What’s The Matter With Liberalism?

The libs are people like Thomas Frank, Bill Maher and James Carville.

Woke progressivism is something new and much worse. It has none of the redeeming virtues of liberalism like tolerance or respect for civil liberties and free speech or skepticism or rational debate. These people have figured out all the answers and just need raw power to impose their will on others.

New York Daily News:

“As we crawl toward the midterms, Republicans are increasingly fixating on “anti-wokeness.” This could prove wise, as more Americans regardless of party affiliation oppose an ideology obsessed with race and hostile toward dissent. But truly beating back the new illiberalism, not just showing it up at the ballot box, will depend on greater involvement from liberals.

The struggle over wokeism — especially critical race theory, elite censorship and political correctness — is in effect a battle for the soul of liberalism, with, on the one hand, those who see tolerance and pluralism as obstacles to their vision of a world cleansed of racism and producing equal outcomes for “oppressed” groups and, on the other hand, those who share woke concerns about equality and justice but see abandoning liberal means to do so as a source of more, not less, injustice.

And it’s liberals, not Republicans, who can force Democratic leaders to reform. As it stands, the Biden administration has signaled it is moving opposite to Republicans on wokeness, proposing a rule in April that would give priority to history and civics education programs with “diverse” perspectives like the New York Times’ controversial 1619 Project and Ibram X. Kendi’s “anti-racism,” which advocates pro-Black and Brown racial discrimination to make up for past discrimination. …

Without greater liberal involvement, challenging woke supremacy will be especially difficult in divided or blue states, home to some of the most radical strains of wokeness. …

“As the parent of a child whose public school veered radically leftward this year,” read one comment, “I can tell you this is not a liberal versus conservative issue. In highly educated circles, it’s become a liberal versus liberal issue. I’m tired of The Times implying that only Fox News conservatives object to their children being manipulated into seeing literally everything through the incredibly reductive and divisive lenses of race and gender.”

The growing bipartisan consensus is reflected in a Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll that found 64% of Americans feel cancel culture is a growing threat to their freedoms, and the Hidden Tribes study profiling Americans asserts that only 8% of us are “progressive activists,” those who are highly sensitive to issues of fairness and equity, particularly regarding race and gender, and pessimistic about institutional fairness in America. Compare that to 26% who are “traditional” or “passive” liberals. …”

Critical social justice is not rooted in liberalism.

James Lindsay is correct about that. It is grounded in all of these other imported ideologies: modernism, which is simply an anti-traditional aesthetic and cultural posture which goes back to the turn of the 20th century; critical theory, which goes back to the Frankfurt School; Herbert Marcuse and the “repressive tolerance” of the New Left; postmodernism, which goes back to the French theory of the 1960s and 1970s. “Social justice” is the final ingredient which has been untethered from its Christian roots and given a new cultural Marxist spin of fighting hierarchies of oppressor vs. oppressed identities and social groups. These people have zero interest in the individual and protecting his rights and liberties. These people are also at odds with classical Marxists, socialists and social democrats who are focused on working class organizing. They steer left organizing away from organizing workers and toward divisive and deeply polarizing culture war issues like transgenderism or “white supremacy” that are repulsive to workers.

The libs didn’t want to judge people on the basis of race. In contrast, woke progressives insist on judging people on the basis of immutable characteristics: race, sex, gender. They judge people on the basis of their class and culture. They believe in treating different groups of people unequally to achieve “equity.” Hell, they even judge people on the basis of what they eat with people who eat meat being their moral inferiors and thus deserving a lower position in the American social scale. They want the power and authority to dictate to ordinary people what they are allowed to think, read, say, believe and eat.

BTW, it is the “far right” are the “authoritarians.” Trump is an “authoritarian” who spent his time in the White House eating McDonald’s and tweeting. We barely survived “fascism.”

The American Spectator:

“Roughly one year ago, a religious Reformation occurred.

Over the years, I and many other writers have compared left-wing political “wokeness” to a religion — noting the philosophy’s endless rules, supposed martyrs, sacred spaces, debates about heresy, and even vision of the fallen world after original sin (“the System”). But it seems fair to say that a more aggressive and missionary version of the faith took root last year, following the unfortunate and symbolic death of George Floyd. A national movement rapidly coalesced around the idea of largely or completely defunding the police, while elected officials up to and including the president mouthed critical catchphrases about “systemic racism” and “white supremacy.” American schools teaching full-on critical theory as part of the standard curriculum became a real possibility and the basis of a heated national debate. But crime statistics and other empirical data indicate that the promise of today’s new secular faith is a false one and that we should beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing when listening to its prophets.

Analogies between wokeness — Wokeism? — and conventional religion have been made many times, by authors ranging from John McWhorter on the political center-left over to Ann Coulter on the right. I myself wrote a well-received piece along these lines in The American Spectator last year. There are obviously more than a few similarities between faith of the old-timey variety and the modern idea that facially neutral “Systems” are all subtly structured to oppress minorities or the poor (“racism is the everyday”), and heroes are needed to fight this latent evil. The new ideology also boasts acclaimed martyrs such as Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, points of pure faith (such as the claim that racism must explain all performance gaps between groups), prophets ranging from Ibram X. Kendi to attorney Benjamin Crump, and a plentitude of holy places and “sacred spaces.” There is even a concept of original sin, which might be summed up as “privilege” — all people are born with a certain degree of advantage conferred on them by our corrupt systems, which the more fortunate must reject in order for moral purity to be possible.

