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What do y'all think of social justice warriors?

+2 votes

A social justice warrior is generally a pejorative for people who are all about social justice causes. So, I suppose, the question is what's y'alls opinion on them and of the idea of "justice"?


asked Aug 4, 2016 by human (3,740 points)
edited Aug 4, 2016 by human
"just ice" (or with whisky) interests me more than "justice".

I wonder if the more recent manifestations of the SJW phenomena are similar to the disruptions of anarchist activity cataloged in Lupus Dragonowl's essay. http://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/lupus-dragonowl-against-identity-politics

Also hasn't most of the SJW activity been generated by Intersectional academics, students, and Marxist intellectuals?

2 Answers

+4 votes
The term Social Justice Warrior makes me want to throw chairs at people.

I first encountered the term as used by a friend who was attempting to motivate other anarchists and fellow-travelers to be cognizant of issues of accessibility at events within our shared circles. It was well meaning, but felt like something that I would've heard at a NVCD training in the anti-globalization years, in that there was what felt to me a naive assumption of shared goals.

Since then, I have only encountered it in internet trolling (and one time as obviously sexist irl trolling of a colleague, based on appearance) by people who are using it as a reaction against anything that threatens the status quo, or as a euphamism for "PC."

While the first example made me self consciously cringe, I also was able to contextualize it in terms of people with whom my affinities and differences were already known. The latter is merely a reactionary provocation. (I guess also from anarchists who are acting in reaction to identity politics, but at some point reactionary is just reactionary...)

To dig deeper, I am not a particular fan of social, nor do I feel drawn to most concepts of justice, and I hate anyone who labels themselves a warrior (unless we are talking about the street gang from Coney Island). As invective aimed at me by others I generally take it to mean that the person knows little enough about me and my perspective (and/or is too stupid to grasp my ideas) that they just throw out whatever inappropriate blanket insult they can find.
answered Aug 5, 2016 by ingrate (19,990 points)
edited Aug 10, 2016 by ingrate
In the 80s we called them "activists"; in the 90s we called them what they called themselves: "organizers." If a neologism is necessary, I have used "activismist."
for those who don't know, here NVCD stands for nonviolent civil disobedience.
+7 votes

I think ingrate was especially on the mark with noting "a naive assumption of shared goals."

I don't use the label as a denunciation, personally, since it seems to me to have become a sort of shibboleth for people on the alt-right or at least those who are especially defensive of the status quo; but I generally feel enmity toward anyone who fits the label, such as it is. My issue with them is straightforward - their goal is generally to broaden the circle of inclusion of society through efforts like the redistribution of commodities, the social humanization of social enemies, and the changing of everyday language. All of this activity implicitly or explicitly valorizes the supposed boons of modern capitalist democratic republics; it says that the middle-class-or-above life of having a creative job, participating civically, buying nice commodities, and having a family are essentially good things, maybe in need of some tweaking, sure, but generally still something that ought to be aspired to and spread around. That means that, at a fundamental level, we have opposed values, even if we agree on a few superficial manifestations of differing fundamental values.

answered Aug 11, 2016 by Bellamy (410 points)
recently i came across a comment by a self-proclaimed socialist that socialism = bourgeois-for-everyone, as if this is desirable for that 'everyone.'
not as bad as milstein's claim that anarchy = the best of communism and democracy. (facepalm)
Is it not just a little bit more than a shibboleth for people on the alt-right? Wasn't the disruption of the annual Law & Disorder conference at Portland State University way back in 2014 an early example of SJW activity targeting anarchists?

Certainly. I think you may have misunderstood my statement - I just meant that I don't use the label SJW as a spoken or written slur because of its shibboleth status. That doesn't mean I don't disagree with the people that the label might apply to; as I tried to say above, I have fundamentally different values and goals from those people. The world I would like to see is literally impossible to realize alongside the world that they would like to see, which makes them, ultimately, enemies. In the case of the (ridiculous) episode you reference, that's a perfect example of being in conflict. I just would not have called them "SJWs" had I been there - maybe "halfwits" or "annoyingly disembrained crusaders" instead.

LOL! That hit's the nail on the head. My bad, I missed the significance of the word "enmity" in that context.