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Leftist pushback against wokeness

There is an article in today’s Guardian by Nesrine Malik called “Scared to be ‘woke’? It’s time for progressives to take a stand in the culture wars”. The title is a fair summary of her argument.

As so often, the comments were more interesting than the article. The five most popular top-level comments were:

14 hours ago

What is the point in winding everyone up about an empire that is long gone? Meanwhile China continues to exploit Africa and slavery is alive and well in Dubai.

14 hours ago

No one need be scared to be woke. The people who are threatened are those who are not woke, and who are abused and have their livelihoods attacked by the intolerant. Even when the woke have a point, the way they attack their opponents hardens opinion against them. I will support very nearly anyone attacked by the woke, and especially people like J K Rowling, Katharine Birbalsingh, Kathleen Stock and Howard Winstone. The only sensible response to cancellation tactics is to block the woke and let them scream and shout among themselves.

13 hours ago

The trouble with the woke is that they act as self appointed thought police in a land where policing is supposed to be by consent. Then they accuse any dissenters of having started a “culture war” and seek to have them ostracised, deplatformed, cancelled, fired, made to issue a grovelling apology. Is it any wonder they are disliked?

14 hours ago

I think this fails to understand just how toxic “woke” is. “Owing” and doubling down on narratives like “white privilege” and “critical race theory” and in particular using them in schools is likely to get you annihilated in the polls and rightly so. As has recently been seen in the gubernatorial elections in Virginia following the Loudoun county school incidents. The only way to deal with woke is to abandon it altogether and become true liberals again.

14 hours ago

Among the various diversity, the most important should be the diversity of opinion.

The days are long gone when the Guardian comment section was called “Comment is Free” and, true to its name, allowed readers to comment on practically every article. These days comments are rarely allowed except on those articles where most of the Guardian readership is likely to agree with the Guardian‘s own line. This article was an exception. Of course, the newspaper has every right to pursue whatever policy on comments it wishes, but the habit of not permitting people to talk back has costs. One loses the chance to feel the wind change. I think Nesrine Malik will have been surprised by the hostile reaction to her article, and many of the commenters will be surprised to find out how many of their fellow left wingers share their doubts.

13 comments to Leftist pushback against wokeness

  • WindyPants

    To save everyone the bother, some of the responses to those below-the-line comments quoted above are as bat-shit mental as you’re expecting them to be!

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    That’s true, WindyPants, but I was pleasantly surprised by how many weren’t, even though sometimes the motive for being anti-woke was a recognition that wokeness is electoral poison for the left. In these hard times for freedom of speech, even allies of convenience are better than none.

  • John B

    ‘ The only way to deal with woke is to abandon it altogether and become true liberals again.’

    The woke were never liberals, except in the distorted sense which is a cover word for Socialist. Wokes are ‘liberals’ who are just more Stalin and less Marx – all varieties are poisonous psychopaths/sociopaths.

  • I was pleasantly surprised by how many weren’t, even though sometimes the motive for being anti-woke was a recognition that wokeness is electoral poison for the left.

    I have no problem with “wokeness” being electoral poison for the left. If Sir Keir Starmer is still in place as Labour Leader at the next election then I hope that the picture of him kneeling for the Marxists of the Antifa/Black Lives Matter crowd is plastered on Tory leaflets and billboards up and down the land. Such cravenness deserves the spotlight.

    The problem though is that without an effective opposition who can actually win an election, the Tories become slack and flabby, hence the massive tax rise being instituted over nonsense come April.

    When the choice becomes voting for Tories who have forgotten how to govern AS TORIES or spoiling your ballot paper, how is that for choice?

  • Stonyground

    I wonder what would happen if spoiled ballots were to win a parliamentary majority? It’s not going to happen I know, but what would they do?

  • James Strong

    If Smith gets 1 vote, Jones, Williams and Wilson, each get 0 votes and 65,000 ballots are spoiled then Smith is elected.

    (As long as Smith is not a Brexiteer who wants to stop small boat immigration across the Channel and once liked a tweet by President Trump.)

  • Paul Marks

    The comment point about the People’s Republic of China (not the long dead British Empire) being the most powerful force in the modern world is a good one, as is the point that it (the PRC) is the most dangerous threat to liberty.

    It really is “heads they win, tails we lose” with the PRC dictatorship – as they BOTH back Mr Putin of Russia, and the WEF “alternative” to Mr Putin (the WEF and Agenda 2030 governments of Canada, the United States and so on). And that is a trap (a fake “choice”) that we must somehow break out of.

    It is often forgotten that Guardian was not founded as a socialist newspaper – as the Manchester Guardian it was first founded as a liberal (Classical Liberal) newspaper, and a few of its readers still have some regard for Civil Liberties – they are not all Frankfurt School of Marxism lunatics frothing at the mouth.

