“Wokism” is Not a Moral Panic

2022-10-20

No, the “woke” phenomenon is not some moral panic invented by the political right.

Sommaire en français Non, la mouvance « woke » n’est pas une panique morale inventée par la droite. Ce blogue est disponible en français sous le titre Le « wokisme » n’est pas une panique morale.

For several years, terms such as “Social Justice Warrior” (“SJW”) and “woke” were used by many members of that movement themselves, to self-identify. Over time, the word “woke” became mainstream and, as critics of “wokism” began to use it negatively, the word acquired pejorative connotations. (It is important to note that these critics are of all political persuasions, from Marxists to the political centre to people on the right.)

Now some people even claim that “wokism” does not exist, that it is just a right-wing fantasy, a “moral panic” invented by the political right to denigrate the left. That allegation is false and dishonest. The “woke” themselves adopted the word long before anyone else. Not only is “wokism” a real phenomenon but, most importantly, it is ideologically distinct from the classical political left.

So what is “wokism” anyway? It is a social movement that claims to be left-wing and prides itself on fighting for social justice and against various prejudices, especially racism. But the philosophical underpinnings of the “woke” phenomenon are strongly influenced by postmodernism and by the rejection of Enlightenment values, in particular the rejection of universalism. Its rejection of the Enlightenment represents the abandonment of the greatest achievement of European civilization.

Consequently, this movement does a very bad job of defending the minorities with which it is obsessed. The “woke” end up inflaming racism as much as fighting against it. To put it succinctly, the movement is neo-racist. I call it the post-left or the anti-Enlightenment pseudo-left.

The “woke” have the nasty habit of launching accusations of “fascism” against anyone who disagrees with them. This is very ironic—and hypocritical—because the “woke” and the far right have something very significant in common: they both reject Enlightenment values.

The excesses and follies of the “woke” are a real gift for the political right, because the latter uses them to denigrate the entire left, as if the being “woke” were synonymous with being on the political left. But this is false, because the real left is universalist.

For a more detailed presentation of “wokism,” see:


Other Links

  • Le wokisme, ce recul déguisé en progrès (“Wokism, this regress disguised as progress”), Marc Simard, Libre Média, 2022-10-08.
    “In fact, interbreeding is a threat to wokism, whose worldview is deeply rooted in racial affiliation. Racial mixing is the nemesis of the woke.”
  • The Cancer of Wokeism, Kareem Muhssin, Alliance of Former Muslims (Ireland), 2021-01-02.
    “If we want to defeat racism, then we must get over our obsession with race. We must stop seeing each other as victims or oppressors, and recognise that we are individuals with agency. We must stop looking for racism where it doesn’t exist, and start focusing on issues of substance.”

Next blog: Pauline Marois : Prix international de la laïcité 2022

Le « wokisme » n’est pas une panique morale

2022-10-14, Autres liens ajoutés 2022-10-19

Non, la mouvance « woke » n’est pas une panique morale inventée par la droite.

Summary in English No, the “woke” phenomenon is not some moral panic invented by the political right. This blog is available in English under the title “Wokism” is Not a Moral Panic.

Pendant plusieurs années, des termes tels que « Social Justice Warrior » (« SJW ») et « woke » ont été utilisés par de nombreux membres de cette mouvance eux-mêmes, pour s’identifier. Au fil du temps, le mot « woke » est devenu courant et, alors que les critiques du « wokisme » commençaient à l’utiliser de manière négative, le mot a acquis des connotations péjoratives. (Soulignons que ces critiques fusent de toutes tendances politiques : des marxistes, du centre, des gens de droite, etc.)

Maintenant, certains prétendent même que le « wokisme » n’existerait pas, que ce n’est qu’un fantasme de droite, une « panique morale » inventée par la droite politique afin de dénigrer la gauche. Cette allégation est fausse et malhonnête. Les « woke » eux-mêmes ont adopté le mot bien avant tout le monde. Non seulement le « wokisme » est un phénomène réel mais, plus important encore, il est idéologiquement distinct de la gauche politique classique, c’est-à-dire universaliste.

Qu’est-ce que le « wokisme » alors ? C’est une mouvance sociale qui se prétend de gauche et se targue de lutter pour la justice sociale et contre divers préjugés, surtout le racisme. Mais les assises philosophiques du phénomène « woke » sont fortement influencées par le postmodernisme et par le rejet des valeurs des Lumières, en particulier le rejet de l’universalisme. Son rejet les Lumières représente l’abandon du plus bel accomplissement de la civilisation européenne.

