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It’s too silly-sounding to be an existential philosophical threat, even though it is
... As use of “woke” exploded, its effectiveness as a descriptor diminished. Once the word served as a substitute for a particular form of political correctness, particularly with a focus on racial reckoning. Now, as author Chad Felix Greene has suggested, the word effectively means “Whatever the left currently thinks makes them sound like a good person to their friends.” It’s a word that is so broad as to encompass everything from complaints about our largest government institutions, our biggest corporations and our local neighborhood school boards and farmer’s market disputes on race, environment and gender issues.
We’re solidly in blind men and the elephant territory now. It was one thing when “woke” was essentially a stand-in for “social justice warrior” or someone enraptured by the work of Ibram X. Kendi — now, it’s become an insufficient and increasingly meaningless term that does not encompass the aggressive insanity of, for just one example, the trans agenda targeted at minors and schoolchildren.
Once terms like these take hold in the world of politics, they aren’t changed overnight. But we have to acknowledge what “woke” leaves out. It is an insufficient term to capture the identitarian, decadent, terminal stage leftism at play here — think of other terms, such as Nieman Marxism, Big Karen, or Jonah Goldberg’s “kale foam.” “Woke” does capture a certain silliness about the modern leftist project — think of the Simpsons episode where Lisa meets a “Level Five Vegan” voiced by Joshua Jackson, who doesn’t eat anything that casts a shadow (and judges her for not reaching his height of consciousness).
But it leaves out the part of this agenda that is a true break with the values that made the West the envy of the world — it’s too silly-sounding to be an existential philosophical threat, even though it is. There has to be a distinction between the people who just put the rainbow sign in their yard because everyone else does it, and those who truly want to cure the planet, starting with you.
Whatever term comes next, it has to capture the destructive decadence the left envisions here as its goal — a post-merit society, a great leveling achieved through inhumanity, erasure and actual maiming and butchery where the scars you bear are the price of the future. The cultural Marxism that drives the iconoclastic left came for the church, the neighborhood, the family — and now targets young children with a message that only by their wounds will they be healed. “Woke” is a fine word as shorthand, casual, absurd — and totally incapable of describing what the cultural left is engaged in today — a project of Ethic Cleansing that will not be ignored.
Bill Maher once the founder of 'political correctness' show is now mocking Wokism and their moronic behaviour to its core, endlessly.... really amusing and fun!
... Many political terms (“fascism”) are as slippery as greased lobbyists, and this one is hardly the toughest to figure out. What is woke, then? The definition from the meme is actually rock-solid: a “woke” person, or “social-justice warrior,” is someone who believes that (1) the institutions of American society are currently and intentionally set up to oppress (minorities, women, the poor, fat people, etc.), (2) virtually all gaps in performance between large groups prove that this oppression exists, and (3) the solution to this is equity — which means proportional representation regardless of performance or qualifications.
Most other popular, coherent definitions are quite similar. To James Lindsay, a “woke” person is someone afflicted (infected?) with modern critical consciousness — which is itself the belief that society is set up to oppress you, and the only way out of the Matrix is critical theory. These summaries aren’t witty trolls from the center-Right, but instead reflect canonical statements from woke leftists themselves.
The claim that racism is “everyday,” “everywhere,” and that apparently neutral systems like standardized testing are actually structured primarily to benefit dominant groups, comes from Richard Delgado — one of the founders of critical race theory. The claim that virtually all group performance gaps indicate racist policy or subtle bias is the cornerstone argument of Ibram X. Kendi, probably the most famous “crit” alive today. Kendi has baldly stated, on several occasions, that the only two possible explanations for, say, an income or tested-IQ gap between major populations are actual inferiority on the part of one group or some form of bias — no matter how well-hidden and impossible to winkle out.
That is for sure a very good start!
Following this culture war eruption, I was asked by several people to coalesce many of the different observations and definitions from HWFO’s half a decade of writing on the subject into one place, for easy reference. A Grand Unified Theory of Wokeness. Herein, we will see that Wokeness is a result of the intersection of population level genetics and falling religiosity, is a system of luxury beliefs which propagates like fashion, is built on the backbone of social media interconnectedness, is an emergent beta test of a new religious framework, and is built on simple seed crystals that cause it to look like it looks today.
We will also postulate towards the end how competing belief systems might look, as they emerge in the 21st Century.
James Lindsay has been analyzing and criticizing Wokeism for some time now.
I was recently asked by someone reading my forthcoming book with Helen Pluckrose, Cynical Theories, if I would explain the relationship between Marxism and the Critical Social Justice ideology we trace a partial history of in that book. The reason for the question is that Cynical Theories obviously focuses upon the postmodern elements of Critical Social Justice scholarship and activism, and yet many people, particularly among conservatives, identify obvious relationships to Marxism within that scholarship and activism that seems poorly accounted for by talking about postmodernism. This confusion makes sense because postmodernism was always explicitly critical of Marxism, naming it among the grand, sweeping universalizing explanations of reality that it called “metanarratives,” of which it advised us to be radically skeptical.
The goal of Cynical Theories is to add clarity to this admittedly complicated discussion and lay out how postmodernism is of central importance to the development of what we now call “Critical Social Justice” or “Woke” scholarship and ideology. This is actually only one part in a far broader history that certainly draws upon Marx (and thus all the German idealists he drew upon), though in a very peculiar way and through a number of fascinating and, themselves, complex historical and philosophical twists.
One of these is the development of postmodernism, upon which we write, and another is the development of “neo-Marxism,” which is sometimes referred to as “Cultural Marxism.” This is a development of the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory, and it too was explicitly highly critical of Marxism in its economic particulars, though it retained the underlying ethos and ambition of overthrowing the ruling classes and establishing some variation on communism. Clearly, a third line of thought that bears some relevance is the long and, again, complex history of “social justice” thought, which can be approached in any number of ways, including religious, liberal, communist, and, as we explain in the book, “Woke,” which must be understood to be its own thing in its own context, whatever its intellectual history.
[...]In all of this, Marxism, though, which is conflict theory applied to Industrial Age capitalist economics, is more or less completely lost, except as a thing that people occasionally yell about without any apparent deep understanding. Class struggle, to Marxists, unites people across identity groups—“workers of the world, unite!”—so identity groups are mostly irrelevant to Marxism except in the effort to outline the specific ways that capitalism might uniquely exploit them. In fact, the proper Marxists of today don’t like Critical Social Justice at all because of its divisiveness around identity within class and its overwhelmingly obvious
| Douglas Murray
Outstanding and truthful editorial. I have seen James Lindsay on Oxford Union.
Initially used as a term to empower awareness of systemic inequalities in society, wokeism is now a deeply divisive term. The media's perpetuation of woke culture has made this term a buzzword. For some, being woke is part of the antidote of acknowledging the instruments of oppression. For others, it is a dangerously absolutist ideology, a sort of reverse McCarthyism, corroding liberal society and encouraging self-imposed victimhood. Is the 'war on woke' a legitimate phenomenon, or a reactionary distraction from the real problems being 'woke' addresses?
| Woke Culture HAS NOT Gone Too Far -
6/8 | Oxford Union
12 Jan 2023
A special thanks for that!
This man knows what he is talking about!,