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The many forms of political correctness war going on around the world right now seem to have something in common. They speak to our sense of what is sacred. But this sense drives our conservative tendencies, not our progressive ones. That is to say: The Social Justice Warriors are right-wing people that believe themselves to be left-wing.

You are only a vegan because you want to be a conservative but you don’t have the guts to do it.

Jonathan Haidt has this theory that morality has many different foundations, or flavours, and that each person has their particular moral taste. So for example you might be highly sensitive to Fairness but not as much to Loyalty, and so on.

So the political Left is based on a morality highly sensitive to Care/Harm. That is, anything is only bad or good inasmuch as it causes pain or alleviates it.

The political Right is much more varied on its moral palate, but one of the tastes it values is Sanctity/Impurity. That is, it is good to be clean and bad to be contaminated.

The thing is, the Left has largely dominated ocidental discourse, to the point that you can’t really talk of morality without using Left-wing terms. Basically you cannot be “Good” if you are not on the Left.

Of course the Right thinks of itself as Good. But, since its conservativeness is trying to conserve something from a century ago, to outsiders it just sounds outdated. If you go all the way, you can think of yourself as Good being on the Right, but for that you must also eat a lot of Bible-literalism, NRA gun-loving, quasi-Randian Greed-is-Good Capitalism, and a bunch of other crazy. The Right does allow for a morality that is more than Care/Harm, but they charge too high a price.

So what remains? For a long time, it had been Apathetic Leftism. Just like in “Spiritual but not Religious”.

Problem is, the world is becoming more violent, and violence makes us wish to belong. So Apathetic Leftism was not working anymore. Political Correctness filled the void.

As brain-dead as it is (or, come to think of it, maybe exactly because of it) Political Correctness allows you to feel “pure” and “sacred” without leaving the Left-wing frame of discourse. You keep belonging to the Left, but you take on a value system that is very alien to the previous Left.

It is not exactly Right-wing, either, but it looks a lot more like the Right than the Left.

So.

Being a Feminazi is being a Bible-carrying Televangelist, except for shouting “Patriarchy!” instead of “Satan!”. It makes you feel righteous (despite being really bad sociology).

Veganism is just like card-carrying NRA membership, except with Kale instead of AR-15 for a totem. It makes you feel Good (despite being really poor nutritional advice).

All the “crusader” types of activism is just a way for people whose brains lean to the right but whose social context is very left-wing to actually end up being conservative while still remaining notionally on the left.

Sadly, tragically, they are trying to “conserve” a world they actually hate.

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