either useful or coherent?
- Virtue Ethics is a narcissist's charter - once convinced of your own greatness, everything you do is by definition morally good, even if you are a rapist, a serial killer, or Onision.

Now we can start to understand those strange characteristics of SJW behaviour in a clearer light:

- Extreme authoritarianism - if you have goodness in your heart, you have moral authority over those who don't (i.e. those who disagree with you). They are the past anyway - oppressing them makes sure that the will of the virtuous wins over the will of the vicious.

- Intellectual elitism and a refusal to consider anyone else's perspective - again, anyone who has different ideas to you is of unsound character by definition, and their ideas are by definition poisonous and must be not just ignored, but preferably censored to protect the minds and good characters of others.

- An assumption that anyone they disagree with is not only wrong, but evil - because moral matters come from character, and your character is good, any opposing character is evil. Perfectly logical.

- "Rules for thee, not for me" style hypocrisy - anything a "good" person does is "good" by definition. Evil people (everyone who disagrees with you) need rules to keep them in check and guide them towards morality, but those rules are only necessary for those who have not already acheieved moral greatness like yourself. You don't need a guide to action. You are already a good person so you can do whatever you want and it won't affect your status.

- A fixation on identity politics rather than economic redistribution, jobs, welfare, healthcare, trade unions and ideas associated with the "Old Left" - because character, not action, is important. It's about who you are, not about actually doing things for people. The inevitable forces of economic and social change will sort those things out and bring about the good times, there's no need to actually do anything about them.

- A drive to "unperson" people they do not approve of, with no forgiveness, regardless of the target's apologies or attempts to put things right - once someone has been judged as immoral of character, their words and actions are no longer relevant, no matter how "good" they are. Evil resides in the heart, and no amount of action or apology can remove it. Evil must be purged, and those people must be utterly destroyed.

- An ability to justify anything they say or do, no matter how awful, because they are on the "right side of history" - this arises from a combination of the determinism of the SJW ideology and the belief that adopting that ideology is all that is necessary to be morally good. What you say or do is all therefore automatically in support of what is good, provided that your beliefs are strong enough. That is all that matters.

- A tendency not to take any actual action to make the world the way they want, just to express their opinion on it - the phrase "virtue signalling" is actually much more apt than most people realise. You must show the pureness of your beliefs, and therefore the goodness of your character, because that is the only way other people can realise that you are a good person. What you do isn't relevant (because it doesn't count towards your moral standing, and societal change is inevitable anyway), and so therefore it makes total sense not to actually do anything. Talking about how virtuous you are is quite literally the best possible use of your time.

- An inexplicable love of Harry fucking Potter - this requires further explanation:

Harry Potter does awful things. He lies, he cheats, he steals, he breaks and enters, he uses his magic to incapacitate and torment people, often out of petty vengeance. His actions have got countless people killed or made homeless, including many of his own friends, got his home trashed and the delicate social order between wizards and muggles has been smashed to bits, putting mankind in mortal danger. He wilfully ignores rules designed to keep people safe. He is petty, selfish, jealous and vindictive and often motivated by revenge, lust and rage.

But Harry Potter is the hero because he is on The Right Side of History.

Harry Potter is the Chosen One. He is predestined to defeat evil, and therefore anything he does, no matter how awful, no matter how much pain and misery it causes, is justified. Anything he does is good by definition because he is good at heart. Every crime Harry Potter commits is in service to his destiny, and his destiny is the ultimate good. Harry Potter has a pure and virtuous soul, and that is all you need to be morally good, and be the hero.

Harry Potter is the living embodiment of Virtue Ethics and that is why SJWs are obsessed with him.

I'll take those autistic ratings now, thanks. But I hope you found that all at least interesting. Take a look at threads like the ResetEra thread, or individuals like Clawshrimpy (who had a massive meltdown over the Trolley Problem), and see if their behaviour makes any more sense with this in mind.
 

ScamL Likely

Avant-garde Autism
kiwifarms.net
To me the most fascinating part of this is that you're apparently posting on Kiwi Farms from your workplace's PC.
 

