Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 21, 2021

Some Musings On 'Wokeness'

For some time I have been trying to get my head around 'wokeness'. It seems to be a typically 'liberal' U.S. phenomenon that has not (yet) been picked up elsewhere. I find it to be an illiberal doctrine that attempts to prescribe how one has to think and talk about certain issues.

What the 'issues of the day' are one has to be 'woke' about seems to change every few weeks. Before the last U.S. election it was 'bend your knee' and 'defund the police' which predictably ended with higher police budgets as soon as the liberals had won the elections.

Currently some U.S. media are enraged about Dave Chappelle, a standup comedian who made jokes about people during a Netflix special. I had guessed that is something one should expect from a comedian. But some of Chappelle jokes were about transgender people which is somehow supposed to be bad. (Why?) At least that is the point the people who now want to cancel his show are trying to make.

I am bit suspicious about this reason as during his show Chappelle also made a good point about UFOs and how many thousand years ago people flew off from this planet to another one. They screwed it up over there and then decided to come back to now make a claim on this one. Chappelle calls them 'space Jews' (video).

What a wonderful aphorism for Zionism. I had a hearty laugh when he made that joke though the audience in the studio seemed awfully quiet.

Now a handful of Netflix workers publicly demand to cancel Chappelle's show allegedly because he made jokes about transgender people and, more generally, about the fuss some of them make. But I wonder what is really happening behind the scenes with this. Who is really pulling the strings here? Who really wants to cancel Chappelle? Space Jews?

A more serious danger of 'wokeness' and 'cancel culture' is its invasion of science:

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology invited the geophysicist Dorian Abbot to give a prestigious public lecture this autumn. He seemed a natural choice, a scientific star who studies climate change and whether planets in distant solar systems might harbor atmospheres conducive to life.

Then a swell of angry resistance arose. Some faculty members and graduate students argued that Dr. Abbot, a professor at the University of Chicago, had created harm by speaking out against aspects of affirmative action and diversity programs. In videos and opinion pieces, Dr. Abbot, who is white, has asserted that such programs treat “people as members of a group rather than as individuals, repeating the mistake that made possible the atrocities of the 20th century.” He said that he favored a diverse pool of applicants selected on merit.

He said that his planned lecture at M.I.T. would have made no mention of his views on affirmative action. But his opponents in the sciences argued he represented an “infuriating,” “inappropriate” and oppressive choice.

On Sept. 30, M.I.T. reversed course.

M.I.T. canceled a scientific lecture because the lecturer has opinions on other issues. What has happened to academic freedom of speech?

They canceled a lecture because some nitwits are hyping the 'woke' issue of affirmative action. These people are willing to accept less than the best qualified scientists because the lesser qualified person may have certain not science related attributes. Well folks - I agree with Dr. Abbot. That's not how academia is supposed or can work.

Luckily Princeton jumped in and Dr. Abbot's lecture will be held there.

The craziness behind of all of this is exposed further down in the NYT's reporting of the issue:

Phoebe A. Cohen is a geosciences professor and department chair at Williams College and one of many who expressed anger on Twitter at M.I.T.’s decision to invite Dr. Abbot to speak, given that he has spoken against affirmative action in the past. Dr. Cohen agreed that Dr. Abbot’s views reflect a broad current in American society. Ideally, she said, a university should not invite speakers who do not share its values on diversity and affirmative action.
...
What, she was asked, of the effect on academic debate? Should the academy serve as a bastion of unfettered speech?

“This idea of intellectual debate and rigor as the pinnacle of intellectualism comes from a world in which white men dominated,” she replied.

Whoa. What a catastrophic non-answer. That woman is supposed to do science?

How would science happen if we stop to use intellectual debate and rigor? What shall decide the veracity of a theory, the rightness of a formula or the correctness of a scientific fact? The height, color or gender of the person who utters it? The emotions of those who hear of it?

Where is this supposed to end?

Posted by b on October 21, 2021 at 18:03 UTC | Permalink

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https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/natos-plans-hack-your-brain

WOKE.. its about selecting brain pathways used to establish allowed thoughts which produce victim behaviors .. WOKE is a narrative control platform .. it has as its basis a mechanism that allows to insert narrative; it works like a field programmable gate array, from the office of the deep state come the commands that determine the neural pathways humans employ to express their behaviors.

Posted by: snake | Oct 21 2021 18:17 utc | 1

“This idea of intellectual debate and rigor as the pinnacle of intellectualism comes from a world in which white men dominated."

Perhaps this is just true.

Posted by: Oliver K | Oct 21 2021 18:19 utc | 2

It is very discouraging. It is everywhere. Just look at the Guardian's headlines. What drivel!!!

Posted by: c | Oct 21 2021 18:24 utc | 3

The irony of wokeism is that while it claims to represent diversity it actually tries to impose conformity.

All deviations from the “norm” must be cancelled.

Posted by: Down South | Oct 21 2021 18:25 utc | 4

Well, Bill Gates, of all people, chimed in that math was racist, so one has to wonder where these oligarchs are trying to lead civilization, as they clearly have the means, and control the propaganda outlets. They seem to be instigating this woke lunacy. Surely, Gates doesn't actually mean what he says. He cannot really be ignorant of the history of mathematics.

Perhaps, it is just a means of diverting people for corporate and financial looting through a divide and control strategy. Instead of teaching critical race theory and cancel culture, teaching critical thinking would be more advisable, clearly, something that has been missing from US education for some time.

Posted by: Bluedotterel | Oct 21 2021 18:25 utc | 5

German Wokeness = Not Being Able To Print Nazi Imagery

Posted by: Seedee Vee | Oct 21 2021 18:31 utc | 6

@Oliver K (2) “This idea of intellectual debate and rigor as the pinnacle of intellectualism comes from a world in which white men dominated."

Perhaps this is just true.

You hit the nail on the head. The statement is objectively true and non-sexist, though woke feminists may have a hard time understanding why.

Posted by: Rob | Oct 21 2021 18:45 utc | 7

Not supposed to end; it's the new normal.

Posted by: NOBTS | Oct 21 2021 18:49 utc | 8

I had guessed that is something one should expect from a comedian. But some of Chappelle jokes were about transgender people which is somehow supposed to be bad. (Why?)

The good faith argument, which is hard to disagree with when one looks at hate crime statistics and the disproportionate susceptibility of the group to murder and ostracism, is that these jokes reinforce negative stereotypes as well as promote the social exclusion of transgender people. Whether or not Chappelle's jokes really did that (for example, he was good friends with one transgender woman whose death - as comedians do - he made some light of) is up for debate, but transgender people - who are for the first time being given explicit recognition in the national consciousness for their situation - are worried that the marginal improvements that have been made toward their situation could be lost. In that way, transgender people who dwell on the Netflix special are acting from a conservative impulse, but an understandable one. When dead comedian Norm McDonald made jokes in the 90s about the murder of transgender people, did it not contribute to the marginalization of transgender people? Was him wishing for the murder of transgender people on television not, to those with a conformist mindset (which is most Americans), unconsciously train people to see transgender lives as expendable?

I'm not worried about the "invasion" of "wokeness" in science. Science is a political enterprise and always has been. The vast majority of scientific output is also necessarily false, as is implied by the very notion of scientific progress. The polycentric and essentially anarchist nature of science means that dissenting voices will always find or make themselves a home, unless political authorities intervene to stop them altogether (as sometimes they should). Free association in science also implies the right of those who manage and use an institution to exclude others whose ideas or ideologies are antithetical to the institution's intended project. This is why there are only a handful of heterodox, let alone Marxist, economics departments in the United States: the economics professors who make up and run these institutions will not let you into their cliques unless you agree with their fundamental principles. So Marxists go elsewhere, or start their own institutions which vie for legitimacy. Science, as the outcome of a decentralized network of scientists all practicing science in their own way, isn't threatened by certain scientists acting in an exclusionary way. Chomskyan linguistics, which I have nothing but respect for, has maintained its stature partly because of the exclusionary behavior of Chomskyan linguists. Ditto for the whole "science" of psychology. There is a reason why scientists say that science progresses one death at a time.

The institutional power of the wokescolds is much overstated in the first place. Your average worker isn't subject to it in a way that materially affects them (notable examples aside - on the aggregate, your average working stiff can be about as racist as they like on and off the clock), and even in places where it does reflect a kind of dominant ideology, the only people subject to it are people who are violating social mores that aren't really that bad in and of themselves, and certainly superior to ones which came before them, making this fear reflect a kind of primal fear of punishment or shame that individuals in our narcissistic society can't tolerate (admittedly, the possibility of redemption is lacking in almost all sectors of American society, besides Christian cults which demand total conformity upon being "saved"). The fear of wokescolds is also deeply rooted in certain material facts from American history and their modern perseverance, such as (in living memory) the racialized drug war and racial segregation. There's a fear in white society of the bottom rail being on top, and that white people are going to be subject to what white society made its historical and present victims subject to. The fear is that the dominance of "woke" ideology means the inversion of the racial order, rather than the racial order's abolition. Hysterical liberal media freaks and marginal Black nationalist tendencies certainly don't make this impression any better, but "woke" ideology is reacting to the very real racism that permeates American society to this day, and most "marginalized people" just want to stop being treated so differently by society's institutions. In the final analysis, the most important political arm of society, that which is responsible for the actual enforcement of the laws, does demonstrably treat Black populations differently than white ones. Denial of this forms a key component of even "respectable" modern American conservatism, but conservatives are people who live in denial and make a virtue of that fact.

