A guest post by Nate Winchester:
For those who don’t want to read the whole thing it is thus:
SJW ism is Marxism for social capital.
I’m a computer guy by trade so it’s old habit for me to define variables at the start (I also notice that most debates on the Internet boil down to a misunderstanding of terms).
Marxism– the principle that things should be as equitable as possible. Example: If I have a $100 and you have $0 then Marxism proscribes we both have $50.
Social Capital– This is going to be tricky because pointing SC out to people is like trying to get fish grasp the concept of “water.” Honor, Reputation, Respect, Friendship, even Privilege are all terms for things that cover a wide swath of SC and are sometimes used as synonyms but don’t quite equal the totality. The reality of SC becomes especially apparent when you move to a new town. In my hometown if my car breaks down, I know which tow service is the best to call, which garage does the best work & is the most honest, which friends are free/busy to give me a ride, who can loan me a car, and backups for all of the above in case something goes wrong with my first choice. But when I move to a new town and my car breaks down? I have none of that. I don’t know which tow service will get the job done promptly, or which garage will give me an honest deal, I have no friends that can give me a ride and no cars to borrow. Social capital is the catch all term for EVERYTHING social around you. If you want an easier way to measure it, the simplest would probably be funeral attendance. The more SC you have, the fewer empty seats at your service.
If you are reading this, you are probably at least vaguely aware of social justice warriors (SJW) and their most recent vocal complaints. (for fun, post what was the most recent complaint at the time of reading – it should paint interesting historical patterns) A lot has been written on SJWs, whole books even, but if you’re like me, you can’t help but notice that while everything which can be said about SJWs has been said it all seems… off. There’s something missing to bring it all together, but what?
It finally hit me when I read this article by the federalist, which (with some irony) goes over plenty of things I already knew (if you keep up with comics, you’re very familiar with SJWs). But like in the movies, gathering it all together and going over it again might be all the detective needs to catch what he missed before.
See, one thing you learn is that people can be very bad about explaining what they want. For example, little kids will often say they’re hungry when they’re not. But they know that hunger is a bad feeling of discomfort so any feeling they have which isn’t comfortable is thus expressed as “hungry.” Likewise SJWs, further handicapped by an extensive “knowledge” edifice dedicated to obfuscating language, end up with a need for which they cannot vocalize. And like the toddlers who want something other than the food their parents are shoving into their face, the SJWs get frustrated and begin caterwauling as loudly as they can (thus why often giving SJWs what they say they want leads to them being angrier and more enraged – but that’s another thesis for another day).
However these SJWs are ostensibly adults, they SHOULD be able to communicate, why can they not vocalize their needs? Because modern society has lost the ability to verbalize and discuss social capital in any meaningful way. (If you want an example, just look at how many seem unable to get some of the basic concepts spelled out in the Holy Bible – like Jesus’ parable of the shrewd manager which is, in the literal sense about a man trading literal capital for social capital.) And once you realize the true nature of SC, it all makes sense.
And part of SC (and what makes it so complex) is that it doesn’t always apply to only humans. For example, let’s look at comics. If I say “Superman” SOMETHING pops into your mind (yes, even if you, dear reader, are from another country, the odds are that you STILL know who Superman is) in fact several things probably pop into your mind. ALL of that, everything that your brain conjured is social capital for Superman. No, he doesn’t exist, he’s just a fictional character, but he still has social capital invested in him because of humanity nature towards stories. A fictional character that has some meaning to you, no matter how small, is a character with some SC.
By now you’re probably starting to see it too, and you realize something else: everything about social capital is HARD. Regular money is a symbol, an agreed upon representation of meaning by people which give it some amount of power and that makes it easy to deal with. Thus the belief of marxism, if we take all the money and evenly distribute it (which can at least conceptually be done) then we’ll all be better off! We’ll have even power at last!
Except not really, because the power isn’t in capital but social capital (this is what Jonah Goldberg speaks of when he says it’s not money that corrupts, but friendship). Money can be stolen, it can be taxed, it can be distributed. SC cannot. I cannot hit you over the head and take your reputation. I cannot break into your house and steal your friends. I can’t pass a law that everyone has to trust me like they trust you (well I could but it would be unenforceable). No, SC can only be gained by years and years of work and effort and… living*.
*Yes there is an issue with media & rumors and how they affect SC but that’s another thesis for another time. But you should at least notice that getting the media/rumors/etc to all agree on robbing someone’s SC still takes more effort and work than just lifting the same person’s wallet.