Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Emerging Cracks In The Woke Elite

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Emerging Cracks In The Woke Elite

    .....
    An unlikely thing happened to me on my two weeks’ off. I watched an HBO Max miniseries that mocked some aspects of wokeness.

    Mike White’s “The White Lotus” is a tragicomic exposé of our current moneyed elites and the psychological dysfunction they labor so mightily under. There’s a blithe, unthinking finance jock, with a worked-out bod, an uneasy new wife, and a shitload of money, who can muster misery at the slightest ruffle in perfection. There’s the beta male, married to the mega-rich corporate CEO wife, worried about the condition his balls. There’s the super-uptight gay manager, hanging on to sobriety, as he performs for his clients; the mega-wealthy, overweight lost soul, played by Jennifer Coolidge, whose life is a pampered abyss of emotional desolation; and an aspiring young journalist who reconciles herself to money and indolence over a mindless career of clickbait snark.

    The white privilege here is real — and it’s often miserable. And that’s the first clue we’ve moved past 2020. What Mike White is careful to see and understand is the humanness of every individual. They all have a story. They cannot be reduced to a single class, or an ethnic group. Wealth is unjust but it can also be immiserating. Some of the most attractive and sane characters are among the least privileged — such as Belinda, a beleaguered, overworked black woman who runs the spa, or the native Hawaiian men who perform dances for money and go on canoe races across the sea.

    And the most repellent characters are two elite-college sophomores, Olivia and Paula, packed to the gills with the fathomlessly entitled smugness that is beginning to typify the first generation re-programmed by critical theory fanatics. You watch as they casually abuse and denigrate their brother — a young man consumed by living online; you see how they mock anyone who doesn’t meet their exacting standards of youth or beauty; you watch them betray and lie to each other; you see them condescend to someone still struggling to pay back student loans (see the clip above); and you witness the co-ed of color, Paula, act out her antiracist principles, with disastrous real world results for a Hawaiian she thinks she is saving from oppression. She leaves her wreckage behind, gliding away, with impunity, to another semester of battling racism.

    At one point, in a memorable scene, as the white daughter expounds about the evil of white straight men, her mother points out that she is actually talking about her brother, sitting at the same table. An individual person. Right next to her. Someone she might even love, if such a thing were within her capacity. Someone who cannot be reduced to a demonized version of his unchosen race and heterosexuality. And the only character one can bond with, and root for, is indeed this young white American male, awkward but genuine, whose story ends with a new bond with his dad, an escape from online addiction, and a newly revitalized human life.

    Get the Dish every Friday

    “The White Lotus” is not an anti-woke jeremiad. It’s much subtler than that. Even the sophomores seem more naïve and callow than actively sexist and racist. The miniseries doesn’t look away from the staggering social inequality we now live in; and gives us a classic white, straight, male, rich narcissist in the finance jock. But it’s humane. It sees the unique drama of the individual and how that can never be reduced to categories or classes or identities.

    And this step toward humaneness is what interests me. Because if we can’t intellectually engage people on how critical theory is palpably wrong in its view of the world, we can sure show how brutal and callous it is — and must definitionally be — toward individual human beings in the pursuit of utopia. “The White Lotus” is thereby a liberal work of complexity and art.

    Another sign of elite adjustment: both The Atlantic and The New Yorker have just published long essays that push back against woke authoritarianism and cruelty. Since both magazines have long capitulated to rank illiberalism, this is encouraging. And since critical theory is an entirely elite-imposed orthodoxy, it matters when the ranks of the elite crack a little.

    Anne Applebaum links the woke phenomenon to previous moral panics and mob persecutions, which is where it belongs. She too begins to notice the obliteration of due process, individual rights, and mercy among her crusader peers:
    Even if you have not been suspended, punished, or found guilty of anything, you cannot function in your profession. If you are a professor, no one wants you as a teacher or mentor (“The graduate students made it obvious to me that I was a nonperson and could not possibly be tolerated”). You cannot publish in professional journals. You cannot quit your job, because no one else will hire you. If you are a journalist, then you might find that you cannot publish at all.

