A few years ago at my university the College Republicans attempted to show an anti-Islam documentary and were, for some bizarre reason, given use of the multicultural center by administrators who oversee student groups. Word spread of the film and where it would be shown, due in part at least to the College Republicans advertising their event. On the night of the event a large contingent of students from a variety of Islam-related student groups and their Neo-Progressive allies came and shut the event down. The practice, called 'no platforming' is a tactic of contemporary social justice activists to prevent 'problematic' speech from being done, in the name of not hurting the feelings of those who might take offense. The speaker's rights seem to be of no consequence.
How this can happen in America is based on the differences between Liberals and Progressives. No, progressives are not liberals. Liberalism is a spectrum of ideas that run the gamut from traditional liberalism, which focuses on individual autonomy, private enterprise, and limited interaction between economics and government in order to enable individuals to find and create opportunities for themselves, and welfare-state/reform liberalism on the other end of the spectrum, with its focus on government regulation of the economy as a means of empowering individuals to lift themselves out of poverty. Both philosophies rely heavily on the idea that the individual is the most important part of society. Society is conceived to varying degrees as a mass of individuals who compete with one another while being interconnected. Disagreements between the two camps focus on the role of tradition and the power of the government to intervene in the affairs of business and the people.
Collectivism comes in both right wing and left wing flavors. Right wing collectivism dies when this guy and his friend with the funny mustache lost WWII.
Progressivism is a collectivist ideology. The ideology of the Social Justice Warriors can be understood simplistically as being to the left of welfare-state liberalism on the overly simplified left-right axis. Why is Progressive ideology illiberal? Simply put, this ideology puts the needs of individuals as second (if that) to a group identity. This is the stuff of identity politics. Reality is relative by necessity for identity politics, while claims about the experiences of those of a particular identity are taken as a given. From this we get concepts like patriarchy, widespread institutional racism, and cultural imperialism/appropriation. Rights are given to members of groups – and are taken from them as well, for the majority possesses whatever conceived of privilege that is convenient for outsiders to claim for themselves. Privileges are to be opposed.
An example of this comes in the form of (fill-in-the-blank-racial) Student Unions at universities across the United States. Most public universities now have a student union that is a designated 'safe space' for people of a particular racial identity. People who are not of that identity (typically meaning white people) either need not come at all or should tread carefully. If this sounds a bit like segregation that's because it is segregation. The use of public tax dollars to support these places may actually be illegal if any enterprising lawyer was brave enough to be made a pariah by challenging university support for these institutionalized segregated spaces in the courts.
Yes, Virginia, if these guys were seriously trying to make a White-only space it'd probably be illegal too.
For otherwise thinking people to accept these kinds of arrangements requires the internalization of victimhood applied both to the individual and the group. Liberalism not only does not rely on people being labeled victims but it rejects victim politics because individuals have autonomy; for liberals becoming a victim is not a point of pride but at best a temporary status to be overcome, as in the cases of fraud, assault of all kinds, and accidents/injuries. To embrace victimhood is a surrender of individual autonomy.
The Social Justice Warriors have been very effective at promoting a class of victims. Who they are a victim of precisely depends on what people are alleged to have been victims of, but in the end it all comes to white men. That is, the 'patriarchy,' a topic that I will write about next, and with glee. To be a victim requires an external oppressor. This is pretty easy to understand in the context of crime: to be a victim of crime requires a criminal. But in the case of phantom classes oppressing people the inevitable result is the creation and institutionalization of an oppressor class where none existed before, even if the class only exists in the minds of the over imaginative activists who scream loudly about oppression all the time. Identifying as the oppressed becomes central.
Pretty sure I'll get hate for using St. Daria against Leftists but whatever.
This is but one way that Progressivism is anti-individual and deeply collectivist ideology. The victim mindset is the same theory of class oppression applied to race, gender and 'intersectionalities.' Most of this originates in something called 'cultural Marxism,' which for some reason has been adopted by academia and non-critical thinking students because of the successful track record that economic and political Marxism has had anywhere its ever been tried.