The Weight of Woke
These are difficult times for common sense people. They are made more so by “Wokeism.” Note that I have used italics in referring to “Wokeism” because, of course, there is nothing woke about it. It is not awakened, and therefore not “Woke.” Instead, it is myopic, close minded and oppressive. It is also intolerant and brutally cruel to its enemies. If you do not agree with the “Woke” mob you can be cancelled, fired or hounded to the point where you might even take your own life as happened in the tragic case of Richard Bilkszto. View here. What on earth is enlightened about that? Living under “Wokeism” is tiring, a terrible weight on all of us.
The Psychological Weight of “Woke.”
Wokeism is so harmful because it is based on lies. If you have to say that a biological man is a woman in order to save your job it is damaging to your psyche. If you are forbidden to use the term “boys and girls” so as not to offend a “non-binary” child in your classroom, and you comply, then you feel shame for having participated in a falsehood in order to save your status and job. If you watch a classic movie like Snow White, mangled and “re-imagined” by the Woke mob, and you nod and smile because you don’t want to lose friends, then you feel a shameful sense of submission and collaboration.
The Lies that Bind…
We are living in an age of Lies. In his book Live Not by Lives: A Manual for Christian Dissidents Rod Dreher urges us to resist the lies. Good advice. However, the lies are flying thicker and faster than ever before, and they are now more than just lies. They are criminal falsehoods bolstering an oppressive political state. They are the “lies that bind.” There are so numerous it is hard to keep up with all of them. We can go along with them, but if we do we know that we are contributing to the totalitarian being created all around us. This is an intolerable burden for a good person. Live Not By Lies is tailor written for our times or any time when things have deteriorated and madness dominates the discourse. Dreher describes it well:
“Under soft totalitarianism the media, academia, corporate America, and other institutions are practicing Newspeak (1984) and compelling us to think in doublethink every day.Men have periods, the woman standing in front of you is to be called “he” Diversity and inclusion means excluding those who object to ideological uniformity. Equity means treating people unequally, regarding their skills and achievements, to achieve an ideologically correct result.” (Dreher, Rod. Live Not By Lies, A Manual for Christian Dissidents.)
Choosing truth is vital. If we “go along to get along” we will pay a price in diminished self-esteem and the knowledge that we have collaborated in an evil enterprise. We succumbed to save our skins. In this sense we are no different from those who co-operated in Soviet Russia and Maoist China. We are as much to blame, and that is a bad outcome.
The Burden of Untruth
The weight of “Wokeness” crushes those who live under it. It wears you down, the same way other authoritarian regimes in history wore their citizens down through propaganda and intimidation. It is especially burdensome for conservatives, social conservatives and traditionalists. Because we honour reality, we live in a much more authentic world than the “Woke.” We honour the past, live in the present and set realistic and attainable goals for the future. “Wokesters” don’t. They memory hole the past, misrepresent the present and set unrealistic and damaging goals for the future. The sum total of all of this is disaster, and those of us in contact with reality know it. It is yet another psychological burden we must bear.
A Mind Virus
The famous entrepreneur Elon Musk has called Wokeism a “Mind Virus.” He is right, and he ought to know since he is now mourning the loss of his son to the virus. In the last seven years the mind virus has swept across the western world infecting everything: corporations, government, K-12 education, the universities and the workplace. All are infused with it. There are a lot of theories about how this happened. Some consider it a form of “Mass Formation Psychosis” others, like Professor Gad Saad, describe it as a parasite, “The Parasitical Mind” gradually eating up our common sense and destroying our culture. Either way, the comparison is a valid one. “Wokeism” is a psychological disease infecting the entire western world and disconnecting it from reality. We need a cure.
But what is it? It may be simpler than we think. We have all been shocked by the changes that have occurred in the last decade. According to Johnathon Haidt, the author of The Coddling of the American Mind* they began in earnest around 2014 when brainwashed students arrived at universities with bizarre beliefs, demanding that others accept them. Then, around 2017, the transgender movement took off. It seemed as though it had just burst on the scene, but it began decades ago, something we will discuss in a future post. Either way, we were unprepared for it. We should have refused to participate in it. If we had done so, en masse, then we would not be where we are today. Most of us went along with though, or said, using pronouns we didn’t agree with and approving of the ideas the “Woke” mob demanded of us. We shouldn’t have, and we definitely should not in future. The cure is not to participate in it, to use the tactic currently being used by youth in totalitarian nations: “Lie flat” or “Let it Rot.” Don’t participate in “Wokeism.” It is a lie so why would we want to take part in it?
The Rise of Heroes
There is no lack of theories about how and why the “Woke” mind virus arose. People attribute it to many causes. What is important is that people resist it, and they are. There are more resisters than there ever used to be. Jordan Peterson, James Lindsay, Chris Ruffo, Ben Shapiro and others have laid bare the truth about tyrannical “Woke” ideology. I predict this will continue as people become more aware and more fed up with the madness. In the meantime, I invite you to think of yourself as a hero, perhaps not a world acclaimed one, but one all the same. If you resist “Woke” you add that one little bit that is so necessary in restoring our world. That’s the hero’s quest, and you can, and should, take part in it.
*Johnathon Haidt The Coddling of the American Mind, Penguin Books, 2018.