The Age of False Dichotomies

SJW.

Social Justice Warrior, evidently. It’s a term used to insult people who speak out on the Internet about gay rights, transgender rights, women’s rights, etc.–pretty much all rights except for those of white Christian men. While there’s certainly something funny about that, I want to return to the idea of the SJW, because it’s easily translated:

I can’t be bothered to give a fuck about things that don’t directly affect me.

I’ve recently seen someone assert that the SJWs had already won the war, and until the Mississippi legislation they had won in all 50 states. That’s pretty surprising. I really wish someone would let all the raging hillbillies around here know that we’ve already won the war, because the hostility, threats, and attacks that the LGBT community receives in the south on a weekly basis indicate otherwise. It’s almost like there’s still a war going on.

Oh wait.

My position on this may confuse people. I understand that. We’ve gotten so used to the idea of forcing our ways onto others, that when someone like me comes along and says “No, we can’t use force to promote LGBT equality,” they’re often left with vacant expressions, asking, “Then how can we promote LGBT equality?”

With reason, argument, evidence, logic, and compassion. Sure, you could put a gun to Charles Manson’s head and make him behave in the public, but the moment you turn your back the hatred springs right back up. It’s the same thing with LGBT equality. Sure, we can use force and the state (because everything the government does is ultimately done at gunpoint), put a gun to people’s heads, and force them to behave the way we want them to. But the moment they have the opportunity, they’ll revert back to their old habits. Even if they never get that opportunity, they grow bitter and resentful, they have to keep their frustration buried inside, and it manifests eventually in things like huge support for Donald Trump.

Pundits were surprised that the south went so heavily for Donald Trump. I don’t know why. The writing was on the wall and plain to anyone who bothered to read it. The south has the most frustrated people in the country: a bunch of conservative christian men who have been thoroughly assaulted in three ways continually over the past few decades–they’re bad for being conservative, bad for being white, and bad for being men. When they speak up about how it’s fucked up that white conservative men aren’t allowed to have pride, or even allowed to identify as a group like everyone else can, they’re called bigots, told to shut up, mumbled to about white privilege, and told that “Equality only looks like oppression when you’re used to privilege.” And that would be true if the left had stopped, but they didn’t–they actually have moved toward oppressing white conservative men, and these lines are now being used as a way to wave that reality away.

The result is widespread support for Trump.

Yes, Christians and conservatives need to be reached over the LGBT issue, and they need to eventually accept the LGBT community. But we can’t do that with the barrel of a gun; I think I’ve made that clear. In addition to being morally wrong, it’s ineffective as a means of changing people. The moment they can, they will revert to their old ways. This is what leaves the left confused. “If we don’t pass a law making them accept us, then how will they ever accept us?”

Easily. We’ll get them to accept us with logic, reason, and compassion. I gladly speak out in support of their right to reject me, to discriminate against me, and to not associate with me. Do you know what this does? Generally, it causes them to accept me. They see that I value their rights. They see that when I say “I respect your beliefs,” I mean it. I’m not trying to force them to change; I’m trying to get them to see that I’m a human being, too. And that means I have to treat them like they’re human beings–with rights and everything.

It’s a complicated issue, and earlier today someone on Facebook carried it onto the slippery slope and posted an image showing a bunch of businesses discriminating against this group, that group, and another group. I’d posted to Gary Johnson’s page, because, to my amazement, Johnson would obviously stand against the law–he thinks discrimination on religious grounds should be illegal. How he reconciles that with calling himself a Libertarian is anyone’s guess.  Anyway, my reply to this picture was:

So? Liberty means that people have the right to do things we don’t like. Let the free market take its toll on these businesses that discriminate. THAT is the Libertarian position.

The town I live in is 69.71% black. I can imagine how well a “Whites only” business would go. It would be out of business in days. Free market in action, bigot learns a valuable lesson. That’s Liberty. People are going to do things that you don’t like, that you disagree with, and that you don’t approve of. Until they use force, violence, or coercion, you have to allow them the rope to hang themselves.

To that, he basically said, “I’m not going to argue with you.”

I encounter that quite a lot, because I get into a lot of discussions online, and that’s a pretty common tactic. This guy literally posted three arguments previously, across four or five comments, among them the sign that I replied to with “So?” And then suddenly, he said he wasn’t going to argue with me. Presumably, this is to make himself feel better about losing the argument–as though he wasn’t trying, or as though he wanted to make me out to be belligerent. The reality, obviously, is that I simply posted something to Gary Johnson, urging him to reconsider his position. This dumbass decided to dispute me, assert that Johnson is correct, and decided not to provide any argument or reasons for that bald assertion.

Well.

If I take the time to write out a 800 word article on the matter and present it to a Libertarian Presidential Candidate, you can rest assured that I presented an actual argument. And I’m not going to let someone make the bald assertion that I’m wrong and then provide nothing to counter me. If I present an argument that “x is true because…,” then you can’t just come along and say “x is false” and leave it at that. No, I’m not going to let that stand. So I briefly reiterated my position, and he tried to dispute me. Then, when he ran out of stupid shit to say, he went to the “I’m not going to argue with you” line, even though he’d literally been arguing with me the previous 5 comments. So I ended things with:

Because you don’t have an argument. You stepped in to tell me I’m wrong and that Johnson is correct, and then have been totally unable to provide any basis for that position. You can’t now say you’re not going to argue, because you DID argue. You just failed at it because your position has no basis in libertarian principles.

Back to my point, though, is that none of these issues are simple and one-sided, and that’s why it’s critical that we not use force, violence, and coercion to achieve our ends. It’s simply impossible to use force, violence, and coercion without stomping on someone’s rights, and it is wrong for us to do that, no matter what our reason is. Two wrongs do not make a right. Our entire society has forgotten that.

Yes, conservatives rights have been under attack in the past few decades, as have the rights of white people and the rights of men. But this doesn’t mean that racism against blacks has ceased to exist, it doesn’t mean that the LGBT community has achieved anything resembling equality, and it doesn’t mean that women have achieved equality. If you call someone a SJW because you think these issues are one-sided and simple, then you’re as damaging to social peace as the oppressors.

I believe this period in human history will go down as the Age of False Dichotomies. No matter where we look, we’re presented with one false dichotomy or another, and people today seem incapable of thinking in anything but the utmost of extremes. If there is discrimination against black people, then there can’t be discrimination against white people. If there is discrimination against women, then there can’t be discrimination against me. If LGBT people can get married, then there must be LGBT equality. Right? Right?

No. These are false dichotomies. And they fester like cancers all over our society.

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