Take a man born to a mother and father who struggled through the depression. Give him a rifle and send him to war to see the faces of his comrades go pale as they succumb to their mortal wounds on some no-name pacific island. Take a girl raised in the dust bowl and give her a job in the munitions plant, so that at the end of the day she can buy some rations for her family. When the troops come home, the man and woman find each other in a postwar world of sudden abundance. They start a family, and the living is easy. They want to give their children a better life than what they faced.
Those children grow up without struggle and conflict. The streets are safe and their family is relatively well-off, thanks to America’s economic boom. However, their easy lives don’t give them true challenge, and thus no true meaning. They live without knowing who or what they are, until they are given a university education and are told of the oppression in the world. Up till that point, their lives are an uninteresting story with no upward arch, but with this narrative their lives could finally have validation. They define themselves by fighting oppression in the racial conflict, in the battle against the patriarchy, in the fight against poverty, in defense of the planet. They, the baby boomers, are the first activists, the first Social Justice Warriors. They assumed the roles of power in the universities, media, and government, but their greatest power would come from having their own children.
The children of the baby boomers live in a world with no major wars. The greatest threat to the west ends with the collapse of the Soviet Union. They too are born into a playpen without struggle and thus without definition in their stories. After incorporating the teachings of the elder activists, they then perpetuate the cycle further and push the policies of political correctness into new territory. They propagandize the media and sanitize the discourse, setting the stage for their descendants.
Now, their children live in a world without physical struggle. They have no great depression or a great war. Every convenience and entertainment is bestowed upon them without cost. They have ingested the politics stuffed into them by the two previous generations, and so their zeal outshines their parents, but so does the void in their heart. They live without struggle in America’s middle class, raised by parents who lived without struggle in America’s middle class, raised by parents who, also, lived without struggle in America’s middle class.
Their lives have no story. No one will talk about them after their deaths. They are average nobodies in a faceless crowd, and part of them knows this. They search for some meaning or some way to differentiate themselves from others. But in this world of abundance, the only supposed conflict is the narrative of oppression. In order to avoid looking at the emptiness in their lives, they’ve that cast themselves as the protagonist of their own movie, fighting the good fight against the evils of the world. That is why they fight so hard, with so much zeal and hatred and loathing against their make-believe villains. It is all an attempt to make themselves a hero and give themselves a story. It is the only thing keeping them from complete existential annihilation.
All Social Justice Warriors, from the hippies of the 1970’s to today’s Tumblr activists, are all searching for some reason to live. While their grandparents and great grandparents found meaning from overcoming the odds and antagonists against them, these children only have their role in the narrative.
The Social Justice Warriors believe the problem is the world, when, in reality, the problem is within them. The problem has always been within them. If only they realized that if they simply filled the void inside themselves then all would be made right. Their fears and hatred would dissipate. They would find happiness. And they would be truly defined, maybe even enlightened.