Woke language hides illiberal tactics in liberal aims
"It’s not a 'culture of victimhood,' on the contrary, it is more often an act of social aggression, since these performances of injury are typically carried out, not to attract sympathy, but rather punish and control others."
An interesting observation (usually discussion of woke tactics focuses on Internet mobs). I'm curious how to push back against this tactic without being insensitive.
I usually refer back to the old FidoNet guidelines: "1. Don't be offensive. 2. Don't be easily offended." They're intended to discourage flamewars in computer-mediated communication, but I think they're also good advice for a pluralistic society.
If someone saying "you're harming my mental health" really means "I'm offended by what you're saying," maybe the appropriate response is to ask why they disagree with what you're saying.
I'm also wondering what this refers to: "[American liberals] are pushing back, creating several organizations committed to combating the influence of 'woke' politics and ideology." I know David Shor and Matthew Yglesias have been saying for some time that Democrats need to talk about popular issues and not talk about unpopular issues in order to win elections, but I'm not familiar with organizational efforts.
I have read and heard many pieces on the definition of wokeness and the new left. I have come to the conclusion, as have many others much more prolific than I, that it is a form of relating to a world that exists in another world. The online world. If one considers that on line you can be who ever you want to be, regardless of specific realities that are not interchangeable, it makes sense that the new illiberal grew up and live in an on-line world. Through the course of their life they have interacted online, in forums with like minded people. The perceptions are the same and when they speak continually to those with the same mind set, they confirm reality to each other. In forums online there are rules that must be followed and anyone who misbehaves is removed from the forum. The internet has had many effects on society and the way we view the world and ourselves in it. It can cause misconceptions of the real world and those who live with in that reality, making those people the " bad guy" for hurting their feelings. In a sense they must be removed from the forum for being mean.
Having read the article and the considered commentary, the defining "woke" is unimportant compared to the illiberal tactics used to advance the agenda of "the woke". I can substitute "the woke" with "the marxists", "the fascists", "the Conservative Party", "feminists", "neo-Nazis" and still grasp the central thesis of the article. Any intellectual movement that shuts down rather than encourages dissenting views is illiberal. The woke, even if poorly defined, cannot seem to engage in a milieu of dissention. It is comply, or be bullied and ostracized.
If someone like Joseph Heath, a professor, is going to attack "'woke politics and ideology" it would be a good idea, in my view, to define it. Failure to do so, as Heath has done, reduces an attack like Heath's to a straw man argument.
So, what is woke politics and ideology? According to an article in the Guardian, [https://www.theguardian.com/society/shortcuts/2020/jan/21/how-the-word-woke-was-weaponised-by-the-right], woke politics and ideology is being “aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice)."
That's not what Heath is attacking, it seems to me. So what, exactly, is Heath attacking, because it is not "woke politics and ideology." That notion is a right wing slur.
This article is the lamest I've seen on The Line. I would hope a professional philosopher would be able to see a bigger picture than this one. A huge percentage of the irritating left are YOUNG - so grow up and let them have their youthful rage, and stop being afraid of them. The tendency to cancel right now can go really wrong, but that doesn't mean one should start fantasizing about straw man enemies who somehow form a monolith we should be terrified of. We're in a moment, and later there'll be another, with different code words, and it'll be a similar fight. Someone who spends his life thinking should be able to crane his neck a bit and see the forest *and* the trees, and all the monkeys freaking out about what's on twitter, and form a thought better than "Oh no! Monkeys!"
I'm still looking for indications that this has escaped college liberal-arts departments, mostly at grad level. If my biggest societal concern, waking up this morning, was poor people having to stay in service McJobs , with bullying and harassment, and wage-theft, then the fates of college professors' careers is not dragging me away.
Indeed, I haven't heard of these problems spoiling the atmosphere in chem classes; surgery is being taught the same; even Law departments seem to be unscathed. (Possibly because they know case law on what is and isn't "active speech", and aren't bullied by HR.)
What's irritating about the subject is that the right-wing, who desperately want me NOT thinking about poor people in crappy jobs and no choices, thinking about people who never had a hope of attending university at all, to get a nursing or technical degree that could change their life - the right-wingers love to change the subject to the dread spectre of Liberal Fascism.
Liberal-arts departments are where society tries out these ideas, and, clearly, in their coming-out party in 0.01% of society concerned with sociology and gender studies, the new ideas are working out badly. I don't think the rest of us will be much bothered by them.