Feb 5·edited Feb 5Pinned

Just thought I'd pop in and thank everyone for their thoughtful comments.

Do remember Lorenzo is in Australia while I'm in the UK, so we are a bit all over the place!

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Feb 4·edited Feb 4Liked by Lorenzo Warby

Another perspective....a complementary one I hope. The adherents (to some degree or other) of PEP/Woke in the Western world now number in the tens - perhaps hundreds - of millions. Most of them are university (or tertiary) 'educated'....and yet very few of them would be capable of wrestling with Lorenzo's faultless analysis of its intellectual (or rather its pseudo-intellectual) origins. In other words their adherence is not an intellectual - or even an 'ideological' one....on the contrary it is sustained by the erection of a visceral emotional barrier against reason and evidence. Why? Because the hugely seductive power of PEP/Woke is its capacity to make its adherents FEEL virtuous - and superior. I keep on coming back to this Saul Bellow observation because it is so true: "A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep".

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Feb 4Liked by Lorenzo Warby

From note 2: "Cofnas notes the importance of the “after civil rights” effect when he writes:

Given that legal equality failed to usher in an era of racial equality of outcome, and that the elites were unwilling to accept striking racial disparities as a product of nature, there was no way to avoid wokism."

I am curious how this fits in with Thomas Sowell's argument that the American Blacks were making genuine strides towards equality before the civil rights movement, and that historical progress has gone backwards since civil rights laws and legislation? How does this fit into Cofnas 'nature' thesis?

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Noted that 'equalitarianism is false'. What criteria can be applied to show falsity of, I suppose, an ideology or a moral crusade? Logical inconsistency, measured human flourishing, incompatibility with nature, specifically biology ... ?

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"Again and again, adherents of Critical Social Justice do not use words to communicate, they use them to manipulate."

Straight out of Chomsky. Manufacturing Consent builds an absolutely air-tight case, that all politics is deception by one faction seeking to overthrow another. But even Chomsky couldn't accept that and tried to invent a special case where a 'truly enlightened faction' seizes power, for the benefit of the masses. It's actually a laughable argument in light of everything that comes before it.

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"sanctification of Christianity’s valorised victim"

Nietzsche places the focal point of slave morality (and Judeo-Christianity most prominently) as resentment against the oppressor. Sure, they've stripped away the divine in this current incarnation, but they still have a priestly caste.

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Feb 4Liked by Lorenzo Warby

“… and motivating techniques to enable discursive warfare, minimising vulnerability to falsity…”

Did you mean to say either “maximizing vulnerability to falsity” or “minimizing resistance to falsity”?

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Why do the smart people from the Left destroy their own world?

Intellectual honesty?

Even if they do what is the right trying to do?

The Right wants to be left alone, which leaves out the Left...who cannot.

This has all been done before; Leftist intellectuals became race realists and became very nationalistic and right wing, and attracted the intellectuals, we know it as National Socialism.

Goebbels was asked “what about the intellectuals?”

He laughed and said “they’ll be with us” and so they were.

The argument that equalitarianism comes from Christianity was also noted by a former Seminarian of Austrian birth, a man of now notorious reputation who’s getting another look now that the problem is in focus. He despised Christianity and thought it too bad Europe didn’t have something practical like Islam.

Now leaving morality out of the equation because it’s politics and politics is power; where does the Right’s power come from? The usual sources of the military or police minded, business people getting squeezed or threatened, those of traditional morality, women with children who tend to be conservative, and then politics becomes local... or in America’s case National. The workers in America have seen the results of rule by Elitist Leftist Priests and have never cared for it. As the Elites despise and openly Deplore the workers this means their support needs a party (which doesn’t exist) and a champion- who does, his name is Donald. He has flaws that are well known but he’s the Gracchi we got. Workers, soldiers, trads.

^^None of the above groups ^^

are going to trust intelligentsia or Smart People (TM) because they have been lied to far to glibly, also the Smart People (TM) are seen as useless frauds and cowards.

The power of Populism does need Elites for resources and leadership, we’re getting it (elites in America are quietly defecting for years now) but the new party of the people will not accept the leadership of mere intellectuals.

The Intelligence “Brand” is hopelessly tarnished, it’s Trust that matters. No one will trust them... pick up a wrench, a lathe or a rifle if you want trust. Leaders work their way up.

All politics is local, Americans are just revisiting the debate about slavery, race clouds the issue. *

There’s nothing new about the Republican Party being a working class movement by the way, it was founded as Free Labor as opposed to Slave Labor.

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Feb 4Liked by Lorenzo Warby

I would like to see an essay on the woke interplay of diversity and equalitarianism. Is this an Achilles' heel of woke thought? Are we not supposed to notice that diversity is meaningless with the equality of outcomes? Is there a woke theory/argument that squares this circle? Or have I missed something obvious?

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Feb 4Liked by Helen Dale, Lorenzo Warby

Thank you for noting the connection to feminism. As someone raised in a severe feminist household (taken to NOW meetings as a kid, my mother marched on the state capitol when trying to pass the ERA, etc.) I realize after the fact the situation was a sort of "proto-Wokeism." One day last year I was reading something about Robin DiAngelo's beliefs and thought, "crissakes, it's like talking to my mother."

Oh. Of course it is.

1979/1980 was basically Armageddon for feminists. They failed to pass the ERA and Reagan was elected. Instead of re-grouping and trying again to make gains through the democratic process, they descended into bitterness and started to develop all the beliefs and methods of the illiberal left. Then they shared them with the race theory people and the gender theory people, and now here we are. They will make sure that an election by and for the people never happens again, because the people cannot be relied upon to vote the right way for the Woke's self-evident, self-righteous beliefs. They remember the Reagan election.

