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Daniel P
Daniel P
6 months ago

I think that the center left faces three critical problems in the US.

First, it has proven powerless against the hard, progressive left, a progressive left that is doing all it can to alienate a large swath of the country. Everything from DEI, to identity politics to gender to an outright distaste for its own country and people. Then, toss in climate alarmism and the insane push to completely revamp the energy sector and the economy in a ridiculous and unnecessary way while destroying jobs and raising the cost of living for people who just cannot afford it.

Second, they are committed to neoliberal economics. The center left is represented by the democrat party and that party has been captured by Silicon Valley and Wall Street who in turn are committed to engaging in labor arbitrage across the globe to keep labor costs down. When not doing that they want to import migrant labor to compete at the low end of the pay scale and high end labor on H1Bs to help at the high end. They are committed to trade deals that hand off sovereign power to international committees appointed by leaders of major corporations.

Third, they are stuck on the minority side of the cultural divide. They represent the very elites that the rest of the nation is turning against. To these people, blatant patriotism is embarrassing, going to church is backwards, choosing to go into a trade instead of going to a prestige university is not just bad judgement but makes you socially inept.

The center left democrats today look a lot like the northeast republicans of my youth.

rob clark
rob clark
6 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

Very well said, especially that last sentence!

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
6 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

“Everything from DEI”
Only hardcore racists believe that encouraging diversity and inclusion is alienating larges swathes of anyone except far right fanatics.
But I guess if the cap fits….

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
6 months ago

Do you think muti should be allowed?

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
6 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

Well said. At the moment, these three factors limit the party’s appeal beyond their facile appeals to race/gender/etc. They really have no agenda other than more of the same, and we can see how that hasn’t worked. They are dragged through the mud by their own fringe idiots as badly as the other side, and their fringe idiots are actually in office, whereas most of the fringe voices on the right are on talk radio or similarly out in the wilderness. They can’t really be populist because the Republican party is basically lost to the establishment at this juncture, which means the elites will hold the one party they still control the more tightly. Lastly, they all come off as insufferable know-it-all types who think they’re better than everybody. It’s not a winning formula. If they keep losing ground among minorities, they’ll find they have very little support left anywhere. These politicians are much more likely to end up disillusioned and turning independent or switching parties as when they actually get elected as they are to actually change the Democratic party, and that’s assuming they aren’t just feigning populism to get elected.

Last edited 6 months ago by Steve Jolly
Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
6 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

a progressive left that is doing all it can to alienate a large swath of the country” – Except that a very large chunk of the country is apparently not alienated – or at least, not enough to vote for another alternative.
I fear we have reached the stage of democracy that Thucydides wrote of: “the savage and pitiless excesses into which men who had begun the struggle, not in a class but in a party spirit, were hurried by their ungovernable passions”. I’ve taken to calling it tribal politics; people are utterly wedded to their tribe, to death and beyond.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
6 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

The USA is the wealthiest and safest nation in the history of civilisation so what are the causes of these problems ?The Greeks said that poverty was their great instructor in hardihood and self- reliance. Also The Greeks always recognised their debt to other civilisations such as Minoans, Egyptians and Phoenicians.
Are the problems for the USA that material wealth has sapped their pioneer spirit of hardihood and self- reliance and they not grateful to other nations? Joe Calzaghe the boxer said the greatest threat to a boxing champion was five star hotel.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
6 months ago

The Left is wedded to identity politics and victimhood, and much of the media is also implicated. Try writing an article in the mainstream media to the effect that biological sex is real and there are only 2 of them. You’d be faced with hatred and threats of violence. How you strip this out of the centre-Left is anyone’s guess.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
6 months ago

All you need to know is Josh Hawley is one of the few Republicans in the Senate who frequently proposes and pushes real populist legislation while Chris Murphy is one of the most corporate owned Democrats in the whole damn Senate. Cuenco is blowing smoke. The funny thing is, there are actually a few Democrats who are really good on populist economic issues and the FTC under Lina Kahn has been solidly enforcing antitrust law. The fact that he names Khanna, Murphy, and Adams (as well as a guy not even elected) instead tells you everything about what a joke Mike is.

Last edited 6 months ago by Matt Hindman
Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
6 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Josh Hawley is a windbag and a bully, and like all bullies is actually a coward. The footage of him running away from the crowd he was raising a fist to an hour earlier will be his only legacy.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
6 months ago

Well we all know the only thing worse when fighting for the little guy than a country club conservative or a limousine liberal is a Champagne Socialist.

