The Year the Ruling Class Got Woke

Identity politics has become the new secular religion. We need more heretics

For me, the defining image of 2020 was also the funniest: that of Democratic lawmakers in the US taking the knee, in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, draped in Ghanaian kente cloth.

Watching thoroughly establishment politicians, House speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer to the fore, literally kneeling before the new woke politics was striking. It provoked so many questions, not least if Pelosi and Schumer (80 and 70 respectively) would be able to rise again unassisted.

But this absurd attempt at virtue-signalling – which provoked mockery rather than plaudits, even among those it was meant to impress – made one thing clear: that wokeness is the new orthodoxy, and the old elites know this.

Divisive, identitarian ideas around race, gender and sexuality have of course been gaining ground in elite circles for some time. The idea that Western societies are not simply affected by bigotry, but defined by it and built on it, had been gaining ground in academia for decades.

The rise of campus censorship and student intolerance is in many respects an off-shoot of this ideology, which holds that words wound and that free speech and reason are just covers for white domination – and which seems to generate Salem-like hysteria among its adherents.

The Evergreen State College controversy of 2017 – in which progressive professor Bret Weinstein was hounded off campus by student protesters for merely criticising the tactics of an anti-racist protest – showed how total the takeover was in some higher-education institutions.

The viciousness of Weinstein’s student detractors – some of whom took to patrolling campus with baseball bats – was striking. But more striking was the capitulation of college leaders, who subjected themselves to neo-Maoist struggle sessions, in which they were mocked and hectored by the students.

That same energy exploded on to America’s streets this summer, sparking the nation’s biggest riots for 50 years. Righteous anger at the brutal police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis morphed into nihilistic violence and the destruction of minority neighbourhoods and businesses, with out-of-town white agitators often leading the charge.

And just as happened at Evergreen, the alleged adults in the room basically gave in. Democratic leaders refused to condemn, or often even mention, the riots. CNN reported on ‘mostly peaceful protests’ in Kenosha, while its own reporter appeared on screen with a gas mask hanging around his neck in front of a wall of flames.

The media, in part, wrote the script for all this. In 2019, the New York Times launched its ‘1619 Project’, which aimed to repose the arrival of the slaves as the true birth of America. This kind of self-hating, historically illiterate perspective was the thread connecting much of the carnage and commentary in 2020. 1619 was even spraypainted on several toppled statues.

But this year, wokeness consumed establishment media even more than before. In June, the Times fired its opinion editor after he published an op-ed by a Republican senator, calling for troops to be brought in to quell the riots. Times staff claimed the article was in itself a threat to black lives, and the suits gave in.

What was perhaps more unexpected was the almost total embrace of Black Lives Matter, the banner under which this movement marched, by the capitalist class. Corporate giants lent their support to the protests. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream pledged to ‘dismantle white supremacy’. And the CEO of JPMorgan Chase took the knee in front of a giant open bank vault.

For all the protesters’ radical pretensions, the woke movement has been easily co-opted by the most rich and powerful in society.

This is because identity politics is in many ways more spiritual than material. Heretics must be ousted. Blasphemies must be scrubbed. Past sins must be ‘come to terms with’, in some vague, undefined sense.

None of this threatens the rich and powerful.

Indeed, it is much cheaper for businesses to pay people like Robin DiAngelo – the millionaire diversity consultant and author of the bestselling White Fragility – to lecture staff about their alleged racism than it is to offer them better pay and working conditions.

Wokeness is not some capitalist plot to divide up the working class, leaving people of similar economic interests bickering among one another about their relative privilege. But that certainly is the effect of it. And that suits the bosses just fine.

More than that, wokeness offers the elites who embrace it a false sense of moral authority – a way to salve their consciences and to appear progressive without giving anything up themselves. In politics, in the form of people like vice-president-elect Kamala Harris, it provides a progressive gloss to what is, in effect, the same old establishment, neoliberal agenda.

Whether or not the elite’s embrace of wokeness is entirely sincere remains up for debate. But in a sense that doesn’t matter so much. Identity politics has become the new official religion, something which sets the moral framework, and which must be deferred to regardless of whether or not one believes every word of scripture.

If what these people were genuflecting to was actually anti-racism that would be no bad thing. But it isn’t. Wokeness, in its insistence that black and white people live cosmically different lives, in its pessimistic conviction that little has changed or could ever change, actually reifies racial difference and racial tension.

