Wokeism is a dangerous reality. It’s important to understand “woke” culture because the censorship against Trump and the systematic attack on Parler make it clear that there is a dangerously authoritarian movement, dangerously powerful and dangerously different from what we had seenve previously
I myself have referred to this movement as “the radical left,” the “elites,” or “cultural Marxism,” but those definitions fall shockingly short.
This movement is not of the radical left in the traditional sense, since it does not assert many of the traditional priorities of the left and actually reflects an increasingly evident disregard for workers and their needs, which have been displaced by a marabout of new flags.
They are not necessarily the elites. Many of its members and activists are far from being categorized as elites by any reasonable definition, while others, who are elites, are against the movement.
Nor is it cultural Marxism, because (even if some of its members do take up Marx as a figure) it does not conform to the ideological discipline of Marxism, which it regards as a mere instrument.
No, this is something different. It is a movement that we can define as “wokeism” and about which it is necessary to shed some light. Here are three ideas on wokeism:
It is not a conspiracy, but a consensus
Conspiracy theories, from QAnon downwards, claim that there is a kind of plot or explicit agreement between various centers of power to subdue the world and control it in a structured way. However, in light of what we know, it is clear to me that this is not a conspiracy in the traditional sense.
It’s not as if all the leaders of this movement gathered in George Soros’ garden for a vegan barbecue while they planned the details of their world plan. No, woke-ism is a consensus; that is, a movement that is organized in a much more decentralized way, but it is articulated through two transversal ideas that are not always explicit: the repudiation of the established order and the need to build a new order, designed vertically by them from what we could call “planned equality.”
To be part of woke culture, or wokeism, is not necessary to swear with blood. It is enough to assume as one’s own the postulates of their ideological focuses. All their flags are instrumental for that purpose: they co-opt issues such as abortion, veganism, environmentalism, socialism, Islamism, feminism, and adapt them to their agenda, turning them at the same time into mechanisms for recruitment and public pressure.
If we observe carefully, we will notice that these flags have in common the rejection of the established order and the idea of building a new order “designed” from scratch. Curiosities such as the “LGBT for Palestine” (where homosexuality is illegal) tell us not only of a cognitive dissonance, but also that the flags are mere instruments.
Essentially, progress is mounted on all the mechanisms that allow him to weaken any of the structures or loyalties that may compete with his project. That is why it systematically goes against families. That’s why it’s anti-Western. That’s why it’s fervently globalist because the idea is to replace previous structures and identities with new identities, prefabricated by themselves.
That said, it is not that they pretend to be old-style communists. In fact, they are quite corporatist, and that brings us to the second idea.
It is an ecosystem of four components
A clear example of the progress was what happened last year with “Black Lives Matter” (BLM). Let’s take a look back: on May 25, a group of cops improperly arrested George Floyd and triggered his death. Some activists took to the streets to destroy police stations and set fire to businesses, and almost simultaneously, figures from the industrialized press, big business and opinion leaders took to the streets to justify the movement and make heroes of its participants.
Despite his criminal past, they quickly transformed Floyd into an international hero and the BLM into a sacred institution, with millions of people posting black pictures on their Facebook profiles, with big business joining in the activism and with the political class literally on its knees before the movement.
The academics who radicalize their students through “critical theories” and similar delusions; the activists and shock groups who take to the streets to impose their agendas through violence and intimidation.
The companies that submit to that agenda, either because their managers were radicalized at the university or because progress is strategically profitable for them; the politicians who “submit” to the supposed popular will.
Finally, the millions of people who participate, either because they follow one of the above-mentioned banners or because they simply see the way and want to be popular.
It is an increasingly authoritarian movement
One consequence of the success with which this movement has advanced in recent years is that they have built a gigantic echo chamber and an ever-deeper conviction that the future belongs to them. Both ingredients are cooking up an authoritarian stew, which is beginning to move out of the political realm to take on nuances that remind us of the worst moments of the 20th century.
If anything has become clear in recent weeks with the attack against Trump, the threats of blacklists to end the careers of his collaborators and the war against Parler, it is that they are not only aiming for political struggle and electoral victory, but ideological extermination. Their aim is to eliminate from public debate any reference to those they consider oppressive or impure. Increasingly, the culture of cancellation, driven by progressiveness, is acquiring the impetus and aroma of anti-blasphemy laws and heresy trials.
A few years ago, that someone could be expelled from college, fired from his job, or silenced en masse on social networks because of his political views would have seemed not only outrageous, but implausible. Today it is a reality, even for the president of the United States, and progress sends a clear warning to everyone else: Submit or be cancelled.
Perhaps one of the best syntheses of the growing totalitarianism of progressivism is that proposed by Mexican journalist Pablo Majluf when he celebrated on Twitter that “a great pedagogical operation is beginning that will revise and condemn Trumpism and its facilitators in order to disengage them from society. Intellectuals, artists, academics, educators, sportsmen, all will be new guardians”.
“Great pedagogical operation”, “will revise and condemn”, “to disengage them from society”, “intellectuals, artists, academics, educators, sportsmen, all will be new guardians”. These concepts may seem to be taken from a dystopian novel or a public relations manual for extermination camps, but it is real, and progress presumes it. That same echo of cleansing rituals and re-education campaigns runs through the halls of the press and the American political machine.
They have basically gone from “coexisting” to “exterminating” and that is truly serious, because it is a movement with enough power to carry out these threats. The power of progress was fully demonstrated this week, and with Biden as a (more or less voluntary) ally in the White House that power will increase dramatically.
It is no longer just left versus right (although both words will continue to be used because they are practical for framing debates). In practice, the new confrontation is between wokes and all those who do not submit to it. And we will not submit.