"Kitaro" (opens in separate window)

the deification of the woke self

friday, april 2th, 2021

The collapse of the Soviet Union 30 years ago did not precipitate the destruction of Marxist energies; rather, it caused them to adopt new survival strategies in accordance with changes in the environment. What took place was not an “end of history” but simply another step in the dialectical process: a thesis and an antithesis collided, producing a synthesis. The thesis was Western Christianity and individual autonomy, and the antithesis was materialist, collectivist Marxism. Their synthesis is the Wokeism that bedevils us today.

That this new ideology is quasi-religious in nature has already been widely observed. Wokeism is sometimes described as Christianity, except without forgiveness or redemption. As Robert Nisbet observed, socialist Bertrand Russell summed up Marxism “as follows: dialectical materialism is God; Marx the Messiah; Lenin and Stalin the apostles; the proletariat the elect; the Communist Party the Church; Moscow the seat of the Church; the Revolution the Second Coming; the punishment of capitalists Hell; Trotsky the Devil; and the communist commonwealth Kingdom Come.”

We call them Marxists, but they have rejected collectivism.

But if religion is the opiate of the masses, then Wokeism is their methamphetamine—a new, cheap, and highly addictive new form of Marxism. What, then, about the dichotomy of individualism and collectivism? On the right, we dismiss the Woke Left’s economics as “Bolshevik” or “socialist.” But Wokeists are more focused on racial, sexual, and gender identity groups than they are on economic classes and their eternal struggle. The Woke seek to redistribute wealth, but only enough to repair the historical injustice of racist oppression—it’s not clear that they would mind having a rich overclass lording it over dispossessed whites. This shift from class to racial consciousness has been accounted for as a mere rearrangement of the furniture that does not alter the underlying ideology. But this assumption is mistaken.

In swapping identity groups for economic groups, the modern Left substituted individualism for collectivism. Of course, collectivist, group-oriented rhetoric remains in vogue. But what determines membership in this era’s protected groups? Is it the actual fact of having this or that immutable characteristic or “lived experience”; or is it the individual’s act of self-identification? For gender and sexual orientation, it is undeniably the latter: in the minds of the Woke, thinking makes it so. Identifying (“I identify as”) takes precedence over simply being (“I am”). The latter formulation subordinates the individual to the group category. This is collectivism. The former is preferable because through it, the group category becomes a valuable accessory to the individual who can wield it, a potent weapon in the ongoing war for social and political power that supposedly undergirds all human interaction. This is Wokeism. Understood another way, what was once “I am a part of this group” has become “this group is a part of me.”

The use of identity language serves as a kind of self-deification. Like the God of Genesis, whose creative instrument is the Logos, the Woke speak things into being (at least in their own imaginations). “God said x; therefore, x was” is readily analogized to “I identify as x; therefore, I am x.” Whereas Christianity arose in opposition to the pagan decadence of one man’s self-deification (“a decree went out from Caesar Augustus…”), we now have millions of self-anointed woke deities to contend with. In this light, the explosion in transgenderism among today’s teenage girls, cited by Abigail Shrier and others, is no wonder. Who would refuse all the praise, sacrifice, genuflection, and moral license that Olympus once received?

How does this play out in the real world? Look no further than Canadian Bill C-16, by which “gender nonconforming people” are invited to deputize the power of the State in order to compel the speech of others. The same dynamic is at play with regard to the push for cash reparations for slavery, the Little Sisters of the Poor’s Supreme Court battles, and many other examples. As Spencer Klavan has recently pointed out, the goal of the Left is to align the might of the State with its own spiritual aims. But the religion in question is not merely that of social justice. Beneath the surface, it is the worship of the Self, each individual her own little deity, demanding penance and contrition.

This has proven difficult for the Right to recognize because, with all our libertarianism, we thought we had exclusive rights to individualist doctrine. But whereas the Right’s economic individualism has been, for the most part, tempered by Judeo-Christian morality structures that limit the self, the Left’s new spirituality is characterized by its removal of limitations on the individual. Whereas the West’s idea of individual sovereignty grants each individual rule over the kingdom of his person and property, Wokeism encourages the transgression of these and many other natural borders, celebrating the annexation of neighboring territories, provided, of course, that the aggressors belong to a protected identity group. Invasion can be averted by accepting the terms of this theocracy.

What to do? How to win? Know the Woke aren’t Marxists. They are no longer materialists or collectivists. The incessant Marxist epithet seems to mostly serve our impulse of self-satisfaction, because it connotes a failed ideological system. But, having won virtually no significant cultural battles for at least a half century, the Right is no position to be satisfied by its impulses or satisfied with itself. Perhaps that recognition will help reveal that the Woke, having abandoned all but the trappings of collectivism, have hijacked individualism and driven it to its logical conclusion: the self is a god. Any political culture that depends on an individualism of degrees will prove unpersuasive by comparison.

© 2.5.2021 by William Wheelwright, "The American Mind".

A Day In The Life.

