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The year the ruling class got woke

Identity politics has become the new secular religion. We need more heretics.
by Tom Slater

For me, the defining image of 2020 was also the funniest: that of Democratic lawmakers in the US taking the knee, in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, draped in Ghanaian kente cloth.

tranke / cactushaag - foto Aart G. Broek - www.klasse-oplossingen.nl
tranké / cactushaag – foto Aart G. Broek

Watching thoroughly establishment politicians, House speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer to the fore, literally kneeling before the new woke politics was striking. It provoked so many questions, not least if Pelosi and Schumer (80 and 70 respectively) would be able to rise again unassisted.
But this absurd attempt at virtue-signalling – which provoked mockery rather than plaudits, even among those it was meant to impress – made one thing clear: that wokeness is the new orthodoxy, and the old elites know this.

woke / foto Aart G. Broek

Divisive, identitarian ideas around race, gender and sexuality have of course been gaining ground in elite circles for some time. The idea that Western societies are not simply affected by bigotry, but defined by it and built on it, had been gaining ground in academia for decades.
The rise of campus censorship and student intolerance is in many respects an off-shoot of this ideology, which holds that words wound and that free speech and reason are just covers for white domination – and which seems to generate Salem-like hysteria among its adherents.

[…] For all the protesters’ radical pretensions, the woke movement has been easily co-opted by the most rich and powerful in society. This is because identity politics is in many ways more spiritual than material. Heretics must be ousted. Blasphemies must be scrubbed. Past sins must be ‘come to terms with’, in some vague, undefined sense.
None of this threatens the rich and powerful. Indeed, it is much cheaper for businesses to pay people like Robin DiAngelo – the millionaire diversity consultant and author of the bestselling White Fragility – to lecture staff about their alleged racism than it is to offer them better pay and working conditions.

Continue reading on the Spiked website, December 26, 2020.

on 27.12.2020 at 11:14
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