by Travis Mateer
Michael Shellenberger, the author of San Fransicko, is a brilliant critic of wokeness. His latest Substack piece, titled Why Progressives Ruin Democrats, continues exposing the madness taking over progressive brains, along with an emerging electoral backlash against this insane ideology.
Regarding the latter, here’s a portion from the article that asserts wokeness is more akin to a new religion than an ideology:
A few weeks ago Penguin published Woke Racism by Columbia University linguist John McWhorter, whose book has in common with San Fransicko the view that wokeism is a religion. In Woke Racism, McWhorter humorously ridicules the irrationality, immorality, and supernatural components of woke religion.
McWhorter lampoons its contradictions. If whites move into black neighborhoods they are causing gentrification, which is racist, but if they move out of them they are engaging in “white flight,” which is racist. If whites appreciate black culture, they are engaging in “cultural appropriation,” but if they ignore it they are ostracizing. How can these beliefs, which McWhorter calls “the catechism of contradictions,” be part of the same woke religion? Because they’re all in service of singular goal of calling white people racist in order to gain cultural power.
Framing wokeness as serving the singular goal of gaining cultural power makes a lot of sense. I would add, in a town like Missoula, wokeness is ALSO being used to MAINTAIN cultural power, since progressive lip-service from our neoliberal political establishment has been controlling Missoula politics for decades.
I think this is a big reason why the ACTUAL DEATHS of black people in Missoula, like Johnny Lee Perry and Sean Stevenson, aren’t being championed by the wokesters or given big headlines and viral media attention.
Earlier in the piece, Shellenberger touches on this disparity between woke religious thinking and woke action, and I think this can be accurately applied to how Missoula is ignoring the dynamics of addiction when it comes to the violence and death of black men in our own community:
Unlike traditional religion, woke victimology seeks not universal morality, and laws, but rather one aimed at dismantling “the system.” It is for this reason that progressives are narrowly concerned with African Americans killed by the police rather than with the 30 times more African Americans killed by civilians. And the narrow concern among progressives for victims of “the system” is why progressives in San Francisco are allowing hundreds of people to die every year from drug overdose deaths, since the alternative requires working with the system.
Progressive activists on CRT, criminal justice, and climate change don’t believe, in my experience, that they are adherents to a new religion, but rather that they are more compassionate and more moral than those who hold more traditional views. And that lack of self-awareness is part of why victimology is so powerful. But it may also be what makes it politically vulnerable.
The true believers in WOKE are definitely vulnerable, politically. That may not seem to be the case in Missoula, where two socialist-leaning candidates won municipal races, but I think that has more to do with the totally inept Republican leadership of Vondene Kopetski in Missoula County than it does the strength of candidates like Daniel Carlino, the starry-eyed youngster who is eager to stop the climate from changing now that he’s a Missoula City Council virtue-signaler.
One of the exciting developments in Missoula is our incumbent’s intention to have ring-kissing meetings so that the Dannys of Zoom Town can properly pay homage to their liege:
Engen also plans to meet with the newcomers.
“My practice has been to offer all members of council a regular meeting, and that can be on a weekly basis or on whatever cadence they prefer,” he said. “I’ll make that offer and get a sense on where their particular interests lie. I’ve got some speculation in some cases, just watching their campaigns and paying attention to that.”
How exciting! I’ve heard that Emily Brock really took advantage of this “practice” Engen offers, which is why she is now the Director of Economic and Land Development, so if Carlino plays his cards right, maybe Engen will give him something climate-related to play with, like our government bus system, or our government compost business, or our government Poplar tree farm.
It must be nice to afford a luxury belief system, especially one that is so personally rewarding. The only problem is how to deal with dirty disbelievers.
Luckily we have very sane people like Noam Chomsky suggesting people like me should be starved to death. Cool!
Chomsky compared people who don’t comply with the vaccines to people who don’t comply with traffic lights, suggesting we pose an imminent danger to others and that we should be removed. When asked how unvaxxed people forced out of the economy could be fed (how would they survive), he asserted “that is their problem.” Chomsky does not explicitly say that force should be used to eliminate the unvaxxed from social participation, he merely insinuates that “actions” might be required to get the desired effect.
Here’s another sane person–Daily Montanan editor, Darrell Ehrlick–providing some sane commentary about how uncaring assholes like me just need to love life better:
I am disappointed and disheartened by leaders who won’t exercise their authority to govern to do more to save lives. Wistfully, I wonder how they’ll explain their inaction – trying to explain that, of course, they could have intervened, but didn’t. It makes me wonder if they’ve ever heard the gurgle and gasp of someone struggling to draw breath. I wonder if they have seen the terror in the eyes of someone as they take that lonely journey to whatever lies ahead.
It’s not that some of these leaders who blather on about personal freedom and choice are pro-death. The opposite of being pro-life isn’t embracing death; it’s instead a callous indifference toward life. And I’d suggest that those who shun vaccines or steadfastly refuse masks aren’t rooting for death, they’ve just radically undervalued the gift, beauty and delicate nature of life.
I read shit like this and am SO THANKFUL writers like Michael Shellenberger are putting this new WOKE religion into the zealot-context it deserves.
As the religious fervor of wokeness grows, so does the strength of the backlash.
Virginia was just the beginning.