Love him or hate him, Vox Day is an interesting cat.
Day–the pen name of author, publisher, and Infogalactic creator Theodore Beale–is one of the most controversial and polarizing personalities on the Internet. Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that he’s a passionate defender of free speech, American culture, and Christianity. A prolific author of may non-fiction treatises on politics, economics, and religion, 2015’s political/philosophical polemic SJWs Always Lie tackles some of the 21st centuries biggest cultural issues.
We’re in a culture war, and in Day’s view, there is no neutrality. So you’d better know your enemy, because your enemy sure knows you.
And who is your enemy? If you’re even slightly to the right of center, don’t buy identity politics, are a Christian, or even the kind of person who just wants to give everyone a fair shake, meet the SJWs. They hate you. A lot.
Why? Because you exist.
SJW, if you recall, is Internet-slang for “Social Justice Warrior.” Social justice . . . that sounds good, right?
It started out as a positive moniker, but morphed into its current use as a derisive term for those hectoring nags who find everything that doesn’t comport with their point-of-view to be “problematic” and in need of being shut down.
This is why those of us into free speech find SJWs so troubling: It’s not that they disagree, or that their aims are always bad. It’s that they want to shut down and silence everybody and everything that doesn’t fit their worldview.
And in order to do so, SJWS–a relatively small segment of the population–worm their way into institutions and begin, in a Gramscian long march, to implement their ideology. See the current controversy over the leaked Google memo for an example of the kind of culture this attitude creates . . . and the overdone, out-of-proportion reaction when somebody calls them out on it.
In any event, in order to combat SJWs, one must understand them. And that is where Day comes in. And as a reluctant participant in this culture war myself, I’d rather be proactive than reactive in this ideological battle.
Day boils down the phenomenon of SJW-ism into three laws:
- SJWs always lie
- SJWs always double down
- SJWs always project
You see, the issue is that “social justice” tends to not be “actual justice.” Justice, in the Western conception, is blind. Social justice, on the other hand, can be thought of as dividing the world into Oppressor and Oppressed . . . and using whatever means necessary to destroy the Oppressor and give to the Oppressed.
If you’re saying to yourself, “So communism,” or “Post-modernism,” then congratulations! But the social justice phenomenon can be thought of as cultural Marxism, or an outgrowth of post-modernism, in the way that it slices up the population into competing, antagonistic groups by race, class, gender, religion, and so on, and creating a victim hierarchy which determines who gets what benefits and who gets punished.
In short, SJWs are totalitarians who wrap themselves in the mantle of nobility.
This is where Day’s book comes in.
You’ve no doubt seen SJW types on the Internet. They are a hysterical mob who over-reacts, lies about their enemies, and have a rabid desire to silence all speech and thought that they deem runs counter to the ever-shifting Narrative of the day. Typically though not exclusively on the political left, they push their fact-free narrative of how the world should be by infiltrating institutions and subverting them from the inside out. And if you say or do the wrong thing, if you even think the wrong thing, they will be out for your blood.
As Day explains, SJWs are relentless. They will ruin their target’s livelihood, relationships, and lives without remorse, secure in the knowledge that they are on the vaunted “right side of history,” ravaging organizations and indeed entire industries until they are remade in their own twisted image until these organizations and industries can’t even perform their core functions. We see this in the tech sector and video games and the music world, in comic book publishing and the movie industry and probably your company’s HR department.
Fear and intimidation are their weapons, and no matter the truth, they torture reality to fit their narrative.
In the universities, in the churches, in the corporations, in the professional associations, in the editorial offices, in the game studios, and just about everywhere else you can imagine, free speech and free thought are under siege by a group of fanatics as self-righteous as Savonarola, as ruthless as Stalin, as ambitious as Napoleon, and as crazy as Caligula.
–Vox Day, SJWs Always Lie, pg. 26
Why do they do this? What do they have to gain? Day goes into detail about their motivations and tactics, and offers strategies for how to successfully fend off the SJW horde should you find yourself in their cross-hairs. And it doesn’t matter if you’re on the political right or left: If you cross them, they will come after you.
Even better, Day outlines how freedom-loving people should strike back.
There’s a lot packed into this slim volume. I would say it’s worth purchasing for Chapter 10’s discussion of dialectic versus rhetoric alone. But there is so much more, including the tale of Day’s hilarious battle with sci-fi author John Scalzi and the entire Tor books establishment, and a history of the #GamerGate movement, which began as a protest against unethical video games journalism and turned into the first successful counterattack against SJWs.
This all seems very far-fetched, especially if you aren’t steeped in Internet culture. But make no mistake, if you deviate from the ever-shifting tenets of social justice, the SJWs are coming for you. Their reach extends into all aspects of life. What started out as a power grab in academia, literature, and film has even extended its slimy tentacles into the world of tabletop gaming (see the #NotAtMyTable lunacy). You will be affected eventually.
As quoted by Day, Sun Tzu’s aphorism rings true in the fight against this new thought police:
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
This is a war. Arm yourself with the knowledge you need to fight back. Well-written, practical, and inspiring, SJWs Always Lie is that knowledge. You might not like Day, you might find some of his viewpoints abhorrent, but there’s no denying that in SJWs Always Lie, he is right about everything. Hate the messenger all you want, but you can’t deny his message. Highly recommended.
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