I’m counting on it and will laugh the entire time.
Here is how they define themselves and what they want:
If wokeness does still have juice in the tank, then part of its power surely comes from its amorphous nature. It resists definition and traffics in emotivist obscurantism not merely because most of its followers are not rigorous thinkers (though they are not), but also because this works better as a tactic. One cannot argue against what cannot be defined. It’s like nailing jelly to the wall.
It was in the service of defining wokeness that I have taken up my pen before. In the past, I have argued that the philosophy has its roots on the social media app Tumblr, where it was first embraced by the toxic fandom of the television show “Glee,” and then applied to try to force all of the world to become a gigantic high school where the popular and yet somehow still “oppressed” rule with an iron fist. I do not believe, and continue to not believe, that wokeness is a primarily academic phenomenon, both because the ideas that prefigured it have been swimming around academia without willing ears for a long time, and because most of the academic theories that prefigure it fail to predict the behavior of its supporters. Rather, wokeness seems to be more like the paranoia that animated the Salem Witch Trials or the McCarthy era, in that it seems to primarily appeal to young, hysterical, middle-class, and (mostly) white women. My previous essays were an attempt to see why those women would search for the ideology in the first place, and why it would attract them as such zealous followers.
(It figures Tumblr would be in there. I worked with a woke social media “person” Mauricio Godoy at IBM who loved it, then went off the deep end. I tried to protect him and he wound up backstabbing me).
However, knowing who the movement attracts is not the same as knowing what it wants. More than one exasperated conservative has asked where wokeness’s iconoclastic crusade will stop, some in book form. I believe I have found the answer to what their end goal is, and therefore what paradigm can predict their actions going forward. It may not surprise the reader that it comes from an academic source. What may come as a surprise, however, is that the academic source in question also denies the movement’s origins in academia, and not out of any fondness for wokeness. Rather, the essay in question criticizes the movement from within one of the first movements to see its rise, where that rise occurred not by means of academic theorizing, but by means of activist organizing, which produced an ideology of its own. For any conservative who has wondered what racism has to do with making America’s entire economy green at the point of a gun, or why a movement that claims to spurn neoliberalism and corporate power also faints at the very idea of questioning the “science” on an infectious disease to the point of trying to sabotage a popular entertainer, this essay is your answer.
In volume 54, issue 1, i.e. its Winter 2010 issue, the journal Orbis published a most curious essay: “Purifying the World: What The New Radical Ideology Stands For.” The essay is devilishly tricky to find, with most versions either removed from the internet or locked behind paywalls. However, through artful searching of dead links on the internet archive, I was able to download a PDF, which I have shared with Human Events.
“Its enemy is the global monolith called Empire, which exerts systemic domination over human lives, mainly from the United States. Empire does so by means of economic liberalism, militarism, multinational corporations, corporate media, and technologies of surveillance, in cahoots with, or under the thrall of, Empire’s most sinister manifestation, namely Zionism.” Sternberg posited several different labels for the new ideology, both from its opponents (“Zombie Left,” “New Barbarism,” “nihilists,” “transational progressivism,” “neoprogressivism,” “oxymoronic Left,” “cadaverous Left,” and “red fascism”), and from its supporters (“anti-globalization,” “alter-globalization,” “no-borders,” “eco-socialism,” “grass-roots globalism,” “global resistance,” “global justice movement,” “global intifada,” “transnational activism,” “protest networks,” “movement of movements,” “peace and justice movement,” and “coalition of the oppressed”). However, for Sternberg, none of these terms captured the ideology’s real purpose, and so he proposed a decidedly clunky but nevertheless revealing term: “world purificationism.” Sternberg: