Edit: A Moral engine running on fumes
Or “SJWs: Slave Morality unchained”
The initial reaction to the “regressive left” was to point out the inconsistencies for what was preached and how past victories and principles of the past were being disregarded with seemingly little care. To understand this, SJWs, political correctness, and the accompanying taboos, the Slave Morality, as conceived as a concept by Nietzsche (leave your preconceptions of the mustachioed sage behind for a moment) is an excellent lens.
(The following three paragraphs are a condensed summation of the various stages the Slave Morality has gone through in history, and can be skipped by those familiar.)
In short, the Slave Morality was born in classical and ancient society, where there would be a ruling class and a slave class. Moralities are born out of need; the Slave Morality has been born out of the needs of such slaves. What is “good” or “moral” is what is advantageous to the slave: egalitarianism, change, pity, glorifying suffering and an overthrow of order. Note it is not a morality that protects what is in place; not even if it is its own achievements. Because Christianity was the religion of slaves, the argument is, the spread of Christianity in the ruling class meant that the Noble Morality became corrupted by its opposite (it might not be such a tragedy that the morality responsible for the treatment of the Helots in classical Sparta lost its purity).
Something interesting happened at the time of the French Revolution. Christianity, but the Church specifically, was no longer the sole preacher of the Slave Morality. As symbol and tool of the establishment, it had become the order to be overcome (it can be argued this began from within, with early humanists as Petrarch and Boccaccio reaching for the “spirit” of Christianity over that of the rule from Rome). Secular, democratic values now informed a social contract that protected both freedoms and the oppressed. This was informed by a morality (and Rousseau’s political and moral philosophy inspired by said morality), the primary concern of which is the wellbeing of those likely to suffer the most. For this reason it is easy to confuse with a rational morality that aims to decrease suffering overall (it takes unusual circumstances to expose this is not its true moral core). Following the revolution, this morality would be expected to be enshrined in the legal code.
Across Europe, growing populations made workers into a superfluous commodity. Living and working conditions for the working classes worsened. Enter Marx and a new expression of the Slave Morality, revolt at the centre. Besides the horrors that result out of Marxist ideologies as a complete political system, what is important to note is how freedom plays no part in the slave-dream once the slave is in power. The legal codes of Democracy, like the Church before it, were something to overthrow. Besides the problems of a central-run economy, Deleuze and Guattari noted that “the revolutionary cannot leave his identity of a revolutionary behind”. Considering the moral fervour of the Bolsheviks, it is more prudent to observe that a morality of revolution cannot sustain its fruits. The spirit of revolution cannot morph into a spirit of moderation. Certainly not without totalitarian rule.
With SJWs, the regressive left and the hatred of whites by whites, we are not dealing with something that has the grievances that inspired the French Revolution, nor has it the structure of Marxist ideology. What we’re seeing now is a free Slave Morality. This can be observed at several levels. The glorification of the victim-of-society, most emphatically present in the “oppression Olympics”, seeks glory through an identity which hopes to mirror that of a slave. Hierarchies are invented to revolt against. “Oppressive” actions are invented in the all too familiar form of “micro-aggressions”, redefining regular speech and concepts as iron shackles. Such desperation to be a slave!
It was fashionable to act nonplussed about new-left failing to defend liberal principles, such as gender-equality, freedom of expression, and freedom of religion against Islamists. I seriously doubt such confusion was genuine. Can anyone really suggest they didn’t realise, or at least sense it was the norm to hate the own culture? That to kowtow to “the other” had just become the thing to do in “polite society”? The question should have been how this norm came to be. The superficial dynamics can’t have gone unnoticed to most: trauma about nationalism following the second world war, entertainment exploiting and mining the Civil Rights movement for easy moral themes, politicians heeding the demands of a media following, and further exerting, these norms. And how could this cultural machinery do anything but? It all aligned perfectly with the dominant morality in the West.
To see truly formless Slave Morality, we dive further down the rabbit-hole. The new clergy, cultural studies, presented perhaps the most slippery manifestation of the Slave Morality. To repeat an old point:
The Slave Morality does not protect its past achievements because preserving what is in place is antithetical to its core. It certainly won’t protect its past achievements against an outside enemy; to the slave, the enemy is always the own state. It is only inconsistent when viewed rationally; when viewed through its moral lens, it is acting exactly as we should expect.