Daniel P
Daniel P
6 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Ignore him. He is a crank. Probably the most down voted person on this site.

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
6 months ago

With its Maoist approach to public schooling, race and child protection, the identitarian Left has taken centre-stage in the US because of the opportunity presented to the Left by the 2008 Crash and their opportunity to attack Clinton-era neoliberalism and its continuation under Obama. This has now completely taken hold of Democrat Party political culture.
Ergo I can’t see a revived ‘centrist’ civic liberalism emerging from the centre-left or any sphere of Democrat politics. It would have to come from a post-populist push in the Republican Party appealing, for instance, to Gen X Democrat voters and older Millennials who have switched from Democrat to Independent.
But that would require them to separate themselves sensibly from the Democrat mainstream, particularly in foreign policy. Trump actually made a good start there.

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
6 months ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

“Maoist approach to public schooling, race and child protection”
What kind of a fantasy do you live in?

Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
6 months ago

If you think they’re confused, they must be right.

Michael Coleman
Michael Coleman
6 months ago

“since the Right has no positive unifying agenda beyond anti-wokeness. ”
With our house burning down, putting out the flames should be enough common ground for now.
But Cuenco is wrong. The right has a more unifying agenda of seeking smaller governments – one that is frequently betrayed by those reaching office while claiming to be conservative. The belief that the government should stop doing more for us is a positive unifying agenda for the right – it’s just not necessarily a political winner

Last edited 6 months ago by Michael Coleman
Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
6 months ago

If the wholly incompetent and barely verbal Eric Adams is an example of what the US can look forward to as leadership, then we won’t need that SMOD: the Democrats will complete their destruction of this nation without any extraterrestrial help.

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
6 months ago

Cuenco and Patrikarakos – consistently the two worst writers on UnHerd.

David Yetter
David Yetter
6 months ago

Darn. I was hoping it would be an article about how Americans who actually deserve the name “liberals” could win, rather than how the misnamed “liberals,” who constitute the normative Left in America and were really, really happy to wield the union of state and corporate power to censor their opponents until Elon Musk bought Twitter, have given us the plague of diversity, equity and inclusion, and control the White House, the Senate, the vast bulk of media, the universities, most of the non-profit sector (the Koch Brothers do still have some genuinely liberal foundations they run), and the governments of most major cities, could win.

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
6 months ago
Reply to  David Yetter

An Elon Musk cultist. No doubt a Trump worshipper too.
Can be safely ignored.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
6 months ago

I think the author is drastically underrating the extent to which international finance and the globalist establishment controls the Democratic party. They will not allow economic populism to seriously take hold. What they will do is try to sound like economic populists to get votes while governing like the globalists they are, just like much of the other side. Biden’s economic nationalism was mostly talk. His most notable achievement on the economic front was the CHIPS act, which is as much a national defense anti-China bill as it is an economic nationalism bill. It’s less about reshoring or helping Americans as it is about maintaining military superiority and punishing the Chinese for their bad behavior over the last two decades. These are things that needed to happen, but don’t get confused. These people still want to ship jobs to the lowest cost country possible, just not one who might get too powerful and upset the globalist apple cart. That’s the reason it passed with bipartisan support. The one thing everybody agrees on is the seriousness of the China threat. The author can keep on hoping the leopard will change his spots, but that’s all it is, hope, and as we saw in the Obama administration, hope might get you elected, but it doesn’t get anything else.

George Venning
George Venning
6 months ago

“Woke” is a term of abuse. It is the word we use when we disapprove of a policy or attitude that, in our view, has gone too far. The supporters of any given proposal would almost never describe it as “woke”. They’d call it “progressive” or “radical” or simply “decent”.
In this, “woke” resembles the previous term for the same concept – “political correctness” or, to give it its full expression “political correctness gone mad”. By the time the expression was widely understood, it was almost never self-applied.
Two important things follow from this – first, that arguing against “wokeness” is going into battle with a paper tiger. It sounds bellicose but, since no-one will identify as woke, no-one presents themselves as an antagonist and you are deprived of actual victories. It should be said that this is absolutely fine if your business model is simply fluffing up resentment (e.g. Daily Mail or Lawrence Fox). You can go around screaming about wokeness and pretending everyone is too frightened to debate you. (See also, that bloke down the pub who is desperate to tell you what he’d do to paedos…)
But, if you are a politician trying to present a concrete idea of what you stand for, it is both cowardly and incoherent. Challenging wokeness is easy to do but achieves nothing because it engages no-one.
By contrast, figuring out how to address, for example, the real problems of policing in America without simply “defunding” them would be very hard indeed but extrordinarily fruitful. Of course a politician who was willing to have that conversation would probably find that quite a lot of the “Defund” crowd were open to a nuanced conversation about mental health and social services, about schools and restorative justice among many other things – defunding the police has a deep intellectual hinterland that doesn’t fit on a t-shirt. But the process of hammering out a fruitful compromise doesn’t start by damning “wokeness” or misrepresenting imaginary antagonists.

