Let me start by saying that I have absolutely no problem with anybody of any intellectual capacity forming an opinion through earnest investigation, careful analysis, a sincere attempt to understand opposing views, and thoroughly questioning the position at which they arrive with the understanding that other people may do the same thing and arrive at different conclusions. What I have no patience for, however, is people who have probably not had a significant original thought in their life and display no signs of earnest intellectual pursuit deeming themselves “woke.”
You know the kind I’m talking about. The ones who think they have solved all the world’s problems by arriving at what usually ends up being a strange conglomeration of leftism and mysticism after they took their first intro-to-whatever course or, even worse, watched a punchy “Now This” video on Facebook (which they usually set up as an echo chamber to do nothing but feed their pre-conceived biases).
Having had their dogmatism properly reinforced, these people go out into the world fancying themselves “woke.”
Thinking of oneself as “woke” entrenches the pestilent dogmatism of the intellectual rejects of the world by allowing them to elevate themselves in their own minds to a status of proper-enlightenment. In their minds, they hold the views they do because they are “enlightened,” and they are “enlightened” because they hold their views. This, of course, entails that everybody who is not woke holds opposing views, and they hold those opposing views because they are not “woke” enough (likely due to the irreversibly blinding effects of privilege).
Hence we arrive at a kind of vicious assumption that one is correct in their firmly entrenched dogmatism which is invariably accompanied by an insufferable attitude of self-bestowed intellectual superiority usually held by people who, to be blunt, have the least reason to have such an attitude.
However, “wokeness” making the intellectual rejects of the world feel like the intellectual elite is only half the issue. The other half is that “woke” opinions coincidentally always seem have an element of trendiness to them.
Maybe I’m just feeding my own confirmation bias on this point, but the people calling each-other woke always seem to be the ones taking the ideologically safest, trendiest sides. I never heard a “woke” person saying that there is only one path to heaven or that socialism doesn’t work.
Socialism and religious inclusivism being trendy as they are at the moment, it certainly seems as though the “woke” among us are just the ones best suited to mindlessly yet emphatically repeat whatever dogma is in vogue. Rather than “wokeness” being a mark of thinking differently from everybody else, being woke seems to be a special badge of achievement for the intellectual rejects of the flock who are most easily herded to wherever all the other sheep are going.
So, please, let’s stop honoring the intellectual rejects by calling them “woke.”
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