Scott’s recent post, Gay Rites are Civil Rites, helped a lot of different threads I’ve had bouncing around cohere into a manageable whole:
- Civil religion is religion, it just doesn’t have the god part
- Our civil religion is Woketianity
- Civil religion exists to justify the rule of the upper class
- It does so by claiming to care about the poor, the oppressed, the downtrodden, etc
- But of course never in a way that would challenge the rule of the upper class
This explains a few things, like
- why SJW pile-ons and their approach to social relations look like cult behavior (because they literally are),
- why the entire society has suddenly come out in support of Pride Month (because this is the new chief rite of the civil religion),
- why companies like Goldman Sachs are making an effort to be publicly associated with Pride Month (to justify their egregious money piles via Woketianity),
- Why so many Woke pile-ons actually target poor and powerless people, like shop keepers and janitors (because they did not serve the Elite Wokeist with sufficient defference)
- and why so little of this Woketianity involves things that actually improve the lives of poor people (because that’s not the point).
If some poor people do better because of Woke policies, Wokeists won’t be disturbed, but the primary purpose of their beliefs is to justify their position in the ruling class.
Woketianity can be seen as a heretical co-option of whatever ideas people originally had about helping the poor and downtrodden.
Memes can be roughly divided into two forms–those that spread horizontally, (ie, across society) like viruses, and those that are transmitted vertically (ie, from your ancestors), like mitochondria. Mitochondrial memes tend to promote your health and well-being, because if they didn’t, your ancestors’ children would have died and never made you. Brushing your teeth is a mitochondrial meme, most likely taught by you to your parents in order to improve your chances of not dying of tooth decay. Viral memes do not need to improve your health to spread; in the short term, at least, they only need to spread faster than people die from them.
Woketianity is a viral meme, and in the minds of anyone not in the elite, it is functionally a parasite, convincing them to accept elite rule on the grounds that it is “good for the oppressed.”
There are three responses to the Woke argument for supporting the elites to help the oppressed:
- “I don’t care about the oppressed.”
- “Your proposal doesn’t actually help the oppressed.”
- “Fuck you, you hypocritical grifter.”
Option two has the most potential for turning into quicksand, since even if you happen to be correct on some particular issue, you are arguing against people who are trying to raise their social status by holding the Right Sort of Views, not actually deal with icky poor people.
If you actually want to help the poor and/or oppressed, the Woke are good targets for funds, but don’t expect them to come up with good ideas. They have no idea what it’s like to be a teenage runaway, homeless, ugly, crippled, or hopeless, so if anything, you will have to prevent them from instituting bad ideas that actually harm the people they want to think they are helping.
You’d like an example? Okay, here’s one:
IQ tests are actually the only reliable way we have right now of identifying bright kids who come from underprivileged backgrounds. Anyone trying to do away with IQ tests is not interested in helping poor students.
If you want to actually do good:
- Be sincere.
- Be realistic.