Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Wokeness Is Hurting Democrats

It is somewhat amusing to watch these 20something and 30something woke/hip “progressives” finally starting to at least partially realize what I have been telling them for 25 years. The reasons that I became such an outspoken critic of “political correctness” (or whatever one wishes to call it) were a) it has long had a parody-level grip on the political milieu with which I most closely identify-anarchism; 2) it was and is a rising authoritarian current in the wider society; 3) it was and is increasingly being used by the state and ruling class as part of its self-legitimating ideology; 4) it was a distraction from larger and more immediately serious issues; 5) it fuels the divide and conquer maneuvering of the ruling class in a way that prevents a unified opposition from forming.

But, then as now and unlike Ana Kasparian, I couldn’t care less about whether “wokeness” undermines the Democrats’ electoral performance, and unlike some recently emerged critics of “wokeness” on the Left (Krystal Ball and Ben Burgis, for example) my interest has never been about “working-class solidarity” in the Marxist or trade unionist sense (at least not in the last 30 years or so since I was in the IWW).  Starting around the anti-globalization era (late 90s/early 20s), my position was more in the vein of Eduard Limonov’s “system vs anti-system” dichotomy with an emphasis on anti-imperialism specifically and political, economic, and cultural decentralization generally (i.e. anarchism). I always figured “anti-systemism” would naturally have a populist framework (the people vs the elite), and a class dimension would certainly be present, although I’ve always placed a much greater emphasis on the lumpenproletariat, declasse sectors, and rural/agricultural populations than on the industrial proletariat, with the latter seeming to me to be either a) a labor aristocracy that is essentially middle class in orientation and not inclined toward radicalism or b)rapidly sinking into the ranks of the lower proletariat and lumpenproletariat.

On Jacobin’s original series Weekends, Ana Kasparian discusses how Democrats’ woke posturing is part of a larger trend of class dealignment.

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