Woke

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Wokeism is weaponized personal grievances masquerading as a genuine social concern. It’s defined by its fraudulent nature, as being distinct from legitimate social grievances. Wokeism only knows outrage — it knows not empathy for victims. Just because we’re outraged by one serious problem in society doesn’t mean we have to turn our filter off and become outraged by everything we see online, no questions asked, no fact-checking done; our filter bubbles make all of this a lot worse, of course.[1]

Woke is a recently popular word or description meaning leftist politically "awake" or "aware" (actually more-or-less one-sided and mentally limited), therefore politically correct and must not be confused with the respectable philosophical or political awakening of rational minds throughout history. Left-wing Wikipedia claims that the word is of black origin, therefore implied to be even more politically correct, despite the word long being a simple past tense of "wake", derived from a Germanic word. The "Great Awokening" is a less politically correct term for the recent leftist radicalization, derived from the term the Great Awakening, thus implying similarity to a religious movement.

Definition

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Education is not merely neglected in many of our schools, but is replaced to a great extent by ideological indoctrination. – Thomas Sowell, Afro-American economist, social commentator and author of Intellectuals and Society among other works

A long time ago, the word woke was simply the past participle of the word wake. Although the meaning behind the word has changed expeditiously in the past decade or so, the term is not as new in the United States as it is for the United Kingdom. The term wokeness’ first appearance dates all the way back to the 1860 presidential elections, as wide awake. The term was used by Abraham Lincoln – the 16th president of the United States – in his political campaigns.

The Cambridge English Dictionary defines “Wokeness” as: a state of being aware, especially of social problems such as racism and inequality. In what is telling of our current discourse on the subject, should you search the longstanding rival Oxford English Dictionary definition of the term you will find that it is defined as :“originally: well-informed, up-to-date. Now chiefly: alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice”. The term has itself undergone a metamorphosis. It has become an accusation and derogatory slur in some quarters while in others it is a badge of honour. According to the below linked article in “The Week” magazine : “Factually the term can be traced to an essay called “If you’re woke you dig it” by African-American novelist William Melvin Kelley that was published in The New York Times in 1962, though some have traced its use as far back as the 1940s. Wokeness, in my opinion, is not the new term for enlightenment as some may think. Wokeness, in its current form, is the antithesis of enlightenment. Wokeness has become another term for being partisan to a dogmatic ideology. The consequence of sticking unquestioningly to this ideology results in the perpetration of the same bias or prejudice that its adherents actively seek to denounce. Perhaps the word ‘woke’ will reclaim its origins in time and with some perspective. Currently the term is a cause for divisiveness and unquestioning adherence to its demonstrably changing definition leads to bias and is both anti-intellectual as well as anti-freedom of speech. The description of Wokeness should encompass the need to search for knowledge, understanding and truth in order to address social injustice but at the present time the term has been co-opted as a battering ram for pseudo-liberals. The current woke are certainly neither open nor “awake” to opinions or ideas other than their own. Wokism, in my opinion, is the antithesis of liberalism. I have been perturbed for a while now regarding the fact that I believe that schools (and all educational institutions) are being used as pawns in the game of wokeness. [...] We are living in what has been termed a post-truth world: “relating to a situation in which people are more likely to accept an argument based on their emotions and beliefs, rather than one based on facts”. It is a time when truth as we know it has been completely eroded. Only certain opinions count and rabble rousers who have been ignored for obvious reasons, are now finding ways to espouse their opinions as fact. Critical thinking, now more than ever, has become the one skill which our children will require to navigate this post truth world. We should take note that this will need to be purposefully considered by both parent and school as they prepare to embark on their journey through life. [...] Wokeness, in this form, encourages one-sidedness and is a form of bullying and should be resisted at all costs in our environment where we are attempting to create a learning and thinking culture which encourages independent thought and critical thinking. Wokeness does not tolerate dissent or the opposite view and if we allow an ideology which brooks no dissent we will fail in our attempts to build an environment which fosters belonging. We must never stifle debate.[2]

Cancel culture

Cancel culture or also known as call-out culture, is a term that refers to the ostracism of a celebrity or well known public figure or even big brands. The aim is to stop giving support (cancelling) to those who have said or done something which is considered offensive, or insensitive to left-wing agitators. Many celebrities have been cancelled within the past years. J. K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter book series, has been one of the big names to be cancelled and labelled a "TERF". She then received death threats, rape threats and daily hate on social media for her view regarding men wearing women's clothes and pretending/claiming to be women (transsexualism) and terrorizing anyone and everyone not accepting this biologicak lie. There have even been tweets with the hashtag #RIPJKRowling trending on Twitter, and tweets which call her a ‘transphobic bitch’.

