Maybe I should retrain as an equality, diversity and inclusion officer
Great, depressing, stuff as ever.
I've always considered myself a left-ish liberal. I was a teenage anti-racist (Great title for a film tbf), was pro 'old school' multiculturalism and wanted a decent NHS (and liked the minimum wage).
But it seems like everyone else who used to believe in what I did, now espouses the separation of people based on skin colour, the refusal to believe in biological sex and a level of self-hatred that can only come with growing up posh.
Seriously, I've no idea where I stand on the spectrum any more. Maybe I'm blue Labour or a German-style social democrat. But the more I read stuff like this, the more I realise how utterly insane my former fellow travellers have become.
I'm going to eat some Monster Munch.
It has become a truism to say that the personality traits most associated with the left are novelty-seeking and openness. However, those traits seem most definitely at odds with the overwhelmingly close-minded, socially homophiliac and sclerotic nature of the Woke. Eccentricity does best in conservative times. How confusing it all is. People still use "blue haired brigade" as an insulting descriptor of conservative ladies, when in reality the blue-haired humans I see darting about offices and churches now are almost certainly pure left.
Always find you articles interesting but I’d really like to hear some solutions otherwise it can all get a bit depressing.
Can we at least call it Diversity, Inclusion and Equality?
"if companies are making such overt political statements one might expect that dissenting employees will feel intimidated about expressing their opinions". To put it mildly. HR - the Commissars - are everywhere.
It remains unexplained as to why this has happened - apparently simultaneously - across the English speaking world.
How did something like Drag queen story time pop-up all over the place, more or less at the same time? In Canada, this year, nearly all the school boards have adopted the same themes and plans, all based around the same ideology.
There are lots of people ranting and raving about it, but everywhere the story is the same: all our institutions are currently under the sway of woke.
There is no conspiracy, but some strange species of social contagion that is at work. I have seen non satisfactory explanation for any of it.
The closest analogies seem to be historical religious manias. It seems plausible, but how did it take root here and now?
I have just signed up as the posts get more and more interesting, if depressing.
'...the declining status of academics is one explanation for an issue that agitates many people, and by many people I mean me'.
I liked that.
"a quarter of academic philosophers were unwilling to hire a Republican"
Honestly, I'm pleasantly surprised that it's only a quarter of them who feel that way (or will admit to it, at least). That means the rot isn't quite as deep as I thought (yet). I wonder what the numbers would look like in history or librarianship, though.
In the US, a few Republican governors are actively legislating against DEI now. I don't know if that'll do much to change things tbh, but I admire the attempt. The utterly pointless Tories wouldn't dream of acting similarly - I doubt they could get the votes from their own side for any useful measures, even though it's one of the things that's destroying them.
Just wanted to add my 2 cents (16p?) as a new subscriber:
I've always felt that one of the main differences between liberals and conservatives is that conservatives for the most part get their religion from actual traditional religion, whereas for lefties politics IS their religion. At this point we all see and know the very religious aspects of Progressivism: the wild-eyed zealots on fire to change the world, the proselytism, the damned and the saved, the holy dogma, etc etc. In fact, progressivism (like its grandparent, Marxism) is more or less a secular form of Christianity, with Homo Deus replacing Jesus and Jehovah.
Also, EVERYTHING now is a result of the 2016 Brexit-Trump revolt of the Deplorables and the establishment of a new Church/State ruling coalition in response. By 2017 the global corporatists and the Soc Just theocrats were like that couple in a movie who spend 2/3rds of it hating each other and then fall into bed together: hey, it turns out that capitalism and progressivism aren't really that opposed, and just may make a great couple!
And I think this also explains why there's no more room for conservatives in our culture(s) and why a CEO can have Soc Just dogma on his shirt: as part of their marital arrangement, the corporatists receive moral legitimacy and protection from the Twitter mob while the Soc Just people get what every religion wants: official recognition, at least one of their commissars on the payroll everywhere, and their first and deepest need met: to destroy their ideological enemies and ruthlessly install their morality anywhere and everywhere.
Of course there's no room for conservatives—the entire point of the project is to eliminate them.
Happy Valentine's, Ed! As excellently soul-destroying as always. Curious to know what your predictions are for the future of all this. How does institutionalised wokeness end? Assuming it does end. Does the sheer tedium of it lead to collapse? Won't all decently rebellious lively-minded kids start to demand something more substantial and true, even despite the social penalties? Give us hope!
You are so despondent. We need a new term for the gloomy conservative.
Watching from the US I get the sense that the tide is beginning to shift against trans ideology in the UK, what with BBC now reporting critically on the Tavistock clinic and the revelation that a staggering high percentage of "trans" are actually autistic (which does undermine the concept there's something biological about transgenders) and now JK Rowling's interview to be expected soon.
I'd long noticed a strong overlap between wokery and trans rights and if one becomes delegitimized, it affects the other too. Could be interesting to see what happens.
Good essay, Ed. Thank you. However, I feel it necessary to add that another reason for the abject defeat of conservatism is that conservatism is dead. Notice I do not refer to the Conservative Party but conservatism as political philosophy.
Conservatism was roundly defeated by progressive liberalism (read 'Americanism') before WWII. By 1945, it was pretty much dead. The immediate onset of the Cold War necessitated a united front in the West so everyone pretended that conservatism was still breathing. When the Soviet Union collapsed, there was no longer any need to go on propping up conservatism's corpse and making it wave occasionally, a la 'Weekend at Bernie's'. It will never be resurrected.
So, yes, Americanism is now the only game in town. It's not hard to defeat a dead opponent.
I’d love to see an hour by hour breakdown of what the f*** a Diversity and Inclusion officer actually *does* all day.
The NFL instituted a policy ~25 years ago that clubs must interview a minority coach for open head coaching positions. No requirement to hire, just an interview. Superbowl-winning coaches were the result. Teams can win through "diversity of opportunity." An equality program demanding "representation" equal to the percentage of black players in the league would destroy it. The players union would never go for such a proposal. I think that story contains so much about the false sense of emergency in "woke." Every workplace in America is integrated. Attitudes are very diffferent. But you elect one orange menace, and suddenly racism is the worst it's ever been and we must all purge our white guilt with rainbows and land statements. Things were already better, so the only way to "progress" was to pretend things were terrible.