Wokeworld is a lot like Westworld—a popular sci-fi series offered on HBO (If you haven’t seen the series, check out the trailer for season one here). Both worlds portray characters who regurgitate scripted programming. And like Westworld’s co-creator, Robert Ford (played by Anthony Hopkins), the makers of Wokeworld do not take kindly to having their ideas challenged.
I began taking notice of Wokeworld when Bret Weinstein got mobbed at Evergreen College. Since then, it became something of a true-to-life fantasy-fiction series I’d check out on the internet every evening. It was a fun shit-show to rage and laugh at, an insane and hostile world where nothing means anything except power, and the fact (another word for objective truth) that there is no objective truth in Wokeworld. It all seemed well and good, though, because the IDW (Intellectual Dark Web) was on it, delving down into the abominable abyss of the endless semantic rabbit hole that is postmodernism and making common sense of it. But as we all know, “common sense is not common.” And it’s certainly questionable if it even exists in Wokeworld. And like many of us, I thought wokeness and all of its subsidiaries were benign, just a bad case of Trump Derangement Syndrome. I was confident about posterity looking back on Wokeworld like we do now on the Dark Ages. But only recently did I learn what was at stake in the so-called “culture war” and that it was not really about culture. It’s a war against the incremental, objective progress made by Western Liberal societies.
Wokeworld, programmed by Critical Social Justice and Critical Race Theory, has been methodically building an army over at least the past 40+ years, infiltrating the soft, white-liberal, empathetic underbelly of the democratic party here in the US with accusations of unconscious racism. Nobody wants to be called a racist, but in Wokeworld, racism is permanent and everywhere. Like a black hole, nothing can escape. That, along with filling most of the third-rate professor jobs of the humanities departments at universities with purveyors of ideology (the old standard of teaching critical thinking is racist by their definition). These high priests of Wokeworld fill young, malleable minds with a world-view made of invisible racism, which exists as unconscious bias in all people with white skin. The army’s build-up reached critical mass in March 2020 when the BLM movement began its reign of terror, and it’s bigger than anyone could have imagined, infecting our society like the tenacious virus that it is (see Minneapolis). Like the programed hosts of Westworld, Wokeworld has a mind-virus—which denies any level of truth in favor of an infinite war against hierarchies, competency structures, and what progress we have made in human relations in the last several centuries.
A New Sort of Patriotism
Back when I liked to call myself a Libertarian Socialist, I used to love Emma Goldman’s famous statement, “Patriotism is the last resort of scoundrels.” Perhaps it was correct in her time when the industrial revolution was coming to bloom before the formation of the then-needed labor unions. Back then, patriotism represented the evils of nationalism, militarism, and conservatism. But the political tides have turned, as they often do. Nowadays, with the virus of Wokeworld unleashed into our media, government, schools, and big business, name-calling has become the new “last resort of scoundrels.” It’s a last-ditch attempt to silence me, us, for nonconformity, for being curious and speaking our minds freely, for being innately human.
I will not be silent, and neither should you because the bedrock of our modern civilization is at stake.
What is the “bedrock” upon which the most prosperous and diverse civilization in human history was built? “Unalienable Rights” of “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” God-given gifts laid at the feet of individuals of the United States in the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. And in the first amendment, “Liberty,” in the form of “freedom of speech” was written into law. Freedom of speech atomizes groupthink by honoring the sovereignty of the individual. “Free speech is the most fundamental truth that the human race has ever discovered” (Jordan Peterson). It represents the “divine presence” is each of us, for which we as individuals are responsible. Wokeworld, in contrast, ascribes to the idea that “free speech is hate speech” and plays a constant semantics game of re-defining words (moving the goalposts) and concepts to mean what they need them to mean. It’s a postmodern thing. There is no objective truth in Wokeworld.
Critical race Theorists [the creators of Wokeworld] reject colorblindness and meritocracy as myths and illusions that allow white people to perpetuate their own privilege by failing to see racism operating beneath the surface of systems (see also, white ignorance). Essentially, they see liberalism as the belief that equality, colorblindness, and meritocracy have already been achieved or enable white people to pretend it has or to be satisfied with a painfully slow incremental change, which is inadequate, while misleading people of color by hiding from them the realities of their oppression (see also, false consciousness). – James Lindsay, the foremost authority on Wokness in our time. Check out his comprehensive website: New Discourses.
With all this in mind, what is necessary now is a new sort of patriotism, one that recognizes our imperfections while upholding our founding principles. One that recognizes a gold nugget nestled in and offered to citizens of Liberal Democracies in the form of freedom of speech. With the current mainstreaming of critical race theory, Wokeworld’s playing cards are finally on the table, and their game is worse than anyone could have imagined. And, ironically, patriotism could be our last bastion of hope.