This spring, the writer Laurie Scheck, who teaches at the New School, asked her class why filmmakers had titled their documentary on James Baldwin I am Not Your Negro even though Baldwin actually said, in his debate with William F. Buckley Jr., “I am not your nigger.” A (white) student complained that the teacher had used a forbidden word, and Scheck, who does not have tenure, was placed under investigation. She was cleared in August after the usual months-long Kafkaesque inquisition. Scheck didn’t get to see the charges against her and was banned from taking notes during meetings with her tormenters. The New School never apologized to her and did not say what it should have, that citing the words of an author during class is protected free speech.[3]

Wokeness and cancel culture (German: Kulturvernichtung) are the real Stalinist, neo-Bolshevik ‘cancer’ of the 21st century. When you’re not so sure what’s happening in the world, you just blindly support the current trend for fear of being canceled. One wrong word can lead to the ruin of personal financial and social life. Wokeness, in its current form silences voices, it silences truth and human dignity and is the enemy of belonging. Wokeness creates and fosters fear. Fear of voicing your opinion, fear of speaking truth, fear of debate and fear of being cancelled.

Quotes

  • The cancer of the system is the primacy of the money principle, and its background is the disregard for the natural order. The more the breakdowns accumulate, the more those in power will attack their critics. The use of the means of power is the only admirable thing about them. Open resistance is therefore a waste of energy. The ruling powers consume and destroy themselves because the spirit eludes them. The call today is:
    • 1) Become invisible!
    • 2) Observe, recognize the signs!
    • 3) Increase knowledge and spread it among friends!
    • 4) Don't forget the smell of freedom! – Alois Mitterer, in: Signs and indications – Political tactics in the new millennium (final words), Deutschherrenklub (DHK), 2001
  • Cancel culture has robbed a whole generation of the opportunity to develop their creative talents and to flourish as human beings: We have a generation of young people on social media so terrified of having the wrong opinions that they have robbed themselves of the opportunity to think and to learn and to grow. In certain young people today, I notice what I find increasingly troubling: a cold-blooded grasping, a hunger to take and take and take, but never give; a massive sense of entitlement; an inability to show gratitude; an ease with dishonesty and pretension and selfishness that is couched in the language of self-care; an expectation always to be helped and rewarded no matter whether deserving or not; language that is slick and sleek but with little emotional intelligence; an astonishing level of self-absorption; an unrealistic expectation of puritanism from others; an over-inflated sense of ability, or of talent where there is any at all; an inability to apologise, truly and fully, without justifications; a passionate performance of virtue that is well executed in the public space of Twitter but not in the intimate space of friendship. – Nigerian author Chimamanda Adichie
  • I don’t want to be woke. I don’t want to restrict my definition of activism and intelligence to only include those who agree with me politically. I want to be open-minded and engaged. I want to be informed and passionate. I want to be an advocate and a human being beyond political issues. Maybe we can broaden the definition of “woke” to include these characteristics from both sides of the political spectrum, but until then I remain contently un-woke. – Romy Dolgin in an Op-Ed in the Harvard Crimson[4]
  • “People are allowed to have their ideas in public, but criticism of those ideas is part of the market place. But that’s not what I think of when I think of cancel culture, I think of it being more severe, and it’s about shutting people down, it’s ‘unpersoning’ them. That leaves no space for people to grow, and also it leaves no space for me to hear ideas that are perhaps interesting or unusual because I’ve got to learn too.” – Vanity Von Glow, a drag artist, on the BBC podcast Tricky about cancel culture
  • “This idea of purity and you’re never compromised and you’re always politically ‘woke’ and all that stuff”. You should get over that quickly. The world is messy; there are ambiguitiesI do get a sense sometimes now among certain young people, and this is accelerated by social media, there is this sense sometimes of: ‘The way of me making change is to be as judgmental as possible about other people,’ and that’s enough. Like, if I tweet or hashtag about how you didn’t do something right or used the wrong verb, then I can sit back and feel pretty good about myself, cause, ‘Man, you see how woke I was, I called you out.’ That’s not activism. That’s not bringing about change. If all you’re doing is casting stones, you’re probably not going to get that far. That’s easy to do.” – Former President Barack Obama in October 2019

See also

Further reading

External linsk

References