As a final aside, it's interesting that the conservative media complex has decided to rail against being "woke," making this their rallying cry for their return to power in 2022 and 2024. What's the opposite of woke, exactly? Well, being asleep. Cue the They Live references.

Posted by: fnord | Oct 21 2021 18:52 utc | 9

what about the organization of modern society "follows science"? as the base determines the superstructure, so the scientist becomes ever less scientific. scientific knowledge is just another means of competition, so it matters not at all if one scientist's criticisms of another are anti-scientific, anti-intellectual.

there might be a Chicago O'Hara airport of light out there but the light still must be pointed in a certain direction or the planes just crash. knowledge is a tool. nothing more.

I don't have this in front of me, but Dawkins "Selfish Gene," 1st ed, end of ch 1, ends w/ a discussion of UK Labor-Tory politics that's offered as some testimonial to the supposed insight into complex human behavior offered by his dumb little theory. So laughable all it left me wondering is which came 1st, the Selfish Gene or Thatcherism?

why do people think scientists are supposed to be above this kind of crap? I had a member of the SEP (the wsws SEP) state to me re the covid nightmare in the US & UK, "if the scientists and doctors were in charge, none of this would be happening." i'm pretty sure this whole shitshow runs on nothing but the imprimatur of doctors and scientists. i know that that is the case.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Oct 21 2021 18:56 utc | 10

What b addresses here is cancel culture, which is only one aspect of wokism.

What b means to address (I think) is the crazy overreach of the Left, which is now termed woke authoritarianism.

IMO we should all be suspicious of the an extreme left that accomplishes little other than provoking a right-wing response. I addressed this today in the Open Thread:

  • The Orchestrated "Conservative "Awakening"

    1) OMG! Progressives Control the Democratic Party

    2) OMG! Deep State supports Biden and the Democrats

    3) OMG! Trump fought back and the Deep State hated him for it

    4) OMG! Americans must rally behind conservatives to prevent Woke authoritarianism

    The possibility that the Deep State is behind BOTH Biden and Trump, of course, not something that is considered. The possibility that wokism and hyper-partisanship is being used as a tool by the Deep State is also not considered. Lefty 'extremism' (Defund the Police! Free Tuition! Open Borders! Vaccine mandates! etc.) is used to prompt outrage from the right. What has the Left gained from that woke 'extremism'? Virtually nothing.

    (click link for examples.)

  • Call to Arms by a right-wing thought leader

    "We need to stop being silent bystanders.

    It’s time to stand up for truth—for justice—for freedom—not just for ourselves but for all humanity. Tomorrow may be too late."

    (click-thru for the full propaganda experience.)

  • Trump announces "TRUTH Social".

    The conservative revolution may not be televised, but it will be talked about.

    [Adding: MAGA requires force-fed 'Truth'? A throw-back to GW Bush's 'truth': If you're not with us you're with the terrorists.

    So it's appropriate that conservative warmongering Condoleezza Rice joins in: White Kids Shouldn't Be Made To Feel Bad For Being White. Aww ...]

    (click-thru to see the harpie in action.)

  • Summarizing (a response to librul)

    IMO the Left's insane over-reach was deliberately fabricated to provoke a reaction from the right. Policy initiatives like Open Borders, Vaccine Mandates (now for children 5-11!); "Defunding" the Police, etc. were never going to succeed except in triggering right-wing/conservative outrage.

    Trump's MAGA! is as much a con-job as Obama's "Change You Can Believe In" because our faux populist leaders are Deep State stooges.

    The implications of USA turning right are profound. But few want to talk about it.


!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 21 2021 18:57 utc | 11

Can everyone please declare their pronouns? Thank you. Mine are 'fuck' and 'you'.

I don't want to downplay the phenomena of gender dysphoria, and that humans suffer greatly from certain conditions, but the woke movement to declare many genders is, in addition to a slap in the face of women who've been fighting for equality for centuries, but a step in the Transhumanist movement that seeks to migrate to the metaverse Cloud called Neverland.

Sorry if this was offensive to anyone. I'd cancel myself if that were to happen.

Posted by: gottlieb | Oct 21 2021 19:03 utc | 12

The woke culture of denunciation and cancellation reminds me of this famous scene from Game of Thrones. Someone rings a bell and the crowd responds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWtS7jyhl-0&t=100s

I sometimes wonder whether that meme contributed to the culture of denunciation/cancellation of the last few years?

Are the woke cancel culturalists a bit like the "faith militant" fanatic cultists?

Posted by: Tyrion | Oct 21 2021 19:11 utc | 13

It cannot end. Or, more precisely, it will end when it has run its course. Consider wokeness as the symptom of a terminally ill society, the sign of the cancer that currently devours the American psyche. This is of course not to say that the physical America will cease to exist. But it will emerge equipped with new values, new formula, a new worldview, once wokeness will have completely consumed the old American mental space.

Wokeness has happened in the past. It has always happened when societies and cultures came to an end ; at the end of Athens or Rome, you will always find a Cleon, someone who will always raise the stakes and one-up on demagogy and populism, who will revel in destroying the old gods.

One thing is for sure, wokeness can not last forever. By nature it is reactive ; it feeds on the ever-decaying corpse of America, lashing at the feeble remnants of White power. Current transnational capitalists only laugh at it, as wokeness fits global capitalism like a glove.

Another point is : woke people do not reproduce. This is the final certainty, the iron law of nature ; nature doesn't care whether you're right or wrong, the only thing that matters is whether you will have descendants carrying your world view. Looking at the most illustrious exponents of wokeness, I cannot see anything else than evolutionary dead ends.

Posted by: Micron | Oct 21 2021 19:14 utc | 14

Looks like your usual witch hunt to me. The idea that only white men engage in reasoned debate seems like the sort of bigoted idea we wanted to avoid; and it does not at all agree with my experience.

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 21 2021 19:16 utc | 15

not sure how many people outside the UK have heard of graham linehan but he's one of the best british comedy writers alive or otherwise. the tl;dr is that he stated the objectively verifiable fact that men in dresses aren't women and has since been second only to jk rowling (and now chapelle) as the target of "trans rights activists". he's also part of the substack colective that has legacy media yuppies shitting their collective diaper because they can't get him 100% "deplatformed" (see also: greenwald and taibbi).

https://grahamlinehan.substack.com/archive?sort=new

as for "woke" in general, a very wise person (who had lived through the hippy 60s and the "PC" 90s) told me years ago: "when people claim they want 'equality' they almost always want superiority". so much of the "woke" rhetoric is about settling "historical scores", exclusion, hierarchies and (the true sign of an asshole at work) biological determinism. they're just garden variety materialists who talk about "the right side of history" but were born in 1996.

by the way, here's an elizabeth warren lackey who's heading up this moronic "protest":

https://twitter.com/0rf/status/1451188468466343952

as one of my black friends in DC often said: "damn - that girl ratchet". but remember: only "white" people can be racist.

Posted by: the pair | Oct 21 2021 19:18 utc | 16

the world has gone bonkers... woke and politically correst b.s. are proof of this.... as @ 12 gottlieb notes - when everyone is freaked out about having to use the proper pronouns, you know the whole society has gone off the deep end and think it is perfectly normal.. speaking with university profs who have to remember which pronoun to use to address a student is just more of this crazy assed bullshit..

frankly i think it is one big intentional distraction by the powers that be to keep the plebs down and out... distractions work great for pulling the wool over people... it seems many want to partake of this nonsense...

there are a lot of transgenders in the music biz... i know 4 or 5 personally... i have been called out for getting the pronouns wrong too... it is mostly insane as i see it.. these people lead very challenging and difficult lives.. it is not that i don't care.. i do know how difficult it is for these people... but life is difficult for all of us in some shape or form.. i am not trying to one up anyone in any of this.... but when someone lays the white male privilege shit on me, it is hard to take.. end of rant..

Posted by: james | Oct 21 2021 19:19 utc | 17

by the way: if the complete woke capture of academia doesn't already worry you, check out how certain medical schools are turning into orwellian nightmares where professors and other teachers are literally afraid to say "pregnant woman".

https://www.plebity.org/conversations/gender-ideology-is-wreaking-carnage-in-our-medical-schools-an-eye-witness-report/

Posted by: the pair | Oct 21 2021 19:26 utc | 18

i have been called out for getting the pronouns wrong too... it is mostly insane as i see it.. these people lead very challenging and difficult lives.. it is not that i don't care.. i do know how difficult it is for these people... but life is difficult for all of us in some shape or form.. i am not trying to one up anyone in any of this.... but when someone lays the white male privilege shit on me, it is hard to take.. end of rant..

I think that's understandable. Identity politics, what leftists denigrate as "radical liberalism" (shortened to "radlibs"), has always deserved critique for the kind of decentralized mob mentality it buttresses. To some anarchists, that's a feature and not a bug, but to people who just want to get along in life, it's fatal to the popular legitimacy of the whole project. "Privilege" talk has always seemed to me to be too confrontational to do anything besides get on people's nerves and draw socially suicidal battle lines.

Posted by: fnord | Oct 21 2021 19:26 utc | 19

First observation is that Professors & Universities are/have granted PHD's to individuals who are not uniquely meritorious and have just rode and survived the university "system" to complete a program. This combined with funding for "affirmative action" has created the "woke" PHD's that have infiltrated the education system and is now taking control to usher in a new dark age for meritorious intellectual pursuits.

The notion that Math is inherently racist is absolute nonsense - why people go along with this notion is a sign society is becoming both innumerate and illiterate.

