Saturday 16 October 2021

How the Woke Thing Cripples the Left

Some enlightening weekend reading.  We non-lefties are most just annoyed by the woke nonsense, but for the 'honest, traditional' egalitarian Left, it's crippling.  Some extracts here from a great essay that deserves to be read in full (my emphasis, towards the end): 

Here’s a fun tip for you all: if you have the power to get someone fired or otherwise ruin their life you are not a powerless, marginalized Other … a bizarre liberal discursive culture where, if you dress up what you’re doing in vague language about oppression, you can operate however you’d like without rebuke and attempt to ruin the life of whoever you please … 

The left-of-center is in a profoundly strange and deeply unhealthy place. In the span of a decade or less a bizarre form of linguistically-radical but substantively-conservative identity neoliberalism descended from decaying humanities departments in elite universities and infected social media ... through which it conquered the media and entertainment industries, the nonprofit industrial complex, and government entities as wide-ranging as the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights and the brass of the Pentagon. That movement now effectively controls the idea-and-story generating power of our society, outside of explicitly conservative media which exists in a large silo but a silo all the same. On any given day the most powerful institutions in the world go to great lengths to mollify the social justice movement, to demonstrate fealty, to avoid its wrath. It’s common now for liberals to deny the influence and power of social justice politics, for inscrutable reasons, but if the current level of control over how people talk publicly is insufficient, I can’t imagine what would placate them… 

because the social justice movement’s first dictate is to establish a hierarchy of suffering, and to tell those that are purported to suffer less that their problems aren’t problems, no such mass movement is coming. The social justice movement is not just incidentally antagonistic to organizing everyone and recognizing all kinds of people as worthy of our compassion and support. That antagonism is existential. When you ask many people within the movement, “what could we do to convert the white working class to our values?,” they will simply tell you that they don’t want to convert them, that they are not worthy of being a part of their movement. They would rather have targets than converts, to lose as an exclusive moral caste than win as a grubby populist coalition. 

Core to understanding this moment is to realize that the vast majority of people who enforce these politics don’t actually believe in them. They don’t, that is, think that social justice politics as currently composed are healthy or just or likely to result in tangible positive change. There’s a core of true-believers who do, and there’s a group of those who profit directly from the hegemony of social justice politics in elite spaces… There’s conservative critics, who are both the most natural targets of social justice ire and yet those the social justice movement seem least interested in targeting. There’s an island of misfit toys of left and leftish critics of social justice politics like me. 

And then there’s the great big mass of people who are just scared … Why wade in those waters when the potential consequences are so severe, and when the upside is so limited? … no one feels empowered to speak truth to bullshit.



dearieme said...

I used to teach in universities. I am too young to have enjoyed the most recent Golden Age (late 1950s, early 1960s) but at least I avoided the present Age of Drear and Fear.

My pals who have retired from the unis sing the same song - glad to be out of it. I wonder what bright young things of scholarly bent will do for careers now. They'll cope, of course, but I wonder in what way.

I'm so glad I persuaded the offspring not to pursue the PhD.

Anonymous said...

They all deserve each other. (Not your offspring DM.)

E-K said...

It's not merely an annoyance. It's ruling us. Even when the Left lose all the votes they stay in power.

See how it works ?

hovis said...

E-K - is it really a right-left thing in the way that it used to be?

Or is this that the old labels exist, people are still tribal to old loyalties but the values have completely changed.

A split between those who would not only "seek to look into men's souls" but desire to judge and control their very thoughts. An intoxicating power, but one that leads to an absolute corruption. In other words take away basic human agency, personal subjective judgement and self determination.

And of course those of us repulsed to the very core of our being by this insidious authoritarian bullying and doublespeak.

As an aside, I would argue the Covidian cult seeks to do the same, indeed via similar techniques, control of language, bait an switch, attempts at socially ostracism of dissenters, govt and the big corporates all on board (again) - no independent thought must be allowed.

Elby the Beserk said...

dearieme said...
I used to teach in universities.

We call them "Diversities" now.

Only solution is to pull the funding for Humanities. I had an dialogue with Kathleen Stock (yes, that Kathleen Stock) a couple of years back, in which I proposed this to her.

She said Academia could deal with it itself.

The evidence is clear. It cannot and it does not want to. And whilst we keep funding such bilge as Gender Studies (now grouped under "Victim Studies") nothing will change.

Don Cox said...

The humanities courses are cheap to run and attract suckers in large numbers. This provides the cash needed for courses in STEM subjects, which are very expensive to run.

If you close the humanities courses only very rich students could enroll for STEM courses.

