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Arakan

„Woke Culture“ is a child of Neo-liberal capitalism

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Ok. This is maybe a strange topic but maybe worth of a discussion. 
For a couple of years I have been watching the American culture wars* with a mixture of amusement and disbelief. And I am quite sure I won’t make no friends on either side. But who cares. 

*plus Proxy wars like the German Greens (best equivalent to US Coastal Democrats).

I am a socialist. I hate hierarchical structures even though they can’t be totally avoided. I believe in egalite, fraternite, liberte. I hate selfishness, egomania, exploitation, entitlement. I believe in meritocracy (even though it doesn’t exist much any more). 

I am Anti-Trump, that narcissistic wannabe strong man. Fox News, Alt-Right, they are all shit. 

That said, I detest woke and outrage culture, I detest virtue signaling, I detest Friday’s for Future, I detest the entitlement of woke sjw. American rightwingers speak of cultural marxism, put it on the „left“. No. You are wrong. 

Woke culture is not „left“, it’s a child of neoliberal capitalism (same as the Greens). Neoliberal capitalism for Americans: that’s basically trickle-down economics, laissez-faire capitalism, Hedgefonds capitalism. Basically Profit and greed as the alpha and omega.

Why? 

Because it comes from the same root. Maximal individualism which leads to the belief of oneself being the king/queen of his/her own world. Which leads to selfishness and egomania, which leads to entitlement. 

This is the key. Entitlement. As a socialist you believe to humble yourself, fighting for the community, you don’t believe in identity politics, you don’t believe in special treatment. Rosa Luxemburg is one of my greatest personal heroes (along Thomas Müntzer) but I refuse to accept woke feminism who deny reality as leftist. 

A self-proclaimed leftist feminist who fights for women quota in upper management representation is nothing more than an entitled self-righteous hipocrite who just wants herself a fat slice of the pie instead of fighting the fundamental flawed structure of out of control organizations. Just as an example. 

No. The woke culture „warriors“ like Greta Thunberg they are the wealthy children of the neoliberal world. Nothing more than „white saviors“. 

They are the new form of Champagne Socialists of the new Bourgeoisie and they love their virtue signaling. 

You wanna fight the real root causes of American racism? Then fight the ultracapitalist system itself! This is the root of it. Such a hierarchical society needs its „outcasts“, „pariahs“. And if it’s time to unite within then find an enemy outide! 
 

Those are some thoughts. Hopefully we can have a reflective debate.

 

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@Arakan

I think this might be the wrong crowd with whom to make that sort of argument.

Out of curiosity, what do you think is going to be the end point of this discussion? What do you believe you are going to accomplish with this thread?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Arakan said:

A self-proclaimed leftist feminist who fights for women quota in upper management representation is nothing more than an entitled self-righteous hipocrite who just wants herself a fat slice of the pie instead of fighting the fundamental flawed structure of out of control organizations.

Holy shit dude, could you be any more provocative?

Certainly, some forms of liberalism are actually not on the left, and conversely, some forms of "leftism" are not actually liberal.
But you can't simplify any of that shit, and you can't just accuse people of being self-interested hypocrites. Quite the contrary, it is more productive to understand where people are coming from. One can question whether some forms of liberalism actually address issues without insulting people.

Instead of presenting identity politics as the product of neo-liberalism, it could be more interesting -imho- to wonder whether it isn't neo-liberalism that corrupts and constrains activism. Or even, whether it isn't the media's perspective that hurts activism in order to prevent it from successfully questioning the dominant socio-economic order, by presenting it as entitlement or self-interest.
In which case, you're the one falling into a trap here, by attacking people with whom you probably agree on many levels.

 

Edited by Rippounet

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"Identity politics" is as useless of a term as it is funny, especially when people (almost always conservatives) attack others for engaging in identity politics while actively making appeals to, wait for it, identity politics. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Fury Resurrected said:

So, whose alt are you?

 

 

Arakan is Arakan he's always been like this.

 

 

eta: fucking hell this topic is an exercise in deciding what you think a word means and then railing at anything that has ever been described with that word as being that thing, and evidently not doing any research at all about what the word meant in the first place.
 

 

 

Imagine going in on Greta Thunberg and thinking you're cool. Even so imagine going in on her in the same post that you argue people should take on the system itself. She's literally given up the last years of her youth flying around the world doing that.

Edited by polishgenius

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I dunno, there is something in the idea that you don't get "woke culture" without a highly individualised society. Many who proclaim to be selfless and fighting for others, often appear to be mostly interested in their own personal fulfilment. It's not surprising that so many young people feel the need to latch onto causes when capitalism gives them nothing to strive towards, and removes all meaning from life outside of making money.