    Applebaum’s Atlantic piece is a good sign from a magazine that hired and quickly purged a writer for wrong think, and once held a town meeting auto-da-fé to decide which writers they would permanently anathematize as moral lepers.

    Similarly, it was quite a shock to read in The New Yorker a fair and empathetic profile of an academic geneticist, Kathryn Paige Harden, who acknowledges a role for genetics in social outcomes. It helps that Harden is, like Freddie DeBoer, on the left; and the piece is strewn with insinuations that other writers on genetics, like Charles Murray, deny that the environment plays a part in outcomes as well (when it is clear to anyone who can read that this is grotesquely untrue). But if the readers of The New Yorker need to be fed distortions about some on the right in order for them to consider the unavoidable emergence of “polygenic scores” for humans, with their vast political and ethical implications, then that’s a step forward.

    The profile also puts the following woke heresy into the minds of the Upper West Side: “Building a commitment to egalitarianism on our genetic uniformity is building a house on sand.” And this: “Genetic diversity is mankind’s most precious resource, not a regrettable deviation from an ideal state of monotonous sameness.” The New Yorker is also telling its readers that there are around “thirteen hundred sites on the genome that are correlated with success in school. Though each might have an infinitesimally small statistical relationship with the outcome, together they can be summed to produce a score that has predictive validity: those in the group with the highest scores were approximately five times more likely to graduate from college than those with the lowest scores.”

    All of this is empirically true. But if this is empirically true, critical theory, which insists that absolutely nothing but white supremacist society leads to inequalities, is dead in the water. Refuted. Proven false by reality. Finished — even as it continues to be the premise of other countless pieces The New Yorker has run in the past few years. At some point, this will require a measure of rethinking, a moderation of the left’s absolutist blank-slatism just as the evidence is finally disproving it once and for all. The Successor Ideology, remember, holds that genetics play no role in human society, and that all inequalities are a function of the environment. Take that absolute claim away — which is to say to subject it to empirical testing — and it crumbles. And The New Yorker just took it away.

    Subscribe for less than $1/week

    And then, in the better-late-than-never category, The Economist, the bible for the corporate elite, has just come out unapologetically against the Successor Ideology, and in favor of liberalism. This matters, it seems to me, because among the most zealous of the new Puritans are the boards and HR departments of major corporations, which are dedicated right now to enforcing the largest intentional program of systemic race and sex discrimination in living memory. Money quote: “Progressives replace the liberal emphasis on tolerance and choice with a focus on compulsion and power. Classical liberals conceded that your freedom to swing your fist stops where my nose begins. Today’s progressives argue that your freedom to express your opinions stops where my feelings begin.”

    The Economist also pinpoints the core tenets of CRT in language easy to understand: “a belief that any disparities between racial groups are evidence of structural racism; that the norms of free speech, individualism and universalism which pretend to be progressive are really camouflage for this discrimination; and that injustice will persist until systems of language and privilege are dismantled.” These “systems of language and privilege” are — surprise! — freedom of speech and economic liberty. If major corporations begin to understand that, they may reconsider their adoption of a half-baked racialized Marxism as good management. Maybe that might persuade Google not to mandate indoctrination in ideas such as the notion being silent on questions of race is “covert white supremacy,” a few notches below lynching.

    Some other straws in the wind: the NYT Book Review actually published a nuanced review of a book about trans ideology, by Jesse Singal, a breakthrough in the attempt to air actual debate about some of the difficult questions raised by the total replacement of sex and biology with gender and social constructionism. Just today, the NYT published for the first time an op-ed by Kevin Williamson, the man canceled by The Atlantic, and an op-ed by Robby Soave, the brilliant young libertarian.

