Thursday, June 17, 2021

The advantages of getting woke

"2 Days in May That Shattered Korean Democracy" (Shorrock/Kim).  A little-known atrocity from Jimmy Carter.

For a 'radical', Noam is always completely conventional:  "Noam Chomsky: Something Rotten in the State of China?" (Petersen).

Nanking Massacre revisionism.

(((Nudelman-Kagan))) was at the big table at the Summit as one of the Assholian 'experts'.  "Sunbeams From Cucumbers: The View From the Khanate of Kaganstan" (Armstrong).

An explanation for woke corporations:  "Why Power Is Getting Woke" (Mesrobian):
"It’s extremely common to find critics of “wokeness” and critical race theory decrying it as a radical activist- and academic-driven plot to upend the basic foundations of American society. And while it certainly does like to present itself that way, and is even believed to be exactly that by its most true believers, it’s an analysis that fails to explain why every Fortune 500 company, establishment politician, media executive, and entertainer has become an evangelist for these ideas. After all, radicalism is about threatening and upending existing power structures. What we’re seeing now is quite the opposite. Far from seeing these ideas as a threat, the existing power structure is enthusiastically adopting them as something of a ruling class ideology. So unless you think all of these people are critical theory sleeper cells who are just now being awakened to carry out a plot decades in the making, the more likely explanation is that not only are these ideas compatible with power, but something about them must actually lend themselves to protecting and even enhancing that power. In other words, it’s an ideology that seems much more suited not to radicalism, but to the opposite: repression. 
One of the most conspicuous things about woke politics is that it politicizes everything. It inserts politics into every space, interaction, and relationship. It problematizes, deconstructs, and dismantles. It calls out and it cancels. And above all, it personalizes politics. But in doing so, it redefines politics itself away from something that takes place in the public sphere — as a way of taking collective action to solve public problems and hold powerful people and institutions accountable — and instead into a matter of personal morality, behaviors, and actions. It privatizes, diffuses, and decentralizes politics. Something that we used to do collectively with a set of defined common purposes with clear objectives is increasingly becoming something we do in the office, with our friends and family members, or while sitting alone at home on the internet. 
Woke politics makes politics less about what powerful people do, and more about what everyone does. Sometimes it’s even about what dead people did, in which case we might take down a statue if there is one, or just call for a “reckoning” (whatever that is). 
But at a certain point, this stops looking like politics at all, and instead a sort of “anti-politics” — something that diverts energy and attention away from traditional political activity and toward something completely different. And when you see the most powerful people in society, from CEOs to elected officials — the people for whom politics is explicitly an accountability and power-limiting mechanism — championing and encouraging this trend, it has to make you wonder at least a little bit: Maybe the point of politicizing everything is to make you forget what actual politics is?"
"Instead of antagonizing power and holding it to account, wokeness makes it invisible. It flattens everyone, elite and not, into fellow participants in a national religion, one in which those with power merely serve as a ceremonial priesthood whose sole responsibility is to ensure faithful observance. The great “awokening” of America’s elites is also something of a great unburdening — an unburdening from the responsibilities, accountability, and scrutiny that comes with power. Ultimately, it’s an unburdening of a leadership class from a country and its people. The question is: Can any country survive that?"
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