Recent events in our neighborhood have divided us and caused us to put off any real progress toward bridging that gap. A woman was refused a school principal job because she was branded as “woke.”
There is no conspiracy. A natural evolution of language, unrestrained by a protection of natural rights, is producing a situation where rights are either bound by the rights of individuals or the rights of groups.
Language couldn’t exist without labels. They simplify communication but in so doing the idea that individuals exist can be lost. Blame or credit is placed on groups even though individuals deserve it. In the checkout line at the store you smile and say, “Wow, eggs sure went up.” You say it to a person, not a race.
But in the public sphere such a thing as one-on-one relationships rarely exists. It’s Democrats, Republicans, the rich, people on the coasts, people in fly-over country, and so-on.
The popularity of communism is based on class struggle. Individuals are the enemy in communism. Communists claim that capitalists exploit or oppress “the worker” or proletariat. Government is looked to as the equalizer because it is not like that fellow human being in the checkout line. Its gifts seemingly come from nowhere. Gratitude is not necessary and the uncomfortable task of asking someone for help is avoided as we do our duty in the voting booth instead. Begging has become patriotic.
A friend posted this on Facebook:
“Woke means awakened to the needs of others. To be well informed, thoughtful, compassionate, humble, and kind. Eager to make the world a better place for all people. Be Woke.”
While resistance to “woke” comes mostly from individuals offended by the insinuation that they are full of hate toward minorities, there is a better reason to resist the woke meme.
Being woke seems to depend on relations between individuals being trivialized. Affirmative action, hiring quotas, and subsidies based on race or income are relied on in place of merit or personal choice. Each of these supposedly helpful solutions have a victim, the ones chosen to take a back seat or fund these programs.
The result is class warfare. While national socialism in Germany used Jews as a villain, communism or socialism in the Soviet Union and China used the productive or generationally wealthy classes as the villain. The proletariat was basically taught to hate rich people. Keep in mind that the communists were “Eager to make the world a better place for all people.” The general welfare demanded sacrifices be made by some, and that “better place” justified the means to that end.
Those “well informed, thoughtful, compassionate, humble, and kind” people who are proud to be woke lobby for the only entity who can legally use force (the government) to be their mercenary as they strive for that “better place”.
Statistics show steady progress after the Civil War for minorities in this country until Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. Johnson’s policies incentivized replacement of fathers by government programs and generally reduced personal responsibility. Until Johnson, black people actually had more stable family situations and less violence than white people. Activists turned this situation around by claiming class struggle was more important than individual achievement.
The general welfare of the country cannot be improved by penalizing productive people through wealth transfers to unproductive people. The “better place” that woke people claim to desire was growing organically without, and then in spite of government intervention because truly productive people saw that skin color or other differences had little effect on their choices when profit was of paramount importance.
That’s the beauty of capitalism and the beauty of individualism. Anyone who views history objectively can see it. People like Patrisse Cullors, a founder of the Black Lives Matter movement are emblematic of the oligarchs of the Soviet Union where all business was funneled through government and the natural discipline of the market was stifled.
The conflict we have today is not between races, political parties, woke or asleep. It is between the notion that individuals need to sacrifice their dignity to a mob, or respect each person as they should themselves.
My old friend Butler Shaffer sums it up here:
“Civilizations are created by individuals. They are destroyed by collectives.”