- Part 1: Trajectories of new religious movements
- Part 2: Social Justice sects
- Part 3: Social Justice sect coherence
- Part 4: Do social justice sects match new religious counterparts
- Part 5: Grand conclusions
- Part 6: Further validation testing
Social Justice has a lot of moving parts. Viewing it as a single entity unified by intersectional or Marxist ideology is an unsatisfactorily coarse a unit of analysis. Social Justice is composed of many different types of groups. Many of these groups have some, but not all of the characteristics of biologically adaptive groups or the sub-set of biologically adaptive groups we call religion. When you take a broad definition of religion it is hard not to see parallels between religion and radical activist social justice.
In exploring social justice sects from a religious lens, I have to conclude that social justice can be religious. But, any single sect on its own (other than Antifa cults) has a hard time at it. But, when moderately coupled, a number of sects can resonate a net religious like experience and belief system.
Analysis of this belief system is likely stymied by its unique component based formation. No single piece (other than Antifa cults) appears overly religious. Certainly radically zealous individuals within each sect can be religious, but one is hard pressed to say any group as an entity is fully religious. Many sects certainly signal religiosity, but I suspect no one will have an easy time winning an argument this way.
I’m led to believe that the uniqueness of Social Justice faith is not just as James Lindsay suggest, the re-invention of religion from within a secular modern paradigm, but also via an unique formulation of a full adaptive religious experience via a series of different components (sects) that are only weakly to moderately coupled.
This significantly aids the ability to co-opt state structures. No component (sect) on its own is overly threatening. But, state co-option fuels the fitness requirements adaptive group stability requires. There are no hidden hierarchies at work. There are simply disparate groups of people each trying to “be on the right side of history” by helping disadvantaged groups. But each of these groups (sects) is highly likely to confer fitness advantages to its weakly coupled compatriots.
That this fits with Peter Turchin’s structural demographic theory of intra-elite competition and quasi-elite filtering is an unexpected avenue of support.