T Bone
T Bone
6 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

I’m going to write this respectfully because you seem to be a rational thinker that simply hasn’t educated yourself on what the Far-Left actually is.  What People on the so-called “Center-Left” dont seem to realize is that Critical Social Justice often described as Cultural Progressivism or “Wokeness” has a massive body of written work.   The usefulness of that work relies on people like yourself ignoring it and instead attacking the “reactionaries” responding to it. It’s the reason Democrats can’t detach Progressive excess.

“Wokeness” is a gnostic principle about developing an “awakened consciousness.” To be “Woke” is to be hyper-aware of how injustice imbeds itself in “invisible systems” of liberal governance in order to oppress “marginalized groups.”

You used the term “Restorative justice.” Restorative Justice is a Critical Social Justice word.  Wokeness is simply Critical Social Justice or an Applied Postmodernism that privileges Critical Theory as the only “metanarrative” or Theory that can actually describe how power functions while providing a “remedy” for past actions through reparative justice. 

That’s alot of gobbledygook for Robinhood redistribution.  Its saying we’re going to divide the population into Haves and Have Nots and then “restore” or “repair” the Have Nots by taking opportunity and capital from the Haves.  It can also be described as “NeoMarxism” or “Western Marxism.” An ideology that’s Marxian but not Marxist. It tips Marx upside down through the Base/Superstructure analysis the way Marx tipped Hegel’s metaphysics with Dialectical Materialism. But this is very much a real ideology, not some fake Strawman invented by the “reactionary right.”

I would recommend that you read some of the literature from Intersectional Theory.  There’s about 20-30 progressive prophets that recur in the genealogy of progressive literature dating back all the way to Rousseau.

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
6 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

He’s aware of what his fellow progressives want to do to society, but would prefer we didn’t notice and just shut up and let them create hell heaven on earth. When you think of Rotherham know that this is the sort of person who did everything in his power to keep it going.

George Venning
George Venning
6 months ago
Reply to  Albert McGloan

I’ve checked in with all my fellow “progressives” and we would like to make the world better, and fairer. We’d like there to be less war, less exploitation, more fun, better music happier, healthier children and a flourishing natural environment among other things. We’d also like to see a commensurate drop in the incidence of all around c**k-knockery. Beyond that, we agree on very little.
We’re fully aware that this is an ambitious programme and that some well intended efforts might, in fact, end up making things worse. But we do our best to avoid that by thinking quite hard. Some of us are better at that than others.
For the life of me, I don’t know what you want to create on Earth. Do you think this is as good as it gets?

C Yonge
C Yonge
6 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

Yes, this is as good as it gets. Yes, your well intended efforts are, in fact, making things worse. The “perfect” is the enemy of the “good”. You aren’t God and you can’t make life fairer for people by imposing some equity that you have decided on.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  C Yonge

That’s not what he’s saying.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

Exactly.

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
6 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

You truly “don’t know” people who are different to you and your friends. It’s like autistic people who don’t realise they’re autistic and never bother trying to understand ‘neurotypical’ people.
“we do our best to avoid that by thinking quite hard.”
You don’t. You really, really don’t. Your worldview is shockingly narrow leading to absurd and sometimes horrific decisions (again, Rotherham). You pursue your aims because they bring you a pleasurable ego-boost. You can tell yourself you’re one of the “good” people. Negative outcomes are irrelevant. It makes you feel good, so it must be done.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Albert McGloan

Rubbish

andrew harman
andrew harman
6 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

Roger Scruton does a fair demolition job onleftist “thinkers” in one of his books, which I read recently.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
6 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

I wonder how many of our modern problems can be traced back to Rousseau. He’s on the short list of candidates for the award of worst human being ever as measured by how much damage their life and their ideas have done to humanity in total.

Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

I’ve felt for quite a while that Rousseau has a lot to answer for. I can’t figure out how to get rid of his influence at this point without melting down Western civilization, though. That does seem to be happening, though.

George Venning
George Venning
6 months ago
Reply to  Noel Chiappa

Restore the dauphin! Back to the ancien regime.

Quite right

George Venning
George Venning
6 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

It’s kind of you to respond respectfully but, respectfully, you seem to have misunderstood my point.
My point is that very few people self-identify as “woke”. Just as very few used to identify as “politically correct” in the late 90s.
You’re right as to the origins of the term as an awakened consciousness. (though I think calling it a gnostic principle elevates it too far). But, in common usage, it is simply a term of abuse.
As a result, even the proponents of the most bananas theories in the most recherche corners of academia don’t generally go on about their “woke” theory. “Woke” is always someone else.
I have lots of ideas I’m sure you think are nutty. I admire lots of writers I’m certain you think are nuttier still. I’m perfectly happy to defend my ideas against yours – to seek to persuade you. But we’re not going to have a useful discussion if you start by calling me woke and that I’m in thrall to an inverted marxism which itself an inverted Hegelianism. And I’d be lying if I even pretended to know what you’re talking about. (Am I a Hegelian metaphysicist turned right side up again? Or am I simply an idiot who doesn’t know enough about his own views to have a right to an opinion?)
Similarly, if I started off by calling you a crackpot reactionary, it probably wouldn’t help our debate (although you’d at least know what I’m talking about).
Like most people of most political persuasions, I’d like the world to be a lot less shitty than it is. And I’m less interested in characterising the beliefs of other people in ways that make no sense to those people than I am in exploring ways to make the world less shitty.

T Bone
T Bone
6 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

I never called you Woke. I specifically referred to you as rational.  Postmodern ideology rejects enlightenment rationalism. Likewise, I never referred to you as stupid. What you’ve proven in your responses is that you’re an ideologue. You are committed to the project of Progressive Idealism. 

The problem with Idealism is that it makes otherwise rational people gullible.  If you believe in concepts like “The Arc of History bends toward justice” than you believe “Social Progress” is a natural evolution.  But in order to believe that, someone has to define what Social Progress is and people that disagree with that definition have to be labeled as antagonists to Social Progress or “reactionaries.”

When I say Woke is Gnostic what I mean is that only certain enlightened people get to define it. Those people are called “Experts” and Experts are to be trusted. What I’m contending is that even though you’re not Woke, you just laundered a Woke concept termed “Restorative Justice.”  You trusted the Experts and then advocated a policy that inevitably means Reparations and land transfers. 

Now, if you’re familiar with History and I believe you are, can you tell me what Historical Movement promoted wealth and land transfers through an administered economy governed by Experts?

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
6 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

OH I know, I know this one, call on me teach!

George Venning
George Venning
6 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

Thank you, I’m perfectly aware that you didn’t call me woke (or stupid). But, the fact that you think that I think you did, is the issue that I thought you’d missed.
What I said was that using a term that no-one accepts as applicable to themselves is just an unhelpful strategy for engaging with the world. It’s like having a strategy of “stamping out the global influence of c*nts”. We all agree that the world would be better if we could stamp out c*nt ideology once and for all.
But simply saying that isn’t actually a very good way of stamping out c*nts or c*nt ideology because no-one will admit that they’re a c*nt.
On the other hand, if you define the c*nt behaviour you’re talking about, then people can’t help but see that you’re talking about them and they are much likelier to respond and we all make a bit more progress.
That was my original point – it’s about effectiveness rather than ethics – we should be skeptical of people raging about “woke” because raging about “woke” gets nothing done.
My more specific point for you is that you seem very keen to tell me what I think and believe and what all that really means. For example, woke is a gnostic concept that only a cadre of untrustworthy experts are fit to determine. Do these experts include you? Because I am specifically saying that, actually the word is so slippery that it is best avoided altogether.
And apparently, you know what restorative justice means and its intellectual underpinnings and how all that leads to reparations and land transfers but, maybe I don’t understand this. Except that you’re actually talking nonsense because what I mean when I talk about restorative justice is a system of mediation between criminals and victims of crime, whereby criminals have to make up for their crime to the satisfaction of the victims in an attempt to heal a tear in the social fabric. Which is by no means a full and entire solution to the injustices of current policing, but it is one line of experimental practice which may be fruitful in some cases.

