by UnHerd
Tuesday, 25
May 2021

Chloe Valdary: ‘wokeism’ is not a religion

Unlike Original Sin, the sin of Whiteness has no path to redemption
by UnHerd

It’s become commonplace to observe that “wokeism” looks a lot like a religion. First coined by John McWhorter in 2015, the concept took on new meaning following the death of George Floyd as images of self-flagellating white people flooded social media and politicians spoke of the “sacrifice” he made. Most salient of these images has been “taking the knee,” which became an all too literal metaphor of the subservience to this new creed.

But while the is imagery is striking, how accurate is the comparison? In a recent interview with UnHerd, Chloe Valdary, an American writer and founder of a different kind of diversity and inclusion training, rejects the idea that Critical Race Theory and more broadly, “wokeism,” is a religion. She thinks a better term is “dogma” and observes that unlike Original Sin, the sin of “whiteness” offers no possibility for redemption. She believes that so-called wokeness that will “ultimately cancel itself out”.

Instead she advocates a more spiritual, even cosmic, way of thinking to stop the flattening and dehumanising of people, which she also applies to the Israel-Palestine debate. Listen above to hear her thoughts (key quotes below)…

On “wokeism”:

Religion has its dogmas, but religion also tends to have something more than dogma. Whereas a lot of the cultural trends that I’m seeing right now tend to be purely dogmatic as opposed to offering something outside of dogma…There’s no redemptive quality because there is no sense of the human being outside of the political or social realm.
- Chloe Valdary, UnHerd

On the loss of spirituality:

Everything is now subsumed into the political — even the personal is political. That has affected the kind of rhetoric we use to talk about various conflicts today, which end up dehumanising people by reducing them to stereotypes and characters. That’s what’s happening when we project the American Experience and American history on other countries’ histories…
- Chloe Valdary, UnHerd

On social media:

Narcissism actually is an absence of the self, for which one overcompensates by seeking out approval from people. When one becomes addicted to approval from other people then you have no sense of self. Our social media platforms certainly don’t de-incentivise this… you feed off of other people’s approval, which incentivises the creation of these echo chambers.
- Chloe Valdary, UnHerd

Join the discussion

  • That was the most bang-on, accurate, and profound take on everything wrong with ‘wokeism’ and its destructive effects on society and humanity I’ve ever heard.

    There are countless things wrong with the abhorrently narcissistic, moronic cult of ‘wokeism’. 

    In political messaging, just getting to a rock solid core concept or idea (Taking back control, Make America great again, etc) is worth more than a thousand weak, worn-out cliched slogans. The grounds for opposing ‘wokeism’ needs to be communicated effectively. In precisely the kind of clear terms Chloe outlined in that short video, I believe. 

    And then that line of argument needs to be kept tight and spread far and wide by people just like Chloe. Where you don’t even know if she’s on the Left or right because she isn’t even coming from a political stance, but an intellectual, individual, humanistic one.

    That would appeal to so many. Way too often, opposition to these mad, repulsive fanatics shoots itself in the foot from the outset and falls right into the Left’s hands in some way or another by making it easy to be put into a political category but trying to fight the Left on every front.

    I mean, they’d try to do it with this lady too. But Chloe displays an intelligence that would be too much for many of them and is one of the few people I’ve seen coming at it from a non-political way, simply pointing out the loss of self and individuality through making every political.

    We need leaders and intellectuals advocating a society where peoples’ individuality and their right to be a free-thinker and stay true to themselves. Who keep opposition simple without trying to oppose too many different leftist/woke positions, or the non-stop highlighting and calling out leftists, sjw’s and woke people like Crowder (as entertaining as he is) or Shapiro, which is singing to the choir.

    I can only see an end to woke insanity via an approach like that. Not jumping out of the fire into a frying pan of another dogmatic ideology. Chloe has it right. 

  • Excellent, thoughtful, insightful. I’ll be amazed is she isn’t no-platformed everywhere she goes.

  • Woke is a sort of secular Elmer Gantry. Those not part of it think its ridiculous , those who are part of it take it very seriously.

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