Liberals are being asked to engage in self-flagellation. To strip naked and enter the church of original sin: to admit their Privilege and ‘wake up’ to existence of structural Oppression. In doing so they then become morally obligated to proselytize, to spread the Truth to others, to kiss the ring of the oppressed and obtain intellectual absolution for their success in life. But this idea has little societal value left for us and continuing to engage in it is detrimental to solving real world problems.
The Woke world-view is built on a tatuology. To understand it, consider that every nation on this earth will have a “Dominant Culture.” Further, consider that every Dominant Culture will, by virtue of being dominate then oppress, subjugate, diminish, or attempt to subvert minority cultures. By definition of being dominant it is impossible for it not to do these actions, therefore it is always possible identify some form of Oppression that one is subjected to, while simultaneously being able to find a cross section of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc, that you yourself are privileged while comparing against. Woke Culture thus generates a world-view that allows one to always be Oppressed and always be with Privilege. It promises that by finding Oppression and understanding Privilege we can then take steps to eliminate it.
Woke culture’s implicit ideology is a form of cultural pluralism on steroids. It seeks to craft a society without the evil of collective judgment and all the Oppression which this entails. This hyper individualist utopianism is then contorted with the negative connotations of Privilege, an idea which is deeply collectivist and anti-capitalist at it’s core. That inequality of outcomes is bad (they’ve been saying since the first cities were founded in Sumer) and results in necessary contrition and guilt. Nothing has done more to exacerbate inequality than capitalism, so long as we ignore most of agricultural human history.
The Oppression framework is about freedom of association and action, liberated from prejudice and bigotry mankind is free to live as they see fit (which can itself form a contradiction if the in-group bias inherent in humanity results in voluntarily racially segregated communities… but we can skip this for now). But the Privilege framework gears us toward a traditional socialist or social democratic ideology of wealth redistribution.
These inherent contradictions are damaging, not just to the legitimate criticisms of our society (say, the evils of racism, the cultural oppression endured by females, the unnecessary intervention of society in sexual relations between consenting adults, etc.), but to the liberal experiment as a whole. It drowns out legitimate debate about our society under articles in the media of which combination of gender-sex-race is allowed to criticize some other combination of gender-sex-race (see Dave Chappell). Missing the broader argument entirely: Oppression is real but intersectionality doesn’t provide you cover for claiming gay white people deserve equal attention to their plight than this countries barely functional police officers.
But of course Woke culture has staying power, it remains a part of the ‘left’ precisely because it convinces some that Oppression exists. And of course there is a psychological benefit to the intellectually lazy where one can live in a world view that’s perpetually reaffirming itself by virtue of the very tatuology it was constructed on; grind culture is thus white supremacy, fantasy books drawing from non-western cultures are colonialism, the list of the world’s inherent injustice is long indeed.
Oppression identification is not bad. Identifying and agreeing with the problems that exist in our society is a healthy and productive enterprise that we should always do, but I do not agree with the axioms. Agreeing that racism exists does not mean agreement with reparations, anti-capitalism, self destructive cultural pluralism, and whatever else is infatuating twitter these days. Linking capitalism with racism is as unnecessary and stupid as linking capitalism with misogyny: it’s a not-so-transparent attempt to subvert a legitimate critique of society (say, unjust treatment of black people) with a movement that has failed (for good reason) to gain traction in this country since the 1960s.
Letting Woke culture steal the narrative of racism, by hitching its wagon to anti-capitalism does to the anti-racist movement exactly what happened to anti-misogyny; the party of ‘i’m not the other guy’ then gives license to its members to set this nation back 50 years.
Woke culture is a cancer.