Second observation is that we believe we can afford to be "woke". We are so wealthy with our borrowed money and infinite stock market that we can literally be "insane" and it just does not matter. We are exceptional - who would dare question us???????

True "Knowledge" without developing and acquiring the discipline required to obtain and respect it leads to "Woke" - shit ideas without basis that people believe just because someone yells it loud enough and frequently enough.

Final observation is that since the creation of the instantaneous digital world the difference between a digital fantasy land and hard reality of actual physical work has created a chasm. It is easier to live in a digital fantasy on a phone and social media where there are no limits to what can be done ...........the only problem being that it is all a fantasy.

"Woke" is the fantasy trying to be impose on the physical reality of the world!

Men can be women, Women can be men and we can all be dogs, unicorns or dinosaurs in our fantasy world.

We are casting off reality for the ease and comfort of fantasy (until everything stops functioning and we have to go back to a very harsh reality).

Humans are their own worst enemy and their infinite arrogance will eventually humble them all.

Posted by: James Cook | Oct 21 2021 19:27 utc | 20

fnerd, if transgender people were only worried about their safety and employability, would they be demanding that biological males who call themselves female be allowed to compete in sports against biological females? Would they demand that the word "woman" be forbidden for fear of discrimination? Women are, by the numbers, far more likely to experience violence and discrimination based on their gender. And would transgender people be getting such widespread establishment cooperation and support? I think the opposite of "woke" has become "antiauthoritarian."

Posted by: NoOneYouKnow | Oct 21 2021 19:31 utc | 21

@ Posted by: James Cook | Oct 21 2021 19:27 utc | 20

The notion that Math is inherently racist is absolute nonsense - why people go along with this notion is a sign society is becoming both innumerate and illiterate.

You'll find a couple of people who believe that earnestly, but very few otherwise. It seems like here, as with many discussions on "woke"/anti-racist politics, the narrative is being controlled by conservative media operatives who spotlight some absurd fanatic at the expense of the reasonable and earnest voices who make up the majority of the disparate movement being targeted for the two minutes hate. For all the nonsense broadcast by conservative yellow press, no one seems to be addressing the original intellectuals who brought these issues to the fore enough to inspire the fanatics. Why is that? Maybe it's the same reason you'll never see Noam Chomsky on Fox News except to denigrate him. If you receive the ideas being criticized firsthand, as told persuasively by those who believe in them, well, you might get persuaded. So it's best to just ignore those intellectual types, focus on the attention grabbing wingnuts, and call it a day. But this has had an incredibly corrosive effect on our political discourse, to the extent that you've been hoodwinked into believing that "math is racist" is being taught to anybody.

I have seen some people say that certain approaches to math pedagogy are alien to people from non-white cultural backgrounds, but this doesn't represent anything like an orthodoxy, nor is it particularly bad for mathematical literacy (which the prior methods didn't do much for either, by the way). If the intention is to make it easier for people of different cultural backgrounds to understand math as taught to them in public schools, and to perform arithmetical operations without the use of a calculator (and I think this is the intention), and they're successful in improving mathematical literacy according to that criteria, that's a good thing. But you won't hear that nuance when a conservative editor of a conservative rag has to drive hate clicks from insane conservative readership.

Posted by: fnord | Oct 21 2021 19:37 utc | 22

This is basically a bunch of degenerates playing Cultural Revolution redux. First time was a tragedy, second time, it's a farce - as any Marxist could have expected.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Oct 21 2021 19:38 utc | 23

fnerd, if transgender people were only worried about their safety and employability, would they be demanding that biological males who call themselves female be allowed to compete in sports against biological females? Would they demand that the word "woman" be forbidden for fear of discrimination?

There are transgender athletes who have been competing for years under the radar before their presence in women's and men's sports became known and was turned into an issue by conservatives and religious reactionaries. They're not demanding inclusion into something they were formerly excluded from. In many cases they are only now being formally excluded by decree from conservative authorities. On the aggregate, transgender athletes are mediocre, except in the edge case when transgender men undergoing HRT are forced to compete with women, as was the case with a notable "women's" wrestling champion, who was barred from competing with the boys despite having testosterone levels that were comparable to male athletes. Is that fair to women athletes?

Transgender women, as a group, are simply not demanding that the word "women" or "woman" be banned. There were, however, trans-exclusionary radical feminists who tried to change the word to exclude the sub-string "men" who are still around and who have aligned themselves with religious reactionaries in order to ban the things that cause them offense, including the existence of transgender women. What's particularly absurd here is that trans women have been fighting just to be called "women" for the last few decades. A couple eccentrics who get publicized or taken out of context by the conservative yellow press is supposed to make me forget that? Give me a break. People who fashion themselves as hard to fool are getting fooled hard by flattering conservative psyops every day.

Posted by: fnord | Oct 21 2021 19:49 utc | 24

“This idea of intellectual debate and rigor as the pinnacle of intellectualism comes from a world in which white men dominated,” she replied.

Replace "white men" with "Jews," and that paragraph could have come from the Third Reich.

Posted by: lysias | Oct 21 2021 19:50 utc | 25

I love how PU, MIT, U of Chicago, etc. and these two "scientists" are not allowing the coronavirus to interrupt their business. Yes, their business.

i have nothing but scorn for these people and institutions. they, all of them, exist to reproduce the values, habits, beliefs, practices, institutions, perceptions, conflicts and wars into youth, so that the possibility of a new future can never materialize.

people think knowledge is more important than courage, compassion, fidelity, love (yes, love) etc. b/c they are stupid.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Oct 21 2021 19:51 utc | 26

Posted by: fnord | Oct 21 2021 18:52 utc | 9

Science is not racist. Individual scientists may be racist, but the scientific approach to knowledge is not. It is the political economic systems that attempt to capture and muzzle scientific debate that is the issue. The corporations that need to make profits where science exposes their products as threats or dangers, are the problem in Western capitalist societies.

That is why university research has been captured by private corporate funding that directs research to narrow corporate interests, enforces nondisclosure agreements forced on researchers to silence criticism, and where government regulatory agencies are essentially run by those they should be regulating.

The problem is not science as an approach to knowledge. The problem is the political economic ideologies and their managing or crushing of any scientific debate that might go against their wealth and/or power interests. Science is not racist. But it does operate in societies which are often antiscience and work to suppress any of its inconvenient findings.

Posted by: Bluedotterel | Oct 21 2021 19:55 utc | 27

There are a number of points to be raised:
1. Wokeness is the jingoistic hijacking and deliberate misinterpretation of what began as quite intelligent investigations into how power works.
2. The reason it resembles fascism is because it, like fascism, buys into essentializing narratives and prioritises them at the expense of understanding how social power is actually distributed (i.e., class).
3. Universities are loaded with these idiots because, contrary to popular opinion, universities are where knowledge is disciplined, that is, where it is vetted to maintain the dominant ideology. This is in fact why subjects are called 'disciplines', to prevent real dissent (e.g., like Nietzsche's assault on philology and history: he was also drummed out of the Academy for failing to be the equivalent of 'woke' in late 19th century Germany).
4. Universities have never really been where these myths about rigour and intellectualism were propagated. They are rather gatekeepers of the acceptable in scholarship. One finds that, on balance, great thinkers and leaps in thought tend to take place, and flourish, outside of universities.

Posted by: Patroklos | Oct 21 2021 19:57 utc | 28

gottlieb @Oct21 19:03 #12

Ironically, the chemical industry pronouns are also ('fuck' and 'you').

Perhaps the answer to your woke confusion lies in how the trans community fail to blame the chemical industry for pushing use of a range of harmful chemicals including (especially) those that mimic female hormones. Focusing on trans discrimination conveniently ignores the chemical contamination that may have (likely?) contributed to the growth of the trans community.

To note this might make someone feel bad and result in being 'cancelled'. We are only allowed to embrace trans people, not question how they are made. Yet AFAIK most of harmful chemicals mimic female hormones and (consequently) most of those who transition are men. Possibly the the vast majority. It's difficult to find good statistics on male vs female transitioning. Most "trans statistics" are about how they are discriminated against, what their race and sexual preferences are, etc.

Disaster capitalism at work (not a complete list):

  • Cigarettes: still not banned; industry executives got away with murder.
  • Asbestos: banned.
  • Lead (in paint and gasoline): banned.
  • Chemicals - sex-affecting: industry gets a pass from trans community.
  • Chemicals - Roundup (kills the bees): still used.
  • Petroleum (climate change): needed change is slow in coming as industry fights the activists.
  • Fracking: ongoing
  • Fast food - Diabetes epidemic: ongoing

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 21 2021 19:58 utc | 29

A lot of the whole woke thing seems like ideological subversion. It is intended to fracture the society of the host country, in this case the USA. I can't say who is behind it, but I suspect the usual globalist cabal. And that is not to say that there isn't a lot of truth in their critiques. There are many things in the US that could be better.

Here is Yuri Bezmenov talking about it. The interview is a bit long. There are other shorter clips on YouTube.
But what do I know? I just read MoA and try to figure out what is going on in the world. This made sense to me, though.

Subversion of the Free World Press - Yuri Bezmenov

I live in Los Angeles, so I see a bunch of the woke stuff first hand. It strikes me as odd that they never mention the whole military industrial complex on as the real source of so many of the world's problems. That makes me suspect of the whole thing. After all, the logo of the BLM "movement" is a direct copy of that of many used in color revolutions. I think OTOPOR in the former Yugoslavia was its first appearance.

Posted by: lex talionis | Oct 21 2021 19:59 utc | 30

We used to call it 'political correctness'.. 'pc'.. that all went shit-shaped too..