    The NYT also just added John McWhorter as a newsletter writer, a man whose forthcoming book is about how liberals can push back against woke intolerance on race. The Wall Street Journal — which is becoming the newspaper of record — published a story on the collapse of college attendance among young men — chipping away so persuasively at the crude construct of the “patriarchy” in the West in 2021 that the NYT rushed to qualify it.

    And then there’s a purely anecdotal reflection, to be taken for no more than that: all summer, I’ve been struck by how many people, mostly complete strangers, have come up to me and told me some horror story of an unjust firing, a workplace they’re afraid to speak in, a colleague who has used antiracism for purely vindictive or careerist purposes, or a hiring policy so crudely racist it beggars belief. The toll is mounting. And the anger is growing. The fury at CRT in high schools continues to roil school board meetings across the country. Some Americans are not taking this new illiberalism on the chin.

    This isn’t much, I know. Read Peter Boghossian’s resignation letter from Portland State University to see how deep the rot has gotten. But it’s something. It’s a sign that there is now some distance from the moral panic of mid-2020 and the start of reflection upon the most zealous aspects of this new illiberalism.

    Perhaps we can reach a place where we do indeed better acknowledge and understand the profound resilience of racism and sexism in this country’s history, and teach it better, and yet do not ignore the immense progress we’ve made, the deep complexity of many of these questions, or throw out the core principles of liberal democracy: freedom of speech, due process, individual rights, equality (not equity), and open intellectual inquiry. It’s clear to me that the antibodies to this new McCarthyism are beginning to propagate, and a calmer, middle way will at some point emerge.

    Which is another way of saying: as long as the First Amendment is intact, hang in, and know hope.
    In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.

    Leibniz

  • #2

    Perhaps we can reach a place where we do indeed better acknowledge and understand the profound resilience of racism and sexism in this country’s history, and teach it better, and yet do not ignore the immense progress we’ve made, the deep complexity of many of these questions, or throw out the core principles of liberal democracy: freedom of speech, due process, individual rights, equality (not equity), and open intellectual inquiry. It’s clear to me that the antibodies to this new McCarthyism are beginning to propagate, and a calmer, middle way will at some point emerge.

    Which is another way of saying: as long as the First Amendment is intact, hang in, and know hope.
    Ah this woke thing.

    Every country with a hookup to the English speaking world is vulnerable

    Those countries that do not speak English are safe
    Last edited by Double Edge; 11 Sep 21,, 16:31.

    Comment


    • #3


      It is indicative of a culture that has taken hold of the programs of successive governments that with the reasonable and well-intentioned ambition to contain obnoxious elements in society has created a society of an extraordinarily authoritarian and controlling nature.

      That is what you might call the new intolerance. A new but intense desire to gag uncomfortable voices of dissent.

      I am NOT intolerant say many people, say many softly spoken, highly educated and liberal minded people.

      I am only intolerant of intolerance and people tend to nod sagely and some say yes wise words, wise words and yet if you think about this supposedly inarguable statement for longer than 5 seconds, you realize that all it is advocating is the replacement of one kind of intolerance with another.

      Which to me doesn't represent any kind of progress at all. Underlying prejudices and justices or resentments are not addressed by arresting people. They are addressed by the issues being aired, argued and dealt with, preferably outside the legal process.

      For me the best way to increase society's resistance to insulting or offensive speech is to allow a lot more of it. As with childhood diseases you can better resist those germs to which you have been exposed.

      We need to build our immunity to taking offence so that we can deal with the issue that perfectly justified criticism can raise.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Double Edge View Post

        Ah this woke thing.

        Every country with a hookup to the English speaking world is vulnerable

        Those countries that do not speak English are safe
        Language is the brains immune system, and alters both the perspective of environment and morality.
        In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.

        Leibniz

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Parihaka View Post

          Language is the brains immune system, and alters both the perspective of environment and morality.
          Something i pointed out over a decade ago

          The Great Indian Love Affair With Censorship

          I've since had to make a somewhat uneasy peace with the way things stand in my country.

          What i find alarming is the west regressing towards the Indian position. And this is being aided and abetted by the rules of social media.