ScamL Likely

Avant-garde Autism
kiwifarms.net
I see. I considered that possibility too but hoped you weren't that adroit. As unlikely as it was, it would've been more amusing that way.
 

nonvir_1984

Never amount to anything! And they were right.
kiwifarms.net
I'll take the bait.
There's another thread where folks have made a lot of good points about deontology and consequentialism. Wikipedia, whmo you quote, notwithstanding, I do not think the characterization of the two theories is quite right.
Both are theories of what makes an action - or a choice between actions - right or wrong.
Deontology holds that an action or choice is right in so far as they conform with a moral principle or duty (Deon = duty). So, an act will always be right, if it is just. Of course you can get situations where principles conflict - you caan't both be just and loyal at times. So, you must decide and to do that you need to appeal to another principle. This is where Kant comes in with his categorical imperative. This is the idea that an act or choice is right in so far as you could at the same time will other similarly placed people to make the same choice. It's a bit more detailed that that but that is the outline. Rights are types of deontological concepts.
Consequentialism hold that an act or choice is right in so far as it produces outcomes that are morally desirable more so than any other action. So, of two actions, the one that produces the most justice is preferred to the one that produces less, even if the act itself is not just. In short, the moral quality of an action is not inherent but dependent totally on the consequences it produces.
Here is a good resource: https://plato.stanford.edu/
I do not agree with your characterization of virtue ethics. To my mind (following Seneca, but the other Ancients too) virtue ethics is reflecting on your life and deciding the kind of person you want to be and the principles and attributes that rational reflection suggests are necessary to lead a life in which your "diamon" flourishes. This is why it is often called "eudiamonic ethics": the contemplation of flourishing. This means that a flourishing person - one who uses reason, compassion and properly ordered desires - will be just at times, but also loyal at other times, merciful and kind at other times, but also firm and resolute.
As for your assertion that SJW are enthralled with virtue ethics, I do not agree. It seems to me their incessant talks of rights, duties, responsibilities - and without critically thinking about them but then being happy to junk entire ways of life or groups of people to advance an agenda place them firmly in the totally fucked up and confused toxic mix of consequentialism and deontology.
Sorry about typing. I have had to fortify myself with a couple of stiff bloody marys as I wait to board a small plane piloted by one of our dusty cousins who speaks little English and is wearing shoes held together with duct tape. Fuck only knows why i'm getting on this plane.
 

Spunt

bwup
kiwifarms.net
@nonvir_1984 I think you make some fair criticisms of what I wrote. I did say that I had to massively oversimplify the concepts I was writing about because most people couldn't fit the history of Western moral philosophy into a very thick book, let alone a shitpost on a stalking forum. I don't disagree with any of the points you make re: deontology or consequentialism, though I think defining those terms super-accurately isn't really necessary to the point I was making, which is that modern progressive belief systems doesn't seem to follow either.

But I did make one mistake that probably does need correction, and that was that I incorrectly seemed to attribute a very narcissistic and isolated version of Virtue Ethics to its ancient Greek progenitors, and in fact I characterised all of Virtue Ethics as being like that. As you pointed out, neither Seneca or the Stoics thought that way, neither do many more modern Virtue Ethic thinkers from Nietzsche onwards.

Virtue Ethics covers a very wide range of beliefs, as do the other two categories I mentioned and many more that I left out entirely. What is core to all of them, however, is the belief that the moral good comes from the character of the individual as its originating point. How that individual becomes good, and how you define that good, of course varies greatly. But the big trap that Virtue Ethics lays for its adherents (and of course other schools lay traps for their own) is that it can allow you to self-define as good, especially if you don't know what you're doing.

In my view, Virtue Ethics is fine if you're a galaxy-brained professional philosopher with the intelligence and self-discipline to take a good hard look at yourself and make critical moral judgements about your own character. The problem is, so far as I'm concerned, that most people are completely incapable of that, and even those that can are unable to do it 24/7. Plus it requires a great deal of study and theoretical knowledge to understand what is involved. Buddhism is an entire religion dedicated to these ideas, and it considers this process of mental and spiritual self-development to be so difficult that it literally takes several lifetimes of study to master. You have to dedicate your life to it, die, reincarnate, and do it again, possibly several times (Hinduism has some similar concepts though it has more of a balance between internal virtue and external action). And even though that requirement is very clear in the literature, that doesn't prevent tribal-tattooed Western shithead hipsters deciding that they're Buddhists now and gloat about how they have achieved enlightenment over the course of a weekend.

