"Wokeist" - When people talk about progressivism without acquaintance

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Angst, May 5, 2022.

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  1. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

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    Picking up on TMIT's claim in another thread, I think it's worth talking about.

    I'm going with a short version and a long version of the OP.

    Short version - litmus test. If someone says "political correctness" or "wokeism" they are not acquainted with any sort of the literature they're criticizing. Noone in the literature identifies themselves as such, and they're often diametrically opposed to each other. They're only identified as such when talked about between right wingers who, by the way, also have their speech reflected by virtue of not having read a damn article of the positions they don't like.

    Long version.

    I'm picking up on the claims specifically because they're representative how progressives are being talked about - other rather, talked over - in public conservative discourse. Whether TMIT is part of the right nor not, it's the structure of speech and discourse I often see. I'm going to talk about the post as presented and its nature as part of right wing discourse, this is not directed at TMIT.

    What's most damning of posts like this is that, to me, it's completely telling in basically every way that such posters are not acquainted with how you speak inside "wokeist" circles, how they define themselves, what "wokeist" speech looks like, and such. Now, the nature of "woke-ism" is short and ill-defined here, but that's not TMIT's fault, since he noted himself it was getting off topic for the thread. Still, this kind of talking about "wokeists" is also reflected in the usage of "political correctness" and similar. Both basically serve as a simulacrum of a (very broad) number of movements that never really existed as a cohesive whole, due to ill-defined limits and lack of understanding of how "wokeists" actually speak. Or in layman's terms, it's a strawman, built directly into right wing language. It's like me arguing against a Keynesian by clamoring about Ayn Rand, usually not having read Keynes at all. Why are you an objectivist, Keynes?

    Anyone acquainted with "wokeist" positions and literature - anyone having been within the circle and properly talked to them, anyone that have read the literature and engaged with it seriously - would not call them wokeist. Same goes for political correctness. Very rarely do the progressives in question ever define themselves as this. Rather, they define themselves as feminists, post-modernists, marxists, etc., which all vaguely lean left but are not the same thing and will often disagree on fundamental tenets of the literature.

    The people that do define progressive movements as "politically correct", etc, are often bloggers, journalists and online influencers of different sorts foundationally on the right that also often have no acquaintance with what the disjunct people they group together actually think.

    Basically, whenever you read an opinion online, there's a very basic litmus test. If they say politically correct or, well, wokeist, they haven't actually read the literature they're trying to debunk. Because they never define themselves as that. The problem isn't that they're supposed to be convinced by the literature, but rather that it's nonsense that they're trying to debunk something that doesn't exist. It's not healthy for good public discourse when your premise of the group you talk about is a strawman.

    Like, can I be part of a religion when it doesn't exist in my world? If I don't acknowledge it and confess to a different faith?

    This thread is not about TMIT no, but about such posts in general. Here the post appeals to all of progressivism (I think?) as a unified movement ("religion") and can be arbitrarily used against people that have very fundamentally opposed ideas quite often. I think it's, bluntly, wrong. Like, not morally. It's not reflective of the world. It's a tool of rhetorical function, willing or not.
     
  2. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    Compare: Cultural Marxism, Critical Race Theory, Social Justice Warrior etc
     
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  3. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

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    Yes, exactly.
     
  4. Kaitzilla

    Kaitzilla Lord Croissant Supporter

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    Alright, if woke is wrong and does not exist, does politically correct exist?

    I'm curious what the current orthodox calls itself.
     
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  5. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    It's literally in the post :)

    (as are pointed observations that reject the notion of some kind of singular hivemind that you refer to as "the current orthodox")
     
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  6. Naskra

    Naskra Emperor

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    A specter is haunting the West - the specter of Wokery. Just kidding, wokery does not exist. Yet as a linguistic phenomenon (one speaks wokery, one does not do wokery) the symptoms of wokery include:

    Intersectional
    my pronouns
    patriarchy
    social construct
    {alphabet} community
    CRT is legal analysis
    toxic somethingorother
    any trans neologism
    disproportionate whatever

    ...time does not permit.
     
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  7. schlaufuchs

    schlaufuchs La Femme Moderne

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    “Wokeism” doesn’t exist. “Le Wokisme”, on the other hand…
     
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  8. Narz

    Narz keeping it real

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    It doesn't matter how you define yourself. Others define you. Noone self-defines as a douche either. Must one be versed in the lore of douchery before one dubs another a douche?
     
  9. Kaitzilla

    Kaitzilla Lord Croissant Supporter

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    Well, we'll just have to agree to disagree on the hive mind.
     
