I knew this day would come. In trying to make successful people feel guilty, Social Justice Warriors are ready to take us to full-on _Idiocracy_ or _Harrison Bergeron_. The SJW columnist Dan Williams says:
There are many kinds of privilege besides white privilege: cognitive privilege, for example. We now know that intelligence is not something we have significant control over but is something we are born with… below a certain threshold of intelligence, there are fewer and fewer opportunities… Thus, the accident of having been born smart enough to be able to be successful is a great benefit that you did absolutely nothing to earn. Consequently, you have nothing to be proud of for being smart.
His claims are contrary to science. There are plenty of things you can do, to enhance your intelligence or to damage it. For example, some studies show that frequent marijuana use can permanently damage your memory, concentration, and overall IQ. Whereas those things can be preserved or enhanced by healthy lifestyle, or some forms of education or problem-solving. So yes, your intelligence is something you “have significant control over”, long-term.
Williams’ claims are also contrary to my life experience. Throughout my life, I have consciously worked long and hard at becoming smarter and doing better things than I would have otherwise. It was no accident. It used to be called “self-improvement”.
But I suppose that, if you’re a modern-day lazy pot-smoking type of “smart” person – someone who was born talented and has indeed drifted along, doing little or nothing to forge your unique self, and falling into a six-figure salary all the same – then Williams’ comments might make sense to you. You would be too ignorant to know better. And you would need the SJW Religion for its cheap grace, or as a way to live with yourself.
From the comments: Heliotrope highlights another significant quote from Williams’ piece:
Any of us could have been born the unluckiest person on the planet, which, by definition, picks out precisely one person. But we all have the privilege of not being that person. We are all privileged by comparison.
This highlights the religious aspect of SJW-ism.
- “Privilege” is the new Original Sin, the guilt-from-birth that no one escapes (except Williams’ hypothetical “unluckiest person born”, maybe).
- PC “Social Consciousness” is the new Redemption (the cheap grace that I mentioned).
- Revolution would be the (longed-for) Apocalypse or Last Judgment.
- and Social Justice, the (unattainable) New Jerusalem or Kingdom of Heaven.