Raise your hands if you have heard of any of the following words (bonus marks if you can define them): ablenormativity, anthropocentrism, antiessentialism and aversive racism.
No? How about: Corporeality, regulatory fiction, responsibilizing and ressentiment?
For those finding themselves at a loss, don’t worry — you’re not alone. It seems like every time you refresh your Twitter feed or read an article from Vice, a new word or phrase pops up that everyone is supposed to know. Quite often it feels like a different language entirely.
That’s why someone has taken on the Sisyphean task of creating a plain-language encyclopaedia of all the social justice terminology out there. With a newly launched website, James Lindsay’s New Discourses aims to provide the ‘politically homeless’ with a travel guide into the confusing world of wokery. He writes:
The purpose of New Discourses is to meet the need that the problem of political alienation and homelessness has created. It is to be a place where dialogue is possible and encouraged, regardless of differences in politics, aiming to be responsible with our speech and thought while not feeling fettered by restrictions of political correctness in any of its myriad manifestations. It also hopes to inspire dialogue—both new ways to discuss old topics and new conversations in their own right.
According to Lindsay, New Discourses is an apolitical, post-partisan platform that is liberal only in the ‘philosophical and ethical’ sense. Its aim is to create a forum for open and free discussion without fear of retribution, but it is pretty clear on what side of the political spectrum Lindsay’s bugbears lie. The very basis of the site’s creation came in response to the ‘Critical Social Justice’ movement — an exclusively Left-wing phenomenon — and its articles are mostly geared towards Leftist shibboleths: ‘The illiberalism of social justice,’ ‘Translations from the Wokish’ and ‘Naming the Enemy: Critical Social Justice’, to name a few.
Nevertheless, Lindsay deserves much credit for the lengths he has gone to in engaging with his enemy. His meticulous documentation of all the new CSJ words and phrases that have creeped into everyday discourse is so extensive that it borders on the ridiculousness. If it wasn’t so depressing, reading them in their entirety would almost be quite funny, but then again, that’s probably the point.