While often made in fun, the wokeness-to-religion comparison holds up well and has been made for years. We have, however, witnessed a rapid and dramatic surge in the faith after the tragic police killing of George Floyd on May 25, 2020. Within the boundaries of the famous analogy, it seems fair to say Wokeism had a Judaism-to-Christianity or Catholicism-to-Protestantism-style Reformatory expansion following that day. Without being at all sarcastic, one can say that Floyd died in fairly classic fashion for a martyr, apparently being killed — however much other factors contributed to this outcome — under the knee of a modern-day centurion, a uniformed big-city police officer.

Not long after Floyd’s death, the area of Minneapolis where his arrest took place was made — in a fairly literal sense — into a holy place. Now known as “George Floyd Square,” several city blocks in center-city Minneapolis now exist as a police-free “autonomous zone,” home to murals, sculptures, and small shrines symbolic of the Black Lives Matter movement. The Christian Post religious resource notes that “a number of” religious groups now hold services and conduct baptisms at the exact “site where George Floyd died in Minneapolis.” More than a few people claim to have witnessed miracles there.

More broadly, during the past year (1 AF, or one year After Floyd?), fundamental changes to modern American society, extending far beyond one section of one city, have been proposed. …”

Wokeness is definitely a religion.

Woke people, for example, believe in their own miracles like “trans.” Climate change has taken the place of the imminent apocalypse. The -isms and -phobias are the new sins. The fact that food and drink is being regulated and meat eating is being stigmatized as unclean is the surest sign yet that wokeness is an emerging religion. We already know what happens to heretics. They are excommunicated or worse.

Note: Frank said on a livestream this morning that he is done with politics.

About Hunter Wallace 12380 Articles
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  1. Floyd really was just a big dumb nigger who became hysterical and had a heart attack after he’d overdosed on various drugs while in recovery from Covid19. The veneration of him is blasphemy. This is the black martyr they were wanting for? It’s just voodoo jigababble.

  2. Wokeness is the natural development of liberalism, like a tree grows from an acorn. Liberalism has always been a totalitarian ideology and the ideals it espouses have always been a lie. Like communism, “classical liberalism” is an abstract ideology that has never actually fully existed in real life. It is always subject to historical circumstances and has to be analyzed with that in mind, not in the abstract like James Lindsay does.

    The transition to wokeness is a logical progression from the premises of liberalism, particularly and especially its conception of liberty as choice, which is in contrast to the traditional Christian view of liberty as freedom from sin, passions, ignorance, etc. For traditional Christianity, when one has true liberty from passions, sin, and ignorance, then his choices become very clear and will in reality be limited. He will choose Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. So a person with Christian liberty will ultimately have fewer choices than a person without liberty, just as a sane person will have fewer choices in behavior than an insane person whose behavior is irrational and erratic.

    The theory of liberty-as-choice is also tied to the blank slate theory in liberalism, because inborn behavioral tendencies imply that people are often not completely free to choose their behavior. Acceptance of blank slate theory then means that racial and sexual differences are not innate. And from that, you get the theory that racial differences in outcomes are all due to discrimination or “systemic racism.” This isn’t new and was part of liberal theory even during the time of USA’s founding, down through abolitionism, civil rights era and to today. The Negro only behaved the way he did because he was brutalized by slavery, according the abolitionists.

    If blank slate theory is accepted, as it must be in liberalism for the ideology to maintain consistency with liberty-as-choice, then this implies that persistent racial disparities exist because Whites are collectively hindering the advancement of Negroes (and other lower performing races). With liberal theories of justice, this discrimination is viewed as an infringement on the rights of Negroes. So then you get “critical race theory” and so on.

    So I do not view wokeness as separate from liberalism. It is only possible to see them as separate if liberalism is viewed as abstract ideology rather than as a process within historical context. It’s the same thing communists do when they say the USSR wasn’t “real communism” because it did not meet the criteria of their abstract ideology. Or libertarians who say that the USA is not capitalist because it does not mirror the “real capitalism” of their abstract ideology.

  3. Wokeness is definitely a religion.

    The analogy hits closer to home than you think. We’re probably getting realtime insight into how Christianity arose.

    Maybe Jesus was nothing but a rascally Judean rabble-rouser, around whom myths solidified from a smattering of tall tales told by those closest to him, much the same as is happening with this obvious lowlife George Floyd POS. If so, you could very easily imagine the disgust of establishment pagans when they investigated Christian claims.

    The early Christians, with their goofy primitive socialism, could very easily be seen as the analog of today’s smelly green-haired wokesters, tapping into people’s basic decency and pre-existing value system and subverting it for their own lunatic ends.

    For the analogy to work, Rome would have to have been ripe for change, so perhaps that’s why Christianity didn’t really catch on until Rome underwent a prolonged period of disasters. In our own day, the timeframe is comparatively compressed, with the “times of trouble” really only dating back to the cultural revolution of the 60s, for a period of 50-60 years till the present day rather than couple hundred in Rome’s case. Still ballpark though.

    • I think not. The Jews in Jerusalem were probably only a bare majority, the local farmers and fishermen were probably not Jews. I don’t think the Jews were all that fertile and were parasitic urbanites even then. Gospel was first written in Greek. It’s a clever Greek writer making fun of the Jews.

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