          All was fine until Trump's election then the decision was made ostensibly in the interests of curbing fake news that things had to change.

          The Indian way might keep the peace but it does not come without costs.
          Last edited by Double Edge; 14 Sep 21,, 15:23.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
            All was fine until Trump's election then the decision was made ostensibly in the interests of curbing fake news that things had to change.
            Probably because of the sheer volume and consequences of Trump's fake news (a polite way of saying blatantly obvious lies).

            Before Trump nobody else had both the bully pulpit of the U.S. presidency and the willingness to lie as naturally as one breathes, both about the utterly inconsequential and the matters of life or death.

            You'll also note that Trump was allowed to spew as much bullshit as he wanted for the majority of his presidency. It was only until COVID and January 6th that social media groups finally revoked his license to lie on their websites....which, as businesses, they're allowed to do, and always have been.
            Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by TopHatter View Post

              Probably because of the sheer volume and consequences of Trump's fake news (a polite way of saying blatantly obvious lies).
              Raising the question of whether they continue to benefit from safe harbour laws as applies to an intermediary or subject to the laws of a content provider.

              The trouble is who decides what is and isn't acceptable. An internal committee comes up with the rules and then the word goes out. And i've seen pieces that detail the backgrounds of these deciders. We've seen their proclivities lean liberal left and if you don't conform then tough.

              It's no longer everyone welcome. It's splitting up into tribes.

              It's not that simple as these lot promote pieces that gain prominence because they agree with the politics. This can have larger consequences and will be actively exploited for info war.

              Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
              Before Trump nobody else had both the bully pulpit of the U.S. presidency and the willingness to lie as naturally as one breathes, both about the utterly inconsequential and the matters of life or death.
              He's your avg pol like any other. More impetuous perhaps.

              I wonder whether his election coincides with social media gaining critical mass and the ROE's change for these companies since they are dealing with a much more consequential product.

              I still think of his election as a watershed moment. Russia got the blame but the consequence is it became less liberal after.

              Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
              You'll also note that Trump was allowed to spew as much bullshit as he wanted for the majority of his presidency. It was only until COVID and January 6th that social media groups finally revoked his license to lie on their websites....which, as businesses, they're allowed to do, and always have been.
              Trump being banned happened after a lot of people found them selves unwelcome on these networks in the months and years prior.

              Here is an example of the power these orgs have. They can effectively silence any govt rep they want, anywhere in the world.

              Twitter blocks IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad for 1 hour | HT | Jun 26 2021

              I find it ironic that India wants to create its own twitter network that won't be subject to such rules. But the thread above i created a decade back gives an idea of what it will be like.

              Same thing (!)

              I never bothered to join twitter because of my experiences on google plus. If anyone does not like your post, then they can remove it if its posted in their thread.

              The way these platforms are architected and the idea is to generate profit because people use them for business justifies these rules.

              Point out the flaws in any one's piece or review and off you go. Affects views, affects income.

              That never happens on forums ...

              Power to silence on social media is delegated much lower.
              Last edited by Double Edge; 15 Sep 21,, 01:41.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                He's your avg pol like any other. More impetuous perhaps.
                No, he isn't. Not even close. Nothing about him is "average", starting with his room temperature IQ. And "more impetuous perhaps" isn't even an understatement. It's a joke.

                Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                Trump being banned happened after a lot of people found them selves unwelcome on these networks in the months and years prior.
                Yes, and who were these people? Sewage dumps like Alex Jones? Can't imagine what he could've said to violate TOS.

                Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                Here is an example of the power these orgs have. They can effectively silence any govt rep they want, anywhere in the world.

                Twitter blocks IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad for 1 hour | HT | Jun 26 2021
                These orgs are businesses, as I stated. Therefore they are able to do as they please within the boundaries of the law in their resident country, in this case the United States. Discarding a customer for TOS violations is their right. The alternative that Trump and his cult desire and are trying for, is government intervention, which is a clear violation of the First Amendment.

