In response to my piece on leaving academia, a few asked me for my thoughts on Wokeness, and how one might go about doing away with it. There’s nothing I would like more, than to have a good answer to this question. Alas, I’m very pessimistic about achieving any victory here, but I also don’t think Woke is going to be a permanent menace. Sooner or later, the forces driving this ideological cancer will try to circumscribe the Woke, and if they fail, they will themselves be consumed by it. The damage has been done and the pre-Woke world can never be re-achieved, but Wokery isn’t a stable ideological system. It is instead the mere ideological expression of a revolutionary process.
It should be burned into our brains, this point that you made. Intellectually confronting wokeness is basically a waste of time
A primary tentpole of this takeover is to dumb us down to the lowest common denominator. Experienced and educated critical thinkers make for poor slaves. Old ways of thinking have to be eradicated. Division, demoralization, and the destruction of education are three key tools in achieving total domination.
Bread (UBI/SNAP), circuses (media), overbearing propaganda (news), fabricating and dramatically magnifying our differences (5th generation warfare), and radicalizing the populace (politics) are all being brought to bear against us:
By weaponizing woke ideology, a powerful group is destroying the modern world by poisoning the wells we all share of comradery, fellowship, and family – they are doing everything they can to decimate the ties that bind us together and to destroy every trace of common ground and brotherhood between us.
Values we all once shared that were intended to do the most good for the most people are being maliciously torched in the name of discord and disunity by utilizing a reality denying, mentally ill, family destroying, child warping, depraved ideology.
The globablists’ have successfully utilized the Red vs Blue, East vs West, Vaxxed vs Unvaxxed, Boy vs Girl dichotomies to exploit our innate tribal nature, and in doing so are dividing and conquering us. This ‘us-vs-them’ separation makes us easy to control and direct with simple angry thoughts about “the enemy” who isn’t really our enemy – while blinding us to the actual enemy behind the curtain pulling the puppet strings. If we could collectively recognize this for what it is the NWO wouldn’t stand a chance.
Most people will not act to secure their future, so long as they feel they have an advocate fighting for them in the public or political arenas. This is why Republican vs Democrat equals divide and conquer. The human mind is binary. Our thought process can often be boiled down into terms (often ultimatums) of – this or that – and our adversaries understand - very well - the art of this war.
They know that politicization is so effective at manipulating us because most emotionally connect their personal belief system to the belief system of their political party, and so then any attack on their party – legitimate or otherwise – is interpreted by their brain as an attack on themselves. Reason and logic then jump out the nearest window as raw emotion takes the helm, thus making them even more susceptible to the predatory controlling influences.
United we will stand, divided we will fall, our adversaries know this which is why we are being mercilessly divided.
Excellent. However if we don't beat it, push it back, stand agianst it, and educate people we are doomed. This is the best speech I've ever heard on the issue. I never spend 30 minutes on videos but a couple times a year. I have watched this one 3x.
This is very good stuff, though I'm sure everyone is tired of theories on "wokeness." I had to unfollow guys like Auron MacIntyre who are genuinely obsessed with this question, as if it were some difficult to understand phenomenon, despite the fact that "woke" presents itself as thinly veiled anti-white hatred coupled with a demand for wealth transfer from the native middle class to the various complainants. You don't have to read Judy Butler, Franz Fanon, or Kimberly Crenshaw (perish the thought) to understand this stuff
Wokeness is an opaqueness, or shadow that has been casted onto reality. Like evil, it is not something to be fought directly, but exposed through the light of awakened truth and human connection.
Wokeness is almost exclusively Anglophone, just like early Nicene trinitarianism was almost exclusively Greek. Instruments of imperial cultural domination over periphery, they both.
If you wanted to discuss perichoresis, hypostasis or rights of castrates, you had to learn Greek.
If you want to discuss misogynoir, intersectionality or trans rights, you have to learn English.
Therefore, things will change when another Rome, an alternative center of cultural attraction appears; I sincerely hope it will not take the form of Chinese constructing their own version of Wokeness.
(edit: spelling of 'misogynoir' (sad_lol))
The strange thing in the current high-low alliance is that the low isn't really aware of the alliance, and for the high it seems to be a bit of a joke.
But the middleclass, which is the patsy in the middle, is the strongest supporter of the woke.
Here in Germany this is very well illustrated by the success of the Greens, which are mostly supported by the affluent middle class: those who will lose the most if the Greens are successful.
I think the main limiting factor will be withdrawal of participation, which as you note is likely to be decisive. As the existing pool of talented scholars are driven out or simply walk away, their places are necessarily taken by the talentless. Institutional prestige is in the final analysis a function of popular perception that the institutions are concentrations of skilled intellect. Ultimately the institutions will be seen as flocks of midwits, and their prestige will turn into a joke. The public will tune them out, students will stop attending, and ultimately even state funding will dry up as the juice won't be worth the squeeze. We're already in the early stages of that.
