"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

On Leaving the SJW Cult and Finding Myself

From 2017:

On Leaving the SJW Cult and Finding Myself – Thoughts And Ideas

"I see increasing numbers of so-called liberals cheering censorship and defending violence as a response to speech. I see seemingly reasonable people wishing death on others and laughing at escalating suicide and addiction rates of the white working class. I see liberal think pieces written in opposition to expressing empathy or civility in interactions with those with whom we disagree. I see 63 million Trump voters written off as “nazis” who are okay to target with physical violence. I see concepts like equality and justice being used as a mask for resentful, murderous rage.

The most pernicious aspect of this evolution of the left, is how it seems to be changing people, and how rapidly since the election... How easy is it for ordinary humans to commit atrocious acts? History teaches us it’s pretty damn easy when you are blinded to your own hypocrisy. When you believe you are morally superior, when you have dehumanized those you disagree with, you can justify almost anything. In a particularly vocal part of the left, justification for dehumanizing and committing violence against those on the right has already begun.

I don’t yet know what to call this part of the left. Maajid Nawaz calls them the “Regressive Left.” Others call them SJWs (Social Justice Warriors) or the Alt-Left. The ideology is post-modernist cultural marxism, and it operates as a secular religion. Most are indoctrinated in liberal elite colleges, though many are being indoctrinated online these days. It has its own dogma and jargon, meant to make you feel like a good person, and used to lecture others on their ‘sin.’ “Check your privilege”- much like “mansplaining” and “gaslighting”- all at one time useful terms- have over time lost a lot of their meaning. These days I see them most frequently being abused as weaponized ad hominem attacks on a person’s immutable identity markers….a way to avoid making an argument, while simultaneously claiming an unearned moral highground in a discussion.

I have been wondering why more people on the left are not speaking up against violence, in favor of free exchange of ideas and dialogue, in favor of compassion. But I know why. I was in the cult. Part of it is that you are a true believer, and part of it is that you are fearful of being called an apostate — in being trashed as a sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, xenophobic, fascist, white supremacist nazi. A friend recently wrote to me privately to say they find my latest posts “refreshing,” and that they believe in free speech, but as someone who works in entertainment, they can’t say anything that might cause them to lose their job. As someone who has gone through and is still going through a change in my underlying systems of belief, I can say this: when you finally get past fear, it is so liberating. After a lot of self-reflection, I eventually came to the opinion that if I lose friends or jobs over trying to speak and find the truth in situations, and to do so in a way that reflects my belief in compassion, then perhaps those were not friends or jobs that were healthy for my growth.

Since shedding the prison of my former ideology, I have a renewed passion for reading, a newfound interest in philosophy, psychology, history and spirituality. Instead of trying to fix others, these days I try to focus on improving myself, which I can tell you is a *much* harder though less futile endeavor... I believe I finally understand that quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” It is not enough to speak about a belief in equality, justice, liberty, tolerance and love if by your actions you are illustrating the opposite by dehumanizing people, calling for their murder, justifying physical violence against them. Your actions speak louder than words.

What example are we each setting with how we act in the world? I am reminded here of Daryl Davis, the musician who is bringing people out of the KKK by befriending them... I believe taking on the task of honestly assessing and trying to improve my character, and speaking up for principles of equality, justice, free speech, liberty, peace and love in a WAY that supports those principles rather than increasing resentment, hatred, and murderous rage, is the way to change the world. If that makes me a moron, a naive peacenik, a privileged bigot -a heretic- in your ideology, so be it."
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