Up at 8a, it was already 65° and headed into the mid-70s. I did a finger stick and my BSL (Blood Sugar Level) had dropped to 68 (nearing the dangerous hypoglycemic range), so I grabbed the OJ and got some sugar into my system, right away. I posted the "Chris Plante Show" to FR, had breakfast and more OJ. I had errands to do, but as shaky as I was, I postponed them until later, or maybe tomorrow. I get my 2nd Pfizer COVID-19 Flu Shot, tomorrow at 3p, down south at Apple Hill Medical Center. I spent much of the day sleeping, except for meals, watched Fox News until 10p, and quit for the night.

Awake at 7a on Saturday, I went back to sleep until 10a; Nice. I did a finger stick, coffee and breakfast, a single errand to Rite Aid Pharmacy, and I sat on the front porch in the early Spring sun; also nice. No errands to run, so I stayed home, did some light condo chores, and noticed that my tailbone injury was markedly lessened, as were the left hip/thing/knee pain. I had lunch, got 2hrs of sleep on the LR couch, and got ready for my 2nd Pfizer COVID-19 shot at 3p. That over, I drove home, slept for a few more hours, had dinner, watch History's "The Foods That Built America' Series, and called it a day at 10p.

Up at 9a on Sunday, I had 2 loads of frigging laundry7 to get done, after a finger stick, coffee and breakfast. I hate doing laundry. Becky came over around 11a, to have me print out pictures of Mom's side of the family, for a genealogy album she's doing for some grandchildren on that side of the family. The F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain was on from 11a - 1p, so while it was running, I worked on the pics she'd email me. Becky also turned 70 yesterday, and I gave her a birthday card I'd made for her, in MS-Publisher v7, as I've done with all my cards for the past 35-40 years.

We had delicious Bar Harbor Lobster Bisque – and I gave her 4 cans of Crab Bisque, Lobster Chowder and Lobster & Corn Chowder – for lunch and she left at 2p. I grabbed 3-4 hours of sleep on the couch, had dinner and watched some "Homestead Rescue" shows on Discovery, until 10p. Lights out.

Awake at 8a on Monday, I hurried to get a finger stick done – good BSL number at 95 – made Kona Coffee, had a smoke and posted the "CP Show" to FR, and had Shredded Wheat w/ Blueberries & Banannas, for breakfast. I had paperwork, PA State Tax Forms to get checks written for and mail, and some small chores to get done. The lawn mower and mulch teams were in spreading 2-3" at the 40 units and common areas. They got it done.

I grabbed a 2hr snooze on the couch, had dinner and watched some missed episodes of "Gold Rush" and the "Mystery of Blind Frog Ranch" until 10:30, did the nightly DR and called it Yankee Doodle.

Up at 8a on Tuesday, I scurried to get a finger stick done, coffee made and have a couple of smokes in the garage. I got the "CP Show" posted to FR, had a light breakfast, and had pain in my left hip/thigh and knee; I can't wait until the CoQ10 100mg arrives on Thursday, so I can try to negate the adverse effects of my nightly (one of 10 pills) Astorvastatin 20mg. I hope it works. I had some errands to run, and got back at 11a. I had lunch and met Sherry at The Front Porch Tea Room & Gathering Room, where she works gratis on Tuesdays. By 3p, I was back home, caught an hour of sleep, put my cellphone on charge, and missed two of her calls. We'll get together later this week. I had dinner, watched "The Curse of Oak Island" until 10, some Fox news shows until 11p, and quit for the night.

Happy Easter!

Up at 8:15a on Wednesday, I did the usual routines, but since I had no errands to do and it was cold and rainy outside, I decided to attack the paperwork pile on my office-sunroom desk, get some bills paid online, and just relax with my painful left hip/thigh/knee. I got the "CP Show" posted to FR and soon enough, it was luhchtime, and time for a snooze. Awake by 5p, I had some voicemails and deleted them all; just junk or not worth answering. After dinner, I watched some "Ancient Aliens" episodes, Tucker, and quit for the night at 10p.

Awake at 6a, since the 2 cleaning ladies were coming at 8:30, I did the usual morning routines, they arrived, did their thing and left at 10:15a.

I had a semi-bad fall, while combing-out oriental rug fringes on the step entrance to my sunroom-office and fell backwars into one of the empty wine racks, with some of my collected colored glass bottles coming down on top of me, while laying on the floor. I tore-up both my elbows, got the blood stopped, wounds cleaned and bandaged, and straightened-up the mess. No broken collected bottles, thankfully.

These people are insane. Read the article about how HOT the Carolina Reaper Pepper is, and how many he ate, in competition. Nuts, just nuts.

This is the most important COVID-19 video you'll see.

I had a light lunch, and took a 3hr snooze on the couch. My left hip/thigh and knee pain were gone when I woke up. Nice, but my elbow wounds were sore. No biggie. Around 3:30p, snow squalls blew thru the are and we got an very light onion snow, as we call it around here in PA. It didn't stick long. But with 38° temps and 40mph winds, it was bitter cold. I took out the garbage bag and recycle box for tomorrow morning's pick-up, put the Jeep in the garage for the night, and settled-in to watch some "American Pickers" reruns.

After dinner, I watched Fox News until 10p, took my nightly regimen of pills (10) minus the suspected pain-causing in my left hip, thigh and knee, atorvastatin. Lights out.

Happy Easter to you and your Family. Thanks God for every day you have; I do every morning. Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus, Is Risen. Love Him, your Family and America.

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