If there’s a light at the end of the dark tunnel our nation is in right now, it’s because of Horace’s ancient dictum, “You can chase out nature with a pitchfork, but she will keep running back.” Arguably, wokeism is defined by its gnostic rejection of nature on gender, sexuality, the laws of economics, energy, race, speech, and rationality itself.
Yet, nature has the final say, and we’re seeing it in the slow retreat of leftists from wokeism. Nary a day goes by on which a new Substack writer confesses some variation of, “I’m not a right-winger; I’m a proud progressive, but these new leftists are crazy, and I’m done with the Democrats.” They’ve reached a terminus in their minds where they can no longer bear the cognitive dissonance created by the suspension of reality. They’re done drinking the Kool-Aid.
The Liar’s Paradox
Consider the left’s cognitive dissonance on race. They have a Liar’s Paradox problem. The Liar’s Paradox goes, “A Cretan says all Cretans are liars. Is he to be believed?”
Today, the paradox goes, “European male critical theorists say everything white males do only furthers systems protecting their power. Does the theory itself fall under that verdict?” Or currently, it would go, “A bunch of white tech entrepreneurs, CEOs, politicians, college administrators, business leaders, educators, and human resource managers push Critical Race Theory. Are they punking us while laughing all the way to the bank?”
Critical Race Theory says systemic racism is the inescapable order of things. So, if you’re a black child, personal agency is a chimera. You might as well try to escape the grip of gravity and fly like Superman. Such things don’t happen. How does this not disempower blacks?
Meanwhile, who benefits from this disempowerment? An entire industry of academicians, consultants, politicians, and entrepreneurs profit off the theory. Woke white graduates have lucrative careers in human resources awaiting them. Whites on social media gain a sense of moral superiority through it.
So, cities are burned, their denizens murdered, and their businesses looted while Amazon grows. This might help Jeff Bezos, Shannon from human resources, or Emily on TikTok. But how does this help Elijah from Riverdale? It doesn’t. Elijah is a bit player in the woke leftist’s ideological psychodrama.
The evidence of this sort of cognitive dissonance is mounting. More to the point, Horace’s dictum is proving true. The suspension of reality necessary for so much of Wokeism cannot hold, and nature runs back. Two recent examples highlight this.
Woke Education Policies Backfire
In a Substack article, “Yes, Things Are Really As Bad As You’ve Heard,” Wesley Yang presents the account of a teacher in a blue city involved in a free summer program. Because of woke criteria, the program became unmanageable and useless, hurting the very people it intended to help. Watch in real-time Horace’s dictum pan out for this teacher:
I’m a leftist. Like, a big one. I hate capitalism, I support abortion on demand, and I unironically use phrases like “systems of oppression” and “the dominant culture.”
In my short career as an educator, I’ve had countless … encounters with colleagues and administrators so surreal that even close friends chided me for exaggerating or “playing into right-wing tropes” when I repeat them. And there’s a sense in which I don’t blame them, because things really are that crazy out here…
Here’s the punch line:
Do I like having to make the same points as [right-wing pundits]? Of course not. But it’s precisely because I think racism and poverty are so rampant in this nation, and our obligation to respond so overwhelming, that I can’t keep pretending these ridiculous DEI schemes aren’t hurting the children we owe so much to. They are. It’s happening, right now. . . .
It’s not my fault a bunch of cynical hacks noticed that first while all my supposed allies were training themselves to look the other way.
The teacher still holds the old-time religion. But how far are they from realizing that this right-wing, cynical hackery is just an eyes-wide-open look at how nature works?
The True Victim Speaks
A second example comes from a recent police shooting in Minneapolis. The MPD shot a black man after a six-hour standoff during which the man threatened to murder a mom and her two children. He shot several times into her apartment where the incident occurred. During the standoff, police brought in the man’s parents to talk him down, but eventually, the SWAT team (two white men) shot the man, killing him.
Of course, the shooting cued The Narrative, and all the facts got rammed in place accordingly – Bad White Cops Kill Good Black Man Because Racism. And like Pavlov’s dogs, all the Good White People came running to fulfill their roles, showing up at a rally for the “victim.”
And then this happened. Anyone not on a complete Kool-Aid buzz sees the cognitive dissonance of the situation. The actual victim, the woman threatened by the shooter, confronted the protestors and gave a heart-wrenching cri de coeur explaining how the incident was incomparable to George Floyd. By and large, the white protesters chastised the woman in nasally Minnesota-ese why she’s wrong to be upset.
These sorts of optics will be the death of wokeism as we know it. It cannot continue. I cannot imagine being that middle-aged white guy in the video extending his hands in sympathy and saying, “I’m sure it was a terrible [presumably ‘experience’].” How sympathetic you are of a woman held hostage for six hours by an active shooter, essentially telling her, “Fall in line with The Narrative, woman. We whiteys need this.”
What’s in Store for Leftism?
Liberals reacting to the epistemic disorientation of current leftism – we could call it Maherization – often retreat to the safe territory of working class issues. But one wonders whether they’ll realize they’ve butted up against a more fundamental problem with leftism as such: it’s rejection of God and exaltation of humanity as a replacement.
The Liar’s Paradox doesn’t go away as long as the divinization of self or humanity drives progressive theory. At root is the paradox, “How do I reject any transcendent meaning to guide us, but then propose something with transcendent meaning to guide us?” All forms of leftism are a house of cards whose end is to collapse, like Nietzsche finally going insane after a lifelong project of using words to say words are suspect.
The brain can only hold such cognitive dissonance for so long, before nature comes running back. We are reaching that point.