When I began speaking out against Wokeworld a couple of years ago (it was identity politics back then), I lost friends, got branded a racist, and labeled every other derogatory name in the Cancel Culture book of hate. By now, the name-calling is old school. Type J. K. Rowling into the Twitter search and take a few minutes to feel the so-called tolerant Left’s disdain for opposing ideas. After I got over the initial shock of the first few vitriolic tidal waves, I remembered the sense of righteousness I used to feel in doing the very same thing.
After decades of playing the victim card, the dark cloud of Chomskyan disdain for my country began to dissipate. I learned how not to expect others to do life for me. I saw, seemingly for the first time, how, though still not perfect (is there such a thing?), liberal societies offer an abundance of opportunities to lead a meaningful, fruitful life. But I had to make a choice, as Victor Frankl did during his imprisonment in Auschwitz:
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: The last of the human freedoms: to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. And there were always choices to make. Every day, every hour, offered the opportunity to make a decision, a decision which determined whether you would or would not submit to those powers which threatened to rob you of your very self, your inner freedom; which determined whether or not you become the plaything to circumstance, renouncing freedom and dignity… Victor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
In choosing to “tell the truth and see what happens,” as clumsy and not-to-good-at-it as I am, my life took a 180-degree turn for the better.
Without the ability to speak freely, exchange ideas, and debate their merit to discover better ideas, how can we expect to come to a mutual understanding of complex concepts like equality or racism? In Wokeworld, we can’t because the primary programming (Critical Race Theory) allows only people of color to arbitrate such a conversation. Only a person of color can express ideas on what racism is and what we need to do to correct it. Wokeworld is a closed operating system that presents itself as the unspoken one-and-only-right way to deal with racism. It’s got all the answers, along with a common enemy to blame (white people). That is why the makers and the believers are desperate to shut down any ideas that might usurp their scripted programming. Can’t have Dolores, the protagonist of Westworld, or anyone else, becoming self-aware now, can we?
Freedom of speech doesn’t gel with CRT, the programming of Wokeworld, a re-branded and updated form of Marxism that prescribes equality of outcome. President Trump’s recent ban on teaching CRT in the US federal government formed a glitch in the Wokeworld Matrix, brought it to the mainstream for all to see. Everyone who values freedom should read up on it here. History (something Critical Race Theory can conveniently erase because of “whiteness“) has clearly shown that when Marxism comes to a society offering equality, the working class will become equally poor. And the poverty it creates is not limited to the economic realm; it extends over into the psychological and spiritual realms seen in the new country of CHOP‘s brief existence. Then, there’s the more significant issue of the natural state of inequality and the fact that psychology dictates that anyone placed in power, when not accountable through a viable mechanism, will receive advantage at the expense of the oppressed mass.
Again, Wokeworld is a lot like Westworld– especially in its scripted hosts. And the hosts resemble the NPC (nonplayer character) memes that caused woke warriors to form something like a massive herd of frantic, Twitter-circus kangaroos to freak-out online. There’s a distorted security to be found for some in groups. You feel safe. You don’t have to suffer the pain of real thinking. And it’s easier to preach religion than it is to live the truths that some of them imbue. But if someone challenges your safe space, you’ll get triggered and feel uncomfortable and start hopping around.
On a collective level, Liberalism (The enemy of Wokeworld) has proved to be a far better way to alleviate inequality of opportunity than Marxism and all its modern-day offshoots.
But more importantly, on a personal level, the most effective and rewarding anti-virus against Wokeworld stems from personal choice, not a triggered auto-response but a choice made consciously in the moment between “stimulus and response.” Free speech lives in that conscious choice, regardless of the circumstances to follow. It’s a far-away place from Wokeworld, on a road of many twists and turns, insults and outright hatred for rejecting the mob. But there is the topography of productive discourse as well, which drives real thinking and real self-interrogation.
Sadly, and ironically, Wokeworld has become something like “the opiate of the masses.” A new secular religion that fulfills the basic human need for a cause (aka meaning) but offers little in the way of redemption. And that’s why, like it’s root philosophy, Marxism, it will always fail. Marxism and its offshoot, Critical Race Theory, are materialistic philosophies based on didactic, left-brained intellectual understanding. Humans have the right side of the brain as well, which is more holistic and creative and akin to the mysteries of the heart, which the head, for the most part, cannot completely understand. It is the human heart that aches, in that space between stimulus and response, for the possibilities of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Cheers to your individual sovereignty (If you so choose),