Last edited 6 months ago by George Venning
T Bone
T Bone
6 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

I get your point but I don’t exactly see a concerted effort by “good faith” left leaning thinkers to temper the overuse of terms like fascist, racist, misogynist, homophobe, xenophobe, climate-denier, anti-vaxxer and instead apply nuance.  So sure, if you’d like to acknowledge the left’s unwillingness to use discernment toward politically useful descriptors than I’d be more than happy to acknowledge overuse of “Woke” by the right. 

Again, I would say there’s a stark difference between the two since Woke is a term literally adopted by Progressive advocates whereas most of the terms aimed at the Right are simply character insults but nonetheless there is overlap in the attempt to discredit.

I do not hold myself off as an “expert.” In fact, you don’t need to take my word for anything.  I’m simply doing my best to use empiricism to draw conclusions.  I’ve actually read the source material that I’m referencing.   I understand that you’re using “Restorative Justice” in context of rehabilitating convicted criminals.  I don’t dispute that in narrowly tailored circumstances it might be useful.  My point is that it’s not a narrowly tailored concept. It is extremely broad and the literature is quite clear that Restorative Justice is not only a criminal rehabilitation concept but a broad social concept that can be applied at scale to “repair” past harms.   Do a search with the key words Restorative justice and reparations and tell me if the two concepts are linked.

George Venning
George Venning
6 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

If this is t*t for tat then sure.

As a lefty sort of person, I am happy to concede that the mirror-image concepts that you invoke are just as stupid as “woke”. Did Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” comment achieve anything other than convincing a bunch of people that HRC wasn’t on their side? Can we agree that it cost her a tonne of votes?

Moaning about wokeness is the same in the opposite direction. It’s just not solving any problems. It is as divisive as reflexive accusations of racism are.

That isn’t to say that there is no Woke ideology – just as there are plenty of racist cockwombles – I am simply saying that politicians who complain about the forces of woke ranged against them look just as stupid to us as blue haired students decolonising the curriculum by purging dead white men form the reading list look to you. And it’s about as effective.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
6 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

You’re technically correct in that woke has come to be used as a term of abuse. It’s a basic straw man term like technocrat or globalist whose meaning refers to a theoretical person with a theoretical set of views. It’s used as a political term by opponents to better define what, exactly, they oppose. It wasn’t always that, though. It was used by BLM movement members and other people on the left to define themselves as being aware or ‘woke’ to racism and other social ills. It was seized on more recently, and more successfully, by opponents of BLM, CRT, and other social justice movements as the pejorative you mention. Let me be perfectly frank. Most of the world does not give a crap about your, my, or anyone else’s feelings. They are too busy with real things like feeding their family or paying for college or getting a better job or whatever is happening in their lives. Pointing out that ‘woke’ is, in your own words, a ‘term of abuse’ matters not a lick to most of the commenters here. I myself am indifferent to language so long as it is accurate, and since ‘woke’ has a meaning that is commonly understood, I see no issue with it. It ultimately doesn’t matter that no individual person would identify as ‘woke’ or whatever connotation it has so long as it conveys an idea. When I see ‘woke’ or ‘wokery’, I understand that no individual describes themself that way, and I don’t really care. I know what the word means, and that’s enough. Nobody controls language or owns words, but trying to tell people such and such is a ‘term of abuse’ and shouldn’t be used will get you identified as ‘woke’ in conservative circles and they will consider the label accurate, regardless of your opinions or feelings on the matter. Moreover, you are basically putting a ‘kick me’ sign on your back for anyone, and there are a lot of us, who have no patience for being told by know-it-all types how to speak so as not to offend anybody. You mentioned the political correctness movement in the 90s, so you are aware of history. You understand then, that a previous attempt to regulate language by an educated few failed, largely because it proved unpopular in the general public and was successfully turned into a pejorative. Why then are you disturbed that the same thing has happened to the term ‘woke’? Again, language is not something that is owned or controlled by anybody. It is defined organically by usage, and has been basically as long as humanity has been speaking. It doesn’t matter whether it’s good, bad, or otherwise. It’s one of those things we can’t change. Many have tried to change aspects of human nature for the sake of making the world ‘less shitty’. All have failed, and some caused untold suffering in the attempt.