Contrast that with the anti-abortion activists who, agree with them or not, did it right. They got want they wanted through the electoral system, even though it took decades.

Who is more democratic?

And some folks may say, eh, this is all political and abstract. But it has very real consequences for very real people. Having been raised in proto-Wokery, my therapy bills over the decades have paid off several mortgages of psychologists. Some damage to my self-esteem, self-worth and happiness has been repairable. Some of it never will be. The misery they want to inflict on the rest of us is very real.

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Feb 4Liked by Lorenzo Warby

It is well to keep in mind that wokery, for all of its elaborate intellectual contortions, basically serves as the cover ideology that justifies a system of grift. Self-interest comes together with self-righteousness, making adherents blind to reality.

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This is an outstanding essay on the intellectual foundations of Woke ideology (and Leftist ideologies in general). I would like to add one point.

A key reason why the Left endures is that it has a sophisticated and morally compelling explanation for why inequalities exist, and why inequality is morally wrong and they have identified a set of policies and actions that we can take to radically reduce or eliminate those inequalities.

No other competing ideology or worldview can offer the same. I believe a counter-explanation for inequality is essential for combating Woke ideology, which I present in this article:


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Feb 4Liked by Helen Dale, Lorenzo Warby

"what I call Post-Enlightenment Progressivism, but what can reasonably be labelled Critical Social Justice, Critical Constructivism or the popularisation of Critical Theory"

Long-winded. "Bollocks" is perfectly adequate.

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Feb 4·edited Feb 4

Xtianity has pro-social features? Do tell. What you mistake as "pro-social features" are the means of transfection.

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness" 1 Corinthians 3:19

It is claims of "Special Knowledge" all the way down, son.

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Feb 4Liked by Helen Dale, Lorenzo Warby

Good piece!

I have one quibble: I think I disagree with the definition of the hereditarian thesis. Plomin and Bouchard both called themselves hereditarians back in the day, and once when they were called to debate one another, it ended up being a hereditarian-off: https://arthurjensen.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Falmer-International-Master-Minds-Challenged-4-Sohan-Modgil-Celia-Modgil-Arthur-Jensen_-Consensus-And-Controversy-Routledge-1987.pdf

Both attempted to avoid controversy by limiting their discussions to the topic of individual differences rather than differences between groups. I also don't think that either has ever doubted that hereditarianism doesn't imply inevitable social outcome differences. For example, consider vaccine uptake. People vary in intelligence for largely hereditary reasons and this is a likely cause of some of the differences in vaccine uptake across social classes, but that isn't an inevitability. Consider Uppsala. They used prebooking and, as a result, managed to cut the cognitive gap in uptake to ribbons: https://twitter.com/cremieuxrecueil/status/1702132021030490514/

Urbach defined the "hard core" of the hereditarian programme based on two propositions, of which I think the second better defines the hereditarian programme, if amended slightly. As laid out by Bouchard in his chapter of the above book: "Differences between individuals and between groups... are [to varying extents] the results of inherited differences."

Looking forward to the next piece!

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Feb 5Liked by Lorenzo Warby

On the same day in, let's say 1969, something called a Struggle Session was taking place in Communist China—where one member of a group is singled out and all his/her crimes against the Revolution are hurled their way (even crimes of unuttered thought), until the person collapses in a heap of guilt and shame and swears to devote their life to rectification—while something called an Encounter Group was happening at a place called Esalen in Big Sur, CA (possibly as opposite from a dictatorship in a poor country as you could get)—where (once again) one member of a group is singled out and all his/her crimes against the Revolution are hurled their way (even crimes of unuttered thought), until the person collapses in a heap of guilt and shame and swears to devote their life to rectification.

Of course the obvious difference being that in the former you had to attend or else you could be murdered, whereas in the latter version the attendees—all more or less secular bourgeois Leftists devoted to a vague utopian project centered around rejecting all the inherited norms and prejudices of their ancestors—paid to be here at this beautiful Pacific retreat and to sit at the feet of various New Left gurus lecturing about forms of "liberation".

I raise this as another example of Left geneaologies, this one I think being the moment when "The Personal is Political" (or is that the other way around?) was injected into the American bloodstream and where the rivers called Marxism and Protestantism crossed and created the rich delta called "Social Justice". One of the bastard offspring of this marriage is the DEI seminar (equal parts Struggle Session and Encounter Group), usually conducted by a black woman, where as the price of employment or degree one must publicly confess their crimes against Egalitarianism, most esp the pain whites have caused blacks and men have caused women.

Did this happen because the West became so rich that its spoiled children had to move the Permanent Revolution into their souls and bedrooms? Or because the Left gradually became more and more feminine, thus no discussion can occur or reach resolution until everyone reveals their feelings, tends to each other's self-esteem and dissolves in a weepy group hug?

The current iteration of our eternal Left seems to be some kind of totalitarian kindergarten where our teachers—usually White Karen joined by Black Karen—demand that everyone think and believe all the same things and all egos get covered with safety padding, with violators battered with a barrage of bigotry accusations and found guilty of causing various "harms".

I confess all this does reek of crazy cat lady to me, the bipolar borderline who knows all her life's pain was caused by other people and that everything that doesn't instantly validate her feelings and needs (or flatter her self-image) is an intolerable oppressive imposition that needs to be destroyed—but then I remember there can't be a special kind of feminine insanity because there's no difference between men and women (and maybe no such thing as a woman at all)! (lol)

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