Writing the entire definition down in one place.
In the past several weeks, some folks on the left had a fun time trolling some folks on the right who were complaining about “Wokeness” without being able to clearly define the term. This is a fun magic trick because the protean nature of Wokeness means it’s constantly changing, making it intentionally difficult to define. “Oh yeah, well define Wokeness if you hate it so much” stands to persist for years as a valid defense. And the antiwokes, by virtue of being antiwoke, don’t realize that.
Following this culture war eruption, I was asked by several people to coalesce many of the different observations and definitions from HWFO’s half a decade of writing on the subject into one place, for easy reference. A Grand Unified Theory of Wokeness. Herein, we will see that Wokeness is a result of the intersection of population level genetics and falling religiosity, is a system of luxury beliefs which propagates like fashion, is built on the backbone of social media interconnectedness, is an emergent beta test of a new religious framework, and is built on simple seed crystals that cause it to look like it looks today.
We will also postulate towards the end how competing belief systems might look, as they emerge in the 21st Century.
Wokeness is Biological
Science currently estimates that somewhere between 20% and 60% of temperament, the behavioral traits which include sociability, emotionality, and attention level, are hereditary in nature. They’re hard coded in our genes. Further, neural scientists going back a decade have been able to isolate certain genetic contributions to moral judgments themselves. Heredity partially determines how “judgey” a person is, therefore the number of “judgey” people in a society should stay relatively fixed over time barring any major gene pool shocks such as genocide or mass immigration.
This sounds bad on the surface, but it makes sense from the standpoint of evolutionary psychology. Human beings evolved a variety of hard coded behavioral traits to contribute to an overall societal system, so it stands to reason that having some number of moralistic judgmental asshats is evolutionarily beneficial to the overall society in some way. It doesn’t actually matter whether the moral-thing the asshat is screaming about truly matters. It just matters that all the moralistic judgmental asshats all get judgey about the same thing, because that keeps the society bounded and on the same set of rails.
We accidentally created a deep well of unaligned moralistic judgmental asshats at exactly the same time we invented the internet.
Imagine, for instance, you’re an Aztec. You don’t want to give your baby to the priest to have its heart cut out. But if you don’t, then your neighbor might not either, and his neighbor might not, and sooner or later it’s mass pandemonium and the sun might not come up. Which means there were assuredly moralistic judgmental asshat Aztec Karens who would give you no end of shit if you didn’t give your baby to the priest, and in that way order was maintained, the economy thrived, the society flourished, and the sun came up. Moralistic judgmental asshat Karens are of value to the firmament of society. They’re like glue, or border collies. And up through the 1980s, the moralistic judgmental asshat Karens in the United States were mostly Christians, pushing the Christian morality program.
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