Quite a lot, in fact.
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:
- 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.
- 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.