A resource guide for the woke culture scene
A selection of smart perspectives for understanding and dealing with wokeness
“You are so brave and quiet I forget that you are suffering.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms
As we all know, wokery is difficult to avoid these days, if for no other reason than that wokesters are the noisiest group in any cultural-political room. It can be exhausting because their inflated sense of grievance and their lust for the media spotlight have morphed into a seemingly ubiquitous 24/7 global noise machine about climate and gender.
When not gluing themselves to artwork in museums or splashing revered artworks with tomato soup and mashed potatoes, they are blocking traffic with their naked bodies painted in slogans, or screaming out loud at full throttle for over a minute at a public hearing to protest a perceived “trans genocide,” or joining more than a thousand strong with Extinction Rebellion protestors clad in symbolically blood red costumes shutting down large swaths of central London, blocking Whitehall, the Mall, Westminster Bridge, Lambeth Bridge, Trafalgar Square, Downing Street and Victoria Embankment.
The woke are a small but very busy contingent from the general population, and they tend to dominate headlines out of proportion to their numbers. Which of course is the bloody point.
Beneath the lurid headlines, a very real political movement is emerging, aligned with global DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) corporations and banks, and it is a highly confrontational challenge to core values that have been central to Western Civilization for a very long time.
The halting three millennia advance of the humanitas ideal that has informed Western Civilization from the start has always been fragile and imperfect. Yet a flawed but widely shared and reasonably stable cultural-political consensus emerged in the West after WW2. Coupled with several decades of widespread post-WW2 Western prosperity, it seemed to have solidified even further after the 1991 collapse of the former Soviet Union.
Now all bets are off.
What follows are a few highly insightful perspectives on wokeness that I have encountered from smart people trying to understand its political meaning, its history and its future prospects, with a variety of smart suggestions for best ways to respond.
Eugyppius is the Substack of a retired professor at a German university. I am linking to two of his articles that I think are quite good at contextualizing various aspects of wokeness.
On Wokeness, Its Nature and Its Prospects
Seeing wokeness through the historical perspective of the high-low alliance
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.
Letzte Generation and its sister organisations are actors in an elaborate charade, intended to lend a populist democratic aura to climate protection policies, which flow not from the people but from unaccountable out-of-sight think-tanks, NGOs and bureaucratic institutions. Their radical rhetoric also allows the truly crazy politicians managing the energy transition to appear reasonable and moderate.
We met conservative friends in DC and Miami and old school liberal friends in NY and LA. And the most striking thing to me is just how much these two groups actually agree on.
The future of climate is going to be decided in China, India and Latin America.
Woke: A Culture War Against Europe | James Lindsay at the European Parliament
This speech has been widely recognized as making the nature of the Neo-Marxist Cultural Revolution engulfing the West extremely clear, with a sharp warning to Europe not to follow in the footsteps of the Anglophone countries.
I would add my own series of articles, starting before the Ukraine war, on the creeping ascendance of Thanatos over Eros and an emerging blind lust for civilizational suicide via nuclear war.
The entire series is linked in this article about US President Joe Biden’s fatally apocalyptic millennialist mindset.
Biden's Uncle Frank and the End Times
Mushroom clouds on the horizon with no resistance in sight
If one can stand to listen to the video, the most striking thing about it is Mr. Biden’s elegiac, hushed tone sacralization of war. It is beyond mere idealization or hyperbole. It is so detached from reality it is chilling.
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