The consequences of that worldview getting the elite seal of approval could be disastrous. But there is hope. The support among blue-collar workers for the decidedly anti-woke Donald Trump at the November election, and the surge in support for him among black people and Latinos, reveals a bristling against this new orthodoxy among the very people it is supposed to appeal to.

In 2020, wokeness in effect became the new religion of the ruling class. In 2021, we need more heretics.

Source: Spiked

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cechas vodobenikov
cechas vodobenikov
3 months ago

no coup d’etat required
many have created a flu d’etat in the asleep dimocracy called amerika
in anglo empire to think now blasphemous
the Marxian thinker T Adorno observed the attributes found in “the authoritarian personality”—submissive to authority of fascist state power. today this most applies to the self described anglo “progressive”

Ilya Grushevskiy
Ilya Grushevskiy
3 months ago

Secular heresy – a most intriguing side effect born of a philosophically empty society.

I have been calling myself a heretic for a couple of years now (though my leftie friend group calls me a fascist, which is ironic but only for me!).

As many have said before, the cultists is one who was taught what to think, whilst the heretic learnt how to think. Such liberty to make up one’s own mind based on verifiable data is the heresy of going against the herd.

Sad time to be alive.

NobodysaysBOO
NobodysaysBOO
3 months ago

“Secptism is next to godlyness,not clenliness,as it is the pry that holds open the door so truth can leak out” or close

Bob
Bob
3 months ago

Look at these nut cases. Fire them ASAP.

NobodysaysBOO
NobodysaysBOO
3 months ago

silly crap , we are the most tolerant or perhaps cowardly, people on earth the junk we put up with is insane, any thinking people would have gone to war against this utter nonsense over and over.

ke4ram
ke4ram
3 months ago

“Righteous anger at the brutal police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis morphed into nihilistic violence”

A decent article but Floyd killed himself with an overdose of fentanyl and other drugs. I have a copy of the autopsy (truth) they removed from the internet. This is the very definition of wokeness. “The autopsy had to be wrong because it was likely a White person covering for the cop.” (political correctness) You cannot be choked with a knee on the SIDE of your neck,,, I tried it. Cops knew he was overdosing and had already called the ambulance which arrived too late.

But like everyone wearing the mask, if you mention it does not stop viruses in either direction or that it will harm the wearer if worn too long you are ostracized. Wokeness is the willing acceptance of a lie.

Floyd, a drug addict and all around criminal who once threatened the life of a mothers child she was still carrying is not the loving caring father the media depicted. That’s wokeness.

Wokeness works even on those that claim to find it aberrant. Has anyone noticed the trail still has not occurred? That’s because they’re trying to figure out how to handle this. If they convict the cops of murder even though the autopsy shows he died of an overdose,,, that would be the epitome of wokeness in all its glory. And no,,, there was not a second autopsy.

Wokeness is lies; the absence of law; and the absence of common sense in favor of current political correctness.

Pablo
Pablo
3 months ago
Reply to  ke4ram

About George Floyd. I have always wondered hw he could speak to the camera saying “I’m choking”. I’m thinking if Floyd was really choking, culd he speak at all let alne being able to say something as clearly as he did?

Stiligbrille
Stiligbrille
3 months ago
Reply to  ke4ram

thnx, you took the words right out of my mouth.

nick1111
nick1111
3 months ago

Banana republic

Pablo
Pablo
3 months ago

Don’t these Clowns look like they are in The Death Star and they are pledging allegiance to Darth Vader? I don’t know whether this is sad or funny.

cechas vodobenikov
cechas vodobenikov
3 months ago

Floyd- a career criminal likely required excessive force to subdue him; numerous illicit substances were found upon autopsy. apparently rioters believe that deranged criminals should be permitted to attack random people without consequences

cechas vodobenikov
cechas vodobenikov
3 months ago

Floyd- a career criminal likely required excessive force to subdue him; numerous illicit substances were found upon autopsy. apparently rioters believe that deranged criminals should be permitted to attack random people without consequences

cechas vodobenikov
cechas vodobenikov
3 months ago

Floyd- a career criminal likely required excessive force to subdue him; numerous illicit substances were found upon autopsy. apparently rioters believe that deranged criminals should be permitted to attack random people without consequences

cechas vodobenikov
cechas vodobenikov
3 months ago

Floyd- a career criminal likely required excessive force to subdue him; numerous illicit substances were found upon autopsy. apparently rioters believe that deranged criminals should be permitted to attack random people without consequences

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