In the mid-2010s in the English-speaking world there arose a left-wing social and political movement that has become enormously influential, one you are likely familiar with in one form or another. The movement has gone by many names: woke(ness), social-justice warriors (SJW), Progressive Activist, The Elect, Successor Ideology, Tumblr liberalism. What is notable about these names is that all of them have been applied to the movement primarily by people outside it. The only one coined from within the movement is “woke”, and recently many members of the movement have become suspicious even of that.
The movement, in other words, has shown a remarkable reluctance to name itself. What is clear to me is that the movement is a movement, with its own new and radically revisionary paradigm of inquiry, and therefore needs a name to identify it, even though its members seem reluctant to give it one. Perhaps this could be because they believe it is not a movement, it is just common sense. If so, I think a simple reflection on what was considered common sense ten years ago, within the same societies, is sufficient to show that belief false.
But this post is not about the name or lack thereof. Rather, the purpose of this post is to talk and think about the movement’s ideas, whatever it might be called. There are significant aspects of this movement that I agree with, and at least one that I have greatly benefitted from. I sympathize with its aims considered at the broadest level. Moreover I believe that there is truth in everything; I looked for the truth in the rise of Trump, and it is at least as important to do that here.
Continue reading →