Posted by: Barrie VVeiss | Oct 21 2021 20:00 utc | 31

"Woke" is ICON fantasy designed to deny or alter global physical reality. You see it everywhere in advertising content.. woke eliminates live actors, allows the different stories to impose many different mind control narratives .. its victims are not only "unaware" of the damage it causes to their mental state, but are also "unable" to defend themselves.. because physical evidence does not exist in virtual reality..

https://culturewatchnews.com/disney-took-woke-to-a-new-level-and-just-removed-one-of-its-main-characters-from-disneyland/

Posted by: snake | Oct 21 2021 20:03 utc | 32

Transgender activists decided some years ago that their advocacy strategy should be strident and aggressive. This is producing the backlash by which Chappelle and Rowling et al are condemned. By being strident and aggressive, the advocates can control the debate to the extent there is no actual debate (as only one position can be articulated). The advocates are therefore free to create their own reality - i.e. by revising the definition of “gender”, or through lobbying state governments to legislate that any instance of assault on one of their own is labelled a “hate-crime” regardless of circumstance. Similar efforts have long been identified with the zionist lobby.

Writers for the World Socialist Web Site have been pointing out for some time that the woke/cancel culture discourse is not only ultimately reactionary, but is also notable as having been widely promoted by the establishment media. Much coverage yesterday on the Netflix walk-out, but no comment on the fact it was sparsely attended (as the photos from the scene reveal). This seems to express a desire to keep the rabble divisive, divided, and confused.

Posted by: jayc | Oct 21 2021 20:03 utc | 33

Does anyone remember the days when the bottom line was sacrosanct? When corporations would have (allegedly) preferred to be more ethical and environmentally friendly but sadly it wasn't allowed because they were legally obliged to put shareholder interests first.

So now we have 'get woke, go broke' how does that work? When the bottom line is blatantly being sacrificed it is certain that the policies are being driven from the top, not by popular demand.

So what is the agenda?

1) Reducing opposition to the mass immigration which the financial elites obviously have planned.

2) Divide and conquer, the better to control people.

3) The normalisation of censorship:-

a) The principle that people can be censored at the whim of anyone who claims to be offended.
b) The principle that truth, even if is admitted to exist, is irrelevant to censorship.
c) To establish the principle that expressing ideas that conflict with approved narratives will endanger your job, even if they are totally unconnected with your work.

Feel free to add to the list.

Posted by: MarkU | Oct 21 2021 20:07 utc | 34

@ Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 21 2021 19:58 utc | 29

I think trying to attribute the rise of gender non-conformity to chemicals in the water or air ignores the well documented existence of non-binary gendered roles and relations in human history and pre-history (which transgender people are an expression of unique to our society). North American indigenous societies approached gender uniquely, with some having gender binaries, and others having more than two genders, often with the third gender consisting of men or women who take on the roles normally performed by the opposite sex. Right now, we're undergoing a cultural shift corresponding to the lessening of a patriarchal discipline that formerly kept a lid on people's free gender expression. The increase in gender non-conformity or homosexuality, then, is akin to the increase of left-handedness in societies which have stopped punishing children and young adults from using their left hands.

Plastic isn't going anywhere because it's irreplaceable unless monetary costs change the economic situation against them. It's not the transgender people, or the desire of an elite cabal to generate a lot of transgender people for some strange reason, but the simple profit imperative that explains the pollution of our environment with microplastics. While endocrine disruption from microplastics poses a lot of questions about their impact on early human development, I don't think there's any kind of consensus that it's resulting in an increase in gender dysphoria, which can and does occur in men with above average testosterone levels.

Posted by: fnord | Oct 21 2021 20:09 utc | 35

Posted by: fnord | Oct 21 2021 19:37 utc | 22

No doubt people coming from essentially arithmetical cultures could find mathematics "alien". That is why mathematics is taught. It might take a while for any of us to develop calculus from first principles. One would hardly expect someone from a tribal society with little need for it to find it other than a little "alien". Many pale faces in the US and West find it "alien", as well.

Modern science and engineering require modern mathematics, chemistry, physics, etc. to build the infrastructure for our modern world. That cultures that have not hitherto needed or developed these basic principles should find them "alien" is hardly surprising.

Posted by: Bluedotterel | Oct 21 2021 20:15 utc | 36

While an almost daily reader, I do not frequently post comments in this bar. But this time I would like to contribute to this thread with an interesting article on the wokeness topic I found some time ago. Although quite long, I think the reading is worth the time:

https://tinkzorg.wordpress.com/2021/07/09/send-them-back-your-fierce-defiance-stamp-upon-the-cursed-alliance/

The author (a Swedish guy who I got to read because another interesting article of him on the imperial debacle in Afghanistan) argues that wokeness and related notions (as critical race theory) constitute new mechanisms to deal with elite overproduction, that is, a form of discourse to exclude from elite competition undesired (non-white) contendants.

Posted by: T | Oct 21 2021 20:17 utc | 37

b
" about the fuzz some of them make"

I think the word you mean here is fuss.

Posted by: arby | Oct 21 2021 20:18 utc | 38

No doubt people coming from essentially arithmetical cultures could find mathematics "alien". That is why mathematics is taught. It might take a while for any of us to develop calculus from first principles. One would hardly expect someone from a tribal society with little need for it to find it other than a little "alien". Many pale faces in the US and West find it "alien", as well.

Well I don't know of a culture that is "essentially arithmetical," but the conversation usually happens in the context of teaching arithmetic, for which there are many ways to skin a cat. I think teachers accepting some algorithmic pluralism would be a nice change of pace, if that hasn't changed since I was a student, since I can remember being marked off points for getting the right calculation using the "wrong" algorithm (the one my dad taught me and was taught himself, vs the one the teacher taught me, which I found less intuitive). The goal is never to avoid teaching kids math, but to find ways to allow as many kids to learn it as possible.

So if the instructions involve abstractions or cognitive procedures that some kids have been exposed to but others haven't, is the best solution pluralistic? I don't know. That's what the debate is about, though, not whether "math is racist" but whether or not the means by which we teach kids math are leaving some kids behind for reasons that aren't beyond our control.

Posted by: fnord | Oct 21 2021 20:19 utc | 39

My apologies by the way for not consistently tagging my replies with who I'm replying to. That's not meant as a slight against anyone, I just forget.

Posted by: fnord | Oct 21 2021 20:20 utc | 40


@Posted by: fnord | Oct 21 2021 19:37 utc | 22

I have seen some people say that certain approaches to math pedagogy are alien to people from non-white cultural backgrounds....

Approaches to teaching math and the idea/absolute logic of numbers and mathematics are very different things. Non-white? What is that? People in the pre-historical record, Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Geeks, Asians, Arabs? Math has and never will have anything to do with skin colour!

When you see math nerds discussing a math theorem or problem do you think their skin colour is part of the conversation - NO - it is just about the math problem!

When you see/hear woke teachers saying it is not important to obtain the correct answers to mathematical problems and/or showing your mathematical work/logic to reach an answer is not important and/or the testing for numeracy should be different for humans with differing skin colour - this is nonsense. Saying that these things are not part of "their culture" is bullshit!

Mathematics is about training a brain to understand and manipulate the absolute logic of numbers.

Mathematics has historically transcended language, culture and skin colour..........however not every human has the mental configuration or discipline to master the concepts of numbers. With "educators" eliminating advanced programs for child prodigies because they are "racist" we doom everyone to the lowest common denominator..... in the name of the new "woke" religion and its believers.

Math is not religion where belief is all that is required or important. Math is fact and in its' truest forms transcends even/all humans.

Posted by: James Cook | Oct 21 2021 20:21 utc | 41

I remember when Jordan Peterson came as a guest lecturer to McMaster University.
The students spit on him.
The lecture had to be cancelled for his safety.
Faculty is silenced and rightly afraid of job loss. All it takes is one student.
Academeia is no longer recognizable.

Odd, I was just working on this poem...
WIP
childish pursuits
spoiled the fruits
with mental masterbation
a generation of recruits
of cultural cancellation
the subjects of this psyop
of Mind fornication
are putty in the hands
of our manipulations

Posted by: ld | Oct 21 2021 20:22 utc | 42

the pair | Oct 21 2021 19:26 utc | 18

A biologist pointed out that this redefinition of words for male and female will hurt the medical treatment of women as it slowly muddles the fact that women have different problems and issues that men do not have. Gender is a medical reality. Men regardless if they become trans will never have ovarian cancer. For many years, many women have argued that the medical profession made treatment of specific female issues a secondary priority. I think that has changed a lot but see it now and then. For example, it appears mRNA vaccine makers did not look into how the vaccines affect menstrual cycles.

Posted by: Erelis | Oct 21 2021 20:28 utc | 43

@ Posted by: James Cook | Oct 21 2021 20:21 utc | 41

Yes, yes, I get it. Mathematics is perfectly abstract and free from racism. That's fine. I'm still unaware of anyone in a position of power who has sought to stop teaching mathematics on the basis of it being supposedly racist. What's being discussed, but what's not covered by the lying conservative media and the governing politicians like Greg Abbott or Ron DuhSantis who they serve, is the fact that the conversation is about pedagogy and not the subject itself.

I am one of the "child prodigies" (and that's a bad assessment of my former classmates including myself in 99/100 cases) who went through gifted and talented education. Many of wish we didn't. There are students who need and deserve special accommodation, especially the disproportionately autistic students who make up GT classes, but I don't agree that innumeracy is the destiny of most everyone below the 98th percentile of the bell curve. Besides the mentally retarded, most people can learn at least algebra and the arithmetical operations that underlie it. Students who are gifted are going to rise above the rest no matter what, either through extracurricular initiative or otherwise. I don't think we need to worry about lowest common denominators in that respect (other aspects of school reforms do fit that critique, though).

