The passage of time has always shown

This is of course what they all think.

It’s what they all think, but it’s stupid. Which “social justice warriors” are we talking about? Lots of people see themselves as on the side of justice, including social justice in some sense. They don’t all call themselves social justice warriors (but then neither do all “social justice warriors”), but they of course see themselves as on the side of the right and good and true. The passage of time has not shown all such warriors “to be in the right.”

It’s Whig history again: the road always goes in the direction of progress, and we never ultimately fall off it or turn around and go the other way. Except, of course, when we do. There were quite a few years back in the last century when Nazis were quite confident that the passage of time had shown them to be in the right.

I get where the idea comes from, of course. The Civil Rights Movement, feminism, the movement for lesbian and gay rights, were all sharp attacks on a status quo, and they all had considerable (though far from complete) success. The status quo was The Older Generation and attacks on it were the younger one, therefore, trans activism is the younger generation being right while the older one is wrong, again. The kids have found another status quo that needs overturning, and the stupid oldies just can’t see it, because we’re so stupid.

That could be true, but on the other hand, if feminists were right when they changed the status quo, but they’re wrong now, doesn’t that make the pattern too eccentric to follow? If feminists were right then and are wrong now, how do the kids now know they won’t be wrong in forty years? If it’s all just Inevitable Progress why not just kick back and wait?

Anyway, even if there is such a pattern, the particulars matter. We still need to figure out exactly what kind of social justice we’re talking about, and for whom, and whether all relevant parties are being heard. We still need to know what constitutes being “in the right.” We still need to know how “anti-trans” is being defined.

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