In approximately 2014, there was the sudden growth of content on platforms such as YouTube that can be classified as Social Justice Warrior (SJW) content and the anti-SJW content that resulted thereof. Herein you started getting words and phrases such as cis-gendered (identifying with your own gender), white privilege, and heteronormative (meaning heterosexuality was being pushed as the ideal).
The pattern was this: Some SJW would release a video or article bemoaning some “racist/sexist/homophobic” aspect of life, which ranged from the benign to the absurd, and then a multitude of people would respond to it, mocking and deriding the subject matter. So in a word; episodic. This continued for years. One could not help but wonder how this duel of ideas could continue for such a lengthy period of time. The ideas propagated were dubious at best and paranoid at worst. In the marketplace of ideas, these ideas were in the buy one get several truckloads free section. How could this continue indefinitely if it was shown that only a small minority of people resonated with such content or ideas? Wouldn’t they just go the way of the Dodo?
The problem arises, however, that it does not matter if the ideas were and are rejected by the broad public. They are accepted by the right people, who it would seem either agree with the ideas proposed or are so disconnected from the general populace that they think these ideas are in vogue. What does this author mean by this? Who would accept these claims out of hand? Well, CEOs and executives of large companies for one. Most of all entertainers (media included) for another, and politicians from densely populated urban districts. What do they all have in common?
Well for one they are dependent on direct and immediate responses from their “customers.” All three of these categories of people are trying to sell their brand. They are, therefore, highly susceptible to the responses of a relatively small group of “customers”, who threaten boycotts, protests, etc… for any perceived slight that those under scrutiny might present. Thus, the near puritanical or perhaps more appropriately Bolshevik/Maoist desperation to conform. But even that does not spare the potential victim, as we see a perverse form of enforcement wherein anybody who has not held the opinion of the current orthodoxy for all of time is subject to the public shaming and punishment that is so akin to that of it’s Maoist progenitors. Fortunately, with (Thank God On High) little bloodshed so far.
This is the negative feedback loop that produces such an ideology. However, the sheer force of will does not negate the fact that there are many who are in the categories previously mentioned that are in fact true believers, however, beleaguered and abused they may be.
Where do these true believers come from? That’s simple; the institutions that were taken over long ago by the left-wing. Many of these Big Tech CEO’s, entertainers, and nearly all politicians come from the same set of educational institutions. Here we can include Ivy League schools as well as other big-name institutions of higher learning. But not only this, but high schools, middle schools, elementary schools, and in some cases daycares. This is not meant to come across as anti-intellectual, but simply for the author to point out where people learn these ideas, which is with no humor or irony intended schools.
Some people reject the mainstream narrative. You see this with the right who wear their anti-SJW/counterculture beliefs not only as a badge of honor but as a center point for all of their beliefs. While well-intentioned, as many of the SJW arguments are because no decent person is a racist, sexist, etc… the right has been shown to descend into the same hive-mind as the left. This can be no clearer than in the “Stop the Steal” campaign launched since Pres. Trump’s November 3 election loss. There is little to no evidence of any major source of voter fraud. Or at least not enough fraudulent votes to change the election results. But the right stubbornly held onto this belief, reinforced by our irresponsible President, irresponsible Congressmen, and our irresponsible commentators. Contravening facts and logic never made a dent in the Stop the Steal gambit, and for that, the seeds of chaos were sown and we must pray we do not see the fruit it will bear.
Simply put, ideas win when they are held to be true by the leading institutions. The left-wing bent of all the leading institutions, that the right would refer to as institutional capture, seems to be the obvious case. It does not mean that all people will agree with said truth or that even most will agree with it. The narrative propagated might be far more extreme than most of the moderate middle would accept. However, these narratives survive because this moderate middle accepts the bare minimum of the premises. However, where the country is today is that on one side you have a near puritanical fervor for one set of ideas in line with “social justice” and on the other an equally puritanical fervor against said ideas. Nary the two shall meet. This is evidenced by such things as the Police Reform Bill of this past summer sponsored by Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, which went down in flames at the refusal of Democratic support. This cultural deadlock produces more than just political problems but social as well, as is evidenced by the chaos of this past year.