Source: E. Jeffrey Ludwig
In a recent article, N.S. Lyons takes a sardonic yet, in this writer’s view, overly respectful assessment of the present and future success and prospects for wokeism in American culture. On the one hand, he perceives this woke subculture (which he perceives as the majority culture) as a most unsatisfactory historical development, but at the same time, he sees it as the culmination of over 50 years of dogged cultural Marxism having worked its way into positions of power in our culture. He posits that the cultural opposition does not have the patience for a long-term struggle to take back the culture that would be parallel to the “long march” urged and followed by Antonio Gramsci and his followers that has characterized the leftist reconstruction that wokeism represents.
Despite this negative report, the tone of Lyons’s article is neither grim nor sad. Rather, it is a pleasant, detached account that claims to “accept” the reality he finds, which is most unsatisfactory and clearly destructive of the norms of Western civilization.
Lyons’s article is well written, but he does miss a few things. He misses that the unprincipled movement of the wokesters plants the seeds of its own destruction. Thus, a comparable fifty-year march through our institutions really will not be necessary for the woke message of life-transforming narcissism to collapse. The pathetic destructive dance of AOC, Ilhan Omar, and other Squad members (including the fierce-looking Rashida Tlaib) and their ilk will most assuredly turn on each other and gobble, gobble, gobble. We already can see the beginnings of the self-destruct button of narcissism working in this woke subculture.
The Cuomos are out. Matt Lauer is out. Harvey “Fat Mouth” Weinstein is out. Soon more of the brittle psyches with the destructive personalities will destroy each other — e.g., Alec Baldwin and other vain and intemperate men like him.
The reader may recall that the punks were pumping their fists at the Olympics in the ’60s as they stood before the stadium to receive their medals, and now the forlorn athletic youths in pro sports and colleges are taking knees. Yes, they seem to be ubiquitous in today’s culture, but the woke are so self-centered and so shallow that they are easily given over to paranoid episodes. For the shallow mind, it’s now black versus white, but that can and will morph into black against lighter-skinned black or blacks with a 2.0 average against those with a 3.5 average. Feeding frenzies of hatred get out of control (we saw this in the Terror of the French Revolution era in the 1790s). Yes, the Montagnards and Girondists were pushed out by the Jacobins, but Danton and Robespierre were taken out…and it was Napoleon who called all the shots in the new people’s France [sic]! Dictatorship and instability became the rule.
Is the woke movement so different? At bottom, it’s a psychotic episode based on cultural Marxism combined with anarchic and post-Nietzschean nihilism masquerading as übermenschen (supermen) and überfrauleins (superwomen). Like Friedrich Nietzsche, the modern psyche is obsessed with evolution. All things are possible for the human species if we just take the bull by the horns. The woke crowd wants to move forward to some form of equality or equity. Yet, at a metaphysical level, this writer perceives that they want to rewrite reality following a deconstructionist program. It’s skepticism and relativism carried to an extreme. Words and any socio-political-legal definitions no longer have a denotation but are all merely creative connotations imposed on an unsuspecting society by the white power elite who say that words — words like “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” — are attributed to this or that only to feed the self-interested concerns of the white males who developed natural law, modern legal theory, and Western philosophy.
Yet how can one say civilization is a house of cards in terms of language, law, and institutions built upon that language and that law and think you can build a new civilization by merely rearranging the cards? Cards do not a foundation make!
One of the murderous black power guys from the 1960s who had been in jail for 39 years was being interviewed and made an interesting observation. He said today’s movement to redress so-called black grievances (“so-called” is my word, not his) is hampered by one important thing: there is a lack of charismatic black leadership such as was found in the 1960s. BLM and Antifa and all these woke reflexive antisocial activists do not have the leadership of the sixties rebels even though they are heirs of much of the same anarchistic-leftist spirit and ideology. Because leadership is rooted in certainty, and certainty is rooted in faith in an omnipotent and omniscient God, and since wokeism does not believe in eternal values and substances, woke leadership is inherently variable and flaccid and is creating the seeds of its own demise.
Today’s wokesters are more like the Joker in Batman comics — malevolent and destructive but with no programs, structure, or true leadership. It’s all destroy, destroy. Cut off penises and breasts; destroy testosterone. Block estrogen. Keep impeaching and castigating Trump. Keep giving booster shots until the boosters destroy the immune responses of every man, woman, and child. Then you can rule, but by then, all you have left are cities with a few hospitals and ten or twenty morgues.
Thus, as Lyons says, woke seems to be winning, and it has been building to winning since Gramsci started the Long March through our bourgeois institutions — institutions that love and revere reason, liberty, and rights.
Yes, wokeism is encroaching upon and destroying some of the cultural foundations of Western civilization. But wokeism’s victory to the extent that it is victorious (Lyons, overstates their success I think) is a Pyrrhic victory since its victory is seeded with its own destruction. Let us decide right now as non-wokesters — as people of faith, reason, and love — that we will still be around to restore civilization after this manic episode in history collapses.