Chloe Valdary: ‘wokeism’ is not a religion
Unlike Original Sin, the sin of Whiteness has no path to redemption
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”.
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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 the loss of spirituality:
On social media:
Best guest in a long time. Excellent way of stating this phenomenon, Not religious as it is the dogma with out the spiritual. Also that narcissism is being without the sense of person, and thus endlessly seeking validation as you cannot validate yourself, and how Social Media makes one this way. The echo-chamber being the narcissist communicating to narcissist. The political has subsumed all else into it, and thus no thing we do is free of the political correct, and so we are actually politically correct first, and independent last, in our thought and action. (left and Right)
I believe this all came from the cell phone you phone-sheep clutch so tightly in your hand 24 hours a day. By it every thought and word and action you make is overseen, biased and judged. Your phone settings and sites and persons become a ‘Set’ where outsiders are dropped, and like thinking is all which is allowed in. Thus you are one of a set, and no longer an individual. The phone is evil as it is the link to all, and ends up being where every link is to something/someone who feeds, re-enforces, and shares your biases till you are no longer an individual, but part of a mindset. It is a filter on the real world you create to only allow in that which your group think accepts.
Anyone with a smart phone has lost their humanity commensurate with the time you use it. The Social Media Barons know how pernicious and evil the phone is – they teach their children and themselves to be very wary of it indeed. It is a vampire sucking your humanity from you.
“the Social Dilemma”.
I agree with your take on the phone, unfortunately, an increasing number of institutions – notably banks – require you to have one, just to check it is ‘you’ spending your money. The phone is being firmly woven into the fabric of society – if you want a good example, look at China, where you have to have one; it is your train ticket, covid passport to shops and payment means.
Excellent, thoughtful, insightful. I’ll be amazed is she isn’t no-platformed everywhere she goes.
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.
To its adherents, it is absolutely a religion, the only one that allows no path to redemption for even the slightest real or perceived sin. The wokerati are just as willing to cancel any leftist who steps out of line on any issue as they are a conservative. Ms. Valdary is welcome to call it dogma but it’s a bit like labeling radical Islamism as dogma. The term may well fit but the dogma is wrapped in a religious zeal that fixates on rooting out any heretics in the ranks.
What is new in wokeism is that its doctrines are not only unchallengeable but also unstable. They have to be accepted on pain of damnation, but on the other hand, they are always liable to be altered on a moment’s notice.
George Orwell, The Prevention of Literature
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.
I do both!
I think when I saw XR in their costumes enacting their strange tableaux like something out medieval times with the police standing by as its their right to protest. Since then its every assortment of clothing out of the revolutionary dressing up box so that the children can play their games.
In one of the darkest bits in ‘That Hideous Strength’, the director of NICE, that terrifying and Dark institute, the Director is explaining to Mark his duties which (paraphrased) require him to ‘always take initiative and opportunities to advance the institutes work, but also, to never be seen as overstepping his authority or taking that which belongs to the duties of some other, and that as long as he works between these two cases he will be fine, to fail in these would be disastrous’. His job is not delineated beyond this as he wanders about the halls of power wondering what it is he is actually supposed to be doing. N.I.C.E. (“The National Institute for Coordinated Experiments,”) functions by everyone always being terrified and ready to turn on anyone to preserve themselves.
the reason Augustus Caesar used so many names as a signifier of his position was to diffuse the impact that a single name, such as “king,” might have, thereby lulling the suspicions of the populace that they were indeed, being ruled by a king, but not in name
“She thinks a better term is “dogma” and observes that unlike Original Sin, the sin of “whiteness” offers no possibility for redemption.”
There are many kinds of religion. Calvinism, in a sense, offers no possibility for redemption, at least not on the basis of human action, since it posits a God who determines whether each soul will be elect or reprobate in advance. Virtuous actions are merely the “outward and visible signs” of election, the evidence that the individual who performs them in in the grace of God.
Isn’t “wokeism” rather like this? Some groups are assumed to be elect, others are assumed to be reprobate. However, for those individuals who are members of the reprobate group, the public performance of the appropriate gestures of allyship with the elect may be interpreted as evidence that they are, after all, personally touched by grace, and as an indication of their own election.