    The Guardian was first seduced by the government entitlement (welfare) orientated “New Liberalism” that gained power in the Liberal Party after the fall of Prime Minister Gladstone, and then (after the First World War) it, like “Nation” magazine in the United States, took up a “no enemies on the left” position – even supporting the Marxist Soviet Union (and trying to cover up the murder of millions of people there – just as the New York Times tried to cover it up).

    It is good to see that support for Civil Liberties is not yet totally destroyed among Guardian readers – and that a few of them understand that “Wokeness” (i.e. Frankfurt School Marxist doctrines such as Critical Race Theory) are the chief threat to Civil Liberties.

  • Peter MacFarlane

    “The only way to deal with woke is to abandon it altogether and become true liberals again”

    This is not far off my own suggestion, which is that we simply point and laugh at these people.

    Unless lions are allowed, of course, which would obviously be even better.

  • Paul Marks

    The left are now pointing at the recall of two members of the San Francisco School Board – “look, we can be reasonable” being the message (according to CNN and so on).

    However, this is very much “ten steps forward – one step back” – London Breed (the Mayor of San Francisco – who supported the recall vote) will appoint “moderate” leftists to replace the two lunatics (and they were lunatics “grading is RACIST!”) who have been voted out.

    After all Natalie (and everyone else) – the left do not want to destroy education entirely (which is what the San Francisco School Board were doing) – they want children to be taught, as long as the children are taught the doctrines the left wants them to be taught.

    If children are taught nothing-at-all the purpose of the left, having managers with “qualifications” and a serf class who have been taught they should obey the “educated”, will not be achieved.

    The “Woke” Corporations who back the left in San Francisco and other cities were seriously concerned about the “lets teach nothing at all knowledge-is-racist – indeed why have the schools open” approach of the San Francisco School Board (and other School Boards).

    By the way – just because the schools were not really open did not mean the San Francisco School Board did not levy taxes (very high taxes) for “education”.

  • Paul Marks

    I must admit that I had a sneaking regard for the two lunatics who have been voted off the San Francisco School Board (although they would have ripped my throat out with their teeth) – as they were so clearly SINCERE, they really did believe in the Frankfurt School Marxist “everything is RACIST!” position (which the Frankfurt School Marxist thinkers did NOT believe in themselves – it was just a tactic for POWER for these thinkers).

    Neither the Frankfurt School Marxist thinkers or the “Woke” Corporations who push these doctrines really BELIEVE in the doctrines – the doctrines are just a means-to-an-end (the end being POWER – unlimited-total-power control over the lives of a population they intend to reduce to serfdom under some form of “Technocracy”).

    But the two members of the San Francisco School Board who have been voted out, really did believe in the doctrines – they believed in all of it (“grading is racist!” “systematically racist!”).

    So, as they are led away (no doubt still frothing at the mouth and trying to bite people) I must confess to some feelings of sad regret.

    They honestly BELIEVED in it all – unlike the Davos Corporate types (thick on the ground in the San Francisco area) who just PRETEND to believe in the doctrines – whilst using the doctrines as a means to attain total power over a population that they intend to reduce to serfdom under some form of “Technocracy”.

  • APL

    Natalie Solent: “There is an article in today’s Guardian by Nesrine Malik called “Scared to be ‘woke’? … “

    If it’s penned by a leftie, they could have just had “Scared” as the strapline.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Leftist pushback against wokeness

    Here’s another example:


    Progressives Alison Collins, Gabriella Lopez and Faauuga Moliga lost their seats, with more than 70% of votes in favor of removing them last week. Mayor London Breed, D., who supported the recall, is now tasked with replacing them, and the debate now rages over whether their firings were about prolonged school closings, failed “woke” efforts to rename schools named after figures like presidents on Mount Rushmore, close ties to unpopular teachers unions, banning merit-based admissions at a high-performing high school or their general ability to do their jobs.

    In San Francisco!!

  • Paul Marks

    Shlomo Maistre – I just went into the example you gave. It is not really the good news you think it is.

    The two people voted off the Board actually believed the doctrines (the Frankfurt School doctrines) that testing is racist, knowledge is racist, everything is racist.

    The people who invented those doctrines did NOT believe the doctrines they invented – they knew they were LIES. The doctrines were invented as a weapon against “capitalist society” – but some people have actually started to believe the doctrines (think they are true).

    Clearly a School Board dominated by people who actually believed in the doctrines would not teach anything at all – the schools (if they bothered to keep them open) would not teach anything (as teaching is racist).

    That is NOT what the totalitarians want – they want an elite taught the doctrines of totalitarianism (under some form of “technocracy”) and the rest of us taught to OBEY – to be good little serfs.

    That is what the establishment (including the “Woke” Corporations) want in San Francisco – and it is not what these two members of the School Board were delivering.

    Remember – the establishment do not actually believe in the doctrines they push (DIE – diversity, inclusion and equity). The doctrines are a weapon – a means to an end. The end being totalitarian rule under some form of technocracy.