A discussion of Social Justice, checkboxes, and compelled thought

How social justice hears

In September of 2016, a Canadian professor took to Youtube to speak about a concern he had with a proposed law called C-16. That law addressed the question of trans-gendered people in society, and as a consequence it required the use of language by the public under penalty of law. Such a directive to cause Government to compel speech drove Professor Jordan Peterson to refuse to comply, and as a result raised international awareness of this issue that exist beyond the trans-gender focus of that law.

The refusal of Prof. Peterson to comply to the social justice demand led to a continual and growing protest that eventually led to his speaking before a Canadian Senate Committee on C-16 and its potential ramifications. Along the way, Prof. Peterson was served notice from the University of Toronto, twice, for speaking his opinion on the law and standing for his beliefs. He was denied research grant funding for the first time in his academic career. He was, and continues to be, the target of several protests, social media attacks, and most recently, in 2018, a direct and public attack in a British news television interview with Cathy Newman.

Broadly, this is about the acceptance of a socially challenged minority under attack by an oppressive group of elites unwilling to accept non-compliance to their views. But it’s not about trans-gendered people. It’s about those that fundamentally, and based on principle, object to the social justice/Progressive ideology and the reaction to such objection.

Modern Progressive ideology requires compliance by all individuals to the strict limits they identify. This is justified by the claim that the good of a select few is superior to that of the masses, and thus a moral superiority is held. Further, rejection of this ideology is required to be designated as a physical attack, with emotional consequences of such dire impact that the opponents must be classified as evil. Under such a classification, any and all actions are fair and justified, while any defense is consider proof of the title of evil.

Given that this is a summarization, and thus oversimplification to some degree, as a full discussion requires hundreds of hours of discussion and video evidence, and analysis, and review of written documentation. That said, the societal discussion of gender is only one of several tranches of the social justice/Progressive platform. But the thing that is consistently clear, is that in each tranche there is a mandatory interdependence of the categories identified being small and the opposition oppressively large. Further, each tranche is less important than the adherence to the Progressive ideology. Finally, the social justice movement is the transmission method of compelled action which is the ultimate goal.

Modern Progressive social justice, as seen in America and around the world, is an impersonal technique. It requires that all individuals must be categorized. Humans are no longer unique but rather components of a checkbox. This starts from an the most obvious observations and continues in a never ending effort of micro-categorization. Thus there are the checkboxes based on gender and race. But this is further divided by economic class, sexual preference, religion, ethnic origin, place of birth, political ideology, and so on. This is further divided by economic opportunity, sexual and gender identification, physical traits, religious sect, degree of political spectrum, and on it goes.

These are not new things. In America, like many nations across the world, race has long been a category. Prejudice is a direct consequence of such categorization. By definition if individuals are regarded by only the checkbox they can be placed into, then mass assumptions must be applied to the checkbox which in turn leads to stereotyping of that checkbox. No matter how many positive attributes and elements of such checkbox isolation exist, because this depersonalizes an individual, negatives attributes and elements must also apply.

Negative reinforcement is a basic and fundamental aspect of life, and directly human life. We recall, as a factor of the survival of the individual and species, things that bring us pain and discomfort far more readily and sharply than the beneficial. Thus, touching fire or a hot object in childhood makes a lasting memory to be cautious with fire and heated objects. This equally applies to the negative attributes and elements of checkbox categories of people.

Thus the memory of slavery has left an indelible residual impact on Americans, both in a positive and negative impact. It is this generalization the modern progressive ideology finds fertile ground. Slavery is used as the justification of classification of all Whites as evil, and actions taken against Whites are justified socially for the smaller checkboxes because it is action against evil. But this over-generalization fails.

As detailed in the NO Soundbites Allowed podcast of October 27, 2017, where the meeting of Black Lives Matters (a component of Citizen Action – a Progressive political organization) detailed the social justice ideology with the assumption of Whites owning rental property, and implicitly that those Whites are evil, justified the call to vandalize and destroy that property by people of color.

Black Lives Matter in Houston

The classification of groups of people allowed for one group (all Whites – especially property owners) to be vilified and the rightly target of crimes by another group (specifically Black renters) with a motivation that to prevent this a motivation must be added – landlords must incentives renters in a social justice approved manner in order to not have their property destroyed. At no point are either broad classifications of the groups in the checkboxes ever addressed or considered as individuals, and assumptions are applied, even if incorrect, as the individual is not important.

This mindset only works if there is acceptance that the masses can be correctly categorized into checkboxes without regard to individual aspects, that those checkboxes can be arbitrarily assigned moral values, and that their adherence to social justice allows for the remedy to any imbalance created by the checkbox and/or the moral value assigned. Thus, action must be taken, according to the progressive ideology, to institute the remedy lest the imbalance continue and further harm the checkboxes.

A successful instance of this can be seen in the gay-marriage discussion. As discussed in the June 27, 2015 article The battle for the term gay marriage and SCOTUS

“Said another way, the issue of same-sex marriage is not, and should not be confused with, the acceptance or denial of homosexual lifestyle. The issue of same-sex marriage is purely a question of legal standing in a contract recognized by the States. Any other aspect of the issue that is argued is in fact an attempt to change a mindset, which has no place in a contract dispute.”

Bringing this back to Prof. Peterson, when he refused to accept this compelled action – in his case speech that was approved of by Government under social justice guidelines – he has been punished. First with threats to his employment, and at the same time with attempts to embarrass him into submission via protest (which can be found on Youtube). His continued resistance led to attacks on his reputation and credibility, and categorization as undesirable as seen attempted in his 2018 interview with Cathy Newman.

Newman: Why should your right to freedom of speech trump a trans-persons right not to be offended?