Yes. The woke can be called Puritans in a sense directly related to historical Puritanism and, more broadly, Calvinism. Their push seems to be to purify society, rid it of sin, and create (finally) the City on a Hill. In this sense they are the heirs of a religious tradition that has infused social justice movements in the United States since abolition and suffragism. Their God, like that of Jonathan Edwards and Julia Ward Howe, is angry. According to the doctrine of predestination, found in the letters of Paul and made central by Calvin and Knox, only the Elect will be saved. Today’s Elect can presumably be known by some combination of skin color and anti-racist activism. Like its historical forbears, woke Puritanism seeks to redress real wrongs. Like the stock Puritan of caricature, the woke go about their mission by poking busily into the lives and consciences of others, haranguing, bullying, and not occasionally profiting. At least in their public utterances, they seem signally lacking in the virtue of charity. The woke would be an annoying bore were they not so good at getting their hands on the levers of influence. As it is, the damage they can do is significant; among the political and social casualties, ironically, may be the people they champion.
Original Sin differs from other kinds — for a Catholic mortal and venial sins — in that the individual cannot expiate Original Sin. Man is born with it and only a Redeemer can cleanse mankind of it.
That is one of the drivers behind the Woke religion. Whites are born with this phony Original Sin, cannot rid themselves of it by themselves and only by making the world better for blacks can whites hope someday to be redeemed. But not in this world. Maybe in Wakanda
We have lived in peace and co operative civility in the west with many diverse belief systems co existing with a tolerance of those differences.
The woke progressive mob has trashed the principles of tolerance , free speech , etc , cynically divided and pigeon holed all,field their cancel mobs to attack heretics into a regressive medieval state for a tyrannical scorched earth power grab.Even the self labeled progressives name is the truthless opposite of what they do and are.
Humanity needs liberation from the woke progressive tyranny .
Could someone (or even better, a few people) give me a good definition of what wokeism is?
I only have vague ideas.
“Wokeism” is used to describe anything the individual using the word dislikes about popular culture
A good start might be reading Wikipedia, an article called Woke.
It means a person who is awake to the reality that we live in a racist, white supremacist society, where all white people are as privileged as royalty and guilty of enslaving and lynching black people and all the crimes of other white people when perpetrated against POC.
It means you’re clued up on whites’ inherent unconscious racism and bias that causes all minorities to be held down in society. To held back from promotion and social advancement, from achieving wealth and success, and are guilty of every negative thing that happens to black people and other minorities.
It means you clearly see the heirarchy in society, with the evil white male oppressing everyone else – women, minorities, and lgbt are all helpless, oppressed victims.
It means you use advanced, sophisticated language patterns and fabricated buzzwords like ‘woke’, islamophobic, homophobic, xenophobic, and label everyone you disagree with racist, sexist, and bigoted.
It means you’re more intelligent, more tolerant, that you’re more extraordinary and morally superior people who aren’t fashionable or smart enough to be woke.
It means you think correctly, not incorrectly.
It also means you’re delusional, narcissistic, brainwashed, fanatical, hateful and racist to the core.
Not to mention emotionally infantile, cognitively crippled, and an insufferable, moronic *u*t of the highest.
Brilliant………..how I wish someone would give you or us like minded people the platform these morons have. There has been a complete reversal in this country due to the woke agenda. My question to a politician/academics/wokeraty would be….. how is it that DEMOCRACY succeeds via majority vote in an election for instance, but the minority groups have the loudest voices and are the winners in 2021, and would appear to have it all sown up for some time to come. These are opposites of the spectrum, some will call it “equality for everyone”, I call it hypocrisy!
An excellent appraisal.
I agree, wokeism isn’t a religion, it’s a dangerous cult.
And like all useful idiots, easy to flush away after use.
The last paragraph very nicely expresses my view on the Social Media drones who inhabit the Twittersphere:
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…..
If you need any explanation of our Wokelings behaviour, this expresses it beautifully. Hence the reason our Wokelings all march in lockstep and not one of them dares to question what they are doing or if it is right. Obedience is everything and this has overtones of certain authoritarian regimes from the middle of the last century.
Why was this only 8 minutes long? Usually UnHerd interviews are about 30 minutes long aren’t they?
Wokeism is just another political machination used by already powerful people to become more powerful. If they weren’t powerful already, it would be ineffective. It is used by companies to whitewash their sins, used by individuals to protest their moral virtue, and used by large groups to enforce in group out group tendencies, based on unassailable beliefs which cannot be questioned.
It is a religion. It just lacks a God. The only reason Chloe doesn’t like to admit to this is because it hits a tiny bit too close to home.
The closest thing to modern wokeism is in fact Trumpism (which is a word I am fundamentally embarrassed on the behalf of the right that I even have to put to virtual paper), which deifies an idiot king who can do no wrong by his sheer moral virtue.
Intelligent, thoughtful, profound and bang on !
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