Counter-reactionaries working to staunch the wokee cultural tide

    For those of you who don't know yet, I'll be launching a website next week that should help shed a whole lot of light on Critical Social Justice. Getting excited to show you some of what I've been working in for the last few months.

    — James Lindsay, being effective again (@ConceptualJames) February 22, 2020

    Between New Discourses and Cynical Theories, it's going to be a good year for explaining what's going on with Wokeness and helping people understand what it is.

    — James Lindsay, being effective again (@ConceptualJames) February 22, 2020


    Another, doing it tongue-in-cheek: The Woke Temple

    Kenan Malik @ The Observer @The

    Stop telling authors what they can write. The only limit is imagination

    Condemning a white novelist for writing on Mexican migrants is to create gated cultures

    What insults my soul,” Zadie Smith has written, “is the idea… that we can and should write only about people who are fundamentally ‘like’ us: racially, sexually, genetically, nationally, politically, personally.”

    Both as novelist and essayist, Smith is one of the most subtle guides to the fraught terrain of culture and identity. The problem of “cultural appropriation” – writers and artists being called out for having stepped beyond their permitted cultural boundaries to explore themes about people who are not “fundamentally ‘like’ us” – is an issue that particularly troubles her. Too often these days, on opening a book or on viewing a painting, we are as likely to ask: “Did the author or painter have the cultural right to engage with that subject?” or: “Does he or she possess the right identity?” as: “Is it any good?”


    What both sides seem to have forgotten is what fiction is for. Fiction, as Smith observed in the inaugural Philip Roth lecture in 2016, “is a way of asking… what if I was different than I am?” Today, though, she notes elsewhere: “The old – and never especially helpful – adage write what you know has morphed into something more like a threat: stay in your lane.” To do so, Smith insists, is to deny the very possibility of fiction.


    In any case, the context of the debate is a literary and artistic culture that increasingly does insist that people artappraisershould stay in their lanes. “Where did the new orthodoxy arise that writers must only set stories within their own country of origin or nationality?” the writer Aminatta Forna has asked. In trying to constrain the imagination by identity, she points out, it’s not the privileged but those on the margins who most lose out. The “white male writer” is called simply “writer”; all other others have to be “hyphenated”, writing, in Nesrine Malik’s words, “as a”: as a woman, as a Muslim, as an immigrant.


    Beware the politics of identity. They help legitimise the toxic far right, Feb. 23

    The vile ideas behind the Hanau attack have moved from the fringe to the mainstream

    [....] If the right’s obsession with immigration has helped give new legitimacy to arguments of the far right, so has the left’s blindness to the consequences of the politics of identity. Many on the left now embrace the idea that one’s interests and values are defined primarily by one’s ethnic or cultural or gender identity.

    The politics of identity is, however, at root the politics of the reactionary right. The original politics of identity was that of racial difference, the insistence that one’s racial identity determines one’s moral and social place in the world. Now, identitarians of the far right are seizing upon the opportunity provided by the left’s adoption of identity politics to legitimise their once-toxic brand. Racism became rebranded as white identity politics.

    It’s an expression of the pernicious befuddlement of today’s politics that rightwing critics of identity politics are among the most vehement defenders of the idea of a European homeland to be protected against immigrant invaders, while leftwing critics of white identity are staunch defenders of every other form of identity politics [....]

    Great global point:

    Few messages are worse for the developing world than the consistent ones out of critical Theories: "Science, reason, liberalism, etc., are white, Western, male systems and not for you. It's white, Western males trying to colonize you to say otherwise."

    This stuff is cancer.

    — James Lindsay, makes stuff up (@ConceptualJames) February 24, 2020

    Correct. Liberalism, as it arose in the West, was the first successful bid at really transcending these harmful human impulses. It led us to learn better.

    Critical theories are expressly anti-liberal, intentionally. A critique of liberalism is a pillar of critical race Theory.

    — James Lindsay, makes stuff up (@ConceptualJames) February 24, 2020


    Had not realized that Liz Warren had all these "plans" pandering to the "intersectional" lobby/crowd/crew until I read this spin on her from Suzanna Danuta Walters at The Nation

    I hope it's not accurate

    Oof, you're paying for my Tylenol - just downed a whole pack. Too late/early for a beer.

    America’s First Postmodern President

    Trump's ascendance is no accident. He's the culmination of our epoch of unreality. What does that herald for the resistance?

    By Jeet Heer @, July 8, 2017

    Didn't there used to be an actual discipline called "Comparative Lit".? What happened to that? SIGH

    Looks like identity-based "progressivism" continues to get even more regressive.

    — James Lindsay, making new discourses (@ConceptualJames) March 4, 2020


    Let me know, have to dress different for seppuko vs old fashioned hanging, and then there's one to the temple - light gauge please, heavy bore makes such a mess.

    Colonizing space takes verve, bringinging whiteness into dark. Of course white Nova's vs black holes says it all - total expansion vs rec ding/giving way, and ultimately no escape. Beam me up, Scotty - there's no intelligent life left here.

    It looks like they have funding for marginalized groups to obtain grants for advanced degrees working with semiconductor science.

    Edit to add:

    Outreach to include students not traditionally associated with the sciences seems rational. Increasing numbers in the sciences is important. As Yang says, "Learn math". 

    The NYT had a great article about a black mathematician, and how isolated he felt in his profession.

    Effects to increase diversity should be encouraged, not ridiculed 

    Though here's a perfect example of when criticism might be warranted. I admit I did laugh:

    Uh...perhaps she could have chosen her words more carefully.

    — Harrison Manlove (@AzmarayFury) March 18, 2020

    (comes to mind a sense of humor about this type of thing can do a lot)

    I wonder if Germans have a split reality, where they see Nazi villains in movies as a completely different tribe? I mean, there's always a bad German like in Die Hard (dutifully played by the late great Englishman Alan Rickman), I assume Germans just learn to disassociate and become a Bruce Willis or Sgt Powell American for the duration of the film. I mean, that *is* what movies bring us, fantasy, no? And besides, are Germans the Adenauer new capitalists or the Ossi retrogrades? 30 years even that divide fades for the under-40 set.

    well I do definitely see disassociation on Angela's part here, she's thinking "I'm just another 21st century western leader like all the rest of em", yeah and I think it's actually a good sign of conversion to global-think. It's a similar thing to white American descendants of Ellis Ilsland hordes being blamed for slavery, they go "say what? that has nothing to do with me"


    Good thread rounding up headlines exhibiting the media’s fixation on covering the emerging pandemic through the lens of racism.

    In retrospect this was a long reductio ad absurdum and yet the same imperative that generated these headlines will shield them from scrutiny

    — Wesley Yang (@wesyang) March 23, 2020


    Comes to mind it can be a dangerous distraction and in that it has little difference from how Trump operates by using distraction. Where all coverage is put within the context of a certain frame.

    Like he says:


    At this point if you uncritically trust the media or any number of other institutions and you have even minimal capacity to think through what you see in the world, you will quickly realize that you are being regularly played for a sucker. That has to stop before anything else.

    — The End Times (@TheAgeofShoddy) February 28, 2020


    That's Trumpies and Trump too. It's just pandering to demographics, identitarian demographics. Not to offer information to open minds but to reinforce ideological beliefs with cherry picked coverage, bias confirmation.

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