What is clear to me in watching the SJW phenomenon is that not only do they follow a very narcissistic brand of Virtue Ethics, in most cases they don't know that they're doing it. If you watch the twitter feeds of the lefty lolcows we follow, their understanding of ethics, and what terms like "right and wrong", "ethical" etc. even mean are hopelessly confused and contradictory. They flail about between statements that imply deontology ("NEVER tolerate X, X is evil") and consequentialism ("X is a necessary sacrifice to achieve Y") and other ideas without any consistency. That's why it's important to watch what they do more than what they say, because it shows the actual thinking that is going on in the background.
 

Locomotive Derangement

Hardcore Velocity
kiwifarms.net
I think the majority of this debate can be bypassed by just presuming that authoritarianism can manifest in any ideology. Someone who claims to be the ideological expert or morally superior establishes themselves as the authority in that situation. Once established, the attached ideology really does not matter as power dynamics come into play and the leaders will begin to act as they see fit. This can be done out of a conscious desire for power and control, or it can be the unconscious presumption that you are the authority, therefore you know best, and you know best because you are the authority, etc.
 

Spunt

bwup
kiwifarms.net
That is true, but it's way easier to decide you're the moral authority if you only have to consider your own character rather than the things you've done. You don't have to deny any facts. If you're a deontologist and you break all the rules and neglect all your duties, people can call you out on that with evidence. If you're a consequentialist, people can point out that you've spread misery, pain and despair everywhere you went. In those circumstances, you'd have to deny those facts somehow. As a Virtue Ethicist and a Narcissist, you can just plain ignore the facts. You're on the right side of history. You're the hero. You are good in your heart. The murder spree/sexual assault/genocide doesn't change that.
 

Locomotive Derangement

Hardcore Velocity
kiwifarms.net
Yeah but you can do that with any ideology. I'm pretty confident in the presumption that very few popular ideological positions preach introspection and self-doubt.
 

Spunt

bwup
kiwifarms.net
What family of moral code you follow is different from your ideology. For example, you could be a libertarian because:

- You believe that freedom of choice/action is a natural right which it is always immoral to violate (deontology)
- You believe that, on the whole, people are happiest when they are free (consequentialism)
- You believe that adopting a stance of non-interference in the lives of others is the right sort of person to be (virtue ethics)

Can you sense a possible fedora-waving smugness in the last one of those? A "Not my problem that children are starving, I have the right beliefs, fuck you, got mine" sort of smugness? That's the right-wing version of what we are dealing with here.

The Left has had thinkers of all three schools, as well as Marx who claimed that the inevitability of Communism had nothing to do with right or wrong, at all, it was just scientific fact. What I'm arguing is that the Left have shifted from the first two schools to the third, without even noticing themselves for the most part.

Remember Socialism? Most old-school Socialists believe that either equality is inherently good and just (deontology) or that equal outcomes are the best in terms of human happiness (consequentialism). Both those moral structures lead to the impulse of action, i.e. we must take action to make society more equal. But change the moral locus to an internal one, then it's just about believing in equality and being as un-bigoted in your heart as you can, not about going out there and achieving the sort of society you want - a change from judging society, to judging people. I think that shift in moral outlook is what has caused the Left to degenerate into the mess that is the modern Twitter progressive movement.
 
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Locomotive Derangement

Hardcore Velocity
kiwifarms.net
- a change from judging society, to judging people.
I'm genuinely curious as to where you draw the distinction between one or the other, since from my perspective I simply do both.

I think that shift in moral outlook is what has caused the Left to degenerate into the mess that is the modern Twitter progressive movement.
I think the current state of left-wing politics has more to do with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the general presumption that Marxism and Socialism are now harmless, allowing much more free discussion of the topics. It also probably drew in people who prefer to think of themselves as underdogs, on top of the fact that openly supporting Communism has been a common act of rebelliousness and counterculture dating back to at least the 1930s. The real shift is demographic, not moral. Communism, Socialism, et all were originally championed by middle-to-working class people, with only a few core academics at the top to drive rhetoric. Now, overwhelmingly the people who are likely to identify as Socialists, Communists or Marxists are overwhelmingly middle to upperclass, and a large number of them are on the younger side.

There's a potential arguement to be made that the rhetoric of the modern left wing is some kind of coping mechanism to deal with white guilt, survivor's guilt, and anything generally designated as "priviledged". I'm more inclined to think of it as another outgrowth of this strange wave of emotional behavior we're seeing across the masses, which involves not only politics but has affected other things such as art, aesthetics, humor and entertainment.

