Some of the most vociferous proponents of ‘woke’ identitarianism are the most privileged beneficiaries of the neoliberal status quo : corporations, the political, cultural and media elites – even (give me strength) the Royal Family.
Far from challenging the establishment, wokeness has become a means through which the establishment is able to reinvent itself. Corporations and public figures are falling over themselves to gain ‘woke’ points by engaging in empty, superficial gestures which win social validation – and accumulate capital – while real, urgent, systemic social injustices remain unaddressed and unsolved.
”Divide and Rule” has rarely been more subtle, or more effective.
In defence of colour-blindness
~ article by Inaya Folarin Iman ☑️
”Contrary to past anti-racist arguments, many today argue that we should judge people by their race, emphasise racial difference and think along racial lines. And no, this isn’t just the far right – this is what is being put forward by a toxic strand of the new left, woke identitarianism. This illiberal, intolerant ideology is at odds with the universalist, humanist goal of a colour-blind society. It is a disempowering, backward-looking movement….
The current obsession with race often means we are missing the true dynamics in society. Class, for instance, plays a major role in social outcomes, but discussion of it is rare. There are many white working-class people, particularly in the provinces, who do not feel they have benefited from ‘white privilege’. Indeed, they would argue that they are far from privileged. Do their ‘lived experiences’ count?”
Wokeness and Neoliberalism
”We really should stop seeing ‘Wokeness’ or ‘Political Correctness’, or any other aspect of the so-called New Left as being left-wing at all.
‘Wokeness’ is a key part of the neoliberal drive against social solidarity. Wokeness makes a virtue of the atomisation that is a key feature of life in capitalist society.
Wokeness doesn’t challenge the individuation and corrosion of social solidarity that neoliberal society brings about. It simply repackages it as PC and celebrates it. It commodifies our atomisation and sells it back to us as right-on politics.
Far from being a new kind of leftism, the woke ideology is really the militant wing of neoliberalism. It is a campaigning arm of the neoliberal outlook. This is why woke activists and big business make such comfortable bedfellows. Banks and hedge funds and other capitalist outfits love to adorn their buildings in the Pride flag. These days there are really only two places where you see woke nonsense in action : among the trendy, supposedly leftist political class, and in the capitalist class. These people profess to hate each other, but in truth they have a shared outlook…
The bravest and most ambitious political parties today will completely oppose the anti-community, anti-democratic, anti-solidarity, anti-freedom outlook of the woke elites and the business elites. and seek to provide people with that sense of collective belonging and collective influence that they are crying out for. A free and democratic and connected society – that is what we need now.”
~ extract from a speech by Brendan O’Neill at the annual party conference of the SDP, 28/09/2019, (edited).