Peterson: Because in order to be able to think you have to risk being offensive. I mean look at the conversation we’re having right now. You know you’re certainly willing to risk offending me in the pursuit of truth. Why should you have the right to do that? It’s been rather uncomfortable.

Newman: Well I’m very glad I put you off.

Peterson: Well you get my point, You’re doing what you should do, which is digging a bit to see what the hell’s going on, and that is what you should do. But you’re exercising your freedom of speech to certainly risk offending me, and that’s fine. I think more power to you as far as I’m concerned.

Thus we have the other element of social justice. Something we have seen become far more common. Attempts to isolate resistance to compelled speech and thought, and ostracizing efforts to resist. Not only is this now common in discussion of politics, but it is a component of entertainment.

The recent revisioning of Ghostbusters is one example. A film that had some appeal to a dedicated fan-base, which was announced to be focused on a social justice theme of feminism, and proven to be a core aspect of the film once released. The backlash from the fan-base, and the general public was at odds with the social justice doctrine of Hollywood. The result were critical approval of the film, based largely on the physicality of the actresses, while audiences rejected the film based on content, production, and overall enjoyability. But that rejection was then categorized into checkboxes: Men, dedicated fans, and misogyny. The film and Hollywood compelled another category – Women, social justice, equal rights proponents – to see it, regardless of the inherent quality of the film.

More recently, and with far larger attention, has been Star Wars. A series of films that has dedicated itself to providing characters as checkboxes, and compelling a thought process via entertainment, without substance or credibility within the film. The result – as seen in the performance of The Last Jedi in the US and internationally – has been a fracturing of a fan-based that has existed for 2 generations, with the demonization of the audience that rejected the checkbox as entertainment experiment.

In each case regardless of medium, and there are others, Progressives start with checkboxes of groups of people, with generalizations attributed to them. The targets of that medium are compelled to accept the speech and themes, lest they be considered a less desirable checkbox.

This is further reinforced by mass media and social media. When an inevitable backlash occurs, the opponents are placed into checkboxes, attributed the worst of moral and social labels, and attacked for not accepting the belief system and thoughts approved by social justice. Individuality is of no concern, only the resulting acceptance of progressive ideals.

The key is that regardless of the medium, the end result sought by social justice is control. Whether it is control over speech – which is verbalized thought – or internal thought, control is the overriding theme. It is compulsory to accept, as individual beliefs, ideology, and motivations are non-existent to progressives. Thus we have a roadmap of virtually all interactions with social justice/progressive ideology.

  • First: Identify a category to be used (women or black or poor or gay, ect. or a combination of such). The more checkboxes that can be filled to minimize the target group numbers the better.
  • Second: Create a compelled action. This can be a book, movie, speech, law, or anything else.
  • Third: Loudly proclaim that only by enacting the compelled action can the oppressed collection of checkboxes be made more free
  • Fourth: When the inevitable backlash arrives, categorize it into as few as possible checkboxes. Maximize the numbers of the opposition, and attribute this group with flaws and negatives.
  • Fifth: Demonize the opposition. Emphasize en masse all negatives associated with this large selected checkbox group, while denying any individuality that may exist across the spectrum created. Use all forms of media and social media to do this.
  • Sixth: Ensure that protests occur, and that any counter protest is displayed as a radical display of power by an oppressive maximized checkbox previously identified. This is best done by taking the most extreme position offered individually by the opposition and promoting it as the theme of the entire category – this is the only talking point to be addressed.

    IF the source of opposition centers on a single individual, and their personal reputation cannot be destroyed by supposition and syllogistic fallacy, then protest where that individual is outnumbered and barraged is required https://youtu.be/O-nvNAcvUPE. In this, and preferably all protests, ensure that there is a disruption – captured on film or video – and distributed after stylized edit to promote the initial compelled directive.

  • Seventh: Regardless of outcome of all the above, declare a victory for the target group. Create a false syllogism to connect another desired checkbox, and compel that it too must be enveloped by the initial concept. Expand the scope of the issue to ignore the original intent while retaining the compulsion, and promote the Progressive ideology as the cure to the conflict. Repeat.
  • As a real world example, in the Southern Tier of New York, Citizen Action are Progressives. Black Lives Matters (BLM) is a part of Citizen Action – though rarely disclosed to the public. BLM holds protests against local Government – without specifying an individual person or organization to target, nor having any representative of the target of the protest present to defend themselves. The protest infers that a checkbox is oppressed, with dire moral implications. The protest demands compulsory change for everyone on the basis of moral superiority. Opposition is considered racist due to connection to a larger checkbox which is attributed a moral negative and ostracized. The protest ends with claims of victory, and the issue is expanded to encompass a larger progressive control issue. While that may seem a flight of fancy, it is the summarization of an actual event May 22, 2016, in Binghamton. New York.

    In conclusion, on a matter far from conclusion in our society, the reduction of individuals to checkbox categories while compelling speech and thought is a troubling trend. It has been in place for decades, slowly invading every aspect of life and personal freedom. It is an orchestrated and calculated series of actions masked by a false moral superiority and a pretense of goodwill for individual lives that are by function and purpose not recognized.

    The awareness of this on-going process, and its implications, may one day lead to ceasing this process and the introduction of a real and determined effort to improve the freedoms of all individuals in society, but that is not the current day. Because of this, there may be no greater threat to individual freedom and thought in our culture.

    About the Author

    Michael Vass
    Born in 1968, a political commentator for over a decade. Has traveled the U.S. and lived in Moscow and Tsblisi, A former stockbroker and 2014 Congressional candidate. Passionate about politics with emphasis on 1st and 2nd Amendments.

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