  10. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    I believe the notion that labels have to be accurate is how we have endless threads about labelling people "fascist" or "transphobic", so, yeah?

    A lot of Angst's OP is about the validity of such a label despite its inaccurate and handwaving of relevant specifics (and more besides that).
    And again, from the OP:
     
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  11. Cloud_Strife

    Cloud_Strife Deity

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    We get it, you don't like anyone who isn't white, cis , male and straight lmao
     
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  12. Kaitzilla

    Kaitzilla Lord Croissant Supporter

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    It takes a broad mind to encompass and accept the accurate reality that you describe, the mass of people all with different and similar views that struggle to reach consensus and then impose it upon everyone else.

    Hive mind is as close as I can conceive it.

    To even say all their names out loud would end my life, much less tabulate and score all their thoughts.

    Inaccurate shortcuts are essential to political debate.


    And sure, the world is facing nuclear war, crippling inflation, recession, starvation, and the blazing abortion debate, but we can do the woke stuff at the penny slots too I guess.
     
  13. Narz

    Narz keeping it real

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    Most people don't really understand what they're debating, make strawmans and charactures or their opponents and start labeling 1st and asking questions later. That's not really a right/left thing

    I don't see wokeism/virtue signaling as a left thing the right does it as well.
     
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  14. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    I really like the OP.

    Now, I perceive the word "woke" as a very different thing. It's not a nuanced criticism of any specific academic topic. It's a short-hand criticism/insult of a position or statement that someone is making that is within the spectrum of "annoyingly naive" to "frustratingly dangerous", but on a topic we associate with a specific cohort of activism. Now, it's a dismissive criticism, but ehn.

    I don't think any of those academic arenas have called themselves 'woke', right? At least, not with any reasonable accuracy, and not with one that was respected even within their circle of allies?

    I didn't realize that people assumed that it was perceived as criticism of an actual academic topic, more that it was a criticism of their half-baked allies.
     
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  15. Naskra

    Naskra Emperor

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    We are not getting it. Wokeism is an impediment to understanding.
     
  16. Berzerker

    Berzerker Deity

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    wokeism protects targets of abuse by being abusive

    the king is dead, long live the king
     
  17. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    This thread is a fantastic meta-commentary so far, I have to say :D

    Imposing what, exactly? How is this imposition achieved?

    You're describing something every human does to another, from trying to convince someone that Marmite is fantastic (or not), to trying to convince them of invading another country (or not).
    I agree insofar as the stereotype (that I feel Angst does a fantastic job of deconstructing) is something that plays out across the political spectrum. I still agree with his deconstruction of how it reveals stuff about the people who use it. It's a culture war thing. Whatever it was, that's what it is now.

    If folks are desperate to keep using it despite knowing that, I feel that kinda proves Angst's point.
     
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  18. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

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    Douche isn't really an ideology.

    The problem is just that the terminology is highly inaccurate. My favourite stupid conglomerate is Jordan Peterson's "postmodern neomarxism" which exists in some regard but is exceptionally limited as to followers in the real world. Postmodernists fundamentally are antimodernist while Marxists are at their core proponents of modernism. This is why these exonyms that circulate within the right are so bad. Right pundits aren't aware of what they're criticizing so they group disparate and conflicting ideologies together. That they then mislabel it constantly is bad because it's showcasing how absolutely off the criticisms are, and how little they've actually read what they're angry at. That's why I said it's a good litmus test as to who's aware of what the vague left actually believes; if you read the literature you will actually criticize what people want to be happening. This is the state of affairs and why the litmus test works.

    Maybe you don't want roads built in your backyard, but maybe yell at your city planner over it rather than the local baker. That's what I'm getting at.

    Your own example of what virtue signaling is, contrary to how it's used, is also a good example of this weird environment.
     
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  19. Kaitzilla

    Kaitzilla Lord Croissant Supporter

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    This thread is a good idea to help draw some nonsense away from other threads.


    How about we construct the current strawmen as they exist in our imaginations?

    One can be lefty and one can be righty.

    Lefty wears horn-rimmed glasses, is in a sour mood at all times, and thinks the world is very unjust.
    Progress means moving on to the next smaller injustice, but the end is impossible to reach.

    Righty is a callous meanie who is living in the past and thinks the best way forward is to stick to the things that got us here, because any deviation will collapse civilization.
    Whomever the leader is, if they are like us they must be correct always, no matter how stupid they are.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2022
  20. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    Ooh, this is a fun one. "Centre" is someone who thinks both sides are equally bad regardless of the context, and thinks the only way is absolute compromise between any two points, regardless of whether or not the midpoint still involves harm or not.

    Do I get a cookie? ;)
     
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