                If Trump wants, he is more than free to start his own social media company. He has the money (supposedly) and the media savvy (ditto) to do so. So why hasn't he? Oh, right....He's just as much of a failure as a businessman as he was as President.

                Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                I find it ironic that India wants to create its own twitter network that won't be subject to such rules. But the thread above i created a decade back gives an idea of what it will be like.
                And there you go, there's the solution: Form your own business.

                Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                Point out the flaws in any one's piece or review and off you go. Affects views, affects income.
                Yeah TOS sure does suck when you violate it. Having a good framework of rules is the hallmark of a good social media platform...unless of course they have a "protected" class of elite users like, say, Donald Trump that are able to act with virtual impunity. Naturally he finally stepped over some boundaries that even Facebook couldn't ignore.

                Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                That never happens on forums ...
                On this forum at least, that is correct. A person's political views are irrelevant to our TOS unless they're espousing full-on racism, Nazism, anti-Semitism etc. Nobody has ever been banned from WAB for having contrary political views that don't violate our TOS and they never will be, as long as I have something to say about it.

                Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

                Comment


                • #9
                  Twitter is a cesspool of violence, sexism and homophobia, Parler got banned for Jan 6, both are hosted by Amazon cloud services.... Seems to TOS violation was political not practical.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by zraver View Post
                    Twitter is a cesspool of violence, sexism and homophobia, Parler got banned for Jan 6, both are hosted by Amazon cloud services.... Seems to TOS violation was political not practical.
                    Amazon (AWS) says otherwise:

                    AWS told Parler in the email that it had flagged 98 examples to Parler of posts that “clearly encourage and incite violence.” Among the posts it reported to Parler, which were viewed by CNBC, users on the platform made violent threats directed at “liberal leaders, liberal activists #blm leaders and supporters,” in addition to other groups.

                    Screenshots of the Parler app viewed by CNBC show users posting references to firing squads, as well as calls to bring weapons to the presidential inauguration later this month.
                    Link
                    After Parler get its shit together vis-a-vis right wingers and their calls for firing squads, Apple at least, reversed their stance in April:

                    Apple will allow controversial social media app Parler back onto the iPhone App Store, according to a letter released Monday by Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo.

                    Apple removed the app in January after Parler was used to publicize the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot when the app’s content featured calls for violence and other illegal activity.

                    Parler has updated its app and improved its content moderation,
                    an Apple official wrote in the letter. As of April 14, Apple’s App Review department had approved the changes and an updated version of Parler will be approved by Apple, the letter said.

                    Parler is a social network that competes with companies such as Twitter and Facebook. It was initially advertised as a website and app with an emphasis on “free speech” and significantly less content moderation. It is popular with people who supported former President Donald Trump.

                    Apple said it removed Parler because the app violated Apple’s app guidelines around violent content. Apple said it was not a permanent ban, only a suspension, and could be “cured” if Parler added moderation and removed violent content. Apple said in its letter that over 30,000 apps had been removed in 2020 for issues with objectionable user-generated content.

                    “And so, if they get their moderation together, they would be back on there,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said on Fox News in January.
                    Sounds like Parler didn't have much of a TOS in the first place.
                    Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      On this forum at least, that is correct. A person's political views are irrelevant to our TOS unless they're espousing full-on racism, Nazism, anti-Semitism etc. Nobody has ever been banned from WAB for having contrary political views that don't violate our TOS and they never will be, as long as I have something to say about it.
                      I can validate. I moderate a World War 2 Group as well as a Civil War group on Facebook. Nothing ever controversial comes up in those subject areas!!! But we are governed there by Facebook's TOS. There are times we step in to stop arguments and delete pejoratives (swearing, racial epithets) as well as occasionally having to kill something over statements over the Holocaust and Slavery.

                      The WAB follows those TOS pretty much the same way and does a good job IMHO.
                      “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                      Mark Twain

                      Comment

                      Working...
                      X