This applies to further as well as higher education.

Don Cox

DJK said...

DC: Humanities courses only subsidise STEM if you consider universities as a closed system on their own. But the grants that the suckers need to take humanities courses will ultimately be written off, with the cost borne by the taxpayer. Taking society as a whole, those humanities courses are mostly a deadweight burden, both by producing unemployable, entitled mediocrities, and by the opportunity cost of removing young people from otherwise gainful employment.

(I realise that the existence of overseas students undermines this argument, but Chinese students mostly opt for STEM and not gender studies.)

Matt said...

@ Don Cox

Humanities subsidising the STEM courses isn't how it works. The great & good of the university management shut down the STEM courses because they focus too much on academic attainment and then make even more money from the worthless degrees.

Pay rises all round.

Anonymous said...

Looking in from the outside, it does seem to be a group of women who are not universally thought of as women by other women want to re-define 'woman' to include them regardless of what other women who are currently universally agreed to be think.

I have two thoughts:

- I do not hear of a controversy over not-universally-thought-of-as-men demanding to be thought as men, why?

- The act of wishing / campaigning / demanding to redefine / relabel / reshape something to suit you regardless of the opinions / feelings of many of those who live under that definition currently is a very white male patriarchal thing to do,

but, as the article notes, a special feature being from a position of being powerless and marginalised rather than a position of assuming a special entitlement exists.


Anonymous said...

Men do not fear being around women's identifying as men, women do fear being around men identifying as women, especially in potentially vulnerable situations such as changing rooms and prison cells.

E-K said...

The feminism thing has gone full circle.

Now the men are firmly back in charge. (Trans)

E-K said...

Recently Ru Paul's Drag Race had a bit of a fight back.

A woman assigning as a man... competing as a drag queen !

She lasted only a couple of weeks before bailing out with a 'knee injury'. One suspects they didn't quite know how to deal with 'her'. It totally fucked the show up for a while.

This has all caught the feminists by surprise.


I can't forgive their hijacking of the WW1 centenary with Suffragettes' silhouettes - you know... those upper class ladies who campaigned only for other upper class ladies (when working class men didn't have the vote) and who were known for handing out white feathers and NOT serving on the front lines themselves despite wanting equality.

Hoist by her own panties is the phrase I think I'm searching for.

Scared said...

Anonymous - YES I DO fear being around women identifying has men.

Geezer birds can be the most dangerous people there are.

lilith said...

There was a Drag Race series I watched recently with a woman who thinks she's a man (had her breasts cut off). At first I couldn't take her seriously because she talked like a parody of a drag race contestant. She was constantly "Gooped and Gagged" which I think actually means "excited", and every other word was "Gurl..." She did, however, make it to the final and this was because her costumes/makeup were extraordinary. Most odd.

lilith said...

These narcissist transwomen ENJOY frightening women. "I'm coming into your intimate private spaces and there isn't a damn thing you can do about's a video of me wanking in the Ladies!"

Elby the Beserk said...

Don Cox said...
The humanities courses are cheap to run and attract suckers in large numbers. This provides the cash needed for courses in STEM subjects, which are very expensive to run.

If you close the humanities courses only very rich students could enroll for STEM courses.

This applies to further as well as higher education.

Don Cox

12:02 pm

Don, except that the vast majority of those who graduate with a humanities degree will never earn enough to pay off their student loans. We're paying for them. Most of them are unemployable anyway and their only choice is some non-job in the public sector or academia if they can spell. Which is not guaranteed. The whole "you have to go to Uni" crap needs to stop. As I have noted before who is served by Jonny Cantspell going to study Illiteracy Studies at Illiteracy Metropolitan University? Not them. Not us. Not society at large. Not the economy. Use the money saved to sub STEM studies.

lilith said...

I'm scared, but I'm more scared of the consequences of not standing up to this shit.

E-K said...

We're all totally tucked, Lilith !

Thank goodness the filming of Lord of the Rings is completed, otherwise it would have been Orks with Norks.

E-K said...

Btw The Squid Game

Utterly brilliant ! And utterly non PC.

BlokeInBrum said...

Just binge watched The Squid Game.

It was very good and as you say, no lip service to PC.

Take a look at what is happening in the comic book sphere.

All the good stuff is Asian/Japanese Manga.

DC and Marvel are turning everything woke with the result that nobody is buying the comics any more.

Another Industry driven into the ground by the `right on` mob.

lilith said...

Marvel was pretty horrid to Jordan Peterson which would have upset any comic nerd with a brain.

lilith said...

George here explains:

Elby the Beserk said...

Bob Dylan's got a word to say as well...