Thomas Sowell is one of the great academics of our time and his wisdom on wokeness is more pertinent now than ever!
-Thomas Sowell PREDICTS the rise of wokeness 30 years ago!
-His analysis perfectly lines up with the mind virus we see around us today!
-It all starts in the 60’s…
Now why I find this interview so fascinating is because it’s from 30 years ago, and everything that Sowell is saying there about what he calls the anointed class and particularly their mindset and worldview was like an ominous warning of what was to come! The anointed have forged a social order today that scholars call refeudalization. It’s a term that refers to the ways in which the structure of our society is increasingly reflecting the kind of social structure that characterized the feudal middle ages! For example, today, like then, you have an astonishing concentration of wealth and power; where very few people control pretty much everything. 5 years ago about 400 billionaires owned half of the world’s assets and today that number has dropped to 100. So you have this tremendous concentration of wealth and power, where bureaucrats and billionaires are teaming up to create a top-down governance structure, and next to that we’re seeing the rise of comparable religious fundamentalism. Of course, the fundamentalism today involves all things woke: the environment, gender, race, etc. but the key here is that like with religious fundamentalism, as it were, there’s no room for dissent. Dissenters are heretics and instead of a clerical class enforcing the new dogma, it’s a clerisy class. A class of pseudo-intellectuals from the universities and professions, the credentialed class, that are imposing an ideological inquisition on the whole of the population. And so what we’re seeing today is how Big Business and Big Government, billionaires and bureaucrats, along with the ideologically-propagating legacy media, are teaming up together to create a singular system under which we all have to live, whether we want to or not!
What Thomas Sowell just identified there in terms of the mindset of the anointed is very much rooted in the notion of technocracy. In other words, because we live in a highly industrialized technological age, we naturally value the importance of an expert class of technocrats who alone have the supposed competency to run our advanced society efficiently. So many believe that for us to be able to enjoy the benefits of a technological age, we require the services of a technological elite, what in effect becomes a permanent expert class, who supposedly alone have the competency to run a highly advanced society which they claim is for our own benefit! And so you get this notion, this widespread notion that my freedom and my happiness is dependent on these technocratic elites being in power! That’s the evil genius of the modern age. I like to illustrate this with the name of the card the state of Maryland issues to access public food and cash assistance. Do you want to take a guess as to the name of what we call their food stamp card, the government-issued card by which the poor access food and cash? The name of the card is the “Independence Card.” I mean, let that hit you. You don’t get more Orwellian than that. A card issued to people completely dependent on the government for food and cash assistance is named the ‘Independence Card.’ That’s the twisted genius of the modern world the elites have convinced the masses that their freedom is dependent on the elites being in charge of us. And it’s been widely recognized that this mass dependence is maintained largely through fear and intimidation. The elites used the dire prognosis of societal and political and economic collapse if we turn away from them. I mean, don’t ever forget, former British prime minister David Cameron back in 2016 actually went so far as to warn that a successful Brexit could cause World War 3! That’s the kind of hysteria that they’re willing to try to whip up in order to stay in power!
Again, this is so good, remember, this interview was 30 years ago and that’s precisely what we see today with the modern day woke! There isn’t a liberal bone in the cultural Marxist’s body; it is inherently tyrannical and totalitarian precisely because it doesn’t allow for any legitimate dissent; and so every news event has to be spun in such a way that disparages and denigrates dissenters! If you have a worldview that does not allow for dissent, dissenters are by definition profane, they’re infidels, and they must be excommunicated, so that’s why wokeness necessitates cancel culture. Cancel culture is in effect a modern-day form of excommunication!
The 1960s are a key decade here because that’s the decade when we really begin to see the influence of an academic movement known as the Frankfurt School, which was a group of European academics who eventually came over to the States to escape Hitler, but brought their cultural Marxist ideas to the American university. It was in the 60s when those ideas really flourished in universities across the nation! And at the heart of the Frankfurt School’s ideology is this notion of critical theory, which teaches students how to supposedly expose everything in our culture, from our politics to our economics to our entertainment to our fashion, you name it, as inherently racist, sexist, and homophobic. That’s the key to wokeness: wokeness in effect recasts everything in society as comprised of two groups of people: an oppressor group and an oppressed group; and we know who belongs to which group based on our race, gender, sexual orientation etc. And eventually critical theory entered into our K to 12 classrooms through the broader notion of what’s called ‘critical pedagogy’ from which we get what’s called CRT or Critical Race Theory, which developed into critical gender theory and eventually critical sex theory…so that’s the origin of the woke mind virus.
Again, just a brilliant point. A fundamental component of this neo-feudalized society ruled by fundamentalist woke ideology is the rise of what’s called the grievance industry. Proponents of grievance claim to be the ones who stand up for and defend the victims, the oppressed of society! But the reality is that grievance politics are all about enriching the activists, the activist elite. Grievance politics do little to nothing for those whom the activist elite supposedly represent. We’ve seen this most explicitly with the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC, which has perhaps more than any other organization turned grievance politics into an industry (a very, very lucrative industry being a bona fide racket) that makes tens of millions of dollars a year smearing conservative organizations and causes. And so, as Thomas Sowell pointed out years ago, grievance politics by definition can never be appeased precisely because such appeasement goes against the business model that enriches activist elites. This is what we call ‘limousine liberals’ who run around crying ‘racism’ and ‘sexism’ and ‘discrimination’ ultimately in order to get a massive amount of finances reallocated into their own bank accounts. Grievance politics makes these woke liberals a lot of money. So there’s NEVER an incentive to improve or make things better because that would, by definition, eliminate the need for these grievance organizations! This really was an amazing interview that touched on so many points that account for the origins and consequences of wokeness all of which is a testimony to the extraordinary prescience and foresight of this amazing scholar and defender of truth!
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