The Twitter Progressives owe a lot more to the mechanics of Twitter and the culture surrounding it than they do to any sort of moral thought on the part of the people actively posting there. This has been true of the internet at large for quite some time but Twitter just happened to distill that set of mechanics down the most efficiently. Posting regularly online is habit-forming, and it feeds into a sense of community that generally most people are lacking in their lives. Its not that surprising that people already leaning on one ideology would fall to dogmatism on a site where your thoughts and words at limited to singular 240 character posts.
 

Syaoran Li

Totally Radical Dude
kiwifarms.net
I'm genuinely curious as to where you draw the distinction between one or the other, since from my perspective I simply do both.



I think the current state of left-wing politics has more to do with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the general presumption that Marxism and Socialism are now harmless, allowing much more free discussion of the topics. It also probably drew in people who prefer to think of themselves as underdogs, on top of the fact that openly supporting Communism has been a common act of rebelliousness and counterculture dating back to at least the 1930s. The real shift is demographic, not moral. Communism, Socialism, et all were originally championed by middle-to-working class people, with only a few core academics at the top to drive rhetoric. Now, overwhelmingly the people who are likely to identify as Socialists, Communists or Marxists are overwhelmingly middle to upperclass, and a large number of them are on the younger side.

There's a potential arguement to be made that the rhetoric of the modern left wing is some kind of coping mechanism to deal with white guilt, survivor's guilt, and anything generally designated as "priviledged". I'm more inclined to think of it as another outgrowth of this strange wave of emotional behavior we're seeing across the masses, which involves not only politics but has affected other things such as art, aesthetics, humor and entertainment.

The Twitter Progressives owe a lot more to the mechanics of Twitter and the culture surrounding it than they do to any sort of moral thought on the part of the people actively posting there. This has been true of the internet at large for quite some time but Twitter just happened to distill that set of mechanics down the most efficiently. Posting regularly online is habit-forming, and it feeds into a sense of community that generally most people are lacking in their lives. Its not that surprising that people already leaning on one ideology would fall to dogmatism on a site where your thoughts and words at limited to singular 240 character posts.
There is a lot of merit to this argument, and I think the SJW zeitgeist of the 2010's arose from three major events in our recent history.

Those three things are the collapse of the Soviet Union, the demise of the Religious Right, and the rise of social media in general, with Twitter and Facebook being the worst examples.

The Soviet Union's demise meant that communism and socialism were no longer seen as "evil" or "dangerous" but it was still seen as edgy and rebellious. Consequently, a lot of Millennials who don't really remember the Cold War and have no real idea of just how bad communist regimes actually are starting to flock to leftist ideology. The rise of corporatism and the 2008 Recession and its messy aftermath did not help matters, and now we have a whole generation convinced that capitalism is synonymous with corporatism and oligarchy and that socialism is synonymous with free shit.

The Religious Right was a major force in American politics and culture for most of the 1980's, 1990's, and 2000's, and most Millennials knew of them and their insane virtue ethics all throughout their childhood and adolescent years, and if you lived in a "Bible Belt" area such as the Deep South, the rural Midwest, or Appalachia, it was even worse and more of a looming specter in your culture. The Religious Right was a lot like the SJW's of today with their hatred of fun and their overall moral authoritarian approach. They campaigned against vidya, heavy metal, anime, D&D, Halloween costumes, and Harry Potter books because they were convinced that those things were all gateways to Satanism and the occult.

SJW's are exactly the same, except they like Harry Potter and instead of condemning video games, rock music, and even Halloween costumes as gateways to Satanism and the occult, they condemn these things as gateways to fascism and the new boogeymen of white supremacists and the nebulously defined "Alt-Right"

This lunacy was the absolute worst under the presidency of George W. Bush, which gave us the War on Terror, the rise of the modern surveillance state, and the Great Recession, so there's also that.

If you put the SJW movement into the context of being a Millennial backlash against the Religious Right, particularly the form it took in the Bush years, a lot of their inane stances start to make sense, such as the rather baffling combination of militant Atheism and Islamophilia (they love Islam because those dang dirty Christians oppose Islam) and their intense fetish for anything even remotely seen as "queer" because same-sex marriage was opposed by the Religious Right and the debate got really heated in the Bush years.

Hell, their love of Harry Potter can also tie into the fact that so many Evangelical whackjobs screeched about how the Harry Potter books were a gateway to witchcraft, in addition to the Millennial left being uncultured pseudo-intellectuals.