Par conséquent, cette mouvance défend très mal les minorités dont elle fait son obsession. Elle finit par attiser le racisme autant qu’elle lutte contre. C’est-à-dire que cette mouvance est néoraciste. Moi, je l’appelle la post-gauche ou la pseudogauche anti-Lumières.

Les « wokes » ont la méchante habitude de lancer des accusations de « fascisme » contre tout ce qui ne serait pas d’accord avec eux. C’est très ironque — et hypocrite — car le wokisme et l’extrême droite ont quelque chose de très significatif en commun : le rejet des Lumières.

Les excès et les folies des « wokes » constituent un vrai cadeau pour la droite politique, car celle-ci s’en sert pour dénigrer toute la gauche, comme si cette gauche ne comprenait que les « wokes » — ce qui est faux, car la vraie gauche, c’est la gauche universaliste.

Pour une présentation plus étoffée du « wokisme », voir :


Autres liens


Prochain blogue : “Wokism” is Not a Moral Panic

What the “Woke” and the Political Right Have in Common

Quite a lot, in fact.

2021-10-28

The so-called “woke”—i.e. the anti-Enlightenment pseudo-left—have much in common with the political right.

Sommaire en français Les soi-disant “woke” — c’est-à-dire la pseudo-gauche anti-Lumières — ont beaucoup en commun avec la droite politique.

Recently the term “woke” has become widely used. It is no longer understood only by the few. More importantly, it is no longer a positive term but has instead become increasingly pejorative, as criticism of the woke mentality fuses from all sides, i.e. from different parts of the political spectrum.

What is the “woke” mentality? To be precise, I call it the anti-Enlightenment pseudo-left or, more succinctly, the post-left. It is a movement of persons who consider themselves to be on the left end of the political spectrum but who have largely abandoned Enlightenment values (which are left-wing values). Thus, they have left the left. I have analyzed “wokism” in some detail in my blog The “Woke” are Not the Political Left. The woke movement is based and sourced mainly in the USA and is very chauvinistically American. However, it is spreading thoughout many English- and French-speaking countries. One major aspect of wokism—postmodernism—is ultimately of French origin.

The political right is having a field day criticizing the woke—and their criticisms are more often valid than not. And the woke are responding by claiming that the denounciations of the woke mentality are just a product of the imaginations of right-wingers. Nonsense. On the contrary, criticism of the woke comes also from the political centre and from the political left—or what little is left of it.

The fact is that the “woke” and the political right have at least two major things in common:

  1. Firstly—and obviously—they both reject Enlightenment values to some extent. After all, rejection of such values constitutes the very definition of right-wing. So by abandoning those values, the “woke” have in that sense joined the political right, or even surpassed it on the right. In fact, moderate conservatives on the centre-right often defend Enlightenment values to some degree, thus making them more progressive than the woke! For example, conservatives such as Jordan Peterson and Gad Saad have more respect for reason and modernism than do many of the woke. So if you are very woke, then congratulations! you are to the right of those two.
  2. Secondly, both the “woke” and the political right consider that the woke represent the left. This is false, as already explained. The woke have abandoned left-wing values. But both groups cling to this convenient falsehood for their own selfish purposes:
    • the woke, out of arrogance, because they consider themselves the very incarnation of perfect virtue and everyone else to be beyond the pale; and
    • the political right, out of expediency, who paint the entire political left with the brush of wokism in order to discredit the left in general and make themselves—the right—look better.

Are You “Woke”?

Are you, dear reader, “woke”? The following criteria will help decide:

  • If you think that everyone who disagrees with you is a fascist, you are definitely woke.
  • If you think that anyone who asks for your definition of fascism is a fascist, you are definitely woke.
  • If you think that “All Lives Matter” is a racist statement, then you are woke.
  • If you think that lesbians must be pressured to have sex with trans-women—and if they refuse, you accuse them of transphobia—then you are not only woke, but in addition you are homophobic and misogynist.
  • If you fail to see that “Islamic feminist” is an oxymoron, then you are woke.
  • If you think that anyone who criticizes the hijab (or other Islamic veil) as a symbol of the subjugation of women is “Islamophobic” then you are certainly woke.
  • If you think that criticizing religion is “racist” then you are probably woke. And you are certainly anti-secular.
  • If you think that anyone who supports banning the niqab in public is a white supremacist, then you are definitely woke. And possibly brain-dead.
  • If you think that anyone who says that “Islam is not a race” is a racist, then you are certainly woke.
  • If you think that the very existence of the “woke” phenomenon is a myth (probably invented by right-wingers), then you are probably woke. At any rate, you are either an intellectual slob or in denial.

Of course the above list is not exhaustive.


Next blog: Parution du livre Identité, « race », liberté d’expression.