In early October last year, about a hundred people came together in the National Liberal Club in London for a conference: Speaking Truth to Social Justice, a name that states the conference’s purpose. There, seven talks were given in the hopes of identifying the problem not with social justice, as an idea or a philosophy, but with a dangerous ideological movement that has branded itself with the name Social Justice, which we have since identified more specifically by the name “Critical Social Justice.” In the spirit of social justice, which speaks truth to unjust power, we set out to speak truth to Critical Social Justice.
The last talk of the morning was by Dr. James Lindsay, and in his talk, “The Truth About Critical Methods,” he makes very clear that Critical Social Justice is not the same thing as social justice. He argues that the branding of social justice, which is how Critical Social Justice promotes itself, misleads people about the nature of that movement. More specifically, he explains how Critical Social Justice—the thing “inside the box”—doesn’t match the “social justice” image “on the outside of the box,” leading people to take up with a movement they wouldn’t support if they understood it more accurately. To convey this message, he reads directly from the Critical Social Justice literature wherein scholars and activists call Critical Social Justice by that name and explicitly explain that it is neither a liberal movement, as is often thought, nor the same thing as the “true commitments” of social justice. It is a virus that infects liberalism, and Lindsay draws upon this imagery to make his case (many months ahead of the current Covid-19 pandemic outbreak).
Join us from the Gladstone Library and hear Dr. Lindsay speak truth to Critical Methods and Critical Social Justice, and feel encouraged to join him in laughing at himself for mistakenly thinking that Jeff Goldblum got eaten by a dinosaur.