Now, whether the debate about math pedagogy being racist even correctly identifies the problems afflicting mathematical education in this country? That's another question. That's worth discussing. I don't want to discuss it, personally, because I'm not a math educator. But that's a critique that actually gets to the heart of what's being discussed without misrepresenting the debate altogether. I do want to struggle against conservative fabrications here though.

Posted by: fnord | Oct 21 2021 20:31 utc | 44

fnord @Oct21 20:09 #35

well documented existence of non-binary gendered roles and relations in human history and pre-history

Gender is a spectrum. I get it. But I think that spectrum has been altered by the huge amount of chemicals that humans have been exposed to in the last decades.

And it's not just microplastics. For example, flame-retardants on wall-to-wall carpeting had chemicals that mimic female hormones. That carpeting was everywhere for decades.

=
we're undergoing a cultural shift corresponding to the lessening of a patriarchal discipline that formerly kept a lid on people's free gender expression.

That shift had already largely happened in the 60's and 70's. People ARE FREER to express their gender and (I believe) there are more of them.

Once again, statistics that might provide clarity are (strangely?) hard to find.

=
It's not the transgender people, or the desire of an elite cabal to generate a lot of transgender people for some strange reason, but the simple profit imperative that explains the pollution of our environment ...

I never said that their was a push to create more transgender people (by trans people or 'elites'). I made the case that the chemical industry might have escaped liability. Statistics to prove that are (strangely?) hard to come by and 'cancel culture' makes it difficult to question the origin of the surge in transitioning.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 21 2021 20:36 utc | 45

Most of these people are only woke when it comes to policing comedy shows, demanding the use of new language, bathroom designations..etc when it comes to the biggest issues like 9/11 truth, Israel's ethnic cleansing of Palestine, the OPCW scandal/ US sponsored Jihadi war on Syria, debunking ridiculous Novichok war propaganda, war propaganda against China such as the Xinjiang evidence free genocide claims..etc. etc. most don't know anything about it and support the Empire's narratives wholeheartedly without asking any questions. I'm sure 90% of so called woke Dem people think that Juan Guido is the rightfully elected President of Venezuela and that Russia-gate is still real even today, most probably think Bellingcat are indipendent truth tellers... It used to mean something else about 10 years ago, but now it seems to mean mainstream CNN watching Democrat who reads the New York Times for truth.

Posted by: Jason C | Oct 21 2021 20:41 utc | 46

gottlieb #12

Sorry if this was offensive to anyone. I'd cancel myself if that were to happen.

"Typical of a privileged white man" would be the response if you self canceled - what gives you that privilege they would demand. etc. etc.

But seriously, we are being played IMO and most times I point out to my children and friends that I refuse to be a gullible fool and fall for the propaganda and social engineering game of the oligarchy. I push back to set context. I shift the debate and conduct a direct dialogue about power, manipulation and - how do they think Palestinians or Yemenis or... feel about their conditions and this argument?

I urge practitioners of this pronoun mania to grant equal time to considerations of war and peace, taxation and community services, the sad state of the schools or hospitals as less and less money is spent on them. I demonstrate that they are being dumbed down to discuss matters of no threat to the oligarchy and therefore they are the tools of oppression of blacks and whites etc.

Thanks b for the report and I did like the 'space jews' line. Tell that to the Dogon people.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 21 2021 20:43 utc | 47

If intellectual debate and rigour is not the pinnacle then we open the door for faith and authority. God, preferably a woke god of colour and arbitrary gender identification, will determine the pinnacle of our aspirations. But there's always a spoilsport like Galileo Galilei to mutter from the wings "Eppur si muove'.

Posted by: Loftwork | Oct 21 2021 20:44 utc | 48

I'm puzzled by the whole concept of gender dysmorphia in a modern western society. For more than a hundred years, we have been emphasizing the point that women and men can both do whatever they want, look as they want, marry (or not) as they want, have sex with whomever they want, etc etc.. In other words, there are no hard and fast rules about what a man or woman is, how she looks, what she does ... we do not have strict gender roles anymore, or we are headed strongly that way, and this is all great.

Under this understanding, a "man" is not simply someone with short hair, deep voice, strong body, or physically/mentally taxing job, or indeed any job; "he" is simply a male person. He can dress and look as he likes, be stay-at-home or take traditionally female jobs like nursing, teaching, etc.. And the same with a modern "woman", right? She can look as she wants, dress as she wants, and do what she wants with her life, be a soldier, even. This is one of the unequivocally great things about modern life, FFS!

The weird thing about woke trans identity is that it works directly in opposition to this. It's built on the premise that there ARE strict and standard gender roles that people are assigned to at birth and that these folks are not comfortable with their assigned role. It is, like modern racism/anti-racism, completely based on visual issues; and even then, on seriously outdated visual issues. Instead of arguing women can be men and vice versa, why not continue to work on and emphasize that we all can look as and be who we want to be. Would that not be a much healthier way of fighting any remaining issues with dysmorphia?

Posted by: Caliman | Oct 21 2021 20:45 utc | 49

Posted by: fnord | Oct 21 2021 20:31 utc | 44

I had the pleasure of being considered gifted in the 50s during the Sputnik panic, and I concur that the idea of putting such children in "special" programs is something that ought to be run by the said children to see what they think about it first. Some it will help, some it will decidedly screw up. They are not all alike. This is of course a very un-american way to run a school, letting the kids have a say. Schools are run by experts and authorities who must be obeyed.

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 21 2021 20:45 utc | 50

Posted by: fnord | Oct 21 2021 20:19 utc | 39
Teaching math or anything else does require some sensitivity to a particular student's background in that subject area. And there can be different ways to get to the correct answer. An amusing example of a sort of cultural perception can be found in this little story:

"There is the story of a little boy in Kentucky who was asked a test question: If you went to a store and bought six cents worth of candy and gave the clerk ten cents, what change would you receive?” The boy replied: “I never had ten cents, and if I had, I wouldn’t spend it on candy and anyway candy is what my mother makes.” The tester reformulated the question: “If you had taken ten cows to pasture for your father and six of them strayed away, how many would you have left to drive home?” The boy replied: “We don’t have ten cows, but if we did and I lost six, I wouldn’t dare go home.” Undeterred, the tester pressed his question: “If there were ten children in your school and six of them were sick with the measles, how many of them would be in the school?” The answer came: “None because the rest would be afraid of catching it, too.”"

So, yes, sometimes the correct answer is in the understanding of the principle.

Posted by: Bluedotterel | Oct 21 2021 20:46 utc | 51

There are many ways to teach arithmetic, and by the time a student reaches middle school in the US almost all of them have been tried. The students failing at math at that point are failing for reasons other than pedagogy.

There does happen to be a “golden path” to teaching mathematics beyond basic arithmetic, though. That “golden path” basically parallels how humanity developed math historically. The starting point for that path is arithmetic, though, and if the student has not bothered to learn that in their six years (or more) of primary school then they are not going anywhere with higher mathematics.

Neither math, nor math pedagogy is racist. But there are plenty who insist it must be racist (and sexist) because so many Black Americans and female Americans fail at it. This includes many in school administrations who wrestle with the numbers and look at who is succeeding and who failing in their school’s classes and assume there must be racism and sexism behind it all somewhere.

There isn’t. As long as the faux left keep barking up the wrong tree the problem will persist. Worse, the teaching of STEM subjects will suffer and America will decline further.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 21 2021 20:48 utc | 52

@ Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 21 2021 20:36 utc | 45

I get what you're saying and I think what I disagree with is the authoritative and explanatory tone with which it's said. Maybe that's a style thing. I'm certainly doing the same thing unconsciously. The increase of endocrine disruptors in the water supply, according to some studies a friend has referred me to, has an empirically demonstrable effect on certain developmental outcomes, but the effect that would have on gender non-conformity is up in the air to me. It may affect testosterone levels in young men, but is that going to cause dysphoria? And then what about young women who identify as men or as "non-binary" more often, are they subject to increased testosterone? The etiology there seems to be unclear, at least to me. I would accept the idea that it could have an effect, but I don't think there's adequate evidence to make that claim if we want to be fully honest, and at the same time it alienates transgender comrades who can have their own axes to grind against the medical, psychiatric, and pharmaceutical establishments.

Posted by: fnord | Oct 21 2021 20:53 utc | 53

You start with a war on terror and end up with racist math. It's called decadence.

Posted by: Paco | Oct 21 2021 20:57 utc | 54

“This idea of intellectual debate and rigor as the pinnacle of intellectualism comes from a world in which white men dominated”

I wonder if they realize that they do a very weak favour to their own cause. Colliding against established cultural patterns may be understood, but colliding against scientific bases is plainly ridiculous.

Here in Canada, a Catholic school decided to withdraw all Tintin, Asterix and Lucky Luck comics because they represented "gender bias" and expressed derisory bias against some minorities. I still can't believe it. Couldn't it be more useful to recognize the value of these comics and insert a "caveat" that these masterpieces were written at a different time and in a different society?

I'm not a fan of Hergé's ideology, but Tintin is a great comic. I wouldn't hide it from children just to be "politically correct". In fact, children would be more prone to adopt an "inclusive" or modern view if they were allowed to compare old-time and current comics, but current authorities play a paternalistic role and decide that children cannot see by themselves and should be "properly oriented" using censorship.