Capitalism doesn't really give you a ton of choices, you either join the rat race, make money, buy stuff and retire when you are too old to enjoy life... or, well there really isn't many other alternatives. So people go looking for something different. 

Then when you try and break down the concept of a national identity or a common goal, it isn't surprising that people gravitate to finding other forms of identity that help them fit in or give them a sense of who they are. Then it's also not surprising when all those groups start to compete against each other for dominance (mostly in winning the ultimate prize of victimhood)

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I love these. This weeks edition of [thing I don't like] must be linked to [other thing I don't like]. Let's try some more:

Is climate change a child of my work colleage's inability to eat with his mouth closed?

Are overly aggressive motorists a child of putting avocado on every single fucking thing on the breakfast menu?

Is rampant consumerism a child of psychotic anti-estabilishment neo-nazi dropbears?

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3 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Instead of presenting identity politics as the product of neo-liberalism, it could be more interesting -imho- to wonder whether it isn't neo-liberalism that corrupts and constrains activism. Or even, whether it isn't the media's perspective that hurts activism in order to prevent it from successfully questioning the dominant socio-economic order, by presenting it as entitlement or self-interest.
In which case, you're the one falling into a trap here, by attacking people with whom you probably agree on many levels.

I actually thought this would be the purpose of this thread when I saw the title. I have always referred to something as the 'checklist effect' where modern media gravitates towards things that are ostensibly popular for the sole sake of cashing in on the attention. Which includes superficial 'woke' positions that get shoehorned in for the sole sake of patting oneself on the back and wallow in the attention of controversy without actually seriously following through with the implications. It's a brand, they sold you bottled activism that doesn't solve shit except making you feel like standing on the right side of history as long as you don't question the intentions behind it.

Instead OP seems content to attack everyone that right-wing buzz-words decry, using the exact same buzz-words and falling into the trap of taking their criticisms at face-value. I mean for fucks sake, condemning Fridays for Future as one girl's self-aggrandizement? Are you shitting me? That's a hell of an easy way to dismiss a movement that is fueled by a whole generation's existential dread about the uncertainties of a future that can't guarantee that civilization as we know it can continue to exist because of the greed and short-sightedness of the present. And doing that by attacking the one making the necessary first step for the media buzz that certainly helped her cause, but wasn't the sole point of the exercise? Give me a break...

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2 hours ago, Impmk2 said:

Is rampant consumerism a child of psychotic anti-estabilishment neo-nazi dropbears?

I liked this one -- we should really discuss it!!!

But about this threat and regardless of the not-so -smart move to bring also Fridays for Future into it , I think there is a growing sense, that the modern left is not left at all. we just have no finished defining word for these new movements. But its definitly not liberal and it it is also not left in the old sense.

Some call it woke or identity politics or progressive. I think these politics have in common to seek the  morale high ground and to preach it and to judge everyone and in the end also to try to force their way of thinking (e.g. by canceling).

An important figure of the left here in Germany just published a book calling these people the "lifestyle" or "establishment " left. This is because these new left  is not fighting any longer for the social underprivilegde- on the contrary - there is a sense of comtempt for the stupid lower, uneducated classes who just dont get the newest way to discuss gender problems. The lower classes in the US elected Trump more or less perhaps also because of the feeling the progressive are not interested in "white trash". The progressive are not fighting the super rich any longer and so IMO it is right to doubt that they are left.

But what are they? And what do they want? The book I mentioned concludes more or less that these people  are well educated higher class good earning citizens which do not want to share their wealth with the poor (so not left), but who seek an idiology which gives them the morale high ground (uhm, I am a vegan, BLM supporting, Fridays for Future supporting , gender sensitive person, so its fine that I detest people which are so uneducated that the believe in foxnews, I also do not have to share my wealth with them and give them more educational opportunities because they are stupid trash).

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

"Identity politics" is as useless of a term as it is funny, especially when people (almost always conservatives) attack others for engaging in identity politics while actively making appeals to, wait for it, identity politics. 

Yep generally in their eyes they don’t see it that way. Identity politics are pushing things that upset the natural order of things, that don’t favor a dominant group already.

In the US it’s politics that wouldn’t cater exclusively to getting white straight men in better positions and the acknowledgment there are any social drawbacks ever for people who fall into at least one of those categories.

So anything outside of national identity or class is identity politics.


The people who cry about “identity politics” causing division in society usually seem under the impression there wasn’t division in the first place amongst citizenry and that less socially dominant groups should shut up and work to maintain/uplift the power of a more dominant group.

Which is unreasonable. 

