Great Awokening

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The Great Awokening is a term for the ongoing leftist, or more narrowly White leftist, radicalization in the United States and elsewhere. The term derives from Woke and the Great Awakening, thus implying similarity to a religious movement. Western societies in general has arguably for a long time become more generally leftist due to influences such as Cultural Marxism, but the term Great Awokening refers to a recent, rapid radicalization of (white) leftists in particular.

Increasing polarization

Thus, political polarization has increased in, for example, the United States, between those identifying as Democrats and Republicans. This is largely due to Democrats moving to the left on several issues, such as due to Democrats becoming increasingly convinced that racial discrimination is the main barrier to blacks "getting ahead". Democrats have also become increasingly convinced that the government must be more active on issues such as helping the "needy" (even if this increases debt) and "in world affairs".[1]

Argued to be related to the increasing polarization, patriotism has sharply declined in the United States, especially among leftists and non-Whites, even when Obama was president.[2] One example of the increasing radicalization is, after first having attacked Confederate symbols, increasing radically leftist attacks on American presidents who previously were viewed by (less radically leftist) mainstream historians as among the best presidents, but who stated at the time common but now less politically correct views on issues such as race, such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson.[3][4][5][6][7]

Americans have been stated to have become more polarized on many other aspects than just voting, such as regarding which organizations they participate in, what media they consume, and where they live. This is associated with the growth of various much more distinctly partisan organizations and media. At the same time, Americans have increasingly lost trust in various traditional authorities, such as the government.[8]

A 2020 article stated that survey data showed a marked increase in the percentage who believed it would be justified for their own party to use violence to advance their political goals.[9]

Possible causes

Increasing ethnic heterogeneity in the United States, due to the mass immigration, is an argued main cause, with party voting increasingly following the racial divisions, and non-Whites favoring policies beneficial for themselves, such regarding spending on social services.[10] Based on voting data up to the 2012 election, "during the 1950s, both parties got at least 90 percent of their votes from whites in national elections. Now, nearly half of the voters for Democratic candidates are non-white, while the figure for Republicans has settled back down to about 10 percent. In the 1950s, almost half of all whites considered themselves Democrats; now, only 25 percent do. [...] the congressional elections of 2012. Fifty-nine percent of whites voted for Republican candidates while only 18 percent of non-whites did. The difference between those figures is huge: 41 percent. No other political divide comes close, not even the partisan difference between people who make over $100,000 as opposed to those who make less than $30,000. As the authors note: “The racial divide dwarfs divisions across class and other demographic characteristics that are supposedly central to the political arena.” This is true for elections without party labels: “Race outweighs all other demographic divides in nonpartisan local elections as well.” [...] Furthermore, it is non-whites–not whites–who vote along starkly racial lines. If 59 percent of whites voted Republican in the 2012 congressional elections it means 41 percent or so voted Democrat. But if only 18 percent of non-whites voted Republican it means more than 80 percent voted Democrat."[11]

A 2018 study stated increasing polarization along racial lines. In the minds of Americans, Republican and Democrat were beginning to stand for White and non-White. Class, religion, and ideology were less important than race.[12]

However, as of 2019, Whites who still identified as Democrats had also become radicalized. On some issues, opinions had even moved to the left of where black and Hispanic opinions were. One explanation is that less radical Whites who had earlier been Democrats had become Republicans, leaving behind the more radical Whites.[13] Other possible explanations include an increasing "purity spiral" among White leftists, who possibly feel a need to virtue signal even more than non-White leftists, for reasons such as their supposed White guilt and White privilege.

Other proposed causes, not necessarily incompatible with virtue signalling, include the increasing influence of social media, radicalization of influential mass media such as The New York Times, and/or "woke capital" cynically promoting racial and other "diversity" issues in order divert leftists from economic issues.[14]

Leftist mobilization against Donald Trump is another possible cause, but the Great Awokening started before Trump became president.[13]

Another contributing cause may be increasing censorship of right-wing views, causing, for example, echo chamber effects and leftists being increasingly unaware of the existence of dissenting views and factual arguments. See also The Alt-Right and censorship.

Increasingly radical demands and methods (including rioting and violence) being rewarded by increasingly larger attempted appeasements may also contribute to the radicalization, the appeasements possibly working to some degree in the short-term, but possibly increasing the risk that at least as radical demands and methods will be used again in the future.[15]

Still another possibly contributing cause, especially for the leadership, is "elite overproduction" by the higher education system creating “a large class of disgruntled elite-wannabes, often well-educated and highly capable… denied access to elite positions” who may blame some form of "discrimination" on they not receiving the position and status that they feel that they are entitled to.[16] They may also have high debt after their more or less practically useless, politically correct education.

Yet another proposed cause, again especially for the leadership, is increasing radicalization in the higher education system (possibly due to causes such as increasing Affirmative Action regarding teaching positions and increasing teaching of leftist pseudosciences such as anti-White Whiteness studies), with for example The New York Times described as being in the midst of a “civil war” between older leftists and younger, newly graduated from higher education, more extreme leftists.[17]

Comparisons have been made to prior movements involving religious/leftist extremism.[18][19]

Another proposed explanation is that "wokeness" has become a status/class marker/norm and a means by which higher status people may feel superior to lower status people and signal a shared superiority to other high status people. Possible contributing factors include ideological schooling during college education and this group of people having a migrating, cosmopolitan lifestyle where relationships with other, not infrequently multicultural, work colleagues are more important than neighborhood relationships.[20]

Another possibility is a relationship with declining mental health, with left-wing views and in particular far-left views being associated with worse mental health.[21]

Two-party systems and polarization

Two-party systems, such as in the United States, are often claimed, as a main advantage, to be more stable than multi-party systems. However, this may depend on factors such there being low polarization and high social trust in the country, with a two-party system possibly risking increasing the polarization in a polarized society even further. A 2016 study on insurgencies and civil wars in ethnically heterogeneous Latin America (with high ethnic heterogeneity tending to increase polarization and decrease social trust) stated that "two-party systems may polarize and lead to intense insurgency because they simplify the process of blame attribution, encourage the incumbent party to exclude its opponent from power positions, and motivate leaders to emphasize extreme ideological positions."[22]

See also

External links


  1. Key takeaways on Americans’ growing partisan divide over political values
  2. Patriotism Requires a White Majority
  3. Patrick J. Buchanan: After Lee, It's Lincoln's Turn
  4. Portland Protesters Topple Statues of Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln in ‘Day of Rage’
  5. Princeton Will Drop President Woodrow Wilson and Rename School After Influential Black Finance Expert
  6. Portland Protesters Tear Down Statue of George Washington, Drape It with Burning US Flag
  7. Statues of Former Presidents, Other Historical Monuments Vandalized in 4 States over Thanksgiving
  8. Self-Segregation
  9. Americans Increasingly Believe Violence Is Justified If the Other Side Wins
  10. How race and religion have polarized American voters
  11. Taming the White Beast
  12. Race is the Main Political Divide
  13. 13.0 13.1 The Great Awokening
  14. The Great Awokening Conspiracy Theory
  15. We Are Ruled by Fools
  16. Why the rich are revolting
  17. NYT Writer Describes ‘Civil War’ Raging Within Company, Says One Side Believes In ‘Safetyism’ Over ‘Free Speech’
  18. The Next Great Awakening
  19. BLMania And The New Progressive Faith
  20. American Purpose: The Bitter Heartland
  21. IT’S OFFICIAL (AGAIN): Leftists, Particularly Leftist Women, Are Nuts
  22. How Do Party Systems Shape Insurgency Levels? A Comparison of Four Nineteenth-Century Latin American Republics