Thursday, 4 June 2020

Critical Theory - the Unlikely Conservatism

If "critical theory" is to be a useful and good thing, it needs to punch up, not down. This is a crux of social justice thinking. Most critical theorists would not dispute this.

So when "white fragility" being displayed by your average nobody on social media or "incels" - men who can't get laid come in for criticism from "progressives" while Wall Street, corporate lobbyists, the military industrial complex, the prison industrial complex and the State Department are ignored, one really has to wonder. Just whose side are they on?

Incels and the all lives matter types are (for the most part) marginalized and deeply insecure. If they had access to education, good jobs or connections within institutions, they'd be secure and have intimate partner relationships, wouldn't they? Or at least they'd be much more likely to.

Unlike feminists and BLM types, they have no advocates in the political sphere or the popular culture. This isn't to say life is a picnic for women and ethnic minorities as a whole either, and I don't often agree with reactionary world views, but understand that more white males than women and people of color believe reactionary things because they have no critical theory of their own and can't access media and academic resources. The SJWs can, and they're not too interested in helping out their down and out white male counterparts. They have "privilege", remember? And then they act surprised when poor white men become tea baggers and Trump supporters.

It's bad enough when conservatives tap into the resentments of otherwise ignored and marginalized segments of the dispossessed white male underclass to farm them for votes only to ignore them once in power. It's that much worse when the so called progressives exploit critical theory to essentially the same ends vis-a-vis those women and people of color who've lucked out and gotten into the middle class - use them to elect "liberal" democrats on woke social issues who otherwise march to the beat of the big donors and corporate lobbyists once in office. The progressives should know better.

When the concept of privilege is used to scapegoat a voiceless segment of the population, something has gone terribly wrong. They've made a Faustian bargain with big media and big academia: ignore the real issues plaguing minority underclasses (because with some exceptions they're the same issues that plague poor whites and poor men) and instead demonize the poor white man, and the professional "activist" class will remain comfortably ensconced. As an additional kicker, this serves to drive poor white men to embrace conservatism. The right won't help them in any significant material sense, but will at least put up a pretense of representing them in the cultural sphere. The woke power structure can then hold up white male reactionaries as evidence of how truly deplorable they are.

The wokies in media, academia, state and corporate bureaucracies got theirs, and they're pulling the ladder up behind them. They're the postmodern equivalent to the aristocracies of labor who got gold plated contracts for themselves, so screw everyone else. That's no way to a just, socialist society. Sooner or later, they get co-opted by the people with real power, and betrayed and dispensed with when they're no longer useful.

This is one of my major gripes with the social justice warrior types. They punch down. Imagine if they used their clout in academia and the media to push for meaningful reforms in police training and procedure, for universal health care, for a revitalization of the trade unions, for getting money out of politics, for major infrastructure reinvestment, for a new new deal, a sovereign wealth fund, a guaranteed income ... imagine how much better the lives of the marginalized would be?

Imagine how many black lives could be saved? Black lives matter, don't they? I say they do, and I think the SJWs need to start taking that a bit more seriously. White/male fragility, incels, microagressions and people posting all lives matter on social media aren't the instruments of oppression in America. Capital controlling the levers of government is.

But then, were the 21st century "social justice" crowd were to start saying that, they'd lose their privileged access to academia and mass media. So their actions stand to reason, don't they?

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Critical Theory - the Unlikely Conservatism

If "critical theory" is to be a useful and good thing, it needs to punch up, not down. This is a crux of social justice thinking. ...