Is it supposed that everything written before these new cultural trends deserve a destiny of Fahrenheit 451? We'd end up banning Homer and the Iliad/Odyssey tales because only men had main roles and women were "passive" or secondary!

I have the impression that people pushing these agendas want to change the past, and they won't be able to do so no matter how hard they try. Promoting genders and minorities today cannot imply throwing away art masterpieces just because they do not reflect current social values.

Posted by: Andres | Oct 21 2021 21:02 utc | 55

@22 "....the narrative is being controlled by conservative media operatives who spotlight some absurd fanatic at the expense of the reasonable and earnest voices who make up the majority of the disparate movement being targeted for the two minutes hate."

True. That is exactly how opinions are established and forced on society. But why do you only blame the 'conservative' media?

Posted by: dh | Oct 21 2021 21:09 utc | 56

I find it [wokeness] to be an illiberal doctrine that attempts to prescribe how one has to think and talk about certain issues.

From the point of view of historical genealogy, wokeness is not only a direct child of liberalism, but is its legitimate child and heir, the logical endgame of liberalism as an ideology.

The fact that wokeness results into censorship doesn't change the fact it isn't liberal. Liberalism is not about freedom of speech - that was a Cold War era revisionism.

There are many reasons that scientifically demonstrate wokeness is a form of liberalism. Out of the top of my head:

1) the cult of the individual over the collective;

2) the denial of the existence of class;

3) anti-communist logic and modus operandi;

4) pro-corporative militancy (i.e. an astroturfist structure in opposition to the traditional trade-unionist or party structure);

5) the fact that, out of the 200 or so nations in the world, it was born in the USA - the most liberal country ever created;

6) its enforced censorship is clearly directed towards any suggestion that Marx was correct (i.e. that society is divided by class, not by "identity").

The genealogy is more or less this: Liberalism (classical) → center-leftism (Neokantism/Western "Marxism"; Structuralism/Post-Structuralism → Postmodernism) → wokeness or Woke Left.

The fact that the Alt-Right (which, on its part, is a direct child of American fascism, which has another genealogy) calls the Woke Left "Marxists" or "Cultural Marxists", or that even some members of the Woke Left are rumored to have called themselves "Marxists" means absolutely nothing in contemporary USA, as it is used as a pejorative term to designate anyone on the left side of the political spectrum of that country (for instance, Obama has been called a Marxist and a communist numerous times by the opposition during his two terms).

Posted by: vk | Oct 21 2021 21:14 utc | 57

The portrayal of the Abbot case is not quite accurate. Abbot was invited to give an outreach lecture - presumably to attract a more diverse student population than the makeup of MIT students. When he published a piece arguing against diversity initiatives there was pushback and his outreach lecture was canceled. Instead he was invited to give a scientific lecture on the MIT campus to students and faculty. Doesn't seem like much cause for outrage.

Posted by: Martin | Oct 21 2021 21:23 utc | 58

@ fnord... i certainly enjoy your commentary and like how engaged you are on this topic.. keep on posting... @dh 56 raises a good question... my own perspective is this is coming from both the right and the left... they are both too stupid or self serving to see how messed up all this is..

Posted by: james | Oct 21 2021 21:29 utc | 59

Gender roles are a construct, a product of tradition, societal norms and needs etc, whereas biological gender is not. With the former, it's easy for a layman to examine how norms and expectations differ based on biological gender and how they change even from one decade to another. If one is in possession of the recent history of several different cultures, it helps illustrate these changes with overarching societal events, like the introduction of women to the regular workforce at different points in time and at different stages of a state's political-economic development and the various ways that this reshaped the societal role of women in different countries.

Women filling traditionally male roles in society, or vice versa, and as far as I know, never placed their biological gender into question. Previously, the big progressive feminist platform campaigned on readjusting the female gender role package to a more favorable position for women, since the role of women had come to include more and more male dominated fields over the years with only sporadic success -- that's another discussion altogether, potentially obsolete. Now, from the outside, since I have no personal stake in the topic beyond the a casual interest that awakens in any "normal" person upon accidentally stumbling upon a train-wreck in development, it seems to me that we're witnessing the mirror opposite of that -- an attempt at readjusting biological gender either to mimic, essentially, traditional gender expectations, or, in some cases, inventing something new for which there aren't as of yet any expectations or roles in society. At least on some level, I expect that this is a case of blowback from clumsy social engineering.

What matters far more, I would expect, is the development of cosmetic surgery and hormonal treatments to the point where it's even an option for someone to consider. Would-be transgenders of yesteryear would likely have been hampered far more by the absence of any technological means to materialize their delusions than by the so-called patriarchy.

Posted by: Skiffer | Oct 21 2021 21:33 utc | 60

Martin - #58: I think your portrayal misstates the case. From the Boston Herald:

"Dorian Abbot, the University of Chicago professor who was set to give the prestigious John Carlson Lecture at MIT this month, will instead be presenting his science lecture at Princeton University on Thursday."

And what's the Carlson Lecture? From MIT:

"The John Carlson Lecture communicates exciting new results in climate science to the general public."

So Abbot was supposed to provide a prestigious scientific lecture to a lay audience. He was stopped from doing so by MIT. Princeton has signed him up and thousands have signed up to hear him.

Posted by: Caliman | Oct 21 2021 21:33 utc | 61

@ Posted by: james | Oct 21 2021 21:29 utc | 59

I appreciate that. To respond to DH's point @56, I focus my attention on the conservatives only because of the power they have in my locale, and to detourne some of the rhetoric I see on the right (to remind their rank-and-file that it's a two way street, like y'all mention).

Posted by: fnord | Oct 21 2021 21:33 utc | 62

The solution of this quiproquoic fuzz might be rather simple.
This was apparently an academy lecture on geophysics and dr Abbot was a perfect pick for that.
As everyone knows no expert on diversity had been invited.
On the other hand, there are sometimes even nowadays, - believe it or not - a few grand conventions of shoe makers all over the world.
Of course if we watch a shoe-store showcase there's a heck of lot of diversity on matter of shoes.
But no shoe-makers event organizer should ever invite Professor Abbot there in to express his views.

Posted by: augusto | Oct 21 2021 21:36 utc | 63

Posted by: Caliman | Oct 21 2021 20:45 utc | 49
There seems to be a problem between the way people seem to think biological sex is really non existent. Many females tend take umbrage with the fact that the woke seem to be discounting their existence as a sex, and the gender aspects that may be associated with it in a particular society.

Gender roles between the sexes have always been somewhat fluid throughout history. In some African societies men were the primary producers of textiles, weaving and sewing, rather than the female sex. In southeast Asia, prior to European influence, one of women's primary gender roles were as business "men". Men rarely participated. So when talks about gender roles of the two biological sexes they can vary between particular cultures or societies.

I doubt that one could consider a homosexual of either sex a "gender". They are just men or women, males or females who prefer sexual relations with the opposite sex.

A transvestite is someone who tends to prefer to dress in the stereotypical fashion of the opposite sex. Thus they seem to prefer some of the gender roles culturally assigned to the opposite sex. Transgenders take things a bit further sometimes in taking hormones or even having operations to neuter their original sex and make them appear and feel physically closer to the opposite sex.

Of course, from a strictly biological viewpoint, they are not the opposite sex, even if they imagine they are. Males still have the body frame, musculature and greater lung capacity, on average, than females, which makes their participation in female sports competition or their admittance to female prisons, dormitories or rest rooms absurd. This is worse when they retain the sexual accoutrement and functioning of a male while "self identifying" as a "woman".

This seemingly deliberate confusing of the terms sex and gender is the basic problem with the woke crowd in this instance. It carries over to governments. In recently filling out a government online form, it was not possible to tick the boxes identifying the "sex" of the applicant. Now, why would you leave this category on the form, if "sex" was not an acceptable field to be completed. If you do not want transgenders to lie about their sex, just eliminate the field from the form. Of course, you could just say gender, but how many pages of categories would you have to have to be ticked.

Yes, there is certainly a woke madness afoot, but who benefits?

Posted by: Bluedotterel | Oct 21 2021 21:38 utc | 64

Good ol Wokeness. https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/07/02/the-great-wall-of-wokeness/

Posted by: Haydar Khan | Oct 21 2021 21:39 utc | 65

Posted by: lex talionis | Oct 21 2021 19:59 utc | 30

After all, the logo of the BLM "movement" is a direct copy of that of many used in color revolutions. I think OTOPOR in the former Yugoslavia was its first appearance.

Earlier than that, it was the symbol of a UK punk-era rock band 'Tom Robinson Band', who were a left-wing, anti-racist, pro gay rights band. Their first album, 'Power in the Darkness', 1979 was very good, I recall.

Of course, back in those days, anti-racism and LGB rights were genuinely anti-establishment and left wing causes. (Real left wing - workers unite stuff, not the fake left, divisive, identity politics that passes for leftism today).

Now they've been mainstreamed with capitalist-friendly divide-and-rule ideologies like CRT and trans-extremism, one of which which reduces people to a victim/oppressor stereotype based on the colour of their skin, and the other effectively attacks women and LGB people by denying them their biological reality or same-sex attraction. Add intolerance, stifling of debate, censorship and cancellation, and we get a grim, new ruling class backed quasi-religious orthodoxy.

Politics turned upside down. :-(

Posted by: Ash Naz | Oct 21 2021 21:51 utc | 66

Posted by: Bluedotterel | Oct 21 2021 21:38 utc | 64

"They are just men or women, males or females who prefer sexual relations with the opposite sex."
The should be "same sex" of course. Need to proof read before I post.