I’m was a black sharecropper in 1950s Deep South my fears of a Soviet takeover of America would probably be less pronounced than a white wealthy planter.

Because my current position wouldn’t really change much.

if I was a Jew in nazi Germany I would probably forgot  hoping the nation to which I was born to would succeed and hope the allies would win. 

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37 minutes ago, JoannaL said:

An important figure of the left here in Germany just published a book calling these people the "lifestyle" or "establishment " left. This is because these new left  is not fighting any longer for the social underprivilegde- on the contrary - there is a sense of comtempt for the stupid lower, uneducated classes who just dont get the newest way to discuss gender problems. The lower classes in the US elected Trump more or less perhaps also because of the feeling the progressive are not interested in "white trash". The progressive are not fighting the super rich any longer and so IMO it is right to doubt that they are left.

Trump’s supporters tended to be wealthier than Clinton’s supporters; https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/06/05/its-time-to-bust-the-myth-most-trump-voters-were-not-working-class/

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-mythology-of-trumps-working-class-support/

Its really nauseous to keep having the working class just be boiled down to white guys who didn’t go to college.

Truth be told wasn’t so much economic anxiety that fueled his rise or the rise of the far right across the globe as much racism, and xenophobia, patriarchy and the anxiety of certain groups losing a hegemony of power.

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36 minutes ago, JoannaL said:

But what are they? And what do they want? The book I mentioned concludes more or less that these people  are well educated higher class good earning citizens which do not want to share their wealth with the poor (so not left), but who seek an idiology which gives them the morale high ground (uhm, I am a vegan, BLM supporting, Fridays for Future supporting , gender sensitive person, so its fine that I detest people which are so uneducated that the believe in foxnews, I also do not have to share my wealth with them and give them more educational opportunities because they are stupid trash).

Ah, harping against the ominous "they". And then with the good old myth that left-leaning activists with a college degree don't care about fair wages, human working hours and education, simply because they... are... educated? I suppose it is a nice argument to use if you want to construct some kind of class warfare to keep uneducated people voting against their own interests by telling them again and again and again that those who want to improve things are scary and can't understand them, so you'll have to push for those parties that don't have any goals except remaining in power. You know, the ones who established the exploitative working conditions, left all public institutions chronically underfunded and keep making headlines with their corrupt connections to big corporations.

I shouldn't be surprised. It is an election year and I have seen conservative sorts of people come out in droves screeching about how the Greens want to destroy our economy and flood the country with immigrants, now that they are a serious contender for governing. These kind of arguments bank on the fact that barely anyone reads party programs, so instead of actual policy we have to talk about ideological boogeymen and what we think someone stands for.

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Ok, to answer both of you, the original left would fight for the poor (regardless of their identity background) , and in helping all poor people you would help proportionally the groups more which are likelier to be  poor. So e..g if everyone gets health care and until then the poor hadnt and if more black/migrant people were poor, then more black/migrant people would get health care. And you can do this without constructing any frontiers between groups (this isnt to say there arent any other injustices, but the topic was are the woke" left" , and this politician I mentioned argued that to deconstruct the society in different groups other than social classes is not left).

I agree there is also xenophobia and other factors for Trump voters but thats also not the topic (and xenophobia can in part -but unfortunately not wholly- be also caused by bad education). It may be that Trump voters are weathlier, but are they also more educated?

the Greens are not left, never were (apart from some leftist wings which are not important any longer at least for ther German Green party)- i think in their own way they are conservative - they want to conserve the environment- questions of rich and poor are not important for them. And yes, I do believe that it is not the main interest of the Greens to fight for fair wages and better conditions for all. Their main interest is the environment which is a fair cause but not "left".

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11 minutes ago, JoannaL said:

Ok, to answer both of you, the original left would fight for the poor (regardless of their identity background) , and in helping all poor people you would help proportionally the groups more which are likelier to be  poor. So e..g if everyone gets health care and until then the poor hadnt and if more black/migrant people were poor, then more black/migrant people would get health care. And you can do this without constructing any frontiers between groups (this isnt to say there arent any other injustices, but the topic was are the woke" left" , and this politician I mentioned argued that to deconstruct the society in different groups other than social classes is not left).

But the left still does in much of the west at least still does this? Whether putting more regulations to health insurance companies to stop from ignoring segments of the population due to higher risk or pushing things like universal healthcare the left is still doing this.

But there’s also much more talk of society’s homophobia, sexism, and racism.

Classism should not be the only thing that gets any air in the room.

