The hard-left may change its hats from time to time in order to achieve undeserved influence and power, but one thing it doesn’t do is change its playbook. It may take on different forms, and use different language, but the tactics are always the same.
Today, the hard-left is operating under the umbrella of “social justice,” which implies that it’s fighting the good fight for fairness and equality. Anyone with a surface level knowledge of the social justice left, or who has been a target of theirs, knows this supposed quest for equality is a load of crap. They’re out for power, and the playbook by which they operate is evidence of this.
On Tuesday, the gaming development company CD Projekt RED made a joke around a phrase associated with transgender activists that naturally awoke an outrage mob accusing them of “transphobia” that grew until the company felt the need to apologize. The joke was rather innocuous, but as we know, the devil can’t stand to be mocked.
As Brandon Orselli wrote at Niche Gamer, this was a huge mistake on CD Projekt RED’s part, as all it did was appease a group of people who don’t play their games anyway.
“There’s a massive problem with this type of response and following apology: These people are never satisfied and they will never stop their policing of differing opinions, and most especially controversial opinions or content,” wrote Orselli.
“We as consumers and even critics of video games have a big influence over what video games are made, how they’re made, and what content said games have therein,” he continued. “The vast majority of these outrage police don’t actually play video games, nor do they actually care about video games.”
“We’ve seen time and time again how critics with these tendencies don’t actually play games they review,” added Orselli.
This is absolutely correct, and demonstrable to boot. Often, we’ll see the social justice outrage mobs go after this company or that company for a supposed sin. The mob will tell them things such as “I’ll never use your product again, and I’m going to tell all my friends too.” The company will see these threats mount as the mob grows, and as a company naturally will do when it’s bottom line is threatened, it will apologize, thinking their customers were insulted.
However, an apology is just an open door for the SJW mob. From there, they can push the company into going about business or making products that cater more to their ideological boundaries. They then create a product that few people want to buy, since they’ve alienated their actual customers, and the mob that forced them to create the product never had any interest in their product in the first place.
The demonstrability of this can be seen in games like the massive failure Mass Effect: Andromeda and the upcoming Battlefield 5 which is showing ridiculously low pre-sale values due to pro-social justice attitudes around the game. This can also be seen in movies like the bombed 2016’s Ghostbusters, or pretty much any Amy Schumer flick. Don’t even get me started on the new Star Wars movies.
Even in the NFL which lost 33 percent of its audience, as well as award shows which continue to bleed viewers. The phrase “get woke, go broke,” isn’t just pithy, it’s a lesson that deserves to be in the best practices playbook.
But businesses find themselves trapped between a rock and a hard place. They don’t want to lose money, but losing money is somehow less damaging than bad PR. Seeming racist, homophobic, etc is the modern scarlet letter that will follow you around long after your business failed.
The good news is that all the trouble seemingly coming that business’ way is an illusion. The tactics they use to weasel their way into power comes directly out of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals,” the playbook I mentioned previously. The purpose behind the book was showing the radical left how to take power by using underhanded tactics to essentially scare their political and social opponents into backing down and/or ruining their reputation.
The specific tactics being used here are rule five: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon,” rule nine: “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself,” and rule 12: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”
I want to focus on their use of rule nine, however. The social justice left understands that when it comes to American values, more people disagree with their ridiculous take on them than not. Alinsky knew this when he released the playbook all the way back 1971, and the writing of the rule essentially is an admission of this. The rule here is to make their presence seem grander and more damaging than it actually is.
Think of the old trope of someone casting a large and growing shadow on the wall in an attempt to make themselves seem like a frightening behemoth, only to later to be exposed as a small rabbit.
Businesses who ignore the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the social justice left risk very little, and actually have much to gain. Standing your ground against bullies — and the social justice left is the poster child for “bully” — earns you serious social clout. Sticking to your guns against the mob may not pay off immediately, but in the long-term, you can bet you’ll benefit for staying true to yourself, and more importantly, your customers.
A solid example is indie developer Warhorse Studio’s “Kingdom Come: Deliverance,” which faced hate from the SocJus gaming press, and a tsunami of hard left hatred toward the game for not having enough diversity. The developers at Warhorse stuck to their guns, however, and released a game that was more true to the time period and location, 1400’s Bohemia.
As a result, the game sold over 1 million copies by its ninth day on the market, blowing away expectations, and elevating the small indie developer to greatness.
Ubisoft saw similar controversy with Far Cry 5, which seemed a little too friendly to the American right for the left and game journalists, yet the game took center stage during its release date, becoming the quickest selling Far Cry to date, even in ye ol’ woke UK.
The lesson is that the leftist outrage mobs that come for businesses whenever they step out of line aren’t the threat they say they are. The true consequence is in capitulation, desegregation of the product. The social justice left rots everything they touch because their goal isn’t quality, it’s political and social obedience.
In the future, businesses would do better to shrug off any anger they evoke from social justice adherents. Rest assured, if you don’t evoke any outrage legitimately, they will craft a reason to be outraged in order to pull you into a situation where they will try to push you down until you kneel.