I'm running a list of the 10 institutions that are ruining the world and how, in spite of their lofty aspirations, they actually end up doing harm. Today we have:
#8 - The Social Justice Movement
There are so many single issue lobby groups that have cast themselves into the Social Justice net that it's hard to know where to start. For the purposes of this essay, the Social Justice Movement includes all lobby groups that promote race, gender or sexual identity with a goal of achieving 'justice' for their group by forcing equality of outcome through regulated favouritism over others.
It is certainly correct to say that once upon a time blacks in America were discriminated against in almost all aspects of society. The civil rights movement in the '60s put paid to that. It is less correct to say that women have always been discriminated against because you have to go so far back in history that it doesn't matter. The civil rights movement also had a positive outcome for women with regard to wage parity. And that's the point, society in Australia and the US is very egalitarian, certainly much less so than Western Europe, everybody is treated equally under the law and all have the same equality of opportunity.
The feminist movement keeps highlighting the disparity in wages between men and women, which show that, on average, women earn about 75% of what men do. However, this result is completely as a result of the employment choices women make. The fact is that never-married women out earn never-married men and that for every job category in any company or government department men and women earn exactly the same wage. Women choose to have families and take part time work and thank goodness they do otherwise we'd have a real problem. Another factor not considered in the 75% is that men work more hours than women (due to the part time factor), that hourly rates are therefore much closer and that for the same work the hourly rate is the same. The feminist movement has long promoted women as being equal to men and that women don't need a man in order to be successful. This has had the profound effect of lowering the level of happiness women report in studies over the last 20 years. It turns out that women, in fact, do desire a strong relationship with a man but they're too fearful of the consequences from their peers if they say so. Needing a man is a sign of weakness in a woman. What a shocking state of affairs.
Update: How Feminism Leads to the Oppression of Women
Let me give you a bit of a clue about what a huge lie the wage inequality argument is. Say that you worked in a business of a hundred employees and, for the sake of argument, it's an accounting firm. You have an aspiration to own your own business so you leave where you are and establish it. Here's the question. Will you have a greater competitive advantage by hiring A) all white employees, with the supposed highest hourly rate, or B) all women, who apparently only get paid 75% of what men get? Same argument for blacks or any other group you'd care to mention. Who in their right mind wouldn't have an all female or all black staff? If you were the CEO of a large, stock-exchange listed company then why wouldn't you be increasing your earnings by hiring every woman and black you could? My point is proven by the fact that those labour groups that are truly cheaper, such as illegal Hispanics, have pushed out higher wage earning Americans as farm workers and the like.
The black movement had a much more valid argument back in the '60s but, like the women's movement, they have achieved the equality of opportunity that they campaigned for. There are no Western countries in which blacks do not have the same opportunities as any other race group and it's been that way for nearly 30 years. People like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, though, continue to preach a message of discrimination and victimisation that has only ever worked to the detriment of those they represent. How is it, if we are the racists that the black lobby accuses us of being, that Chinese Asians have done so outstandingly well? What about those from the Middle East? Or Indians? The most racist group in America today is the black lobby. In Australia its the Aboriginal lobby. Anyone who disagrees with them is immediately labelled a racist or bigot. How that advances the cause of the people they represent is beyond me.
Who started the gay lobby? Seriously. Does anyone care if your next door neighbour is gay? Everybody agrees that if gays live together that they should have equal rights under the law as a heterosexual couple. Most even believe in the fairness of civil unions. I certainly do. However, the gay lobby (which now is expanded to GLBT - gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) has gone off the deep end on a few matters that have caused Average Joe to push back, to the detriment of gays themselves. In Western countries, this started with the AIDS scare and the claims that heterosexual groups were at just a great a risk as homosexual. Of course, this was only the case in Africa where the use of condoms was not prevalent and they were ignorant of the problem. In Western countries 97% of cases were homosexual men and intravenous drugs users that were sharing needles. I knew a haemophiliac that died after a blood transfusion and that type of situation made up the other 3%. The gay lobby then took on the issue of marriage and lobbied for it to be legalised. In every single case where the public has been allowed to vote on this issue it has been defeated but that doesn't stop the lobbyists, they just use liberal judges to impose their view. The self damage done to the gay community will be shown to be really significant over the coming years.
These lobby groups created the notion of Affirmative Action and gender/race quotas in the workplace and in universities. What this has done is to diminish the achievement of the majority of blacks and women that would have successfully been accepted to university or a workplace. Why is Affirmative Action needed in higher education when women make up nearly 60% of the campus?
The irony of these movements is that equality of outcome rather than equality of opportunity is, in fact, the most profoundly bigoted and discriminatory goal in society today, as it requires that one group be penalised on behalf of another. Unfortunately, it is also the case that the group that drives forward the hardest has the heaviest Social Justice handbrake to overcome.
America and Australia have become about as race blind, gender equal and gay-friendly as a society can get. This has been due not to the ongoing bleating of the various lobby groups but because of the positive experience that individuals have had when working side by side with people of different cultures and races over the last 30 years. And yes, that initial opportunity was certainly due in part to the terrific work of people like Martin Luther King, no doubt about it.
Over the last twenty or so years the effect of the Social Justice Movement has been to work against the interests of those it represents, to the detriment of society, and that's why it comes in at #8 on my list of Institutions That Ruin The World.
#9 - The Peace Movement
#10 - The Intelligent Design Movement, Discovery Institute