Since this seems to be all the rage – I hereby offer my definition of “woke”
I define “woke” as a belief that society is by default divided into two groups – the oppressors and the oppressed. All social interactions are a zero sum conflict between those two groups. All of history is merely a record of this conflict and nothing else. By default neither group can see this model of reality. However, it is possible for people to see the world accurately for one reason or another. (the process of this realization varies and is not essential to the worldview). This worldview is largely an extreme version of a class based view of the world, however instead of dividing the world up into “workers” and “capitalists”‘ there are many, many more subgroups who make up the oppressed class, and many more subgroups that make up the oppressor class.
By virtue of having this knowledge one can see the hidden threads throughout history and choose to exercise virtue, which is by advocacy for particular groups in the oppressed class. This is largely expressed as secular evangelism for those groups, and active efforts to reduce the social status of the oppressor class groups.
The pose is that of evangelism, i.e. convincing people to see the world their way, but the tactics are all destructive, in terms of social media and social status. The focus is entirely on raising and lowering the social status of different groups.
This worldview is notable for being younger, more tied to social media, fashionable consensus, signaling and being disproportionately female. I suppose a common sense of alienation from society is a necessary part of the definition as well.
I had the realization that she has a lot in common with Trump – namely in that she’s picked a group of resentful people to champion and marketed herself to that group – much like Trump did in 2015-2016. Both she and Trump are walking enemies lists – and America can do better.
Or maybe it can’t – on the whole Trump has impressed me with the wonderful lack of activity (government governs best that governs least). Maybe not on purpose, but you take what you can get.
Kevin Williamson kicked off the thought process with this paragraph – referring to the Nation and Mother Jones magazines
Rather than bring out the best in them — the muckraking, the unsentimental view of American life made possible by a politics not excessively burdened by patriotism — President Donald Trump and his merry men have driven the Left deeper into daft identity politics and vague conspiracy-mongering. Where once there was Christopher Hitchens, now there is the “interactive privilege simulator.” That is not progress.
Which does raise the thought that it is the unsentimental side of an ideology that has value.
That would break out to
Liberals (not the populist left) contribute insight onto
- The military
- Foreign Policy
- The criminal justice system
- Come to think of it, anything involving flags and guns
- What life is actually like on the bottom
Conservatives (not the populist right) contribute insight into
- Poverty/anything even remotely resembling an underclass
- Anything involving the “intersectional/priviledge” – though that is probably a recent development
Libertarians (there are no populist libertarians) contribute insight into
- The actual working of the state, and it’s victims
- Insight about the planning fallacy, and central planning – that probably includes all of the insights libertarians have
I heard the closing moments of the Kennedy Nixon debates on Radio Free Bernstein a few weeks ago and was struck by how novel it seemed. – they both seemed genuinely smart, and off the cuff, not rehearsed. The most striking thing was that there were almost no pauses for emphasis, which meant that the listener has to actually listen (any modern speech you can do the auditory equivalent of skimming, thanks to the pauses).
Word Salad seems to be the most apt phrase for modern political speech.
I think much talk of “privilege” is actually false modesty on the part of the speaker – probably 90% of it actually. However, Arnold Kling has a list of other factors, particularly
- being tall
- having attractive features (or at least not being extremely unattractive)
- being naturally outgoing (extroverted)
- not having mental disorders, such as autism, depression, or schizophrenia
- not having debilitating physical ailments or physical handicaps
- growing up with your biological father (particularly if you are male).
- having artistic gifts
There is no political advantage to either side for these so no one ever talks about them…
This SMBC Cartoon – summarizes me quite well
Not that many really. He’s a bit too rabid on immigration, and he keeps too many of his “paleo con”
around, but that’s who I will be voting for.
Problem 1: A liberal, a moderate and a conservative walk into a bar. The bartenders says “Hi Mitt”. Bring unpredictable is not a good thing for a president.
Problem 2: Mitt had an eye for cutting deadwood, but he doesn’t seem to have a taste for it anymore.
Problem 1: His magnificent faith in government. Whether it be moon colonies or a costless war with Iran, his optimism towards every government act would embarass most Democrats.
Problem 2: low moral character. Say what you will about the institution of marriage, but the rules are clear. As we’re living in a sluggish police state I would prefer a chief executive who is not talented at rationalization and comfortable living with contradictions. Divorce is acceptable in a candidate, but since his platform is based on making the government bigger and bolder then his adultery disqualifies him.