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Too Busy to Protest

Entry 1997, on 2019-08-28 at 14:50:35 (Rating 4, Politics)

Every day we seem to be exposed to more whining from groups who consider themselves unfairly disadvantaged by modern society. By "whining" I mean protesting, social media campaigning, appearing in biased reporting by mainstream media, and featuring in various forms of political posturing. There's no doubt a case which could be made in favour of whining, because the way our society works favours some people over others, but I don't think this is primarily because of anything as simple as race, gender, etc. It's more related to cultural and behavioural factors, which are theoretically equally attainable by any group.

So for example, when I see a bunch of social justice warriors protesting about how a bit of land is being used, because of some nebulous historical value, I don't really admire them too much for their moral standards or the persistence of their actions. In fact, I tend to look at theme as being rather pathetic. Actually, often my first thought is: how can these people afford to spend weeks protesting? Do they not have a job they have to go to occasionally? And the answer is usually no, because these people do tend to be some of the most useless parasites we have.

I know exactly the perspective they are exhibiting, because when I was a student (yeah, that was a few years ago now) I also had that ridiculous, simplistic, naively moralistic stance too. In fact, it has only more recently that I realised how uninformed and superficial my views were. I do have to say at this point that people with the opposite views, such as extreme conservatives who automatically reject any changes in the structure of society, are equally wrong, but these aren't the people who are being portrayed as the shining paragons of virtue by a lot of the media today, so I think it is fair to concentrate my opprobrium on the SJWs on this occasion.

But first, I have been criticised in the past for using the term "SJW", because I criticise other people for using descriptive words like racist, misogynist, and Islamophobic, and SJW seems to be a similar type of word to these. But I really cannot think of a better way to describe the people I am criticising in this case. So to partly assuage that criticism, here is what I mean: a person who is dedicated to showing their support for social justice issues, who supports "disadvantaged" groups with little real analysis of the facts, and who bases their attitudes more on the neo-Marxist agenda of the far left that anything more balanced and genuine.

I should say here too, that I am not against protesting, but I think it needs to be done appropriately and in moderation, and using a protest as a way to virtue signal your support based on your dedication to an extreme political perspective is counter-productive.

In fact, demanding special privileges for "disadvantaged" groups is by definition itself bigoted. There is an idea known as the "soft bigotry of low expectations" which states that people who want to give these groups a better chance to succeed by giving them special privileges are treating those groups as if they are inferior in some way. The fact that there are lower expectations of that group, to the extent that they cannot compete equally with everyone else without help, is condescending to that group, and ultimately a form of bigotry.

There is a counter to this point, which is that the "system" is biased against certain groups. I think there is some evidence to show this is a factor, but it is far from clear that it is significant. Because there are plenty of parts of the "system" which are biased in favour of "disadvantaged" groups, and there are plenty of examples of members of these groups succeeding without any special help.

I have a cartoon which shows a woman graduating from university and says something like "you want equal pay? why did you not do an engineering degree then, instead of gender studies?" It's a good point. Most likely that woman will not be paid as well as a man who is an engineer (or a woman who is an engineer, of course) and no doubt she will whine about it (well, she did do gender studies, after all). But whose fault is that? We all know (we know it, even if some won't admit it) that engineers are more useful to society than whatever gender studies graduates become (if they become anything) so this is an economic factor within our system, not a deliberate bias against women.

And the same criticism could be applied to a lot of protestors. Instead of endlessly complaining, why not work on making things better for the "disadvantaged" group? Build them houses, help them get jobs doing that building, and show them that they can do well in society if they just make the effort.

Just to finish this discussion, I do have to say that I do not accept the way different occupations are valued by society, and I do think big corporations have too much control compared to the average person. Plus, I fully recognise that protests can be reasonable way to achieve change. But I would encourage anyone involved in a protest to examine their motivations and decide whether they have genuinely looked at the situation being protested and aren't just joining the crowd and by indulging in the "soft bigotry of low expectations" actually making things worse for everyone, including the group they think they are helping.

But the general ignorance and stupidity of most protestors should be no surprise to anyone. The smart, innovative, motivated people who actually get things done aren't there. They're too busy to protest!


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