I wonder if the phenomenon of "mission creep" is related to the "definitional creep" you're highlighting here. A classic example of "mission creep" would be the March of Dimes continuing to exist after fulfilling its purpose of eradicating polio in children.

My line of thinking would be something like: Organization Anti-Xism exists to combat Xism. The level of overt Xism in society that the Organization can identify and defeat decreases to a point where the there isn't enough overt Xism around to keep all of the members of the Organization busy. Instead of scaling down its operation, the Organization has to change its target while maintaining (at least definitionally) its old mission. To save face, the new mission has to be called the same thing as the old mission even though it has expanded or completely changed course. It would be lame if they changed the mission statement from "eradicate Xism" to "eradicate way less dangerous and consequential instances of kinda-maybe Xism." Maybe the same thing happens on a smaller scale with activists whose mission becomes less necessary and who don't want to take the time and effort to identify and master a new field of activism.

(I get that the March of Dimes is not perfectly analogous, since its mission formally changed from eradicating childhood polio to promoting women's and young children's health in general. But I think it's the same species of thing.)

Perhaps this phenomenon would be akin to the phenomenon described in the classic Oscar Wilde-attributed quote, "“The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.” Perhaps the activism is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding activist class.

This could also be causally related to elite overproduction.

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Google hits per term:

"actual racist" - 470k

"real racist" - 237k

"racist racist" - 206k

Newspeak here we come.

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Thanks, RC, for your astute understanding of the "word salads" being tossed about these days.

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