Even his harshest critics seem to agree that Richard Hanania’s great new book The Origins of Woke, released today, offers the most plausible and detailed historical explanation yet of the rise of woke. (
" Liberals care more " huh
Well they are ones changing things , which requires necessary thrust of actions . They are deeply dissatisfied with status quo . They have a martyr feeling attached to it
Half of liberal women suffer from one mental disorder or the other ( Haidt ) . It fills their life with meaning
I think much of what Hanania writes in the book makes plenty of sense and wouldn't mind many of his solutions being implemented.
But I'm not optimistic. In the Hanania telling Affirmative Action is unpopular and all we have to do is make elites follow public opinion.
I'm not sure how unpopular it is. When you phrase Affirmative Action one way people hate it. But if you ask blacks if blacks should get more for being black, they are in favor. Hispanics want more for Hispanics. Even Asians want more for Asians.
I think it's inevitable that as we become a minority-majority society you're going to have some kind of racial spoils system. The Malays have it in Malaysia. The blacks have it in South Africa. They all end up that way. Hanania supports open borders, so that's how its going to go.
"conservatives are extremely bad at gaining or maintaining control of institutions relative to liberals"
I have also heard the opposite opinion. For example the Federalist Society has been described as an extremely effective corporate funded right-wing take-over of the judiciary.
"Especially potent was a 1978 US Supreme Court ruling that “successful plaintiffs should get attorney’s fees and successful defendants could not”. Would it have been too much trouble to phrase that sentence to be much more informative and credible, that is: Especially potent was THE 1978 US Supreme Court ruling [in NAME OF CASE] that “successful plaintiffs should get attorney’s fees and successful defendants could not”?
Taboo creation has become a major tool on both ends of the political spectrum. The left seems particularly adept at it (climate change, race, gender, sexual orientation, .. ), but the right employs it as well (abortion policy, election integrity, ...). Does Hanania discuss how these taboos form? To me it's very unfortunate that taboos have become the predominant tool in politics, overshadowing rational debate and free speech.
There's a lot of dimensions to this but "Liberals care more about politics" sounds too vague. Liberals are more likely to organize into loud online groups and those ideas then diffuse into mainstream media. Also, there's arguably more of them as liberalism intersects with the young and tech obsessed. So, relevant to the discussion there are the 'woke' groups, the ones that oppose them and the mainstream media which will jump onto virtually any popular meme and turn it into news.
I haven't read the book but if I had to guess the origins of 'woke' are due to a mixture of policy decisions, cultural/demographic evolution, new tech and media incentives. Also, what is the definition of 'woke' here? I mostly hear the word used as a target of attack, not as a defined group. And on the other side of that I've never seen or heard anyone actually assign the woke label to themselves.
I didn't read the book and maybe I should, so I'm only going by the quotes here.
If you'd like to see what, precisely, reversing the Civil Rights legislation would mean in practice, rather than via a somewhat idealized theoretical construct, I'd suggest subscribing to and reading trans-activist Erin Reed's substack at https://www.erininthemorning.com/ .
Transgender individuals aren't covered by Civil Rights protections and are the current focus of conservative think tanks and conservative legislators. In addition to artificially inducing a moral panic with the goal of increasing voting turnout, they are:
a) Enacting every single manner of discriminatory law and policy they can to forcefully remove legal protections for transgender individuals qua transgender individuals;
b) Forcefully forbidding, both directly and indirectly, all manners of transgender-focused medical care, including by private caregivers, and not only for minors but also, wherever possible, for adults;
c) And removing related discursive topics from everywhere they can be removed from.
These provide reasonable foreshadowing of how conservatives would similarly proceed for other minorities. Even if the transgender minority is being targeted ten times more intensely than other minorities would be, having a tenth of this done to others would still make their lives miserable.
Maybe the book-suggested alternative legislation would prevent the above dystopic scenario, I don't know, so perhaps it'd be a good idea to expand this post with a few details on how that would work, or maybe have a follow-up post discussing this aspect a little more in depth.
Very interesting. Will read the book and comment.
This is all ripped off from Christopher Cantwell. Hanania used to be somewhat interesting, now he is a straight up grifter who pulls his punches for the Bulwark + crowd.
What experience do either you or RH have in for-profit work environments?
Sounds like warmed over Caldwell.