Posted by: Bluedotterel | Oct 21 2021 21:55 utc | 67

Where does Rachel Levine fit into all this?

https://www.npr.org/2021/10/19/1047423156/rachel-levine-first-transgender-four-star-officer

Posted by: dh | Oct 21 2021 22:09 utc | 68

nobody can cancel Dave Chappelle because he's too popular, he's too many people's favorite comedian, myself included. he will always sell out. so take that wokeness!

Posted by: annie | Oct 21 2021 22:16 utc | 69

Bluedotterel #64

I guess the essence of it is what does it mean to be a "man" or a "woman" in our society? If the old gender roles are mostly, if not entirely gone and there are no standard "looks" or "acts" that are gendered, can there be such a thing as dysmorphia?

When the clothes we wear and the way we look are entirely both flexible and self-determined, doesn't the significance of gender just melt away and we are back to male/man female/woman, XY and XX (with a very small minority different)?

Posted by: C | Oct 21 2021 22:21 utc | 70

An interesting aspect of wokeness in general and Dave Chappelle in particular...it is driving black people away from the Democratic Party. I was talking to a black friend about Chappelle, the very first words out of his mouth were, "Dave Chappelle is God". The rest of the conversation detailed how wealthy white liberals do not get the black community at all.

From my perspective, Chappelle is perhaps the greatest comedian of all time, top five for sure. The woke folk picked the wrong man to attack, it will come back to haunt them.

Posted by: Haassaan | Oct 21 2021 22:22 utc | 71

@71 - Haassaan - Here is Malcolm X talking about white liberals in 1963

Malcolm X : White Liberals and Conservatives


Posted by: lex talionis | Oct 21 2021 22:28 utc | 72

@71 That divide is not new. BLM got a lot of support from whites and antifa (mostly white) after the killing of George Floyd. Perhaps talk of reparations and defunding the police was going a bit too far for most white folks?

Posted by: dh | Oct 21 2021 22:33 utc | 73

fnord and others

To the right, "math pedagogy" is a code word for lower standards.

The discipline to follow along and the willingness to ask questions when you don't understand are particularly important in math and science. Underprivileged kids of any race may have concentration issues and may be reluctant to ask questions that might make them seem 'dumb'.

The complaints about "math pedagogy" is really a complaint about school resources. A debate that the right doesn't want to entertain, so they twist it into "math is racist".

The same issues are inherent in 'gifted' education. The problem isn't gifted' programs as much as that our educational system isn't adequately funded to ensure that everyone is properly prepared at lower grades. This is an inherent bias that those who benefit from the bias refuse to properly acknowledge.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 21 2021 22:35 utc | 74

I see Woke and its offspring to be more Machiavellian tools to Divide and Rule because they immediately appeared at a moment when public ferment within the Outlaw US Empire reached a level not seen since the 1960s, and some might argue since the 1930s. So yet again instead of doing the logical thing and combining forces against the ruling Overclass, the masses are again reduced to inane arguments over shit that doesn't really matter when it comes to an equitable existence and regaining control of government everywhere. And that's exactly what I'd say face to face with someone trying to divert me into such an argument. "Why do you persist in doing the Master's work," I'd say with an edge to my voice.

What I see with Wokeness is Tommy come to life. Most barflies ought to be familiar with that very first Rock Opera by The Who. There's lots of very memorable music in it, but the one that many here will recall is that final track, "We're Not Gonna Take It", which is explained by Pete Townsend at the link in case anyone's forgotten. Indeed, all The Who's works would be perfect for this Era. After Tommy, Townsend was fascinated with producing Rock Operas and one of the best known protest songs of all time, "Won't Get Fooled Again", was to be part of Lifehouse, which instead became the album Who's Next. Those with excellent memories will recall that The Who addressed Wokeness as a single well before its existence in 1966 and later it was played at Leeds and published on the album Live at Leeds.

So, been there and done that already!! Lets get on with far more important business like taking back our nations from the parasites sucking out their life blood.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 21 2021 22:36 utc | 75

End? This little demon is just getting started. Eventually it will eat itself, but perhaps people will realize how absurd it is before long. Alas, from how I have heard people speak in all walks of life the root goes deep indeed.

Posted by: Justin | Oct 21 2021 22:42 utc | 76

@72 lex talionis

Thanks, I hadn't heard that in its entirety.

The black community is getting hit the hardest by the defund the police movement, as far as the increasing crime goes.

The black community is being absolutely devasted by the out of control rise in housing prices and rent increases, making up a disproportionate amount of the homeless population. They aren't dumb, they see the links between democrat corporate real estate groups like Black rock and the lack of affordable housing.

The Neocons/neolibs are counting on black folk to be their foot soldiers when the shit hits the fan...they will be in for a rude awakening.

Posted by: Haassaan | Oct 21 2021 22:43 utc | 77

fnord @Oct21 20:53 #53:

The etiology there seems to be unclear, at least to me. I would accept the idea that it could have an effect, but I don't think there's adequate evidence to make that claim ...

I've proposed that the etiology might be deliberately unclear.

We know there's a problem:

A population-level decline in serum testosterone levels in American men

Results: We observe a substantial age-independent decline in T that does not appear to be attributable to observed changes in explanatory factors, including health and lifestyle characteristics such as smoking and obesity. The estimated population-level declines are greater in magnitude than the cross-sectional declines in T typically associated with age.

Conclusions: These results indicate that recent years have seen a substantial, and as yet unrecognized, age-independent population-level decrease in T in American men, potentially attributable to birth cohort differences or to health or environmental effects not captured in observed data.


But I find a lack of interest in research and statistics that might answer if there's a connection between rates of transitions and chemicals in the environment.

Who might benefit from, or seek to further, such a lack of interest? The chemical companies, of course!

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 21 2021 22:47 utc | 78

The essence of being a good comedian is timing. Also important is keeping your ear to the ground and having a sense of where people's heads are. As much as I admire Chappelle as a comic, I wonder if he sensed that right now was the time to pick a fight he knew he could win. The publicity certainly hasn't done his career any harm.

Posted by: ian | Oct 21 2021 22:47 utc | 79

karlof1 @Oct21 22:36 #75

I see Woke and its offspring to be more Machiavellian tools to Divide and Rule ...

I think that's a natural reaction to these political manipulations.

But I think it's insufficient to the confluence of explain media hype, politically dead-on-arrival policy initiatives and a certain degree of ineptness (VP Harris never visiting the border, LOL) that strains credulity.

IMO a better explanation is that the Left has been set-up so that the right can come roaring back. It is in keeping with the MAGA! strategy and empowering for a citizen-army of conservative 'heros'.

Just what the doctor ordered (Dr. Kissinger) for a stressed Empire 10-months before Trump entered the 2016 race for President.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 21 2021 23:02 utc | 80


Putin: Battle for Equal Rights in West Turning Into Dogmatism Bordering on the Absurd - 21.10.2021, Sputnik International
https://sputniknews.com/20211021/putin-says-discussion-on-men-and-women-in-west-has-become-phantasmagorical-1090106736.html

Posted by: Virgile | Oct 21 2021 23:11 utc | 81


Putin: Battle for Equal Rights in West Turning Into Dogmatism Bordering on the Absurd - 21.10.2021, Sputnik International
https://sputniknews.com/20211021/putin-says-discussion-on-men-and-women-in-west-has-become-phantasmagorical-1090106736.html

Posted by: Virgile | Oct 21 2021 23:11 utc | 82

Haven't we made a fine mess of things!
A word to transgender women competing in a binary (men and women/boys and girls) format of sports: No matter how much you alter your bodies with surgery and chemicals, you will never, ever, be a girl. Stand proud. Create your own competition. Stop bludging.

Posted by: Hal Duell | Oct 21 2021 23:20 utc | 83

maybe Larry Summers was right about the wymynz?!??!

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Oct 21 2021 23:34 utc | 84

Jackrabbit @80--

Thanks for your reply. IMO, although there are some genuine conservatives within the Outlaw US Empire, most of those claiming that philosophical moniker are charlatans and Fascists of assorted stripes. And do recall that the D Party isn't a Left structure/institution; rather, it's become almost Reaganesque with its Friendly Fascism as proven via its Anti-Human/Neoliberal policies. As I've argued before, Woke is illiberal as proven by the fact that it's intolerant, for tolerance is one of the foundations of Liberalism and what it means to be Left. I like comparing what's happening within the Outlaw US Empire to other places to discover the manufactured nature of things; and as far as I can tell, what's been manufactured since 2015 is all aimed at the domestic Outlaw US Empire audience, although some fallout's occurred internationally. Putin put it quite well at the beginning of his speech, for assuredly after 2009 the string pullers--"soon discovered that the ground was falling away underneath even there, and this time it was their turn, and nobody could 'stop this fleeting moment' no matter how fair it seemed." Every zany think tank idea's being thrown against the wall to see what sticks; or to use Putin's metaphor, to shore up the elite's Ivory Tower. And it's very difficult to assess how well any of that's working because the media's completely untrustworthy, which fortunately also confounds the elite.

I intend to plow ahead and shrug-off the wokesters as they don't impinge on my work. I'll put the Spencer Davis Group's smash hit from 1967 "I'm a Man" on my stereo, max the volume and shout out the lyrics and trust that it will have the same affect as garlic on vampires.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 21 2021 23:41 utc | 85

Transphobia has now replaced homophobia.

Honestly you should just get over it. Referencing a specific instance and making sweeping generalizations about everyone who is transgender or non-binary, etc. is just as foolish as people making sweeping generalizations about white people or men or straight people, etc.

