The “woke”—that is, the regressive pseudo-left—are not part of the political left. They left the left when they abandoned Enlightenment values.
This blog is the second of two parts.
Sommaire en français
La soi-disant « gauche » régressive, connue couramment comme les « woke », ne font pas partie de la gauche politique. Ils ont quitté la gauche au moment où ils ont renoncé aux valeurs des Lumières.
Le présent blogue est la deuxième de deux parties.
…continued from Part I.
The Woke Antiracist Movement is Anti-Universalist and Racist
The woke are obsessed with minorities and with personal identity, to the detriment of our common humanity. Intersectionality combined with multiculturalism and the other ingredients of the woke mentality create a toxic mixture which leads to an overemphasis on minorities and contempt for majorities and the universal. Some minorities are favoured obsessively, granting them near impunity, while the corresponding majorities are denigrated. Thus, the current antiracist movement has itself become racist. Furthermore, in true parareligious fashion, the most extreme so-called antiracists make the non-falsifiable claim that racism is literally ubiquitous. Instead of asking if racism is present in a given situation, they ask “Where is the racism here?” and assume that it is never absent. The result is a politics of guilt and paranoia. This approach is nonsensical, for if racism is always present, then the word loses all objective meaning.
A half-century or more ago, during the civil rights movement which was so important in the fight against anti-black racism in the U.S.A., especially in the southern states, right-wing opponents would sometimes accuse civil rights activists of “reverse racism” against non-blacks. Similarly, in the heyday of second-wave feminism, those who opposed sexual equality would sometimes accuse feminists of hating men. These were both obvious attempts to denigrate the civil rights and feminist movements. No one was fooled by such self-evident deception. Both movements were universalist, promoting equal rights for blacks and women without attacking non-blacks and men in general. However, the situation today is much different. Given the obsession with identity, especially minority identity, which is a hallmark of the woke mentality, denigration of whites, men and other non-minority groups has become the norm.
The Woke Oppose Privilege Rather Than Fight Discrimination
One of the maxims of the woke mentality is the concept of “white privilege” which is a backwards approach to antiracism. If so-called white people have the advantage of not being discriminated against, that is not a privilege; rather it is a right, a basic human right. If blacks are discriminated against, that is not a lack of privilege, rather it is a denial of rights. The proper approach to antiracism is to promote equal rights for all, universally, regardless of racial group, and to oppose discrimination against any group. To emphasize white privilege leads to a politics of guilt and resentment, indirectly strengthening the political right.
Instead of equality, i.e. equality of opportunity, the woke promote equity which implies equality of outcomes. Furthermore, if equality of outcomes is not achieved, and it practically never is, then the woke generally assume that the situation is caused by some kind of prejudice such as racism or sexism. Thus, if a profession does not display the same demographic diversity as the general population, then prejudice is assumed to be the cause. This is irrational because, as James Lindsay observes:
this is literally impossible without large-scale social engineering including forced quotas. (Random stochasticity, that is, noise in the system, should make perfect alignment with prevailing demographic percentages extremely improbable, after all, even if the system were perfectly free of difference and discrimination of every sort.) That means that “Equity” implies using identity-based quotas and vigorous social engineering to achieve them.
This is what got James Damore fired by Google, because he wrote a rather innocuous document in which he suggested that maybe part of the explanation for lower numbers of women in software jobs could be the preferences of women. In other words, sexism may not be the only reason. But such ideas are blasphemy for the woke, so he was fired.
The Woke Oppose Secularism
The woke abandonment of Enlightenment values and its rejection of left-wing values are most blatant in woke opposition to secularism. Their obsession with minorities extends to even religious minorities. The woke tend to conflate race and religion, which amounts to jettisoning freedom of conscience and condemning individuals to the religion into which they had the bad luck to be born. This racialisation of religious affiliation plays right into the hands of fundamentalists, especially Islamists.