T Bone
T Bone
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

I think Woke is a perfectly fine word.  We can name the mind virus a million different things but most fitting is the word its “enlightened” creators adopted.  Progressive Humanism is a self-love ideology that uses social engineering experts to teach people to see themselves as “important” actors moving history forward and promoting the evolution of humans as a “species-being.” 

Seems like an OK concept until you realize the people talking about it are not kind or empathetic.  It’s a power grab plain and simple.  Its people gaining power by acting like proxies for the downtrodden.  Liberation Theology is a fusion of Catholicism and Marxism that dominates South American politics and I think its the best example of what Wokeness is at it’s base.

Last edited 6 months ago by T Bone
George Venning
George Venning
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

As I said to T Bone. I’m not attempting to police anyone’s speech.
I am saying that railing against the “woke” when the people you think are “woke” don’t necessarily accept the term themselves and therefore don’t engage with it, is a very ineffective way of changing people’s minds. And I am saying that we should therefore be skeptical of those who rail against “woke mind virus” not because woke is a naughty word but because the strategy is no more effective than complaining about c*nts.
That’s why I mentioned the man down the pub who’s desperate to tell you what he’d do to paedo if he got his hands on them. He’s making a lot of sound and fury but he’s not stopping child abuse – he’s just making the atmosphere in the pub a bit s**t and everyone wants him to pipe down.
Politicians railing against the woke brigade are the man in the pub with the bulging veins in their foreheads. And, in general, they can do one.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
6 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

The object isn’t to persuade the people who actually are “woke” in the sense being used here. The object is to show all the undecided people of the world how looney some of these ideas actually are, and there are people that fully believe nonsense like CRT and would use it to shape government policy. The opposition is trying to draw attention to the fact by using a term ‘woke’ that originated on the left and turning it around on them, and they’re succeeding. They’re being demeaning and holding up a straw man on purpose. It’s an ancient, tried and true, rhetorical method. Liberals do the same thing when they accuse conservatives of being racists or xenophobes or fascists or whatever else. Few if any would self-identify as any of these but nobody cares. This is politics friend. Personally, I don’t care whether the President has an elephant or a donkey on their hat, but I’d like to avoid bad policy, and affirmative action, teaching gender fluidity in schools, reparations, and the other issues we’re talking about when we talk about woke, are very bad policy. They will make the world more shitty, not less. The fact is the way woke is used has struck a chord with a lot of people, hence how often we’re hearing about it. People are using woke as a derogatory on purpose because they strongly oppose certain policies. They want to take these issues off the table by making them politically toxic for both parties, and they’re largely succeeding. Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

Last edited 6 months ago by Steve Jolly
George Venning
George Venning
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

If you want to use the term casually BTL, fine because you are not trying to persuade.
My original point was that we should distrust politicians (whose job is, fundamentally to persuade people) when they use the term.
The reverse is also true. We should distrust politicians who blame Brexit on the racism of the white working class. And we should mistrust anyone who dismisses their opponents by accusing them of spouting Kremlin propaganda.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

Well said.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
6 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

Cultural Marxism which evolved from the Frankfurt School, was modified by Gramsci, then Brown Communists such as Frantz Fanon and Sartre, then post Modernist Marxists. The aim is to reduce the freedom of the individual, so they are coerced into joining a collective run by people such as yourselves. Both communism and corporatism wish to destroy the liberty of the individual.
The World better, what does that mean? What does fairer mean ? Basically we hand over power to you so that you run our lives according to your whims.

George Venning
George Venning
6 months ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

“The World better, what does that mean? What does fairer mean?”
Precisely. My whole point that “the left” is no more homogenous than “the right” or any other large group. And, just an an example of that, I doubt, if even 1% of those on the left have read even one of those authors – let alone shares their world view. I haven’t.
By ascribing a whole host of bonkers ideas to everyone who disagrees with you, you are not only doing a disservice to them but also to yourself because you’re being paranoid.
It’s like reds under the bed. McCarthyism mistook every instance of vaguely “progressive” dissent for an active soviet conspiracy and, thereby, not only made themselves ridiculous (eventually) but also made America far less free (immediately and for quite a while).
Those who imagine Trotskyite vanguards everywhere are often overlooking far more prosaic explanations for the actions of their antagonists.

C Yonge
C Yonge
6 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

Exactly.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

Well said.