Idiots are a very inclusive group.

Posted by: Willow | Oct 21 2021 23:53 utc | 86

I am old enough to have seen this play a few times.

Boils down to "give em an inch, and they'll want a mile"

Looks like they got the mile now they are going for gold.

Posted by: arby | Oct 21 2021 23:53 utc | 87

@fnord #9

Never whistle while you're pissing.

Posted by: Eris | Oct 21 2021 23:56 utc | 88

It is Political Correctness all over again, but with different clothing. What will be the results is pushing people into a virtual gulag, who will end up either broke or in another line of employment. A fate worst than being sent to a real gulag.

Posted by: Jose Garcia | Oct 22 2021 0:02 utc | 89

The transgender agenda was rolled out in public in 2015 in the US, to a standing ovation at the Oscars for Bruce Jenner wearing a dress. "Stunning and brave" was the required reaction (as satirized by South Park) and anyone who deviated was attacked and deplatformed.
Women who have objected to men in dresses taking over their spaces, sports and set-asides have been thrown off social media, attacked viciously online with rape and death threats, fired and even arrested.
For some reason whites wearing blackface are horrible bigots who must be attacked, but men wearing womenface are the Most Oppressed People Ever, and must be coddled and protected. Meanwhile, women who are raped must call their rapists by their preferred pronouns, and male murderers are placed into women's prisons if they claim they "feel like a woman inside".
We are told that the highest paid woman in America is a transwoman and isn't that something to be celebrated as unprecedented? Um, a man being the highest paid executive in the US is not actually unprecedented.
La Leche League has switched to calling breastfeeding "chestfeeding", the Midwife Association has thrown out midwives who refer to pregnant women as women, instead of "pregnant people" or "birthing bodies". Medical schools are teaching their students that there is no such thing as human dimorphism or sex, that sex is "on a spectrum" and men can get pregnant.
This comes from on high. The first day that Joe Biden got into office he signed an executive order allowing boys into girls' sports, locker rooms and showers. Obama had done the same thing, but Trump had rolled it back.
But the government, the media, the schools and universities, the libraries, the medical-industrial complex, especially Big Pharma, the military, the police, courts and prisons, the corporations, social media and NGOs. are all onboard.
Yes, Chapelle is going through what previous dissidents like JK Rowling have experienced, although the rape and death threats that she received are probably more than what he will receive.
The CRT agenda is also coming from on high, and started a few years after the trans agenda.
The 1619 Project is being taught in schools. It basically teaches children that black people in America are still slaves, still living under Jim Crow laws, still redlined in neighborhoods.
It basically teaches history from 1619 to 1956, and then stops, ignoring the last 50 years of integration and affirmative action. It is actually bizarre to teach kids that black kids have no chance of making it in the US because of the evil white kids, while ignoring people like Chappelle and Obama as irrelevant.
It doesn't matter. As Karl Rove said, they create their own reality now, and all the people that used to study it judiciously now accept it without question and attack viciously anyone who refuses to go along with nonsense.

Posted by: wagelaborer | Oct 22 2021 0:21 utc | 90

"...Under this understanding, a "man" is not simply someone with short hair, deep voice, strong body, or physically/mentally taxing job, or indeed any job; "he" is simply a male person. He can dress and look as he likes, be stay-at-home or take traditionally female jobs like nursing, teaching, etc.. And the same with a modern "woman", right? She can look as she wants, dress as she wants, and do what she wants with her life, be a soldier, even. This is one of the unequivocally great things about modern life, FFS!

"The weird thing about woke trans identity is that it works directly in opposition to this. It's built on the premise that there ARE strict and standard gender roles that people are assigned to at birth and that these folks are not comfortable with their assigned role. It is, like modern racism/anti-racism, completely based on visual issues; and even then, on seriously outdated visual issues. Instead of arguing women can be men and vice versa, why not continue to work on and emphasize that we all can look as and be who we want to be. Would that not be a much healthier way of fighting any remaining issues with dysmorphia?" - Caliman @49
You get to the heart of the matter. But wokeness can only be understood within the context of a culture with a violent desire to enforce conformity- a compulsion so strong that it strains every nerve to insist that we conform outwardly with what we know to be wrong.
The bottom line is that this is a culture in which the basic principle is that 'might is right' and resistance is futile, and never more so than when it is evidently justified.
Jeremy Corbyn being labelled an anti-semite was a highwater mark.

Posted by: bevin | Oct 22 2021 0:31 utc | 91

"Ideally, she said, a university should not invite speakers who do not share its values on diversity and affirmative action."

Of course that diversity and affirmative action doesn't include minorities from the Asian community who are routinely discriminated against by academia. You'll never hear these "woke" professors talking about this injustice sitting in front of the Supreme Court:

https://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/students-for-fair-admissions-inc-v-president-fellows-of-harvard-college/

Posted by: One Too Many | Oct 22 2021 0:54 utc | 92

"Wokeness" or any other political movement is going to be subject to manipulation by the political parties or other groups. What are they doing? We can only guess. The Democratic party establishment hates and fears the left. One thing they might do is try to make any leftist mass movement a failure by encouraging it to adopt bad positions that wreck their credibility. The FBI has a long history of using provocateurs against the left. "Wokeness" can also serve to distract from issues that might threaten the establishment like health care or inequality.

Also, Iraq and Afghanistan served as laboratories for the U.S. military to experiment with techniques of social manipulation and fruits of that work are now used in the West by organizations like Cambridge Analitica.

Aside from such conspiracies, "Woke" censorship betrays an ignorance of politics.

Posted by: Edward | Oct 22 2021 1:19 utc | 93

Well, I was — i think unfairly — the subject of being called a Woke by another barfly, while I was trying to educate on the subject of an offensive term.

It’s not just woke-ness nowadays, which is just a code word, for some, to attack someone, or some idea, or the merely threatening with it, as if it is a well understood concept. I am sure, not by many whom use it to attack others.

Here is quote of the day for the woke culture: Life is like toilet paper. Sometimes, you’re on a roll, and sometimes, you are taking shite from some rsole.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Oct 22 2021 1:21 utc | 94

Wagelaborer hit it outta the park ... Good job !

Posted by: Adriatic Hillbilly | Oct 22 2021 1:42 utc | 95

Basically a mental health department issue.
One of the better deconstructions is a lecture on cancel culture and wokeness (with discussion) by John McWhorter.

Cancel Culture and Wokeness
67,056 viewsSep 10, 2021
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12LAXsiDRPU

Posted by: imo | Oct 22 2021 1:44 utc | 96

The woke phenomenon lifted a rock on cultural anti-intellectualism, which is being ascribed to the woke phenomenon itself instead of the culture at large. An example may suffice.

A European company set up a certain mine in North America (innocent people may get affected if too many details are mentioned). The management and engineering personnel were principally North American. Several scientifically baseless decisions were made, with the consequence of early equipment failure (especially inappropriate material selection). The material selection was done by the hired engineering consulting company. Other mistakes were also made, but I shall stick to this matter to illustrate.

A certain engineer, of third world background, was an employee, and had the relevant educational background, and predicted several failures of equipment, that were soon confirmed. This naturally leads to litigation. The engineering consulting company demanded to see the exact equations used for the predictions of failure. The engineer in question pointed the consultants to the relevant academic literature. Said engineer was consequently sidelined in the company (a common complaint in North American industry is that one is "too technical"---caclulus is "useless academic nonsense" and the like---sic).

Before said engineer made said predictions, there was a training event in the company, held in Europe. The European (senior) managers requested various technical calculations and motivations for decisions made by the North American managers. The North American managers, during the Q&A follow-up complained that they felt that they were not trusted.

Instead of rigorous reasoning, much of North American industry runs on trust, and good decisions made by previous generations of engineers and tradespeople.

Posted by: Johan Meyer (2) | Oct 22 2021 1:55 utc | 97

I was going to suggest that MoA barflies watch the Youtube video of John McWhorter's "Cancel Culture and Wokeness" talk at the Internationales Literaturfestival in Berlin in September 2021 but I see IMO @ 95 beat me with the actual Youtube link.

McWhorter nailed the Wokeness phenomenon by calling it for what it is: the reduction of all intellectual, artistic, cultural, scientific and (to some extent) political and economic activities to one criterion of how all these activities should be addressing or rectifying perceived power differences between participants according to various arbitrarily selected and defined criteria (such as race, ethnicity, gender orientation) except for the most obvious one: class.

The Italian philosopher Antonio Gramsci might have seen Wokeness as another form of cultural hegemony, in which ruling classes (through their minions in academia and the entertainment industry) manipulate aspects of culture and those tools, methods and language that we use to critique culture or what constitutes the cultural status quo at any particular time or period, to maintain their rule and keep the rest of us weak and divided.

In his time Gramsci advocated for a proletarian culture and a proletarian intellectual leadership. He did not foresee that the proletarian culture and the proletarian intelligentsia might be co-opted by the ruling class and turned against the proletarian class. Likewise the tools and methods we use to criticise the power structures and networks that deny disadvantaged groups access to power and resources can be co-opted to turn them into eternal victims to be patronised and shut out of participating in decision-making.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 22 2021 2:20 utc | 98

Had to say I love this site....reckon some of the best reading around...godspeed

Posted by: Dogon Priest | Oct 22 2021 3:02 utc | 99

The word is sex: male or female
Gender is a grammatical term.

Concede the language, concede the argument.

Posted by: JaimeInTexas | Oct 22 2021 3:03 utc | 100

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