15 minutes ago, JoannaL said:

I agree there is also xenophobia and other factors for Trump voters but thats also not the topic (and xenophobia can in part -but unfortunately not wholly- be also caused by bad education). It may be that Trump voters are weathlier, but are they also more educated?

I’m so sorry you seem to moving around from the initial claim of Trump tapping into the economic anxiety of the working class and winning as a result. But that’s not what happened.

It was white-reactionary identity politics, male-aggrizement, that propelled trump to popularity.

I mean the thing that got him to be considered a serious republican contender was literally just insinuating most Mexican immigrants were rapists and drug dealers.

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31 minutes ago, Toth said:

Ah, harping against the ominous "they". And then with the good old myth that left-leaning activists with a college degree don't care about fair wages, human working hours and education, simply because they... are... educated?

I think Johanna is referencing the book by Sahra Wagenknecht, the no1 prominent figure of the communist platform within Die Linke, in which she goes on a huge rant against many forms of modern identity politics. Her main argument (very broadly) comes basically from classic Marxism which looks at all struggle as class struggle, i.e. she says that instead of uniting the working class as a social majority for change, the left has lost it's focus. And the heavy focus on very specific minority rights instead of universal class issues is detrimental to the unity of the working class and born out of the luxury of the academic left who are not actually experiencing the class struggles of the working class but claiming a leading role. 

For example she argues that the political pet projects of the feminist left serves mainly well educated women - for example the push for a mandatory quota for women on the board of directors of public traded PLCs will only help women who are already part of a small elite. 

Personally I find her rant not always very persuasive, but I cannot say that she's always wrong. When I look for example at the SPD and the intial reaction of Kühnert and Esken to Wolfgang Thierses comments about correctly gendered language, I sometimes have the very strong impression that these people are completely out of touch with their base. And, predictably, it backfired on the SPD. Of course you can also read her rant through the lens of the inner-party conflict within Die Linke, which is ongoing for a few years now - between different actors not only over political issues. Sahra Wagenknecht definitively has a score of personal issues to settle as well. 

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9 hours ago, DanteGabriel said:

"Woke" -- another word lifted from black vernacular and weaponized into something opposite by colonizing white folks.

I do not colonize anyone. English is not my first language and I use the words as best as possible. 
I give all of you a real world example which more or less was what triggered this thread. Then think about it. 
 

Not long ago a former professor of mine was promoted to the new Dekan of the mechanical engineering faculty. University is in Southern Germany. Because of that she gave an interview to the regional newspaper. And what an outrage this created. But first some background. 

The professor was born in Afghanistan in 1962. She was my professor around 2003/04, back in the hey days of the Afghanistan mission after 911. So it was a time of interesting discussions. She always said that for her personally and many women like her (i.e. those who wanted to get educated and be self-determined) the Soviet invasion and occupation was the best thing that happened to her. She was born into an average (read: very conservative) Tajik family, was already betroathed and due to be married of to some guy at the age of 17. Of course after the occupation everything changed, she could flee from her family to Kabul and started studying there in 1982, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. The Soviets very much promoted the education especially of women back in that time. In 1987 she came to Eastern Germany (GDR) for her phd. In 1999 she started teaching at my former university and was an active promoter of getting more girls into tech fields. All of this is well documented. 
 

Ok. What happened in the interview? She was asked the question about her initiatives to further increase the share of Girls in technical studies and where she thought further improvements must be done. She answered that she can only encourage every girl with technical interest to choose those studies but realistically, after 20 years of experience in this work, a certain upper limit will be reached (25-30% for mechanical engineering). You cannot force women or people in general to study something where they have no interest in. That’s also the reason why she is against generalized women quota in machinery or automotive companies. She said the reality is that the large majority of upper management positions in these companies (backbone of German economy) is occupied by people with engineering degrees (currently: 80%+). And if women want those positions in those companies they better study engineering. 

That was it. Nothing controversial but stating facts. 

And then the shitstorm happened (mostly on Facebook). This professor was attacked basically as a shill for male dominance. A supporter of the status quo, of patriarchy. She was accused of betraying the women‘s cause. And more and more. 

I could not believe my eyes. The fucking audacity of early-mid twenties raised in luxury and wealth to accuse this professor of being anti feminist, a shill, etc without knowing nothing about her or her personal story! Even asking for her resignation as Dekan! 

This is it what I mean. The woke and outrage culture of people born in wealth who have no personal experience what poverty means. To attack this professor this way there are no excuses. The entitlement. The fucking self-righteousness. 
 

Wrt Greta Thunberg: when she sailed to NY on a multi-Million Dollar ship to make a point while the crew to bring the ship back to Europe was flown in, she lost me. Just another upper class person with self-righteousness issues.  

 

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