Another factor that will end woke will be elite circulation. Those who wish to replace the current high will make an alliance with the low created by woke policies, which will destabilize the current regime. I suspect the emerging, still largely implicit alliance between tech bro billionaires and renegade right wing Internet influencers points to one aspect of the new elite alliance - providing the commerical and intellectual legs, the only remaining component being military. Popular support via populist policies aimed at the repressed native populations of Western countries provides the low component.
In the US, and indeed in most of the West, the post-WW2 rise and expansion of middle classes have been a great stabilizing force and had (I thought) all but eliminated the possibility of using the shrinking lower classes as tools of oppression. But since the 90s I've watched as ruling-class fiends like Soros, the WEF, the Koch brothers, etc. have encouraged illegal immigration in order to gain potential new allies (and cheap labor) in their war on the middle class. Since they had also gained control of the media and the major political parties, they have been able to squelch popular opposition to these destructive policies.
But . . . look who is leading the opposition to Wokery! Some of these very same immigrants sent to take our jobs and de-stabilize our cities are actually the ones openly demanding a right to worship their Gods and get trans-genderism out of the public schools. I can't predict how any of this will turn out, but I don't think it's going to turn out the way Soros & Co. planned it.
I've been teaching European history for a couple of years now, and this is the best, most succinct explanation of political history I've ever seen. Thank you! It combines history, anthropology, human psychology and communication technology in one neat package. Congratulations!
A fascinating lens on Woke-ism and one utterly distinct from my own personal reading. I can't say if I disagree or not, because I don't tend to see Woke-ism through the lens of a power struggle the same way you do, E.
But my initial thought is scepticism. For me, Woke-ism is much more the bastard child of postmodernism (see here for further explanation: http://grahamstull.com/2022/12/05/is-woke-really-a-thing-and-if-so-where-did-it-come-from/ ). It may disturb existing power structures in the short term, but ultimately is not necessarily incompatible with them. For me, its salient feature is rather that it values the subjective experience over objective reality. As such, it can never be solidly anchored to anything (because subjectivity is a constantly shifting wind) and is doomed to crash against the hard walls of reality sooner or later. The question is how much damage it does to society on the way there. A more profound question is perhaps whether or not we can simultaneously enjoy a level of prosperity that decouples us from harsh physical constraints, and yet maintain a rigorous, dogmatic / religious architecture that is grounded in the laws of nature.
In the book that is entitled "The Psychology of Totalitarianism" Prof. Mattias Desmet reveals a flaw in the thinking of the exponents of wokeness that can be exploited in defeating them. This is that they are reductionists, that is, people who believe there is no such thing as a "complex system." This belief is, however, false. To defeat them, we must achieve widespread understanding that this belief is false. How to fund this effort is an unsolved problem.
Fascinating observations! Another interesting take on Wokeism comes from James Lindsay, who views it as a revival of the old Gnostic religion, reshaped via Rousseau, Hegel, and Marx, and put into praxis by Mao and Marcuse. In his words, Wokeism is Americanized Maoism.
"...the institutions which Wokeness seizes will be worse in every way once the revolution is complete, and all of us in our own small way can contribute to their decline by withdrawing our efforts and attention from them."
Sure. The only problem is that these institutions include our governments, our militaries, higher education, lower education, major corporations, technology ventures, ... I do now want them to fail, but the result will be chaos, revolution, and lots of blood.
A very good piece.
The dearth of any true humorous sensibility in the realm of all the arts right now I think is a dangerous deficiency, because that quality makes one think as much as it makes one laugh. These university-age kids are really lacking in any sense of the joys of clever rudeness with an important underlying purpose. In my long-ago early adulthood humor magazines/comics etc. driven by current events were everywhere. Now all the comics etc. are just endless manga and superhero nonsense creating huge fanbases but no actual development of a personal sensibility about things that really go on in the world.
And any in the humor field still holding the line are pretty aged right now. John Cleese won't be around forever to keep "Life of Brian" pure.
Maybe we've got to do a lot less attempting to reason with any of these fools of any age and do a lot more laughing at them--at least in beginning the process of destabilization of their grip on things.
I expect a reversal of this mega-hustle rather soon. Since the countries of Western Civ are going bankrupt, higher education will be among the first institutions to downsize-or-die. Only the regime of ZIRP and financial fuckery has made possible the "money" for the gross expansion of diversity deanships and all the mischief they generate. The same is true of the government patronage hustle: no money to be had. This is usually overlooked, for some reason, just as the artificial intelligence mavens overlook the fragility of the electric grid.