Which of these two strategies is more useful for educating the divisive and reactionary members of our globally diverse society? Let’s briefly examine the two approaches:
Virtue-signaling is effective when trying to compassionately guide the unenlightened into a more conscious and socially-aware mindset, for example: an acquaintance lets you know they voted for Trump in November; you gently remind them that they are a misogynist racist Nazi buffoon and that fascism must be resisted by our enlightened choices. You then affirm that you are proud to have voted for the female candidate, who represented diversity in a progressive and global context. This clearly and publicly shows a more compassionate and humane choice and attracts like-minded people to the Good side.
Eco-shaming is a desirable strategy when confronted by unsustainable financial collaboration on the part of environmental criminals. Imagine yourself at Whole Foods. Someone is observed about to pick out a whole-wheat vegan frozen pizza. You, however, are aware of this particular brand and the inherently unjust social practices involved in its production. Rather than rebuke or denigrate your friend, you can gently steer them toward a more humane choice by saying something like: wow — I can’t believe they even SELL that brand here. That is a totally environmentally unsustainable pizza produced in a sweatshop. Great choice. Way to perpetuate social injustice… then scowl and walk away. This may help the would-be purchaser to reconsider and thus support a more conscious vendor. You can then feel good about having contributed in a small way toward the moral evolution of a less-developed soul.