The third factor is the rise of social media and Web 2.0, which caused a uniquely interactive echo chamber effect and is also exacerbated by the hyper-consolidated and hyper-corporate media landscape of the 2010's.

The key reason as to why the SJW's succeeded where the Religious Right failed is precisely due to the radically different media landscape. If the current media landscape and its unique idiosyncrasies existed in the Bush years, we'd likely see the Religious Right and their Neoconservative handlers in the same position as the SJW Left and the Neoliberal elites.

Instead of panicking about Nazis and the Alt-Right, the MSM would be panicking about radical Islam and the occult and instead of silencing any opposition against intersectional feminism, Critical Race Theory, or accepting the fact that there are only two genders, they would be silencing opposition against the War On Terror and anything remotely anti-Israel, and it's likely that Young Earth Creationism and climate change denial would fill the same niche of socially acceptable pseudo-scientific woo that "We Wuz Kangz" and "Gender is a social construct" are currently filling in this day and age,
 

Ягода

Ягода малина или генрих Ягода
kiwifarms.net
sheeit man, I'm neither a philosophy major nor Harry Potter fan, but here are my two cents based on history and being an engineer, trying to keep shit simple:

Industrial revolution brought in many societal changes in the West and as a result contrasted those changes with how fucked Russian pre-revolution society was. Within Russia, it stimulated many thoughts on improvement. A lot of those thoughts, from communism to anarchism were purely theoretical and had little rooting in real life or nature of man. You'll find that most early revolutionaries and theorists were like Marx, mentally jerking off while income came from somewhere else. Post 1917, it was real amateur hour since none of these theories really worked IRL, but created some of the most interesting experiments to date.

I think that information revolution is having similar effect in driving the transformation of established society into something we haven't yet figured out. Plus there are more Karl Marxes who can afford jerking off without worry of going hungry.

The root of SJW are feels, not reason. I don't believe it's something that they logically arrive to, but simply do what feels good and gives them dopamine fix. If there is anything I can say about SJWs, sonabitches are the most illogical faggots on the face of this earth. This explains why they contradict themselves and do just the opposite in different time frames.

In terms of Communism and Soviet socialism, it's been an epic brainwashing, not just Soviet citizens but reaching into far corners of the world. Fucking Comintern prepared some of the early foreign leadership like Kim Il Sen and Ho Chi Ming, with money and support shaping nations. It mutated and throughout the cold war spread a lot of cash to keep soviet interests abroad alive. This means propaganda and social leaders. In short, commie propaganda machine made a lot of these Antifa faggots possible. Do not discount that foreign enemies do not plot US distruction. As political scandals has shown in the past, Russia spreads a whole shitload more cash buying Euro politicians now. I don't know what Chinese do, but I bet they don't sit idle. Soros is country of his own. Basically, a lot of these SJW "grassroot" organizations are nothing but.
 

Otterly

Primark Primarch
kiwifarms.net
A good chunk of the population aren’t able to embrace the idea that life is complex, messy and a million shades of grey. They want it to be simple - right and wrong and they need to be Told what’s right and wrong by their echo chamber. They see life as a simple black white right wrong cause and effect chain.
Note this is NOT the same as believing in an absolute moral right or wrong. It’s about not thinking deeply enough, not being able to see someone else’s point of view and not being able to think ‘I might be wrong about this, maybe I’ll listen more and have a think.’

This deficit isn’t confined to ‘the uneducated’ by the way as SJWs love to sneer at the proles- our universities encourage this mode of thought and it’s prevalent in the humanities and humanity ‘intellectual’ types.

So several modern plagues have this thought mode as a root.

1. SJW ism. Goodies v baddies. Me right you wrong. Wrong must be destroyed.
2. Antivaxx- needing a simple bogeyman to blame for a complex medical outcome like autism.
3. Death cults like ISIS. Good vs bad. Baddies must be destroyed.

It’s all the result of the same type of thought. That a simple position makes a person totally right and they must destroy the enemy.
They don’t see politics as a balance of opposing beliefs, where the opposition is human and may have a point once in a while, they see them an inherently bad and to be destroyed. When you cross that with the authoritarian streak that however many percent of the population have you get rabid SJWs unpersoning people. Four hundred years ago they’d be burning witches, six hundred they’d be flagellating themselves in procession across Europe rooting out heresy and if they lived in the Middle East they’d be the actual, real morality police.

The type of thought has always been with us. It seems hard wired in.

A really interesting question would be what makes some people think like this and others not.
 
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