With Islamoleftism added into the wokeness mixture, Muslims are given special priority and impunity, especially the most pious and even fundamentalist. This leads to extreme complacency with respect to Islam and Islamism. So-called “Islamophobia” is condemned. The whole process is rendered even more toxic by the non-recognition of some minorities. For example, secular Muslims are ignored, as they do not fit the Muslim stereotype which the woke insist upon, where women are veiled and men are groomed stereotypically, etc. Ex-Muslims are denigrated even further.
WWLD: What Would the Left Do?
A truly left-wing approach to religion would be to defend freedom of conscience, which includes both freedom of and freedom from religion, while criticizing religion, all religion, frankly and unabashedly. This means, for example, that the three Abrahamic monotheisms—Judaism, Christianity and Islam, to name them in historical order—should be regular targets of left-wing criticism because, taken together, they represent the most important religious block on the planet. The very idea that Islam should enjoy some sort of immunity from criticism, or that Christianity should be targeted far more often, are utterly incompatible with secularism which is a core value of the Enlightenment. And yet, that is precisely the woke approach: give Islam a free ride because it is considered to be the religion of the oppressed. The spread of the nonsense term “Islamophobia” is a prime manifestation of the privileges which the woke grant to Islam.
A Marriage Made in Hell
The woke love affair with Islam is not the only illustration of how the woke are not leftists, but it is a particularly glaring and shameless one. The woke facilitate and support fundamentalist Islam, an extreme right-wing politico-religious ideology which is to the right of Naziism, and they so do at least indirectly and sometimes even directly. One example of this is the acceptance of Linda Sarsour as a leader of the “left.”
The antisecularism of the woke is particularly evident in the fanatical opposition to Quebec Bill 21 which the woke vilify without even attempting to understand the relevant issue. Support for secularism in the English-speaking world has always been weak, but now, with the advent of the woke mentality which conflates race and religion, the situation is even worse. Some antisecularists even go so far as to denounce secularism as “racist.” In Canada outside Quebec, several ostensibly secular organizations have fallen victim to this scam and have abandoned secularism.
The Woke Strengthen the Political Right
The Manichean worldview of the woke, seeing everything as either good or evil, lead them to slander anyone who disagrees with them as “xenophobic” or “racist” or “fascist.” This is a very infantile attitude. Accusations of being far-right have begun to lose all credibility. Reasonable people who see what is happening may be cowed into silence, but they recognize that many of those who currently call themselves leftist are destructive and foolish. This leads many with normally leftist sympathies to consider the political centre or right. This is one of the reasons Donald Trump was elected in 2016.
The political right will often conflate the woke with the political left. This is not surprising, as it is in their interest to do so. As the woke, or at least those who are the most woke, are clearly irrational fanatics, labelling them as leftists discredits the left and makes the political right look better in comparison.
Both Martin Luther King Jr. and Karl Marx would undoubtedly be outraged by the irrationality and fanaticism of the woke.
The Woke Have Betrayed the Left
The woke mentality is reactionary and retrograde, a degeneration of left-wing politics into a cult which is sometimes more akin to the political right, sometimes allied with the religious far-right, and generally just lost in some ill-defined neverneverland. The woke have betrayed the left. They have abandoned universalism, objectivity, secularism and free speech. While claiming to promote diversity and inclusion, in reality the woke are puritanical, dogmatic, closed-minded and extremely intolerant, constantly witch-hunting. They have largely abandoned economic and class issues. Having replaced economic issues with an obsessive racialization of everything, they see racism everywhere, but only those forms of racism which they recognize from the USA, because they are very parochial, seeing everything through an American lens. The woke respond to almost any disagreement with ridiculous accusations. They tolerate no dissent. Intellectual diversity is foreign to them. Their obsession with minorities and their anti-universalism lead to inevitable fragmentation and division.
Wokism is a disaster for the left, leading to its near destruction. The task now is to rebuild the left on universalist, Enlightenment values.
Next blog: Les « Woke » ne sont pas de gauche